Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Former local harness racing identity Ken Feltus, who first became involved in greyhound racing back in 2016 when successful with Cool Whipp, and later with Playmaster, Lil Arthur and Quick Sensation, was back among the winners again at Tara Raceway on Sunday.
This time it was with a greyhound called Allen Robbie who had won only one race in his career – and that was 12 months ago at Gawler over 400 metres.
Raced and trained by Feltus in partnership with Michael and Norma Juda, Allen Robbie was a $17 chance in Sunday’s Trackside Meats Stake (400 m) on the back of three previous unplaced runs at the track.
And the black dog’s chances once again looked remote early when he was slowly away from box three and a clear last as the even money favourite Another Scenario quickly opened up a handy break.
But Allen Robbie – a 512 metre grade six event actually being Feltus’s first preference at nomination time – was able to find clear running along the rails, working into second spot mid-race before finishing strongly and having a half length to spare over Another Scenario in 23.67 seconds.
Feltus certainly hasn’t cut all ties with harness racing, though. Just under an hour later he was following the fortunes of Saab Magic, an eight-year-old he had purchased a couple of months ago, which was running in a claiming race at Victor Harbor.
Much to his delight, the two-code double did eventuate but not without a fair amount of urging on the part of the owner after Saab Magic, trained by David Harding, held on to win by a head and give Feltus his third win with the gelding which had previously won at Kapunda and Globe Derby.
Quite possibly this had been his biggest day at Tara Raceway since last August when McIvor Verna, Silverali, Old Jock, Lektra Stomp, Away We Go and Miss Lava all won and he struck the on-course free Pick 6 jackpot which was worth $1340.
Feltus first came across Allen Robbie when making a trip early this year to see his son, Scott, who trains greyhounds north of Adelaide at Lewiston.
“He had been trying to give away this black dog, which hadn’t raced since last May after running unplaced at Port Augusta. Turns out it was Allen Robbie who had been in a long run for the past nine months while Scott tried to place him,” Feltus said.
“I’d been looking for another dog to play around with – and this one was certainly well bred – so I suggested Michael, Norma and I give him a go at Tara Raceway.”
Allen Robbie is a litter brother to the Dean Fennell trained Allen Unther, a winner the previous week at Tara Raceway, the pair being by high profile sire Magic Sprite out of the former top stayer Dyna Willow who won 20 races and $260,000 in prizemoney.
Meanwhile, another greyhound to break a long run of outs on Sunday was Vectis Seyarda, trained at Horsham by Judy O’Neill who races the four-time winner in partnership with Conrad Winfield.
The black bitch came into the South Eastern Hotel Stake (600 m) on the back of two well-beaten middle-distance runs at Tara Raceway although she did make up plenty of ground when running third to Lektra Lucy at the March 23 time-graded meeting.
And Vectis Seyarda, whose last win was at Bendigo in September, looked anything but a $30 chance in Sunday’s mixed event when she went straight to the front from box four, dodged early interference, then ran right away to eventually defeat Homer by 7½ lengths in a pretty handy time of 35.18 seconds.
By Deville – a beautifully bred son of Bombastic Shiraz and Winsome Bluebird, and a litter brother to Sure As and super stayer Miata – Vectis Seyarda is out of four-time Victorian provincial winner Maureen Return’s, a daughter of the 2005 Group 1 Sandown Laurels winner Maureen Shirly.
O’Neill, who runs the Horsham Boarding Kennels, has been involved with greyhounds for the past 15 years, whelping the occasional litter for breeders, along with currently training a team of three which also includes Vectis Campinae, her first winner at Tara Raceway in July last year.
And after Vectis Seyarda’s powerful performance last Sunday, which was in fact the second-fastest 600 metre time recorded at Tara Raceway this year, O’Neill is now keen to step up the rising four-year-old in distance and try her over 732 metres.