Monday, September 24, 2018
Portland greyhound Hutch booked himself a spot in the SA Country Cup final, to be run at Angle Park on Friday, October 12, when winning the first heat of the Mount Gambier division over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
For the Robert Halliday trained son of Premier Fantasy and Cairnlea Ellie it was a successful return to the track after a toe injury saw him off the scene for three months.
But despite the lay-off, Hutch jumped from box two a $3 favourite, settling in third spot down the back before switching to the outside on the home turn and running out a 1½ length winner over Theo’s Thunder with another three-quarters of a length back to Springvale Alysa in 29.92 seconds.
Halliday, who won the 2008 SA Country Cup at Gawler with Tickets Please, said he had been delighted by the manner in which Hutch went to the line and pulled up after the race.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure how he would go because he went into the race having galloped only up the straight and hadn’t been around the circle since June.
“The main thing, though, is that he appears to have pulled up well so I’ll now have to work out what I’m going to do with him between now and October 12. However, I can tell you that Hutch will go into the final without having had a run at Angle Park.”
A winner of 18 races, Hutch won this year’s Mount Gambier Cup Consolation (512 m) in a quick 29.56 seconds.
And Horsham trainer Jeff Guy’s Paraphernalia – who seems to do most things in twos – will join Hutch in the final on Adelaide Cup night after leading all the way in the second heat to defeat Blazing Moment and Big Lebowski in 29.88 seconds.
This will be the second consecutive year that the son of Big Daddy Cool and Scrappy Coco has represented Mount Gambier in the Country Cup final at Angle Park – last year running an unlucky fourth.
Paraphernalia, also, will not be back at Angle Park until final night, although with 126 starts for 33 wins, 29 minor placings and close to $80,000 in stakemoney, the 4½-year-old fawn dog should know his way around by now.
“He’s in a 600 metre grade five at The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon and then after that the plan is to run at Tara Raceway on Sunday, October 7 prior to the Country Cup final on the following Friday night,” Guy said.