Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Even ordinary weather conditions at Tara Raceway last Sunday failed to deter patrons from leaving the comfort of the cosy wood-heated clubrooms and venturing outside to catch a glimpse of the greyhound everyone had been talking about – Galactic Zeus.
Already, his sister Galactic Athena had won this year’s Fairthorne Forestry Mount Gambier Cup and his brother Galactic Titan only a few nights’ earlier had won his way through to the Champion Puppy final at Angle Park.
But Galactic Zeus was better than both of these. Or so the word went. Reportedly, there had even been a couple of 400 metre track records run on trial mornings – a few setbacks along the way holding up his race debut until last Sunday.
He’s another one of the Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball litter bred and raced by Robert Chuck of Moorak and trained at Worrolong by Steve Bartholomew.
And the smart punters were quick to snap up the $1.45 on offer about Galactic Zeus, who at 38 kilograms towered above his opposition as the field made its way to the 400 metre boxes for the Klaassens Contractors Maiden Stake.
Lektra Phyliss, having her first start for another local trainer in Noel Perry, quickly took up the running from box eight but Galactic Zeus had her measure by the first split, clocking 10.95 seconds before finishing the race off in fine style with a 5½ length win over the early leader.
Overall, the brindle dog ran 22.91 seconds – the quickest at Tara Raceway this year – his run home time of 11.96 seconds posing the question as to whether any greyhound had ever finished off a 400 metre race in quicker time.
Long-time track watchers at Tara Raceway on Sunday could not remember a quicker run-home time. And spare a thought for Lektra Phyliss, whose time of 23.30 seconds would win most maiden 400 metre races.
From a maiden point of view, Galactic Zeus’s winning time was second only to Wise Stella who ran splits of 10.74 seconds and 12.15 seconds when clocking an overall time of 22.89 seconds almost 12 months ago to the day.
These days raced by 16-year-old Ben Price and trained by Dean Fennell, Wise Stella has had her share of problems since that maiden win – a second marring offence keeping her off the track for much of the first half of this year.
But the well-bred daughter of Barcia Bale x Wise Penny was also among the winners on Sunday, finding the front down the back in the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m) before running away to a comfortable 2¼ length win over Tolga in 23.26 seconds.
By way of a comparison, the Tara Raceway 400 metre track record, run on Friday, February 19, 2016, is held by Cryer’s Ricky at 22.78 seconds – with splits of 10.67 seconds and 12.11 seconds.