By Isaac Murphy
Trainer Frank Hancock was beaming with pride after Uno Fabio stormed home to take the Dashing Corsair Final (600m) for middle distance dogs at Albion Park on Thursday, after a compelling battle with Saphoni and Infrared Lad.
The latter paired off down the back in what looked like a two dog finish, before Uno Fabio emerged from the pack railing home to win by a long neck.
“I’m so proud of him, I knew what he was made of but everything was against us with the box draw (6) and race map, but he found a way,” Hancock said.
“He doesn’t need excuses though this dog, when I saw him emerge from the ruck down the back and start chasing the leaders I knew he’d win.”
The win was just start number three for the chaser at the track who has recently returned to Hancock’s Northern Rivers kennel after spending the early days of his career under Anthony Azzopardi.
“It was a big decision to bring him back home after being so successful in Victoria, but to come out and win a feature like this third start at the track is a huge effort,” Hancock said.
“He’s turned three a couple of months ago, so he’s really hitting that time in his career where he can come into his own and he’s done that tonight.
“I want to get him to the 710 eventually, but I’m not in a rush he’s only just getting to know the track but he certainly has the motor.”
The second feature of the night was the flourishing Dave Brett Memorial Maiden Final and it was all about Greg Stella who enjoyed a night to remember at the track.
Stella’s night started on a good note when Anzac Day Trophy winner Regal Topaz was named in the 25-greyhound Queensland squad for the upcoming TAB Origin Series.
But things only got better for the popular trainer, who claimed The Dave Brett Memorial with Certification, before Regal Topaz continued her rich vein of form, winning the Best 8 in the next race.
The Dave Brett Memorial has established itself as one of the premier Maiden Series in Queensland and Stella said he had tailored Certification’s preparation around the event.
“It’s become a prominent series and the way he was progressing at home I thought it would be a perfect starting point for him,” Stella said.
“I probably underestimated just how deep the field would be, I knew mine had early dash from his heat and what he’d shown at home, but that was a huge run to hold on all the way and go 30.05 in your second career start.
“He had to run the perfect race to beat Jason Magri’s dog (Zipping Bailey) who gave him a hiding in the heats and he delivered.”
Twenty minutes later Regal Topaz followed his younger kennel mate’s lead, jumping to the front in similar fashion to win going away from them in the Best 8.
“Regal Topaz is a bitch racing on confidence, she’s never had much luck with boxes in her career, but she’s got to the point with her box manners that doesn’t matter anymore,” Stella said.
“I’m thinking about a possible trip to the Rockhampton Cup Heats next week, hopefully she can make the final but even if she doesn’t she’ll be ready for races like The Winter Cup.”
Tommy Tzouvelis’ veteran bitch Soft Sand was a surprise standout on the night blowing away the Masters field in the tenth in 29.98, showing signs of her previous form when she was in Free for All company.
Ray and Mary Burman enjoyed a nightly double with a pair of greyhounds at opposite ends of their careers, 154 start veteran Smart Marlow too good in the Grade 5 600, while promising youngster Dynamite Lucy bookended the program with a 30.18 run on a wet track.