Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Portland greyhound trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan looks to hold a strong hand with Twisted Missile and Oshkosh Nar in Sunday’s Val and Col Sims Memorial maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
Having her first start in heat one last Sunday, Twisted Missile held out Candy Chimes to win by 1½ lengths in a smart maiden time of 30.16 seconds – the quicker of the two heats as it turned out.
And Oshkosh Nar, at start number three after two unplaced runs at Warrnambool, chased Bab’s Jakit throughout, eventually going down by 1½ lengths in 30.30 seconds, Lenehan believing the finish-on-lure at Tara Raceway may work in the dog’s favour.
Lenehan, who races Twisted Missile in partnership with Karen Pitt of Botanic Ridge, whelped the Nitro Burst x Harper Seven litter down in November 2016 and still has six more of the litter to put through their paces.
He said Harper Seven had raced only 14 times for seven wins, all over the short course, but that her dam, Alotta Mojo, had been pretty handy, winning 19 races which included three successive wins at Sandown Park in 2008 and later that year wins at Sandown Park, Cranbourne and The Meadows in succession.
According to Lenehan, Twisted Missile, who is from Harper Seven’s second litter, didn’t really surprise him when winning in quick time last Sunday.
“Lack of field experience is generally an issue with first starters,” he said. “But she had been trialling well and I thought if she kept out of trouble then she would be very hard to beat.”
Oshkosh Nar, a giant of a greyhound that weighed in at 39.3 kilograms last Sunday, found his way over to Portland in early November from Anakie-based Dailly Greyhounds that bred and own the son of Dyna Double One and Oshkosh Fayola.
The US-bred Oshkosh Fayola (Kiowa Mon Manny x Oshkosh City) won 20 races in the US at the Southland track over 533 metres and 603 metres.
Lenehan’s involvement with the Daillys actually goes back to 1998 when Tom Dailly trained Star Of Mine for him, the daughter of Head Honcho x Hoppy’s Star – bred by Brian Lenehan – winning 23 races and more than $74,000 in stakemoney.
Incidentally, the Footy Show dog You Idiot, who created plenty of interest when he raced and won at Tara Raceway in January 1999, was a litter brother to Star Of Mine.
Candy Chimes looked pretty good for fellow Portland trainer Nicole Stanley – who won the Sims Memorial in 2016 with Rowchester Star – when going down by only 1½ lengths to Twisted Missile.
By Mogambo, Candy Chimes is out of NSW city-winning stayer Blossom Dior and a litter sister to Black Signature, twice a winner at Sandown Park over 515 metres in 29.63 seconds last November.
Last Sunday’s run was only her second in a race for Stanley who was delighted to see the black bitch run up to her trial form.
“It’s taken her a while for her to get used to a field,” she said. “But she had been trialling well so it was very pleasing to see her handle herself so well last Sunday.”
Stanley also has School Report through to the final after his third behind Twisted Missile and a likely improver after only joining the kennel just before Christmas straight from breaking-in.
Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott’s bid to win another Sims Memorial after Arbour Darby in 2013 didn’t start off too well when Nix Jakit fell going out of the first turn in heat one.
But the Captain, in his own inimitable style, quickly picked himself up off the canvas, bouncing back with a win in the second heat with Bab’s Jakit who wrapped up a busy week after running third at Angle Park on the Monday and second at the same track on the Thursday.
Cape Bridgewater trainer Scott Blacksell will be hoping he has something to crow about with Rooster, into the final on the back of a solid third placing behind Bab’s Jakit and Oshkosh Nar.
Purchased by Blacksell as a pup from Abbott, Rooster is by Cosmic Rumble out of Manila Express, winner of the Royal Fashion Feature Maiden at Tara Raceway in December 2013 before going on to win a further 16 races.