Thursday, August 23, 2018
A third classic win looks a distinct possibility for Compton trainer Tracie Price after last week’s dominant heat winner Smart Knocka came up with box one in this Sunday’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Bred by Price, Smart Knocka is by Knocka Norris out of former classy bitch Who’s Doing What and raced in partnership with Andrew and Peter Haines of WA.
The September 2016 blue dog, a winner at Angle Park back in June at his first race start, turned in a big effort in last week’s second heat, making a real mess of the start from box three before finding the front going out of the first turn.
From then on, he never looked like being beaten, eventually running out a 3½ length winner over Azumi Ryder in 30.10 seconds at what was only his third race start.
Trained by Lee Bartholomew of Worrolong, Azumi Ryder, a July 2016 daughter of Dyna Tron and Azumi Touch, has already won four races at Tara Raceway this year and found her way into the Greyhound of the Year top 10.
She made up plenty of ground in the run home and with luck in running should figure in the finish, the Bartholomew family looking to win their second classic this year after Galactic Panther, trained by husband Steve, defeated Price’s Dynamite Danger by a lip in February’s Summer Classic.
Another of Price’s finalists, Cee Me Turbo, is an interesting runner, being by Cosmic Rumble out of Cee Me Burst, the leading trainer’s second Winter Classic winner in 2015 after Stylish Moment had won the inaugural classic for him the year prior.
The winner of Sunday’s classic final will also receive a service to Peter Rocket – sire of last weekend’s Group 2 Shepparton Cup winner Peter Galo – donated by Keith and Lisa Hellmuth of Pearcedale.
And Group 1 winner and Tara Raceway 512 metre record holder Rockoon, also a son of Peter Rocket, will go around in the race immediately following the classic – the Williams Crane Hire Mixed Stake (512 m).
Rockoon, out of Raya Riot, returned to Tara Raceway last Sunday after a short stint in Darwin, running down Aeroplane Mo in a 600 metre event. Sunday’s five-dog field should suit the big white and black dog as should box one.
Peter Rocket already has pups out at Compton, whelped in May out of the Victorian city-winning Headline who is a daughter of Raya Riot.