Bennetts dogs placed for Cup final
IT'S all set for the final of the Christmas Cup with trainer Walter Bennetts handily placed with two of his dogs doing well in the heats.
While not a winner in either of the two heats raced at Callaghan Park on Saturday, both Dimple Assassin, in the first heat, and Fuelled Speed did enough to prove they won’t be there just to make up the numbers come the final.
Both Bennetts dogs finished close second place-getters over the 510 metre course and that means the trainer has plenty to look forward to for the big race.
Dimple Assassin was expected to shine in the opening heat, especially after winning her previous race at Callaghan Park over the same distance.
She was nearly successful, closing in on the Bill Boon bitch Our Irish Betty down the straight failing to take the win by just half-a-head.
Our Irish Betty had showed little in the lead-in and was not well drawn, but had won for Boon over this distance before.
Another dog going into the race with indifferent recent form was Andrew Suli’s Damien, but he too left the more-favoured dogs in his wake to secure the third place, just over a length behind the first two.
While the first heat was run in a time of 30.30 seconds, the second was appreciably quicker with Dallas Beckett’s well-fancied Maverick Lee first to the bunny.
Maverick Lee took the race by a length-and-a-half from Fuelled Speed with another favourite, Tony Brett’s Son of Macbeth, two lengths further back.
Rockhampton trainer Ray Pike was in with a good chance of seeing four dogs through to the Maiden final next week, with well-backed dogs in all four heats.
In the end he has none, with his best-placed being Belly Slider, which was third – 14 lengths behind the winner High Dancer, trained by Brian Terry.
Racing experience proved a big advantage with each heat winner having previously had a couple of outings and the margins between the first and second dog home large.
“They were probably about a month from being right,” Pike said of his four dogs.
Second heat winner, Mark Bube’s She’s so Rad, was the fastest winner on the 11-event card, getting home in 23.88 seconds, but that was recorded when the track was at its fastest.
Ray Young’s Bec’s Sapphire recorded the same time to win the 3rd/4th grade sprint and that was a good time on the drying track, beating Michelle Brider’s Miss Nice by two lengths.
Gladstone veteran trainer Ces Ringuet got his petrol money with Rules the Roost winning the Best Eight sprint, well clear of both Boon’s Rubber Soles and Lamb Chop.
Bube was the only trainer to score a double on the day with Elusive Shadow winning the 5th grade sprint in the slow time of 24.50 seconds.
Jeff Kuhl’s Addis Rose was not well drawn and given little chance of making it back-to-back wins, but she romped home to take the 4th/5th grade race over 510 metres by almost four lengths from John White’s Snowy Stanley.