Thursday, August 16, 2018
Local greyhound breeders Tracie Price and Steve Bartholomew look set to play a strong hand in Sunday’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic heats (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Two heats of the classic for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016 will kick off the 11-race program with the first four from each heat through to the $3000 final which will be run on Sunday, August 26.
The winner of the classic will also receive a service to the Group-winning Peter Rocket, sire of the Tara Raceway 512 metre track record holder Rockoon who will go around on Sunday in the JB Irrigation Open Stake (600 m).
In what is probably the most even line-up of youngsters in the Winter Classic’s five-year history, Price has five runners spread over the two heats out of three litters whelped at Compton during 2016.
Worrolong-based Bartholomew also has five runners, all out of the July 2016 Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch litter, and giving absolutely nothing away as far as age is concerned.
The Price-trained Lika Missile looks one of the hardest to beat in the first heat, chasing Talitha Cumi in last Sunday’s Gambier Vets Stake (512 m) before taking ground off the leader in the run home to go down by four lengths in a best of day 30.00 seconds.
Whelped in November 2016, Lika Missile, who is a son of Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya and a Tara Raceway winner in 30.00 seconds, will go into the series as one of the youngest runners.
Another Price runner in Smart Knocka, yet to race at Tara Raceway but reported to be trialling well, is the interesting runner in the second heat.
By Knocka Norris out of Who’s Doing What, Smart Knocka created a huge impression when winning on debut over 515 metres at Angle Park in early June, racing only once more after that before being spelled.
Price’s December whelping Cee Me Turbo is yet to win over the classic distance although the son of Cosmic Rumble and 2015 Winter Classic winner Cee Me Burst continues to improve with every run over 512 metres.
The Bartholomew camp looks particularly well represented in the second heat – Dusty Pearl, recent winner of the John Reid Memorial well drawn in box one, while Azumi Ryder also looks well drawn out in eight and is likely to find Sunday’s race somewhat easier than last Sunday’s Open event at Tara Raceway.
Previous Winter Classic winners: 2014 Stylish Moment (Spring Gun x Nicky’s Moment) 30.27 Tracie Price; 2015 Cee Me Burst (Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya) 30.31 Tracie Price; 2016 Lektra Munster (Fabregas x Supreme Vision) 30.89 Phil Lenehan; 2017 Solitary Lad (Lonesome Cry x Up And Away) 30.55 Richard Clayfield.