Sunday, September 24, 2017
A chance start for reserve runner Rusty Sprocket in the ClassicBet Maiden Stake (400 metres) at Tara Raceway’s time-graded meeting on Friday resulted in the 17-month-old bitch winning at her first race start.
Whelped in April 2016, Rusty Sprocket, along with litter sister Crikey Creeky – who also made her debut in the same race – are currently the youngest racing at Tara Raceway, 16 months being the minimum age that a greyhound can compete in an official race.
But, despite her immaturity, the winner handled herself pretty well, overcoming an ordinary start from box eight and then quickly rounding up the field before running away to a comfortable 4¼ length win in 24.05 seconds.
Owned and trained by Scott Blacksell of Cape Bridgewater, the win was the first for the popular Tara Raceway regular since March when, in the space of five days, he had been successful at Tara Raceway with Travel Ticket and Money Back Zac.
By Fabregas out of Guru Doll, Rusty Sprocket and Crikey Creeky – who made up ground to finish fourth on Friday – were purchased by Blacksell at four months of age in a three-pup deal from Portland breeder Robert Halliday.
Blacksell, who recently donated a clothes dryer to the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club, later gave the third, yet unnamed pup, to local greyhound handler and catcher Mo Canala for her 16th birthday earlier this year.
It was a well-bred present, Fabregas a leading sire and Guru Doll winning at Angle Park and Sandown Park as well as being a litter sister to Angle Park Oaks winner Kokoda Spirit and Star Doll, a former 400 metre track record holder at Tara Raceway.
Blacksell, 53, rates his best greyhound as the Halliday-bred Our Vera, a Sandown Park winner who raced during 2009-10. But his involvement in the sport goes back much further than that with well-known Portland greyhound man Ray Keating introducing him to the dishlickers some 30 years ago.