Tara Raceway 600 metre record holder McIvor Verna will head a top line-up of middle-distance greyhounds when she jumps from box three in the second of two Eric Lewis Memorial heats on Sunday.
The daughter of Bella Infrared and Blonde Caviar smashed Paraphernalia’s previous record with a run of 34.84 seconds on June 18 prior to contesting the Stayers Cup (731 m) at Angle Park.
Giving away plenty in age and experience, the Peter Franklin trained McIvor Verna performed well in her heat of the Stayers Cup before being beaten only 3½ lengths in the final.
Adding further interest to the second heat of the Lewis Memorial is the Noel Mugavin owned Silverali, now in the Southern Cross kennels of Peter Byrne.
By Velocette out of Molly Grace, Silverali will be having his first Tara Raceway start after previously going around in Melbourne where he raced on 43 occasions for nine wins and more than $66,000 in prizemoney.
Raced in the same interests as his litter brother Born Billy who ran second in last Sunday’s Trackside Meats Feature Grade Five (600 m), Silverali, who has drawn box six, hasn’t won this year but did win consecutive 725 metre races at The Meadows late last year.
And Allendale East owner-trainer David Peckham will be hoping his box four runner Maximum Bella can recapture her form of a fortnight ago when running a quick 35.16 seconds in a Trackside Meats heat.
In the first heat, box three runner Frac Geek looks one of the hardest to beat for Horsham trainer Jeff Guy – also the trainer of Paraphernalia – after a recent win at Sandown Park over 595 metres.
The black bitch, who won at the city track on June 18 before following up with a second placing a couple of weeks later, prior to that had defeated Maximum Bella by six lengths over 512 metres at Tara Raceway.
Lektra Uncut, a winner of 10 races from 55 starts, has drawn box one in what will be his first 600 metre race start at Tara Raceway for the Lenehan family of Toolong.
Placed twice last month at the local track in 512 metre events, the son of Nitro Burst x Lektra Angel has yet to win this year but was successful over 600 metres at The Meadows last October.
Supreme Deal, who defeated Old Jock and Dee Tee in last year’s Lewis Memorial, continues to race well and will jump from box six for Mount Gambier trainer Ralph Patzel.
Meanwhile, Cryer’s Plugger, expected to play a major role in the memorial after a brilliant Trackside Meats 600 metre win last Sunday, was withdrawn prior to the draw after Apsley trainer Tom Cryer reported that the brindle dog had sustained a tendon injury.
The memorial will be part of a big day of feature race heats on Sunday, leading in to next week’s Anniversary Cup meeting which will celebrate 38 years of greyhound racing in the South East.
CLAYFIELD WELL REPRESENTED IN JOHN REID MEMORIAL
Two heats of the long-running John Reid Memorial (512 m) – first run in 2005 when Robert Halliday’s Itza Bee was successful – will kick off racing at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
Long-time Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield is yet to win a Reid Memorial but he will be well represented this year with three runners in each heat.
Clayfield will take the wraps off four of his latest Glenville greyhounds – Phil, Bookie, Callie and Silver – all from the Dyna Tron x Time And Tide litter.
And while they’ll all be having their first starts, Lone Star – by Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away, a half-sister to Time And Tide – looks a top chance from box four for Clayfield in the first heat after running third at his only two race starts.
The November 2015 brindle dog had no luck when copping a check on the first turn in last week’s maiden but battled on well behind Kolora Maddie while Lone Star’s litter brother and kennel mate Solitary Lad will jump from box seven in heat two and should be better for his first up fifth over 400 metres behind Colden Blu Boy.