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Victorian owner will be trackside to see winning Rocky formula in action

11 June 2024

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Edgewood Next Racing
Magical Star Next Racing

By Pat McLeod

Victorian owner and breeder Craig Davis will get the rare chance to watch live his successful Queensland regional formula when the lids rise for the Rockhampton Grand Prix Final on Wednesday night.

Davis, with wife Sonia, have second favourite Magical Star exiting box five, in what shapes to be a quality showdown.

Seasoned Rockhampton trainer Dallas Beckett said the owner’s visit, to drop off and pick up race dogs from the conditioner’s Gracemere kennels, just happened to coincide with the feature Final.

“This relationship started about five years ago when I bought a couple of dogs from Craig and Sonia,” Beckett said.

“We have always got along well. They are good people. Since then, I have trained about 10 of their dogs up here.

“I do the pre-training with some of the dogs. I race them and then report whether they are good enough to go back to Melbourne, stay here or go somewhere else. Craig and Sonia certainly seem happy with the arrangement.”



Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 9:17 PM

Rockhampton Grand Prix F

Magical Star began her racing in Victoria with 24 starts there before trekking north.

Since joining the Beckett kennel she has been out of a placing just three times in 12 starts, with five wins, including last week’s Grand Prix heat victory.

Beckett says the Speed Star and Sapphire Ruby chaser has turned into a good, all-round race dog.

“Her sire, Speed Star, was purely a sprinter, but she looks like she will run 600 metres,” Beckett said

“She ran 23.39 seconds in a 407 metre race up here and there have probably been only about four or five dogs that have run that time up here so far this year.

“That is really flying. I have no doubts that she would win at Albion Park, based on the times she is running now.

“However, she does prefer the outside boxes. She doesn't like being crowded. When she has an outside box she will run you a good time.”

Beckett said the strength of Wednesday night’s Final was an indication of the quality of racing at Rockhampton.

“I know what is needed to win in Rockhampton and racing here is under-estimated by a lot of people,” he said.



Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 7:51 PM

Rockhampton Grand Prix H


Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 8:11 PM

Rockhampton Grand Prix H

“The standard of dogs up here has risen considerably. Not only are there better dogs being sent here there are also some very successful local breeders here now. The times needed to win here are a lot faster than what they used to be.”

Beckett said Christine Pollard’s exceptional young sprinter Edgewood, out of box three, was the dog to beat.

“Edgewood’s first sectional is very quick,” Beckett said.

“If he runs that first section as quick as he can I will be giving him at least two lengths start and I can't catch him then. From there, the sectionals for both dogs (Edgewood and Magical Star) are almost identical.

“That is where he could get away. I believe my dog is a little stronger.

“If she is within a length of him, I believe she can get him, but he is so quick early. Edgewood was three or four lengths ahead in his heat by the first turn last week.

“So, depending on the start this could be a very interesting race on Wednesday night, but Edgewood is definitely the dog to beat.

Trainer Christine Pollard (centre) at a Racing Queensland awards presentation.

“He is pretty well bullet proof if he begins well. There are plenty of other good dogs in this race as well.”

Beckett said among Magical Star’s biggest assets was her will to chase.

“That is the one thing that I have seen in the dogs that have come up from Craig and Sonia’s. They are very keen chasers,” he said.

“That has come through their own stud dog, Speed Star. He had an incredible drive to chase and that shows in his offspring.”