Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Adelaide race caller come greyhound trainer Ray Fewings kept his more than handy Tara Raceway strike rate intact last Sunday when Castle Rock led all the way to win the Greyhound-Data.com Stake (512 m) in a best of day time of 30.15 seconds.
Fewings, ostensibly in Mount Gambier to call the meeting, brought Castle Rock along for the ride and with a race record of three wins and a second from only four starts, all at Angle Park, the fawn dog was always going to be hard to beat in the grade six event.
Ethics, having her first run at the track for Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, quickly settled in second spot and off the back did look some sort of chance, especially as her most recent form had been more than sound over the distance at Angle Park.
But much to the relief of those who took the short odds – and to the race caller – Castle Rock kept finding in the home straight, eventually running out a three-quarter length winner.
By Barcia Bale out of 22-race winner Sidney’s Shadow (Mogambo x Alana Blues), the September 2016 fawn dog was bred at Strathalbyn by Karen Butcher who has since bred another litter out of Castle Rock’s dam, this time using Worm Burner who is owned by her in-laws, Cameron and Yvonne Butcher.
Fewings, who purchased Castle Rock as a pup prior to rearing him at Williamstown, said that he had initially copped a bit of criticism over the selection of the fawn dog.
“I wanted a fawn pup, right or wrong. But as he was growing up I had a few ‘experts’ tell me that his conformation was all wrong and that he probably wouldn’t be much good from a racing point of view.
“Well, he’s now broken 30 seconds at Angle Park and won four races from five starts so I’m now wondering just how good he could have been if it hadn’t been for his conformation,” he said, facetiously.
Castle Rock is an ideal age for next month’s Angle Park Champion Puppy Classic (515 m) – for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016 – although Fewings said he was unlikely to tackle the long-running event.
“I think that might be a bit tough for him,” he said, following last Sunday’s win. “But I am looking at the forthcoming Peter Rocket Winter Classic (512 m) down here. I think that would be a better fit for him.”
To be run in August, the 2018 Peter Rocket Winter Classic is a non-penalty event for all dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016.