Wednesday, June 19, 2019
The final 512 metre round of the three-distance Winning Post Supplies Iron Dog at Tara Raceway last Sunday was always going to be interest-packed – Black Spring, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota sharing the lead with 11 points each after previously performing well over 600 metres and 732 metres.
But with two heats to be decided, Cryer’s Bob straight away threw a spanner in the works as far as Black Spring was concerned when leading all the way in the first heat to defeat Kolora Posie by 2¼ lengths in a quick 29.74 seconds.
After the first heat, Cryer’s Bob then found himself in front on the leader board with 15 points from Noosa Parade and Black Spring, both on 14 after running third and fourth respectively.
So, in the end it virtually came down to the clash in the second heat of the well-fancied pair, Cryer’s Plugger and Dyna Quota, either greyhound able to clinch the Iron Dog title with a win.
And it was Cryer’s Plugger, tackling the Iron Dog for a third consecutive year, that led all the way over Dyna Quota for a 3¼ length win in the same time as his litter brother in the previous heat.
Previously, the three-distance series had been run as two heats with the leading point scorers then contesting a final – Cryer’s Plugger reaching the final on both occasions before finishing unplaced behind back-to-back Iron Dog Paraphernalia.
This year’s Iron Dog worked out well for 86-year-old Apsley trainer Tom Cryer and his wife Margaret, Cryer’s Bob and Cryer’s Plugger both winning heats over 600 metres and 512 metres.
Sunday’s win saw Cryer’s Plugger, a son of Spring Gun, regain the lead in the Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year, an award that was also won by his dam Cryer’s Midget in 2011 and full brother Cryer’s Fred, arguably her best offspring, in 2015.
This year was the first time a 732 metre leg had been included in the Iron Dog. It was also the first time that three rounds – over 600 metres, 732 metres and 512 metres – had been run, the leading point scorer being the winner.
Some favoured the format, others didn’t. But for all that, no one questioned the winner – Cryer’s Plugger an iron dog in the true sense of the word.
Whelped in January 2015, the brindle dog is one of relatively few greyhounds to have won over the four recognised distances at Tara Raceway. He has now raced on 97 occasions for 27 wins, 24 seconds and 14 thirds.
And Cryer’s Plugger, in a career that spans more than 2½ years, has come a fair way since that Friday afternoon in October 2016 when on debut he ran an 11¼ length fifth to Brinza before a couple of months later winning his maiden, over 400 metres, in 23.94 seconds.