Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Portland trainer Brian Weis, successful earlier this year with Xtreme Caution in the Group Listed Mount Gambier Cup, will be hoping for further feature race success when Hill Top Hood contests Sunday’s John Reid Memorial Maiden final (512 metres) at Tara Raceway.
In Weis’s kennels for only a couple of weeks, Hill Top Hood lined up from box one in last Sunday’s first heat of the Reid Memorial on the back of a handful of starts on Victorian tracks which included three minor placings at Sandown Park.
Slowly away, the brindle dog soon worked into second spot behind the wide-running first-starter Azumi Spirit before finishing strongly in the home straight and opening his winning account at his eighth race start.
Raced by the breeder, Shane Fisher of Lara, Hill Top Hood is interestingly bred, being by Above All, a NZ-owned dog who won a Hobart Thousand, Silver Chief and Cranbourne Cup, out of the US-bred Jailbreak Lass (Paddy Whacker x CDN Kat Burglar), a winner of three races at Sandown Park, The Meadows and Geelong.
Sunday’s win continued Weis’s success with the litter after Ginger Road, raced in the same interests, won back to back races at Tara Raceway late last month before finishing third at Horsham on Tuesday night.
Also through to the final from the first heat are Azumi Spirit, Lika Missile – by Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya and a full brother to former top chaser Smart Missile – and Little Lina.
The Bartholomew camp will be well represented in the final, Dusty Pearl joining litter sister Azumi Spirit after she defeated Go Saints, Chelsea Champ and Bungaloo Jedda in the second heat.
The family training team will also be chasing their second feature win this year at the track after Galactic Panther was successful in the Peter Rocket Summer Classic in February.
And looking further ahead, Azumi Spirit and Dusty Pearl, along with sister Azumi Ryder, members of the July 2016 Dyna Tron x Azumi Touch litter, should be well suited in next month’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic (512 m), a Special Event for dogs and bitches whelped on or after July 1, 2016.
From a classic point of view, it was Azumi Ryder, with 16 race starts to her name, really impressing last Sunday when winning a 512 metre grade five. Such is her form that she now sits in equal sixth spot with 27 points on the Greyhound of the Year leader board.