Sunday, January 8, 2017
The three heats of last Friday’s Val and Col Sims Maiden Memorial (512 metres) at Tara Raceway were dominated by greyhounds having their first race starts.
Peter Franklin, who had made the 2½-hour trip over to Mount Gambier from Moyston in Victoria the previous Saturday to trial, was rewarded for his efforts when litter brothers McIvor Neville and McIvor Gordon won the first two heats while Big Rough took the time honours for Portland trainer Brian Weis.
McIvor Neville, a 34½-kilogram son of US sire Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar (Where’s Pedro x Lemon Cruiser), was only fairly away from box four but handled himself well to find third spot down the back behind the tearaway leader Judge Jedd and Money Monster.
And turning for home the fawn dog loomed large as he made his run out wide, finishing too strongly to defeat the early leader by 1¾ lengths in 30.63 seconds with a further head back to Flying Stubbsy who finished the race off nicely.
The litter’s first win was a pleasing result for Bendigo owner Barry Priest and Franklin who had won nine races and recorded 17 minor placings for prizemoney of more than $20,000 with Blonde Caviar in an 18-month period during 2013-14.
Whelped in May 2015, the litter was whelped and reared by Franklin who was the first to admit that the early stages of their subsequent education had been nothing special.
“I reckon it’s fair to say that they were slow learners,” he said. “But they seem to be getting better with each run and it goes without saying that it’s always a great thrill to win races with greyhounds that you have bred.”
October 2014 whelping Judge Jedd, having his seventh race start, gave plenty of cheek out in front after jumping well from box two before running second for Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott.
By Cosmic Chief, the black dog is out of White Butterfly who retired a maiden after running 11 minor placings from 19 starts at Horsham and Warrnambool for Mumbunnar trainer Monty Wilson.
However, there’s plenty of winning form around her line including litter brother New Tibur who won 11 races, including four on the trot at Sandown Park, for prizemoney of almost $80,000.
In the second heat, McIvor Gordon looked only a remote hope after making a real mess of the start from box four and then running wide on the first turn.
And even though making up ground down the back straight it did appear as though local trainer Willie Vossen’s rank outsider Cee Jay’s Heart was set to cause a boilover when hitting the front turning for home.
But in a desperately tight three-way go, McIvor Gordon stormed home down the outside to grab the verdict by a half head over Wilson’s Jaeda Sienn – a litter sister to Judge Jedd – who finished hard on the rails while Cee Jay’s Heart was a further head back in 31.02 seconds.
While Big Rough had never run over 512 metres coming into the memorial, connections never had any real concerns as the February 2015 whelping finished heat three off in strong fashion.
Away well from box one, Big Rough matched motors until the home turn with eventual third placegetter Tipping Woody before running away to a 2½ length win over Gee She Roks in 30.55 seconds.
By Lochinvar Marlow x Bogie Dawn, the winner was one of two pups selected at three months of age by Mount Gambier owners Heather and Noel Perry from a litter whelped by Andrea Gurry of Nhill.
Weis initially reared the pups – the other one is now named Ms Genius who made her debut at Warrnambool on Saturday night – before the pair found their way to Allan Holmes at Moorak prior to being educated and pre-trained by Tom Dailly of Corio.
“Tom reckoned they weren’t up to Melbourne city standard so Brian was happy to have a go with them,” Noel Perry said.
“We were delighted with the win, especially as it was the first time he’d run over 512 metres. It looks like there will be quite a bit of improvement to come out of Friday’s heats so it should be a terrific final on Sunday.”
By Cape Hawke, Gee She Roks, who ran a nice race for Allendale East trainer David Peckham to register her third successive second placing, is out of Freestyle Lass, another one to be retired a maiden but with plenty of winning form around her.