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Knocka makes a smart return
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Smart Knocka was always going to be the main attraction at last Sunday’s Tara Raceway meeting – and once again he confirmed his rating as the best greyhound to come out of the south east in a long time.
By Knocka Norris out of Who’s Doing What, he was having only his third start at his home track, his other two runs resulting in heat and final wins of August’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic.
Compton trainer Tracie Price opted for a softer option last Sunday after Smart Knocka’s recent arduous Adelaide campaign which saw him tackle the SA Derby, the UBET Adelaide Cup and the Gawler Gold Cup – and clock up plenty of kilometres into the bargain.
Mind you, Smart Knocka, owned by Price in partnership with Andrew and Peter Haines of WA, handled himself pretty well, running second in the Derby and winning the Adelaide Cup Consolation.
His return to Tara Raceway saw him jump at the prohibitive odds of $1.15 in the Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (512 m), with him quickly putting the issue beyond doubt when beginning well from box eight.
John Little’s Springvale Alysa, normally a good beginner, ensured the pace was on early when initially finding the front from box three before Smart Knocka took over the running into the back straight.
From then on, interest was only in time and margins, the blue dog ultimately running out a 4¾ length winner over Springvale Alysa with a further 2¼ lengths back to Monty Wilson’s Drysdale Creek.
The minor placegetters’ efforts were full of merit especially considering the winner’s time of 29.72 seconds, the fastest run at Tara Raceway since Smart Knocka’s former kennelmate Rockoon – now back with owner Keith Hellmuth – ran a record-breaking 29.28 seconds on July 1.
And it was a timely win given that the Price camp is now preparing for Who’s Doing What’s third litter – this time by Fernando Bale.