Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Former boom youngster Smart Knocka, winner of last year’s Winter Classic at Tara Raceway and the Adelaide Cup Consolation at Angle Park, will return to Tara Raceway for the first time in 13 months to take on a heat of Sunday’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup (512 metres).
Raced by Tracie Price in partnership with the Haines family of WA and trained by the former at Compton, Smart Knocka last raced in Mount Gambier in November last year when defeating Springvale Alysa over 512 metres in a best of day 29.72 seconds.
Subsequently a winner at the end of January over 450 metres at Ballarat in a best of night 25.20 seconds, the son of Knocka Norris x Who’s Doing What was then sidelined by injury until winning first-up at Horsham in October over 410 metres.
Smart Knocka, who finished unplaced in a heat of the Ballarat Cup (450 m) last Saturday night, has drawn box six in a the second of two heats of the Christmas Cup and will clash with last year’s winner Hutch (box five), another greyhound on the comeback trail.
Trained at Portland by Robert Halliday, Hutch ran Wanchai Express to a length at Tara Raceway last Sunday, the long-time trainer looking to hold a strong hand in the cup after Rotate, who has drawn box two in the first heat, won impressively on the same day.
Price also has three well-bred littermates – High Fly Dorothy, Rocketline and Tandiki – stepping out for the first time in heats of the Peter Whitehead Memorial Maiden (400 m).
By Peter Rocket, who sired his first Tara Raceway winner last Thursday when Magnet Force was successful, the trio is out of the well-bred Headline (Barcia Bale x Raya Riot), a winner of 16 races on Victorian tracks.
And Portland trainer Nifty Lenehan has a couple of interesting littermates in Hostile Savage and Hostile Raven lining up for the first time in heats of the memorial – the December 2017 pair by Hostile out of Sweet Savage, a daughter of prolific producer Rustic Reeta.