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Panther set to strike in Summer Classic
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Already he’s being talked up as one this year’s best local Mount Gambier Cup hopes but Moorak breeder-owner Robert Chuck and long-time greyhound trainer Steve Bartholomew of Worrolong aren’t looking any further than heat one of Sunday’s Peter Rocket Summer Classic (512 metres) with Galactic Panther.
By Milldean Panther x Galactic Rumball, the black dog will jump from box five on the back of four consecutive wins at Tara Raceway over 400 metres and 512 metres in November and December last year.
And even though it’s been close to two months since Galactic Panther last raced, Bartholomew said this week that he couldn’t be happier with the dog’s condition going into the age-restricted series.
“He’s overcome a few minor issues and I’ve been really pleased with his recent trials at Tara Raceway. Hopefully he can keep out of trouble from box five on Sunday and qualify for Sunday week’s final.”
Whelped in January 2016, Galactic Panther is well placed as one of the oldest in the Summer Classic, a far cry from last September’s Winter Classic when he was the youngest runner.
But for all that, he ran a terrific second behind Away We Go in a heat before having no luck in the final behind Solitary Lad.
The two heats of the Summer Classic have attracted greyhounds from far and wide, none farther though than Serene Machine, Bushiri and Shot Thru who are trained by Jamie Quinlivian of Merbein South, some 600 kilometres from Mount Gambier.
Drawn in boxes four and two respectively in separate heats, Serene Machine and Bushiri, both three-race winners, are by Banjo Boy out of Quinlivian’s prolific brood bitch Rustic Reeta who has now produced more than 100 winners from matings to Cape Hawke and Banjo Boy.
Compton trainer Tracie Price, a great supporter of the local age-restricted races, has won the Winter Classic twice, with Stylish Moment and Cee Me Burst, and will probably be relying upon either Dynamite Danger or Shine On Shannah to give him his first Summer Classic success.
Dynamite Danger, although virtually unknown at 512 metres, was a quick 23.18 seconds maiden winner over 400 metres last month while Shine On Shannah looked pretty good in her 512 metre 30.28 seconds win last Sunday.
Two years after Menzel Boys won the Summer Classic, Montarto South owner-trainer Tony Hinrichsen is back with the son of Dyna Tron x Fighting Fury (a finalist in Banger Harvey’s 2011 Mount Gambier Cup) for the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).
Natural Fury and Assertive Fury – by Lochinvar Marlow and also out of Fighting Fury – will make the trip with Hinrichsen in the hope that one of them may emulate their half-brother’s 2016 success in the Summer Classic.
And Toolong owner-trainer Phil Lenehan will also be attempting to win a Summer Classic, with Lektra Viki, after Lektra Munster won the Winter Classic for him in 2016.
The nicely-bred daughter of KC And All x Lektra Scarlett is yet to race at the track and has drawn box five in the second heat. However, she has a pretty handy record of three wins from 12 starts and should find this a bit easier than her last start at Horsham where she ran into Lektra Stomp and Paraphernalia.
Interestingly, the previous Summer Classic winners, Cryer’s Ricky, Menzel Boys and Hutch, all took on the Mount Gambier Cup the following month and all reached the final.