Tuesday, October 16, 2018
It’s taken a while, but rising three-year-old greyhound Joshua Rocks finally broke through for his first win when successful in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Not that he had raced on too many occasions, the 37 kilogram dog having only his eighth start last Sunday after kicking off his racing career back in April at a Wednesday meeting at The Meadows, his owner-trainer Nifty Lenehan of Portland later left to lament a frustrating past six months.
“As if it wasn’t bad enough that he was a late developer and never hit the track until he was 2½ years old, I also encountered cramping problems with him,” Lenehan said this week.
“Then, after getting on top of the cramping issue, he suffered a couple of other unrelated injuries which ultimately has made for a pretty lean time with him this year which is disappointing because as he showed on Sunday he can run a bit.
“His biggest problem now is that he’s generally very slow early so I’m now hoping he will be able to run over more ground.”
When Lenehan returned to Tara Raceway with Joshua Rocks last month, after what had been a two-month break, he believed the dog was finally ready to win – his price of $1.75 suggesting as much, anyway!
But it would take him another four runs before he broke his maiden, slowly away from box four last Sunday before finding galloping room down the back straight and quickly rounding up Mulan and Midnight Rage to win in 29.96 seconds.
Punters – forgiving lot that they are – stepped in again, this time at $2.40, race caller Ray Fewings suggesting that the judge had been feeling for Joshua Rocks’s number a fair way from home.
The winning time was quick for a maiden – pretty handy for any grade, actually – and was the fastest maiden win at Tara Raceway since March when recent Adelaide Cup finalist Spring Bridge ran 29.63 seconds in the Produce Store Feature Maiden final.
Also bred by Lenehan, Joshua Rocks is by Cosmic Rumble out of Obama’s Girl, a winner of two 600 metre races at The Meadows and also at Ballarat over 550 metres.
This is her second litter for Lenehan, the first, by Kinloch Brae, producing six individual winners including Herbilly who in July whelped two dogs and two bitches to Fernando Bale.
Joshua Rocks will now head to Sandown Park, where he has trialled well, to contest a heat on Thursday night of the GRV Vic Bred (1-4 wins) over 515 metres, the $10,000-to-the-winner final to be run on Thursday week.
The Richard Clayfield trained Mulan’s effort at only her second start last Sunday to finish a 1¾ length second to Joshua Rocks signalled an early win for the daughter of Taylors Sky and Erza Allen. Her actual time of 30.08 seconds would win the majority of maiden races run at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, Springvale Alysa, trained at Kongorong by John Little, will head to Warrnambool on Thursday night to contest the Norfolk Butchers Damsels Dash, a 450 metre event for grade five bitches.
The daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool continued her outstanding year at Tara Raceway last Sunday when leading all the way in the Winningformula.net.au Stake, a grade five final over 512 metres.
Quickly finding the front from box seven, Springvale Alysa ran out a 4¼ length winner over Wanchai Express in a best of day 29.86 seconds and in doing so brought up her eighth win this year for Little and the Bungaloo Syndicate.