Beckett's dogs blitz competition

GREYHOUNDS: Star trainer Dallas Beckett picked a great day for his dogs to return to winning ways.

On Saturday Beckett picked up a treble, which included victory in the main race of the meeting – the New Year’s Gift.

It was a good day for the bookies too with many of the winners being less-fancied greyhounds while a number of the winning margins were also quite impressive.

But the day belonged to Beckett and his impressive string of dogs.

The New Year’s Gift was always going to be a tough ask with 1st/2nd grade dogs facing up in a high-class sprint.

Many of the field had been performing well over the longer 510 metre course and were expected to struggle and that was exactly the way things turned out with Beckett’s Pie Guys holding on to the lead while racing out of the fancied number one box.

Walter Bennetts had two dogs in the field with Big is Beautiful pounding into second place a length-and-a-half behind Pie Guys, but nearly four lengths clear of kennel-mate Dimple Assassin, which had started the race wide on the track.

The winning time of 23.78 seconds was reasonable without being exceptional, but Beckett won’t mind that as it was another of his dogs, Spring Malawi, that did produce the fastest sprint time of the meeting, winning in 23.65 seconds.

Spring Malawi’s win came in the 3rd grade sprint where he was too fast for the rest of the field, clearing out to win by over five lengths to become the only winning hot favourite of the meeting.

It was a far closer race for the minor placings, where Mark Lutter’s Louch in Roull took the runner-up position by just a neck from Bundaberg visitor Miss Nice trained by Michelle Brider.

When it comes to big winning margins Beckett also provided the best of the meeting.

Just one race was over the 510 metre course and that was a 4th/5th race in which Beckett provided two of the runners.

Palomino was expected to be the most competitive and was early favourite, but come race day Palomino was lost in the dust of kennel-mate Tiger Twelve, which proved to be far too good, winning the race by 11½ lengths.

Andrew Suli’s Damien was another fancied dog, but he had to settle for the second spot with Palomino nearly a length further back.

The three heats of 5th grade sprints produced some huge variations and will make the final a runaway victory if repeated.

Walter Bennetts’s Astral Blitz lived up to its name when dominating the first heat. While the Bennetts dog was seen as an improver the winning time of 23.70 seconds was the second best of the meeting and far quicker than anything else recorded in the heats.

Astral Blitz led the field home by nine lengths from outsider Maywyn Maybe, a Jeff Kuhl-trained dog.

Mackay trainer Paul Frederickson’s visit to the track was profitable with two of his three dogs recording wins.

Latin Star won heat two for Frederickson, but will need to improve on the time of 24.20 seconds to be a serious contender for the final.

Trainer Suli was the other 5th grade heat winner with Dayseas Bruiser leading home Mister Gott, an Albert Harker-trained dog, by two lengths.

Frederickson completed his double in the final race of the card when Mulberry Pie won a 4th grade sprint by nearly two lengths.

Mulberry Pie showed she has a liking for the Callaghan Park track having won a 4th/5th grade sprint in November, beating Spring Malawi comfortably on that occasion.

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