Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A repeat of veteran greyhound Playmaster’s effort in last Sunday’s Masters (400 metres) should see the 35 kilogram chaser successful again in Friday’s Greyhound-Data.com Masters at Tara Raceway.
Trained locally by former harness racing identity Ken Feltus for long-time friends Michael and Norma Juda, Playmaster’s all the way win last weekend in a class record time of 23.28 seconds was the fawn dog’s first success in more than 15 months.
The win, by 7¾ lengths, came at his third Tara Raceway start – all in Masters races which are for grade five greyhounds aged 3½ years and older – and after an injury-enforced lay-off of three months.
But according to Feltus, the sixth trainer to have a crack with Playmaster, it was never really his intention to purchase the fawn dog.
“I actually went over to Victoria in early August to pick up Cool Whipp after he had been advertised for sale on an internet site. Turns out Playmaster was also there and in a package deal was offered for sale very cheaply so I returned with two, both of whom have now won at Tara Raceway.
Despite his quick 400 metre time last Sunday, Feltus said the dog was really better suited over more ground rather than the short course scampers.
“Prior to coming to Mount Gambier he’d won six races in NSW at Taree, Gunnedah and Richmond, all over distances of 512 metres and further.
“The biggest problem I have with Playmaster is that I can’t really work him, with most of his exercise confined to long walks in the pines, complemented by much massage.”
Whelped in January 2013, Playmaster is by Spring Gun out of the nicely-bred Torah (Hallucinate x Thai Again) who raced on only one occasion six years ago for an eighth at Dapto.
EXTRA DISTANCE TO SUIT YOUNGSTERS
Left Moment and Baurna Sal, two recent maiden winners over 400 metres at Tara Raceway, give the impression that they will be better suited in Friday’s heats of a 512 metre grade six.
Trained at Compton by Tracie Price, Left Moment, a son of Cosmic Rumble x Moorak Hope, finished off last Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) in strong fashion when going down by three lengths to speedy type Brazen Beau in 23.61 seconds.
By Spring Gun out of proven producer Baurna Molly, Baurna Sal was a brilliant 400 metre winner on October 23 when going to the line strongly in a best of day 23.34 seconds for Portland owner-trainer Brian Weis.
Left Moment has drawn box three in the first heat (the Allestree Holiday Units Stake) while Spinach, Mr Perfect, Brinza, Kylan Brae and Gemma Eagle should fight out the three remaining spots for Sunday week’s final.
In the second heat (the South Eastern Hotel Stake), box four runner Baurna Sal’s main dangers look to be the Dean Fennell trained John Limes, a tidy maiden 512 metre winner last Sunday, and Cap Abbott’s Irka Jakit which went down narrowly to Amanda Darmanin’s Bogan At Heart at the same meeting.
The Edenhope-based Abbott started the week off well when winning the last race at Angle Park on Monday night with Blazin’ Vicky.
Weis, recently back from a US trip with wife Sally, took in an afternoon greyhound meeting in Florida at the Derby Lane track and had some interesting observations.
“What I found surprising was that the trainers don’t handle their greyhounds on race days,” he said.
“Handlers lead them to the boxes, place them in, and then they all run back down the track in readiness to catch them at the end of the race. And while all this is going on the dogs are in the boxes.
“I’m not sure how long the field was waiting for the lure to start its journey but it seemed a hell of a long time.”
Derby Lane, or the St Petersburg Kennel Club, is said to be the oldest continuously operating greyhound track in the world, conducting its inaugural race meeting on the afternoon of January 3, 1925.
An interesting well-bred newcomer in Friday’s Gambier Vets Maiden Stake (the first heat of a 400 metre series) is Satellite Doll which has drawn box six.
Trained at Heathmere by Garry Marshman, the December 2014 white and blue bitch is by the imported Westmead Osprey out of Flaming Doll, a 595 metre Sandown Park winner.
By Ginger Bread Man x Hot Doll, Flaming Doll is also the dam of Shotgun Doll (by Collision) which recently won four on the trot for Marshman at Warrnambool and Ballarat.
And back on April 19, 2013 the Heathmere trainer was at Tara Raceway with Star Doll (Knocka Norris x Flaming Doll) which ran a 400 metre track record of 23.05 seconds before later going on to win over 595 metres at Sandown Park and 600 metres at The Meadows.
On December 26, 2015, Star Doll whelped a litter of three dogs and four bitches to Keybow while the following month Flaming Doll whelped one dog and one bitch to Awesome Project.