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Winter Classic finalist changes hands
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Lektra Ash, the second fastest of the eight qualifiers at Tara Raceway last Friday afternoon, will go into Sunday’s Banjo Boy Winter Classic final (512 metres) in new ownership after being purchased by Team Williams (Allen and David Williams).
The Tarpeena-based father and son team took over the black dog after he had run second to his litter sister Lektra Lucy, owned and trained at Toolong by Phil Lenehan, in the first heat of the age-restricted series.
Having only her second race start, and her first at Tara Raceway, the 28 kilogram Lektra Lucy led all the way to defeat her brother – which had moved into second spot down the back straight – by 1½ lengths in 30.39 seconds.
As far as the final goes, Allen Williams will be hoping for a case of third time lucky with Lektra Ash after Dr Danny had run second to Stylish Moment in the inaugural classic in 2014 and Lika Rockstar third behind Cee Me Burst and Houdini Spell last year – both winners being trained by Tracie Price.
Also through to the final from the first heat are the Nicole Stanley trained Ashdene Lass, a winner of two races at the track, and first starter Blitz And Bolt from David Peckham’s Allendale East kennels.
Ashdene Lass worked home reasonably well after showing early pace while Blitz And Bolt had little luck and should be better for the run.
Hay Miss, recent winner of the John Reid Memorial, was an even money favourite from box eight in the second heat but looked to be in a bit of bother as To The Choppar led the field into the back straight.
By mid-race, though, Lektra Munster had opened up a handy break with the Stanley-trained Hay Miss giving chase and eventually running down the leader to score by the narrowest of margins in 30.78 seconds.
The effort of Lektra Munster, a strapping 34 kilogram black dog and having only his second race start, pleased owner-trainer Lenehan who believed the youngster would be further improved by the run.
To The Choppar’s effort to hang on to third spot and qualify for the $3000 final also pleased Mortlake owner-trainer Paul Herry who purchased the August 2014 daughter of El Grand Senor x Chilly Patch as a pup from breeder Allen Williams at Tarpeena.
Making up the final eight is the Price trained I’m Hearing Ya which was doing her best work at the finish.
Two litters now hold a strong hand in the final with October 2014 whelpings Lektra Lucy, Lektra Ash and Lektra Munster being by Fabregas x Supreme Vision while Hay Miss and Ashdene Lass are from the August 2014 mating of Bekim Bale x Miss Stackhouse.
And following the draw for Sunday’s meeting Stanley fared well with Ashdene Lass and Hay Miss drawing boxes one and eight respectively while Lektra Ash, Lektra Lucy and Lektra Munster will jump from two, three and four.
ASHTON’S GOOD RUN CONTINUES
Charlton trainer Kevin Ashton continued on his winning way at Tara Raceway last Friday when Secret Mantra won his first race in 12 months and Saintly Miss took time honours in the heats of the Produce Store Feature Grade Five (512 metres).
This was his second training double in the space of a fortnight after Johnny Jaffa and Carrara Lad had been successful at Tara Raceway’s extra meeting on July 31.
Saintly Miss’s win was her first at the local track in more than 12 months and only her second this year after winning at Bendigo in late January.
But the black bitch had signalled a return to form the previous week when turning in a good effort to finish third behind Mo Town Roy.
That form subsequently held up in the first heat of the feature as Saintly Miss took over the running down the back straight from Crazy Sprite and then held off a fast finishing Fascinated to win in 30.38 seconds.
The win was the ninth for Saintly Miss, a litter sister to Harry Aztec which Ashton trained to win last year’s Eric Lewis Memorial at Tara Raceway. He’s now looking at breeding with the 3½-year-old daughter of Aston Galilee and Prince’s Faye once her racing days are over.
And there’s certainly not much wrong with the pedigree with a couple of other littermates being Sandown Park and The Meadows winner Hogganaught and Sapphire Crown Group 1 winner Naralee which won 17 races from 34 starts for $145,000 in stakemoney.
Fascinated put in her best run for a while for Penshurst owner-trainer John Cameron when running Saintly Miss to a couple of lengths and qualifying for Sunday’s final.
Purchased as a pup by Cameron from Portland breeder Cass Billington, Fascinated is by Hutmaker out of the ill-fated Spellbound which raced on 115 occasions in three states for 24 wins and 33 minor placings.
Spellbound, which recently lost a battle with cancer, was one of the better greyhounds racing around Tara Raceway in 2013 when trained by Billington who currently is pursuing other interests.
Future Past made it two wins in succession at Tara Raceway for trainer Peter Franklin – but only just.
Jumping from box six in the second heat, Future Past took over the running from Cheyenne Black turning for home and then in a desperate finish held out the fast finishing Homer and Julie’s Love in 30.53 seconds.
The final heat was run in driving rain with Dean Fennell’s Stampy Longnose weathering the storm after getting the better of litter sister Smirnoff Lass and charging home for a four length win in 30.49 seconds.
Fear Helvetia, originally a reserve for the final after running third behind Stampy Longnose, gained a start when Future Past was scratched prior to the draw on Tuesday and now looks well placed in box one for Coleraine owner-trainer Robert Wombwell.