Sunday, January 28, 2018
A stunning all-the-way win by Zuma Creek in last Friday’s Australia Day Open (512 metres) at Tara Raceway has Mortlake greyhound trainer Peter Crawley now setting his sights on the forthcoming Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup.
Lining up from box one on the back of a second placing in a quick personal time of 25.20 seconds over 450 metres at Warrnambool a week prior, the black dog defeated last year’s Greyhound of the Year Fiorelli Rose by 7½ lengths in a quick 29.66 seconds.
The time was a personal best for the track specialist – nine wins from 18 starts at the track and distance – and the fastest time at Tara Raceway since October 8 last year when Cryer’s Plugger clocked 29.64 seconds prior to changing kennels.
By Fabregas out of six-race winner Skye Creek – also trained by Crawley – Zuma Creek was bred and is owned at Purnim by Danny Kelly and continues a long and successful association between owner and trainer.
“Zuma Creek had never won from box one before,” Crawley said. “But I thought he looked really good today. He’s certainly never been racing better and we now look forward to the cup heats on Sunday, March 11.”
And he’ll be hoping for better luck in this year’s cup after his resilient chaser Fluke Of Fantasy defeated Danyo’s Frank in 29.96 seconds in a heat of the 2016 Mount Gambier Cup before finishing unplaced in the final at start number 95 behind Mojito Mayhem.
Earlier on Friday, Kelly and Crawley combined to win the Laser Electrical Maiden Stake (512 m) with Zuma Creek’s half-brother Bomber Creek (by Magic Sprite).
Jumping a short-priced favourite on the strength of a promising effort at Warrnambool at his previous start, he was only fairly away from box five but quickly worked into second spot behind tearaway leader Dimora Flash.
By mid-race, though, Bomber Creek had railed through to take the lead, ultimately running away to a 7½ lengths winning margin in a very quick time of 29.97 seconds – in fact, the quickest maiden time recorded at Tara Raceway since Spider Whitehead’s Sophie’s Moment ran 29.90 seconds in June last year.
For the December 2015 black dog, the win came at his seventh race start with Crawley more than happy to see him now starting to live up to his early promise.
“Danny sent him to me after breaking-in with a report that he had the makings of a handy dog. Going on today’s win he could well be on the money,” Crawley said.