Sunday, March 12, 2017
Cap Abbott, the 70-something greyhound trainer, was at Tara Raceway on Saturday morning in time for the start of the 9 o’clock trials after making the 120 kilometre trip from Edenhope.
He’s the bloke who draws the line at catching his own dogs when they’re trialling over 512 metres but makes a quick 150-metre dash from the 400 metre boxes around to the catching area when his charges are tackling the short course distance.
“He’s puffing more than I am,” said Abbott of the dog he was leading off the track after he had previously put three others through their paces and knocked up something like 450 metres in doing so.
Twenty-four hours earlier he had also been at Tara Raceway with a team of four for the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s 12-race programme.
The day didn’t start off all that well for Abbott and in fact had become even worse by race nine, the Allestree Holiday Units Stake (400 m), after Judge Jed, when partaking in a preview for the race, jumped up and scratched him quite extensively on the arm.
But by race 12 the unperturbed trainer was ready for a last roll of the dice with Just Like Fire, a daughter of Barcia Bale x Dyna Gee, in the winningformula.net.au Stake (400 m).
Raced by the Craig Trickett-managed Chasing Gold Greyhound Syndicate, the black bitch had been in Abbott’s kennels since January, winning first-up for him at Strathalbyn over 319 metres before posting a best of day 23.03 seconds win (400 metres) at Tara Raceway in late February.
In Friday’s grade five sprint, Just Like Fire led all the way from box three to defeat Lektra Excess by 3¾ lengths in another best of the day time of 23.06 seconds.
The win was Abbott’s fifth at Tara Raceway this year and now sees him sitting in sixth spot on the Leading Trainers’ list.
And tomorrow he hits the highway again, this time travelling to Adelaide with a team of four, including Just Like Fire, for the Angle Park meeting.
MAKING EVERY POST A WINNER
It wasn’t that Cee Sunrise’s form was all that bad – on the contrary, five wins and three minor placings from only 21 starts doesn’t make for a bad strike rate.
But after unplaced runs at her past three starts Portland owner-trainer Andy Graham had found himself in the wilderness for a couple of months with the daughter of Cosmic Chief and Cee Anna Rose.
So when she gained a start from box three in Friday’s Klaassens Contractors Mixed Stake (400 m) she needed to make every post a winner – no easy task considering her grade five status and some of the opposition’s higher rankings.
Reputations counted for nothing though as the $50 chance Cee Sunrise quickly wrested the lead from Whatta Moment and then held off an unlucky Galactic Viper to win by a neck in 23.52 seconds.
The win was Graham’s second this year at Tara Raceway after Cee Sunrise’s half-sister Cee Rose Black (by Collision) had won in January.
Cee Anna Rose, who is by Bombastic Shiraz out of Graham’s prolific-producing bitch Senni Wendy, raced on only 18 occasions for six wins (including two at The Meadows) and nine minor placings.
Last month she whelped a third litter – four dogs and two bitches – to high profile sire Magic Sprite.
TRAINERS ON A ROLL
Scott Blacksell, of Cape Bridgewater, is better known at Tara Raceway for helping out successful Portland trainer Nicole Stanley, currently in second spot on the Leading Trainers’ list, with her large team on race and trial days.
But from an owner-trainer point of view Blacksell is on something of a roll himself after Travel Ticket, who he took over from Stanley last month, was successful on cup day prior to Money Back Zac opening his winning account at Friday’s meeting.
Money Back Zac was away well from box one in the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (400 m) and looked anything but a dog that had yet to run a place in eight starts as he careered away to a 6¼ length win in a more than handy 23.48 seconds.
By Cosmic Chief, the black dog is out of Our Vera, a winner of six races and trained for most of her 23 starts by Blacksell.
Speaking after the win, Money Back Zac’s trainer said the dog had been plagued with bad box draws since making his debut last October.
“He’d been finding trouble every time he ran from poor draws but on Friday he showed his true ability when finally drawing a decent box,” he said.
Portland trainer Brian Weis also landed a winner on cup day with Lektra Munster and followed up again on Friday with Spring’s Over in the ClassicBet Stake (512 m).
By Spring Gun x Gone Baby Gone, Spring’s Over led all the way from box one, holding out Chuck McIvor to win by 1¼ lengths in 30.32 seconds.
Owned at Lake Albert, a suburb of Wagga Wagga, by Matt Morris, Spring’s Over and his litter sister Miss Zorro joined Weis’s kennels late last year and had both won at Warrnambool prior to Friday’s success.
The owner and trainer had previously successfully combined in 2013-2014 to race Spring’s Over’s half-brothers In This Way and Out This Way (by Premier Fantasy) who collectively won 13 races.
Earlier, on Friday, in the Metal Worx Maiden Stake (512 m) Morris and Weis had Chilly Kiss engaged from box seven in what would be her first Tara Raceway start.
By Spring Gun out of Gone Baby Gone’s half-sister Chilly Babe – a multiple Victorian city winner at both Sandown Park and The Meadows – Chilly Kiss had been placed on three occasions from six starts at Sandown Park and looked the one to beat.
But the $2.70 favourite never got into the race after missing the start hopelessly, although there’s most certainly a Tara Raceway win in the 25 kilogram bitch if she can jump in the same manner as she did at Sandown Park last month when running second.
Weis has now trained four winners, along with 10 minor placings, this year at Tara Raceway and is equal ninth on the Leading Trainers’ list.