Thrilling night at the track
GREYHOUNDS: A Mark Lutter double, a great return to the track for One Stone and victories for last week’s big winners Tiger Twelve and Astral Blitz were the highlights of Saturday’s meeting at Callaghan Park.
The final of the Q Dog 5th grade sprint was expected to be a no-contest as Astral Blitz had dominated the heats and recorded the fastest time by far.
Although the Walter Bennett-trained dog did get home for the win, it was far less clear-cut with the margin a head rather than the nine lengths of last week.
The winning time tells the story as Astral Blitz was unable to get the clear break of the previous week and only won with a big finish down the straight to take the line in the less-than-impressive winning time of 24.21 seconds, a similar time recorded by the other heat winners last week.
Peppermint Pete had gained the best of the draw and had the run on the rail, but in the end Astral Blitz took the main money with Mackay trainer Paul Fredrickson settling for third with his dog, Latin Star, a length-and-a-half further back.
Could One Stone bounce back to his best after a short lay-off?
Too right he could. The Jason Feeney-trained dog was too good by over a length in beating some good dogs in the Best Eight Sprint.
One Stone had been absent from the Callaghan Park track for about a month, but raced home in a smart time of 23.50 seconds, the best time for the distance.
It was just as well One Stone was at his racing best as Beckett’s Maverick Lee showed he is up to racing over the sprint distance once more when finishing second. Obviously enjoying the freedom of coming from the outside of the pack, rather than the middle, he was more impressive than in his last outing.
Pie Guys, a winner for Beckett the previous week ahead of Maverick Lee, was expected to do well and while he ran a similar time to that win it left him well off the pace finishing over five lengths further back.
Beckett did get a win and that came on the 510 metre course where Tiger Twelve was again super impressive.
Last week the Beckett dog romped home an 11½-length winner and followed that up with another clear-cut victory in a 4th/5th grade race.
This time Tiger Twelve was nearly 10 lengths too good, beating home the Rosemary Hall trained Buster’s Reward and third-placed Cecil Ringuet dog Team Onyx.
The winning time of Tiger Twelve was also impressive, breaking the 30 second barrier-racing in at 29.93 seconds.
Bec’s Sapphire bounced back to form in a big way by beating home the well-fancied Jeff Kuhl dog Cocoriffic in the 4th grade sprint.
The Ray Young dog had disappointed the previous week, but was good enough to get the win by a length in an ordinary time of 24.12 seconds. Bill Boon’s Ben Morvan was in third place.
The two 5th grade sprint races saw visiting trainer Michelle Brider pick up the winnings with Nice Going running home four lengths ahead of the field while Mark Lutter completed his double for the day with a win in the final race on the card with By a Coop.
That win for Lutter came after By a Coop won a Maiden last week to move up a grade and has now run four times, collecting two wins or a placing each time.
On Saturday By a Coop won in 23.94 seconds in a two-dog finish with Ros Svensen’s Rolling Surf runner-up.
Lutter’s other win had come in the first heat of the Maiden, where Baden Dash put aside ordinary form to beat hot favourite Claimant, with the Tricia Fuller dog trailing by four lengths.
Andrew Suli got his win of the day in the other heat of the Maiden, where Black Marble was three lengths too good for Albert Harker’s Clean Coal.