Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Portland greyhound Hutch, after an outstanding heat win in last Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres), has come up with box two in Friday’s top class final and looks the one to beat.
By Premier Fantasy out of 19-race winner Cairnlea Ellie, the black dog jumped well from box seven in last Sunday’s first heat, railing through on Banjo Lass down the back straight before running out a 4¾ length winner over Noosa Parade in a best of day 29.73 seconds.
Trainer Robert Halliday is yet to win the Christmas Cup, Homer finishing fourth for him in last year’s final. A win by Hutch would cap off another pretty handy year for the dog – nine wins at Tara Raceway including the Mount Gambier Cup Consolation and SA Country Cup heat as well as success at The Meadows, Horsham and Warrnambool.
Springvale Alysa’s all-the-way win over Cryer’s Plugger in the second heat in 29.79 seconds continued the terrific story this year for Kongorong trainer John Little and his partners Liz Newberry and Kevin Mullan.
Purchased by the trio in April this year, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool has won nine races since then at Tara Raceway, tomorrow’s final probably her biggest test to date although she does have a good record from box seven.
Mortlake-based Peter Crawley who trained Zuma Creek, a finalist in last year’s cup, will be hoping for more luck this year with the dog’s younger half-brother, Bomber Creek, a son of Magic Sprite and Skye Creek.
Bomber Creek, not blessed with great box manners, chased home Springvale Alysa and Cryer’s Plugger last week. Crawley, however, would not be too upset with drawing box one in the final especially as his three starts from the inside have all resulted in wins.
Leading trainer Tracie Price, of Compton, will be chasing his third Christmas Cup – Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal successful in 2014 and 2015 – with Banjo Lass, winner of last month’s Newman McDonnell Memorial final, and Swift Limes, both greyhounds possessing plenty of early pace.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, who landed the cup quinella last year with Hit The Runway and Fiorelli Rose, will be pinning her hopes this year on Bereluke from box four.
And Apsley veteran Tom Cryer, after reaching the 2015 final with Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget litter brothers Cryer’s Ricky and Cryer’s Fred and again in 2017 with another litter brother in Cryer’s Jack, is well represented this year by younger full brother Cryer’s Plugger.
A younger half-sister to Cryer’s Plugger in Cryer’s Harper will be chasing her fourth consecutive win for Cryer when jumping from box three in the Santa Sprint final (400 m).
By Spud Regis, Cryer’s Harper quickly worked into second spot behind Another Scenario in last Sunday’s first heat of the Open event, finding the front turning for home and holding out a fast finishing Faster Bolt to win by three-quarters of a length in 23.04 seconds.
Faster Bolt, now back in Mount Gambier and being trained by part-owner Ken Gillespie, was last away from box six before making up a heap of ground. The son of Milldean Panther and Galactic Rumball has drawn box six again in Friday’s final and once again will be mighty hard to hold out.
Another good story this year has been that of giveaway greyhound Ramified, owned and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell and into the Santa final after finishing hard along the rails in the second heat, grabbing a narrow victory in a three-way go with George Regis and Maunganui Magic.
By Magic Sprite out of Hey Sexy Lady, Ramified has won eight races at Tara Raceway this year. He’s drawn box five in the final and is one of two finalists for Fennell – Hard Call drawn in box eight after finishing fourth behind Cryer’s Harper.
If there’s a dog drawn to win the Santa Sprint then it’s the red runner Lektra Guiseppe, trained at Penola by Damien Smith – box six doing him no favours last week when he scraped into the final in fourth placing behind Ramified.
But he made up many lengths in the run home, eventually going down by only 1¼ lengths and now, after drawing box one, looking an undeniable chance in what is a pretty smart 400 metre final.
And Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott will be hoping to wrap up what started out as a good week at Angle Park on Monday night when his 38 kilogram chaser Big Casey defeated Aston Abbott. Now there was an omen quinella!
Abbott looks to hold a strong hand in Friday’s Christmas Challenge final (600 m) with Spinning Jakit, an all the way winner in last Sunday’s first heat and Pool Hall chasing home Sketchy Gun in the second heat.