Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Ask Glenroy greyhound trainer Richard Clayfield the secret to Glenville Jester’s amazing turnaround in form over the past two months and, really, he’s got no idea.
But Team Clayfield (Richard and brother Kevin) are certainly not complaining. Nor fellow part-owner Dale Lewis who would probably be the first to admit that at one stage of the black dog’s 60-start career he would have gladly written him off.
Bred by Richard Clayfield among the grapevines on the outskirts of the Coonawarra, Glenville Jester is by Vapour Whirl out of Glenville Maggie, a bitch who won the 2011 Anniversary Cup for the team at Tara Raceway.
Say what you like about Pathway Racing – low grade races designed to keep out of form greyhounds in the system – but Clayfield believes it was a Pathway race over 512 metres back on November 9 that could have turned the black dog’s fortunes around.
“You have to be going pretty bad to be eligible for a Pathway race and believe me, he was,” Clayfield said this week. “Maybe it was less pressure, I don’t know, but on that day he won by eight lengths in a pretty handy 30.21 seconds – way under the Pathway time standard.”
A fortnight later Glenville Jester won the time-honoured Newman McDonnell Memorial and by the end of the year he had also defeated the 2016 Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year Old Jock to win the Christmas Cup.
So in the space of seven weeks leading up to the end of the year the born-again greyhound had been around seven times for six wins and a second.
The form has now continued on into the new year with a second to Old Jock before a dashing win over Marcling in last Friday’s Rock’s Retreat Mixed Stake.
Marcling, purchased late last year by Serviceton couple Valerie and David Brodhurst, had opened his Mount Gambier winning account over consistent chaser Penny Eagle at the final meeting for 2016.
And the black dog looked hell-bent on making it two wins in a row when opening up a big break over Glenville Jester down the back straight in last week’s 512 metre event.
But the Jester found plenty in the home straight, finishing too strongly for a half-length win in a personal best 29.96 seconds, despite being undecided at one stage whether to take the inside or outside running.
Clayfield’s one of those “one week at a time” blokes although he’s well aware that the Mount Gambier Cup – a race that has eluded him since its first running in 1981 – is fast approaching.
“I’ll just keep racing him on a weekly basis and hope that he’s still performing well at the end of February for the cup heats.”
Glenville Jester and Marcling will clash again in Sunday’s Metal Worx Mixed Stake (512 m) at Tara Raceway with the pair jumping from boxes three and six respectively.
PLENTY OF INTEREST IN FEATURE FINALS
An outstanding Val and Col Sims Memorial maiden final (512 m) and a top Laser Electrical Feature Grade Five final (512 m) will be a couple of highlights of Sunday’s meeting at Tara Raceway.
With the three Sims heat winners – McIvor Neville, McIvor Gordon and Big Rough – all successful at their first starts it’s to be expected that they will be further improved.
The Brian Weis trained Big Rough ran the fastest of the three heats from the one and has drawn the same box in the final.
McIvor Gordon, although running the slowest of the three heats, was very slowly away and didn’t have a lot of luck in running. He could be worth keeping an eye on from box three.
Trained by Peter Franklin, McIvor Neville and McIvor Gordon are litter brothers, being by the boom US sire Bella Infrared.
Colden Girl and Carry On Elvis, trained by Bea Bryant of Heathmere, won the two heats of the Laser Electrical in impressive style but this is a really tough race.
Blitz And Bolt has drawn box one and there wasn’t much wrong with his 2¼ length third behind Colden Girl and Digger Two in a personal time of 30.22 seconds.
Owners Connie Miller and David Peckham, of Allendale East, will now be hoping for another forward showing with the January 2015 whelping in the lead-up to next month’s Summer Classic.
Ray Drew’s Digger Two hasn’t won since last October at Tara Raceway but he ran home strongly to go down by only 1½ lengths to Colden Girl in a winning time of 30.06 seconds.
And if the Allen Williams trained Penny Eagle can find a forward spot early from box six then she’s sure to trouble the leaders with her home straight finishing burst.