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Trainer’s first win this year after Luna eclipses the opposition
Saturday, May 23, 2020
For John Little it was a case of Velocity Luna breaking a lengthy run of outs for the Kongorong greyhound trainer when leading all the way last Thursday in the Winningformula.net.au Maiden Stake (400 metres) to defeat Huxley Bale by three lengths in 23.54 seconds.
Little’s win at Tara Raceway’s 11-race meeting was his first since November 7 last year when Springvale Alysa brought up her 22nd success prior to being retired later that month.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with the Queensland-bred Velocity Luna’s breeding, her sire being the Group 1 winning Zambora Brockie while her dam is Velocity Shirl, a Group 3 winner over 600 metres at Albion Park.
A litter sister to Velocity Bettina, a winner of 13 races from 29 starts in Queensland for $110,000 in stakemoney, Velocity Luna was picked up as a giveaway from Darawank in NSW by Little as a ready to race prospect in February.
Her win came at her sixth start at Tara Raceway on the back of a couple of minor placings, Little conceding that the black bitch does have a major hang-up.
“There’s no doubt about her, she certainly has a mind of her own and can be very difficult to walk on the collar and lead,” he said. “In fact, there are times when she digs the toes in and simply refuses to walk. Thankfully, she hasn’t put the brakes on going to the boxes on race day . . . yet!”
Actually, Little went very close to landing a double last Thursday, Renmore chasing Ramified throughout before going down by a head in 23.69 seconds in the Rock’s Tavern Stake (400 m).
And speaking of a lengthy run of outs. Ramified, owned and trained at Glencoe by Dean Fennell, had last won 13 months ago when running a best of day 23.11 seconds (400 m). A week later the black dog suffered a back leg muscle injury and was off the scene for the next seven months.
Now only three runs short of 100 starts, the rising five-year-old was the first leg of a double for Fennell who later in the day was successful in the Swallow Drive Meats Mixed Stake (600 m) with Perseverance.
This was her second impressive middle-distance win in as many weeks at Tara Raceway, the daughter of Dyna Double One x Miss Freelove now sharing the Greyhound of the Year lead with Squishy Pea.
Perseverance’s win was also the start of a couple of good days for local owner Michael Robinson who on Friday was successful at Gawler with litter sister Vossy, raced in partnership with Willie Vossen and now trained at Lewiston by Troy Murray.
The nicely-bred Turn To Fab, after a luckless run behind Vossy at Tara Raceway’s previous meeting, won his first race in four months for the Green Cloth Syndicate and Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield.
Away well from box seven in the Greg Martlew Autos Stake (512 m), the black dog quickly settled into second spot behind early leader Super Fay – looking for her third win in as many weeks – before railing up on the home turn and running out a 1½ lengths winner in 30.21 seconds.
By Fabregas, Turn To Fab is out of Mermaid Princess, a winner of 14 races, including three at Tara Raceway in 2015 and a litter sister to Dub Me In who ran a record 29.62 seconds over 512 metres at the track in March 2014.
And Clayfield tells the story of an old mate from Penola who always backs Turn To Fab.
“Seems he had misplaced his glasses when the time came to place the bet, the result being he ended up backing the six in race six instead of the seven in race seven. So he missed out on Turn To Fab’s $6.50 dividend, instead having to settle for a winning ticket on Ramified who paid $34.”
Back at Tara Raceway for the first time since the end of February was Lewiston trainer Kevin Bewley, another one taking advantage of the lifting of restrictions on intra-state travel, and enjoying success early in the day in the Williams Crane Hire Stake (400 m) with Crisis Time.
Having his first start for Bewley, Crisis Time, a maiden winner at Murray Bridge in February, handled himself well for a dog having his first look at the track, leading all the way from box five to defeat a fast-finishing Pa’s Chance by three-quarters of a length in 23.38 seconds.
By Barcia Bale out of 12-race winner Panda Bale’s first litter, Crisis Time is raced by Glenelg schoolteacher Clint Alleway who recently purchased the black dog from Adelaide owner Tim Aloisi.
Panda Bale has since whelped a second litter, this time by Fernando Bale, which is currently being reared at Bourne Kennels at Allendale East.
Clint Trengove, another Lewiston trainer to hit the highway, followed up in the next race, the Gordon Refrigeration Stake (400 m), with a win by Raylene Bale who chased Angelo’s Entity into the home straight before finishing strongly for a half length win in 23.22 seconds.
The dark brindle bitch is owned by Trengove’s nephew, Jack Trengove of Broken Hill, the trainer later saying that Raylene Bale’s previous owner had since been on the phone looking to buy her back after last Thursday’s win.
Trengove, accompanied by wife Shelley and son Harrison, completed a good day when Stitch ‘Em Milli led all the way in the Bourne Kennels Stake (512 m) to defeat the Bewley-trained Lektra Style by three lengths in a quick 29.88 seconds.