WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23 (T/G): Nominations closed. SUNDAY, JANUARY 27: Nominations closed. SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3: Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Tuesday, January 29 with GRSA. WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6 (T/G): Nominations close at 9 a.m. (SA time) on Friday, February 1 with GRSA. TRIALS: Every Tuesday and Saturday, commencing at 9 a.m. (SA time). Bookings on arrival at track.
Feature heat win a real family affair
Saturday, July 16, 2016
For long-time Warrnambool trainer Kevin Finn the win of Barcelona Beauty in the first heat of the John Reid Memorial Maiden (512 metres) at Tara Raceway on Friday was a real family affair.
Having only her third race start, Barcelona Beauty led all the way from box one to hold out short-priced favourite Hay Miss by three-quarters of a length in 30.64 seconds – which turned out to be the faster of the two heats.
It was yet another local win for Finn and the Three Gen Syndicate – managed by his wife Lorraine and also comprising their daughter Marita Byron and grandson Anthony Lang-Smith – who enjoy a pretty handy strike rate at Tara Raceway with give away greyhounds.
The win was certainly a boost for Lang-Smith, 22, who had intended making the trip over on Friday before a foot infection hospitalised him on Thursday night.
And Byron, who works at a Warrnambool hospital, had to request a day of her holidays in order to drive Mum, Dad and Barcelona Beauty over to Mount Gambier.
By Fabregas, Barcelona Beauty boasts a strong US influence on her dam’s side with Cathy Douglas being by American sire Craigie Whistler out of Bo Douglas, a daughter of another American sire in EJ’s Douglas.
Incidentally, Craigie Whistler was whelped on April Fools’ Day in 1998 although he was anything but a practical joke after winning the $85,000 Derby Lane Sprint Classic.
But pedigrees were the furthest thing from Finn’s mind some three months ago when the kennels were empty and he was chasing up another greyhound to walk.
Turns out well known Victorian trainer John Galea had been looking to give away an April 2014 black bitch as she wasn’t up to city class and this is where Finn and the Three Gen Syndicate stepped in.
“I’d been looking at the Reid Memorial for a while,” the trainer of 40 years said. “So it was really pleasing to win a heat and make it through to the final. All we need now is to draw box one again.”
Hay Miss, a second placegetter at Sandown Park and Horsham went into Friday’s heat with pretty handy credentials and should be further improved now that she’s had a look at the track.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley will be hoping for a similar scenario to that of two years ago when Eylandt Princess ran second in a memorial heat to Cosmic Quest before coming out and defeating Rib Eye in the final nine days later.
Also through to Sunday week’s final from the first heat are Robert Chuck’s Galactic Lee and Kylan Brae, trained by Monty Wilson.
Meanwhile, in the second heat, it was a case of the eagle has landed for Tarpeena owner-trainer Allen Williams after Gemma Eagle defeated kennelmate Grand Eagle, the pair also advancing through to the $1500 final.
First starter Grand Eagle, an August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor and Chilly Patch, showed plenty of early pace from box eight before opening up a handy break down the back straight.
But Gemma Eagle steadily made ground off the back and after railing through on the home turn the daughter of Glen Gallon and Chilly Patch’s half-sister Keep Looking dashed away to score by three lengths in 31.09 seconds.
For Williams, back on track after a health scare early last week, the win was the litter’s third after Penny Eagle and Dark Eagle had dead-heated at Tara Raceway in March.
And Grand Eagle, a litter sister to Paul Herry’s Warrnambool winner To The Choppar, pleased her trainer with the manner in which she handled herself at her first race start.
“Having bred and reared both litters it’s always a thrill when one of them wins and judging by Grand Eagle’s effort today it shouldn’t be long before she also opens her winning account.”
Williams is another trainer chasing further Reid Memorial success after having won the 2010 event with Frosted Opal which defeated Kid Colossus in 31.29 seconds.
Also into the final are Saint Fox, trained at Southern Cross by Ray Mahony, and Ashanti Alinga for Winslow owner-trainer Paul Teuma.
By Spring Gun out of 15-race winner Real Frosty, Saint Fox had no luck early and looked lost at her first race start before working home well in the concluding stages of the race.
And Ashanti Alinga (there’s a well-known prefix from days gone by at Tara Raceway), a rising 3½-year-old daughter of Yahoo Omar and Blu Evening with only 10 starts to her name, also ran home well at her first look at the track.
The memorial is run in honour of John Reid, a Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club life member and club stalwart who died in 2004.
The Reid family has continued to support the memorial which was first run in 2005 when won by the Robert Halliday trained Itza Bee in 30.22 seconds.
Winners to follow have been: 2006 Bourne Destiny (David Peckham) 31.31; 2007 Call Me Princess (Josie Kelly) 31.05; 2008 Ella Rule (Robert Halliday) 30.99; 2009 Pure Cream (Jim Williams) 30.59; 2010 Frost Opal (Allen Williams) 31.29; 2011 Lektra Rocket (David Chandler) 30.66; 2012 Sumo Power (Darren Henderson) 30.91; 2013 Fred Best (David Jones) 30.68; 2014 Eylandt Princess (Nicole Stanley) 30.81; 2015 My Pal Houston (Tracie Price) 30.62.
VETERAN CHASER TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
Rising five-year-old Dee Tee turned back the clock at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon when an upset winner in the Rock’s Retreat Stake over 600 metres.
Having only her fourth run back after a six-month break, the fawn and white bitch, after pushing Glenville Jester to 3¾ lengths at the previous meeting over 512 metres, found plenty when going straight to the front from box three and defying a strong grade five field to run her down.
A $12 chance, Dee Tee ultimately had 1¾ lengths to spare in 35.45 seconds over short-priced favourite Old Jock as she brought up her 16th win for Bushfield owner-trainer Gary Lane.
Friday’s win was her first since October with Lane retiring the well-bred daughter of El Grand Senor and Mantra Miss in December prior to mating her in January.
“Unfortunately she missed – which in itself wasn’t the end of the world because her litter sister Miss Jacovella (a former 600 metre Tara Raceway record holder) had previously whelped to Pure Octane – but with nothing else to race I decided to put Dee Tee back in work.”
Lane said while he was undecided as to whether Dee Tee would line up in Sunday week’s Eric Lewis Memorial (600 m) he had earmarked next month’s Berringa Park Iron Dog three-distance series for her final stint on the race track.
A winner over Tara Raceway’s three distances (400 m, 512 m, 600 m), Dee Tee is well suited to the concept, having won two rounds of last year’s series which ended in sensational circumstances when Boolite Bruiser and Upset Boy dead-heated in the final.