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Waltzing Danube goes from Novice to Rocky Cup contender in the space of a month

By Alex Nolan

Queensland’s greyhound industry was left deeply saddened by the passing of popular trainer Mick Emery in February this year but his legacy lives on through a greyhound that has gone from Novice winner to genuine Group 3 contender in the space of a month.

Mick’s son, trainer Craig Emery, will start progressive bitch Waltzing Danube in Heat 3 of the 2019 Rockhampton Cup (Race 8) at Callaghan Park on Wednesday night.

Waltzing Danube (the ‘b’ is silent according to Craig) has been a revelation since winning her novice at Rockhampton on April 17.

She now counts the Anniversary Cup and Rockhampton Cup prelude among an unbeaten run of five at the track and her career record is an impressive 10 starts for six wins.

Rockhampton

ROCKHAMPTON CUP PRELUDE 510m

Waltzing Danube (Train A Journey x Waltz With Me) is from the last litter Mick and the family bred together prior to his passing.

Her only littermate to race, Billy Boils, has had two starts at Rockhampton for a 6th and a 4th in Maiden company.

Emery said the lightly-framed bitch (25.4kg) was doing everything right at the moment and deserved her shot at the $37,500 feature.

“She is just getting stronger and stronger with every run,” he said.

“Her times are improving, especially over the longer distances, which she’s bred for.”

Waltzing Danube (Box 2) will take on a strong field including the likes of Soft Sand for Tom Tzouvelis, Hara’s Skylah for Darren Taylor and Origin Greyhound Series hopefuls Regal Recall (Tony Brett) and Big Bad Bob (Dr George Clegg).

Emery said he was confident Waltzing Danube could give a great sight.

“She likes the inside boxes because she heads straight for the rail so drawing two suits,” he said.

Emery, a mining maintenance supervisor based at Moura, about 170km South West of Rockhampton, said he would love nothing more than to qualify for the final and win it for his late father.

“It would be an unbelievable feeling. Especially as dad came up here with Knocker Knock and unfortunately, he didn’t make the cup,” he said.

Long-term, Emery plans to travel back to Brisbane and step Waltzing Danube out over the longer trips at Albion Park. He also has one eye on August’s Darwin Cup.

“Dad raced there for a couple of times but never won it. It would be an honour to win it for him,” he said.

Emery said he was pleased to see so many South East Queensland trainers supporting the Rockhampton industry and the Cup Carnival.

“People from Bundy travel there and even a couple of trainers from Emerald way. The club does get a lot of support and it’s going to be a great night,” he said.