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Format change ensures top Iron Dog final
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
A change this year in the order of running of the three-distance Berringa Park Iron Dog series – the highlight of an excellent programme of greyhound racing at Tara Raceway on Friday afternoon – seems to have paid off for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club.
The past two years have seen the finals run over 600 metres, however this year saw a first round of 600 metres, followed by 400 metres with the leading point scorers to now contest Friday’s final over 512 metres.
The Ralph Patzel trained Roarsome, which has drawn box four, heads the qualifiers with 15 points but so even is the field that any one of the eight finalists could win without surprising.
A daughter of Fear Zafonic and Ren Shen, Roarsome accumulated 15 points with a 600 metre second and a dashing 400 metre win last Sunday.
And while the January 2014 black bitch hasn’t done much wrong since joining Patzel’s kennels in May and winning eight races, the Iron Dog final will certainly be one of her biggest tests since arriving in Mount Gambier.
Gary Lane’s rising five-year-old Dee Tee charged into last year’s Iron Dog with maximum points before becoming bogged down on a rain-affected track in the 600 metre final.
A 1¾ length second over 400 metres to Dark Nemesis last Sunday gained her enough points for a second final and she’ll jump from the two – a box she has an excellent record from.
But a fair bit has happened since the daughter of El Grand Senor and Mantra Miss ran in the 2015 final – retirement, a mating and no pups, followed by a comeback in May.
Four-year-old Old Jock, a 2016 Mount Gambier Cup finalist, will jump from box seven as one of the best credentialled of the eight after a 29.75 seconds run earlier this year.
Trained at Portland by Nicole Stanley, the son of Bekim Bale and Swift Blaze struggled over 400 metres after a 600 metre win but with a Tara Raceway record of five wins and nine minor placings from 22 starts at 512 metres the black dog does look the testing material.
Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield will be hoping for further Iron Dog success, this time with Glenville Jester – another one that will be better suited by the 512 metre journey.
A son of Vapour Whirl and Glenville Maggie, Glenville Jester is the only SA-bred finalist with Clayfield looking to go marginally better than last year when Upset Boy dead-heated with Monty Wilson’s Boolite Bruiser.
Also a finalist last year, Cryer’s Jack, which has drawn awkwardly in box six, is racing well for Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and will take a power of holding out if he can find a forward spot.
And it looks like the “Cryer’s” are going to keep coming, with January 2015 whelping Cryer’s Bob, from a repeat mating of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget, finding his way into the race book (as a reserve) for the first time on Friday.
The Iron Dog is once again sponsored by Michael Niele of Berringa Park Kennels and will also carry to the winner a Winning Formula Kennel Pack, donated by Peter Bryce of Winning Post Supplies.
CUP FINALISTS RETURN FOR GRADE 5 FEATURE
Elbow Room and Howies Flyer, finalists in July’s Anniversary Cup won by Mojito Mayhem, will clash again in the second heat of the Gordon Refrigeration Feature Grade Five (512 m).
Trained at Warracknabeal by Ian Bibby, Elbow Room, a son of College Causeway x Lavana, ran third in the cup final prior to defeating Old Jock early in August at Horsham over 480 metres and looks well drawn tomorrow in box one.
Paul Carmichael of Elliminyt returns with Howies Flyer which ran second to Galactic Viper in a heat of the Anniversary Cup before having no luck in the final.
By El Grand Senor x Irish Blossom, the brindle dog, which is not well drawn in box five tomorrow, is coming off some pretty solid form up the straight at Healesville, along with a handy 24.29 seconds 425 metre run at Bendigo.
Fascinated, owned and trained by John Cameron at Penshurst, hasn’t won since late April, but she looks well drawn in box one in the first heat.
The daughter of Hutmaker and Spellbound, and a litter sister to Tuesday night’s Horsham winner Fireball Jack, has run second at her past two 512 metre Tara Raceway starts, with plenty to like about her quarter-length second last Sunday to Real Moment in a best of day 30.16 seconds.
Box three runner Thanks Captain’s two runs back over 400 metres after a lengthy spell have been good and David Peckham’s son of Fabregas x Zadar Belle now looks ready to figure prominently over 512 metres.
And the wide-running Yucatan, which has won his past two Tara Raceway starts over 512 metres for Bibby, despite stepping up in grade and from box five also looks a good chance of making his way through to the final on Sunday, September 18.