Monday, November 18, 2019
Killarney greyhound Spring Value was always going to be the one to beat in Sunday’s Newman McDonnell Memorial final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway after a cracking 29.56 seconds heat win a week prior.
But according to Kevin Mugavin, the brindle dog’s breeder-owner-trainer, the wide draw in a final that had brought together a classy line-up of grade five greyhounds could well bring about his undoing.
And a lap out the son of Spring Gun and Magic Matese looked anything but a $1.55 chance after a 4.58 seconds first split saw him at the back end of the field which was headed by Bereluke and Scartnamuck Diva.
Actually, down the back straight, Kongorong trainer John Little was probably daring to dream that perhaps his $34 rank outsider Scartnamuck Diva, a giveaway greyhound after copping a failing to chase ticket at Cranbourne in June, could hold them all out and cause one of the biggest upsets in the long history of the race.
Off the back, though, it was Spring Value who pounced on a rails opening and from then on the McDonnell Memorial was done and dusted, the March 2017 whelping running away to a 3¼ length win in 30.08 seconds over Scartnamuck Diva with a similar distance in third spot to Perseverance who came from a long way back.
Representing the McDonnell family at Sunday’s presentation were Rohan Lawrence and Mary Considine, together with Ellis and Margaret Considine, who said the family looked forward to being at Tara Raceway again next year for the 35th running of the memorial.