Ipswich Cup Day
Bundamba, Ipswich / Sat 19 Jun
Tattersall's Tiara Day
Eagle Farm, Ascot / Sat 26 Jun
Krug and Dalgety look to Redcliffe for TAB Queensland Constellations opener
Shiranda on track for Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival
By Isaac Murphy
It was no surprise that on the first night of the TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival, Queensland’s leading trainer Tony Brett came to the fore with Orchestrate.
The dog continued his rise from relative obscurity to star sprinter taking out the Listed Young Guns in a one-act affair.
The dog earnt his favourite tag with a stunning heat win last week, and as usual Brett had him ready for the Final, overcoming a sticky draw to cement his status as a serious prospect.
“There’s no room for error when you’re racing dogs of this quality in a Young Guns Final, I thought he’d run the perfect race winning from box eight last week, but he’s done it again from box six tonight,” Brett said.
“You live for the Winter Carnival as a trainer and what a way to kick off an exciting few months with this dog showing he’s the real deal and ready to threaten down the track.
“We press on to the Flying Amy now and with $75,000 on the line to the winner, I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more competition looking to take that prize money.”
Orchestrate hasn’t been an overnight success, and Brett was not even sure he’d make a 500-metre dog early on - now he’s the leading sprinter in the kennel.
“He’s a real lesson in persistence this dog; coming into the carnival I probably had three of four I would have put ahead of him and in the space of a few weeks he’s looking like a star,” he said.
“He probably doesn’t have the outright brilliance of a Sentenced or even Enthusiastic, but he’s such a professional in everything he does.
“You’re right in line to win those big races when you can run the first and second splits, he has up his sleeve, I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us next.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:58 PM
Whitford's biggest win
It was a handy margin of victory in the Young Guns, but the co-feature - the Listed Carnival Chase - came down to the last stride as Ninetymile King gave trainer Bianca Whitford a popular win.
“He was a bit ginger after his heat, so we had to give him a really light week at home and were hoping to be a bit closer to the speed, but he’s had to work overtime again and was all heart in the run to the line,” Whitford said.
“He had to do plenty of work in the run and approaching the home turn when he went up on the inside of the leader, I thought he might have run out of gas, but he’s found a way.
“So often he’s pulled to the outside and stormed home, but as we get ready to step him up to the 700 it’s nice to see that versatility.”
Whitford and her partner Chris Johnson used to train out of Victoria but the win has them firmly entrenched in the Queensland training ranks.
“This is our biggest win by some margin as a kennel, super proud of what this dog has done for us winning seven races in a row and coming out in his last 600 for the near future and getting that black type win,” she said.
“If he hadn’t got there tonight, I think the winning streak would have been a bit hollow; he was geared towards winning this race and he’s got there.
“We’ll get him home and give him a rest for a week and if he’s fit and healthy get him up over the 700 and see what he’s made of.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:16 PM
Elson has high hopes for sprint king
Hope’s King has been a revelation recently on a Thursday, with his superb box manners always putting him in the mix, and last night they led him to the best win of his career in Best 8 class.
The dog shaped up against the likes of Victorian star Kuro Kismet, Star New South Wales bitch All Hands Off and Queensland Derby champion Farmor Beach but was just too slippery early in the 29.78-second win.
“There are plenty of faster 500-metre dogs out there but every time he goes around you know he’s going to nail the start and give himself a chance," Elson said.
"When you go 11.47 down the back, you’re going to be hard to beat.
“I said last week to be competitive in a race like the Brisbane Cup you’ve got to be running 29.7, he’s gone 29.78 tonight and the way he’s going he’ll get there before too long.
“The track has really quickened up tonight which suits a front runner like him, when the surface is nice and hard like tonight, he’s in the same conversation as our top-class sprinters.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:40 PM
Extra Malt bounces back
Extra Malt had a point to prove in her Fourth-Grade contest.
She was completely luckless in last week’s Young Guns heats, but you can’t keep a good bitch down, with Graham and Leanne Hall’s youngster back to her best running 29.66 seconds.
“She really got knocked around in her Young Guns heat last week, wherever she went she was just running into other dogs which is unlike her given her field sense,” Graham Hall said.
“Being a young bitch, I wasn’t sure how she’d respond mentally, so that’s a big weight off the shoulders to see her jump a bit better and get a nice run behind the leaders.
“It’s good to see her back down in the 29.6 range, if she wants to be a factor in races like the Flying Amy and Brisbane Cup that’s the time, she needs to be running to be a winning chance.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 7:55 PM
Paw It On powers away over the middle-distance
Craig Chandler’s Paw It On has been relentless this preparation.
Riding a three-race win streak, he faced a new challenge over the 600 metres Thursday night but passed with flying colours a slick 34.77 gallop.
“He’s got to the age where we were looking for him to take that next step and he’s done just that, I don’t think he’s run a bad race before coming back from a spell a couple of months ago,” Chandler said.
“He’s built through his distances, starting with the 431 at Ipswich then he was running the 500 out with some strong closing sections - it was a matter of time till he got to the 600.
“His box speed can be a real weapon, running 9.7 to the mark will put him in most races and 13.13 home is more than a pass mark for his first 600.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 7:34 PM
Savannah Makes a Stunning return to Racing
Gary Mitchell’s bitch Savannah had shown plenty her first few starts but she hadn’t seen the track since just after the Vince Curry Series in February.
She returned in style winning her Novice in brilliant fashion, with her first two sections up there with some of the best sprinters going around on the way to a 29.95 win.
“I knew she was going pretty well; she broke the record trialling at Postman’s Ridge recently and that’s when I knew it was the right time to get her back into work,” Mitchell said.
“I’m glad he brought that form to the track tonight, I was hoping she’d be capable of those type of sections, but that’s still a good effort to nail it at her first Albion Park start.
“She ran well behind Rumble Ranger in heat her of the Vince Curry, but was knocked from pillar to post in the semi-finals, so when she came down with kennel cough not long later, we thought it best to give her some time and think big picture.”
Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 6:34 PM