Monday, December 11, 2017
Scorpion’s all the way win in the second heat of the Christmas Challenge (400 m) at Tara Raceway on Sunday not only brought up a hat-trick of wins but also kept in him contention for the Greyhound of the Year as well as rounding off a successful day for Worrolong husband and wife training team Steve and Lee Bartholomew.
Earlier in the day, Steve Bartholomew had been successful with Bluestone, who led all the way in the ClassicBet Stake (400 m) much to the delight of local part-owner Jeff Cranage who doesn’t miss too many of the blue dog’s runs at Tara Raceway.
By Kalden Komoto x Frantic Fusion, Bluestone – racing consistently but out of the winner’s list since May – never gave Cranage too many worries, running out a 6¾ length winner over Dean Fennell’s pair of Stampy Longnose and Surfing Moment in 23.29 seconds.
Bartholomew landed his first double this year when promising January 2016 youngster Galactic Panther, beautifully boxed in the eight, was in front going out of the first turn before powering away to a seven length win in the South Eastern Hotel Stake (512 m) in a quick 30.01 seconds.
Owned by Robert Chuck of Moorak, Galactic Panther, a son of Milldean Panther x Galactic Rumball, was having his first run over the distance since late September with connections now setting their sights on February’s Peter Rocket Summer Classic (512 m).
Lee Bartholomew, who trained Just Humphrey, the 2013 Greyhound of the Year, has just three meetings left for Scorpion to peg back Fiorelli Rose and Baz’s Moment in this year’s award.
Scorpion, a son of Superman and this year’s leading brood bitch Which Class, has now won 11 races at Tara Raceway this year – no greyhound has won more.
However, he’s still giving the leaders six points and three points respectively with Fiorelli Rose to tackle the Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup final this Sunday while Scorpion and Baz’s Moment are set to clash in the Christmas Challenge final.
Veteran chaser Future Past, trained at Moyston by Peter Franklin who turned up at Tara Raceway on Sunday with a spring in his step, made his way through to the Christmas Challenge final when running a top race to finish second to Scorpion in a quick 23.07 seconds.
Franklin had been at Ballarat the night before with his star stayer McIvor Verna who stormed home to grab victory in the last bound in a feature 660 metre event, picking up a cool $6000 for connections.