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Leading trainers chasing first classic win
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Allendale East greyhound trainer David Peckham, still riding high after landing his fifth treble for the year at Tara Raceway last Sunday, now has his sights set on the Winter Classic, heats of which are set down for Sunday, August 18.
This will be the sixth running of the 512 metres age-restricted event which this year is for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2017.
And Peckham, currently Tara Raceway’s leading trainer with 62 wins, 51 seconds and 35 thirds, will probably have more idea of where he’s at from a classic point of view after the running of Sunday’s first race, the Rock’s Retreat Stake (512 m).
This is the first of weekly maiden/one win events programmed at Tara Raceway, designed to encourage the running of low-grade greyhounds over 512 metres. Maidens will be given priority except where they have competed at the Thursday meeting several days’ prior.
Peckham has Cruising By and Silent Jacko engaged – second and third to Cimarron Magic in the recent John Reid Memorial Maiden – the former heavily backed to win the memorial and reported to have since trialled quickly.
By Kinloch Brae out of Midnight News, Cruising By is an August 2017 whelping and a litter sister to Roper River Jake, a recent 13 length Sandown Park 515 metres maiden winner in 29.40 seconds.
Peckham has never won a Winter Classic but he did breed Stylish Moment, a daughter of Spring Gun x Nicky’s Moment and winner of the inaugural 2014 event.
Trained by Tracie Price, Stylish Moment was later mated with Cosmic Rumble and is the dam of Dimora Flash, currently the Greyhound of the Year leader. Earlier this year she whelped a second litter, this time to Peter Rocket.
Price won the classic again the following year with the well-bred Cee Me Burst (Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya) who is the dam of Cee Me Shine, a winner at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
And in 2016 Phil Lenehan of Toolong was successful with Lektra Munster, a son of Fabregas and Supreme Vision, prior to Solitary Lad (Lonesome Cry x Up And Away), trained at Glenroy by Richard Clayfield, winning the 2017 classic after several starts earlier having won the John Reid Memorial.
Last year, Tracie Price won his third Winter Classic when Smart Knocka (Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What) turned in an outstanding performance, running a race record of 29.85 seconds.
Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, currently in second spot behind Peckham with 45 wins, 44 seconds and 52 thirds, also has never won a Winter Classic, her closest a second behind Lektra Munster with Hay Miss.
Stanley said this week that she had at least one, possibly two, contenders for the $3000 event.
Peckham and Stanley look to hold a strong hand at Sunday’s meeting, both trainers having 10 runners on the 12-race G-SIX card.
Meanwhile, Peckham reports that all is well with his four-week-old Fernando Bale x Panda Bale litter of three dogs and four bitches. He said the owners of Panda Bale were looking at selling two of the bitches.
Panda Bale, a daughter of Radley Bale and Bitten, was a winner of 12 races, including 731 metres at Angle Park and 699 metres at Cranbourne, for stakemoney of more than $30,000.
Youngsters from her first litter, by Barcia Bale and whelped in April 2018, are due to be broken-in later this month.
And while on the subject of greyhound dams, Lektra Scarlett has opened up a handy four-win lead over Cryer’s Midget on the Tara Raceway Leading Dam list.
By Trewly Special x Elektra, Lektra Scarlett won Victorian city staying races prior to litters by Cosmic Chief, KC And All and Spring Gun.
Lektra Scarlett has produced 21 winners at Tara Raceway this year from her litters by KC And All (Lektra Brandy 7 wins) and Spring Gun (Black Spring 8 wins) while Cryer’s Midget’s best performer has been Cryer’s Plugger (7 wins).