Sunday, April 29, 2018
Leading local greyhound Solitary Lad will face the toughest test of his 26-start racing career when he lines up from box six in Wednesday night’s time-honoured Stan Lake Memorial (450 metres) at Warrnambool.
Complementing the Warrnambool Cup final, the annual memorial, which carries a first prize of $5,900, is run in memory of Stan Lake, president of the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club for 13 years, a committee member for 52 years and trainer of the 1962 Warrnambool Cup winner Indian Fighter.
By Lonesome Cry out of Up And Away, Solitary Lad – owned at Yambuk by Ann Sinnott – won last year’s John Reid Memorial at Tara Raceway and also the Winter Classic prior to recently winning two consecutive 485 metre races at Horsham.
And at Tara Raceway’s ANZAC meeting last Wednesday, Solitary Lad chased recent Mount Gambier Cup finalist Blazing Moment throughout in the Legacy Open (512 m), running a good second when eventually going down by three-quarters of a length in a best of day 29.89 seconds.
However, long-time Glenroy trainer Richard Clayfield said he was under no illusion as to how tough Wednesday’s job was going to be for the brindle dog – a winner of 10 races and $11,000 in prizemoney.
“These races are never easy and always attract a good field, but with Raw Ability just missing out on qualifying for the Warrnambool Cup final, the memorial just got a whole lot tougher,” he said.
A winner of $244,000 in prizemoney, Raw Ability, who was a gift as a pup to Myrniong trainer Anthony Azzopardi from breeder Jacqueline Davis, won the 2017 Group 1 Adelaide Cup at Angle Park and this year’s Group 1 Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park.
Sinnott will also be represented in the memorial by Solitary Lad’s litter sister, Solitary Girl, who recently contested the Group 2 Horsham Cup final won by Jimmy Newob.
Originally trained by her husband Tom, Solitary Girl’s 23.02 seconds run when winning her maiden over 400 metres at Tara Raceway in June last year was a class record at the time and resulted in her shortly after switching kennels to Ray Drew of Dennington.
The last local greyhound to contest the Stan Lake Memorial was Rouse Flyer in 2014. Trained at Glencoe by Barry Shepheard, the 4½-year-old Rouse Flyer ran a big race to finish a three length fourth behind Premier Express.
And in 2002, leading local trainer Tracie Price, then based at Branxholme, won the memorial with Big Nick Jewels, a 38 kilogram brindle and white son of the US-bred Galilee and John’s Beauty.
Big Nick Jewels’s winning time of 25.43 seconds compared favourably on the night to that of Kantarn Bale in the Warrnambool Cup (25.42 seconds) and Zed Three’s 25.37 seconds in the Warrnambool Classic.