The Summer Classic (512 metres), first run at Tara Raceway in 2015, has always been won by a good young greyhound – many of the winners finding their way into the following month’s Mount Gambier Cup final.
And judging by recent performances, next month’s series could well throw up a few cup contenders for connections opting to tackle the non-penalty event for all dogs and bitches whelped on or after January 1, 2019.
Cryer’s Ricky was the inaugural winner for Tom Cryer. Then followed Menzel Boys (Lisa Rasmussen), Hutch (Robert Halliday), Galactic Panther (Steve Bartholomew), Banjo Bad Boy (Dean Fennell) and Sweet On Me (David Peckham).
Time-graded meetings aren’t likely to toss up too many genuine classic contenders although in last Thursday’s Rock’s Tavern Stake (512 m) Cap Abbott’s Cadillac Prince (February 2019) recorded a handy 30.06 seconds when defeating the Peckham-trained Aston Model (April 2019) by 1¼ lengths.
At last Sunday’s fixture it was Meningie trainer Tim Richards who strung together an outstanding treble in the form of Two Hands George, Justice For All and Jervois Bruit.
Two Hands George led all the way in the Winmore Greyhound Kennels Stake (400 m), defeating his litter sister Butter Up Again by three lengths in 23.07 seconds.
Then it was litter brother Justice For All who went close to the 400 metres track record of 22.68 seconds (held by another Richards greyhound in Almighty Stripe) when defeating Wood Veneer by 8½ lengths in 22.71 seconds.
The brothers are January 2019 whelpings by Aston Dee Bee out of Molly Be Nimble and as such are the perfect age for the Summer Classic.
Two Hands George has solid 515 metres form, having won at Angle Park late last year in 30.02 seconds while Justice For All carved out an outstanding 29.66 seconds over 512 metres at Tara Raceway the previous Sunday.
Later it was Spring Driven, a February 2019 daughter of Fernando Bale x Purpose Driven, that led all the way in the Bartholomew Pick 6 Stake (512 m) for Murray Bridge trainer Greg Board.
From a classic point of view there were a couple of terrific runs in the race, the winner clocking 29.66 seconds while Peckham’s Noir Star, a March 2019 daughter of Rippin’ Sam x Vicki Keeping, was beaten only a length when running 29.74 seconds.
And the Tracie Price trained Compton Peggy, a March 2019 daughter of Worm Burner and Flying Flutter, put in a top run when going down by only a head to Nitro Yap in 29.92 seconds in the Bourne Kennels Mixed Stake (512 m).