Saturday, September 22, 2018
As far as Thursday night’s BGC Industrial Cleaning Supplies SA Derby final (515 metres) at Angle Park was concerned Mount Gambier greyhound Smart Knocka gave it his best shot for trainer Tracie Price.
He went into the final as the least experienced of the eight finalists but did Price, fellow owners Peter and Andrew Haines of WA and local greyhound racing proud when finishing second to Nervous An Weird in the Group 3 event.
Smart Knocka never gave up as he chased the Ashlee Terry trained Nervous An Weird throughout, eventually going down by 1¾ lengths in 29.68 seconds, a still-smiling Price delighted with the effort.
“I thought Smart Knocka’s run was outstanding considering that it was only his eighth start in a race,” the trainer declared.
For Terry, based at Cranbourne South, it was the culmination of a big night after earlier the Derby winner’s litter sister My American Girl had won the Coffex Coffee SA Oaks – the classic winners by Barcia Bale out of Father Of Mine who won five short-course races on Victorian provincial tracks.
Spring Bridge, who ran third for Greg Board, is well remembered by local greyhound followers after his outstanding win in the Produce Store Feature Maiden (512 m) at Tara Raceway at cup time this year when winning by 16¼ lengths in a quick 29.63 seconds.
Price, after another long Thursday, backed up pretty well on Friday at Tara Raceway where Scully won the first race, the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m), and took the trainer’s number of winners at the local track this year to 99.
There was more interest, though, in Smart Knocka and Price’s plans for the son of Knocka Norris and Who’s Doing What, a bitch that the leading trainer won 14 races with at Mount Gambier, Angle Park, Warrnambool, Strathalbyn and Gawler.
“At this stage I’m really keen to give him a crack at the UBET Adelaide Cup (515 m) – in 30 years of training this is a race that I’ve never had a runner in – heats of which will be run at Angle Park on Thursday, October 4,” he said.
“I know it’s another step up in class but I reckon Smart Knocka is getting better with every run and deserves a chance to run in the Group 1 series. Hopefully we can find our way into the $107,500 final on Friday, October 12.”
Price said he was also giving consideration to the Group 1 Feikuai Silver Chief classic which will be run over 525 metres at The Meadows on December 22, 29 and January 5, for male greyhounds whelped on or after June 1, 2016.
Then, looking further ahead, there is the Listed Mount Gambier Cup (512 m), a race Price has never won, his closest being third behind Banger Harvey in 2011 with Suzy’s Moment.
And, of course, there’s that 2015 Mount Gambier Cup when Who’s Doing What, after a brilliant 29.75 seconds heat win drew box one in the final and looked to be the one to beat before being scratched due to seasonal issues.
Who knows, maybe her son can make amends four years later. Now, wouldn’t that make for a good story?
Pictures: Kurt Donsberg