Gold Slammer’s Inspired Gold Cup Win For His Sick Trainer

There was great joy and a few tears shed when Gold Slammer won the Wentworth Park Gold Cup final over the testing 720 metres last Saturday February 14.

Despite solid form leading up to the final and box 1 Gold Slammer started at 10/1 and won with ease by 6 ½ lengths after quickly running into a close second in the back straight behind Genista Reign which had dashed to a clear lead early.

Octane Al (15/2) trained by Carolyn Reinke produced its characteristic powerful finish coming from last early to finish second while 9/1 chance Ashes Platinum finished third 1 length further back for trainer Paul Galea.

The winning time on a slow track after persistent rain was an excellent 42.66.

Due to illness, highly repected and well-liked trainer John Fleming, who with his family had reared and developed Gold Slammer into a respected stayer competing regularly at Wentworth Park against the top performers; was forced to hand over the training of the greyhound only a few weeks ago to part owner Jamie McFarlane and it was McFarlane who had the challenge to get Gold Slammer through the heats and into the final for a chance at the $25,000 winner’s purse for this Group 2 event.

Gold Slammer ran a close second in his heat and later in the night connections cheered loudly when they drew the rails at the on-track box draw for the final.

McFarlane explained that Cheryl Fleming had told him her husband John got up from his sick bed to watch the race and that he shed a tear or two and it was an emotional occasion for all concerned.

Jack and Heather Sepple with McFarlane and his wife Sharon share the ownership of Gold Slammer.

McFarlane said he and Jack Sepple have formed a strong training partnership over the past four years since McFarlane took up training.

“To win this Group race is just a dream and Jack and I could not have done it without the wonderful support of my wife Sharon and Jack’s wife Heather” McFarlane said.

The McFarlanes have two young sons Oscar and Fletcher who share their parents’ love of greyhound racing. “The boys went home with one clutching the trophy and the other the rug, proud as punch and determined to not let them out of their hands” McFarlane said.

Gold Slammer’s next assignment is the Group 1 Australian Stayers Trophy over 725 metres at The Meadows with heats next Saturday February 21.

“He’s going too well to pass up this opportunity at the $50,000 on offer to the winner of the final.” McFarlane concluded.

Gold Slammer is a Red Fawn dog whelped July 2005 he is raced by Heather Sepple and trained by James McFarlane. He is by Bombastic Shiraz from Rachael Anne (Awesome Assassin x Silver Anne) he has raced 73 times for 12 and 22 placings with the NCA Gold Cup first prize of $25,000, it took his overall stake earnings to $78,243.

A time-honoured event the NCA Gold Cup was first run in 1966 and has certainly had some name changes over the years. It was first called the Wentworth Park Gold Cup. For one year in 1970 it was called the Sir Joseph Banks Cup and again in 1975 was called the Eastern Suburbs Gold Cup.

In 1982 and 83 the race became the Paddy’s Market Cup and for one year in 1991 it carried the name of the Premiers Gold Cup. In the main it has always been the NCA Gold Cup while this year is was named the Wentworth Park Gold Cup after enjoying the sponsorship of the Winning Edge Company over the previous few years.

Like the Association Cup it has been won by some superstars of the Australian staying ranks. Greyhounds like Zoom Top, Ragsie, Miss High Lo, National Lass, Dalalla, Irinka Barbie, Best Quoted and Miagi.

Listed below is the full honour roll :

    Wentworth Park Gold Cup

  • 1966 Brigdale
  • 1967 Special Pick
  • 1968 Zoom Top
  • 1969 Zoom Top
  • 1970 Heather Rev
  • 1971 Strand Belle
  • 1972 Ragsie
  • 1973 Fantasy Lady
  • 1974 Miss High Lo
  • 1975 Dainty Wanda
  • 1976 That’s Eddy
  • 1977 The Wee Lassie
  • 1978 Kawati Boy
  • 1979 Nimble Twinkle
  • 1980 Mercia Bale
  • 1981 “Abandoned”
  • 1982 Any Puzzle
  • 1983 Jane’s Replica
  • 1984 Kongwak
  • 1985 Sharyn’s Vogue
  • 1986 National Lass
  • 1987 Major Look
  • 1988 Red’s Comic
  • 1989 Miss Pegasus
  • 1990 Lilac Livery
  • 1991 Swazi Joker
  • 1992 Equability
  • 1993 Prime Marshall
  • 1994 Rob’s Rebel
  • 1995 Keon Star
  • 1996 Groovy Dancer
  • 1997 Red Mystique
  • 1998 Ringside Fire
  • 1999 Dalalla
  • 2000 Amazing Dancer
  • 2001 Pearl Larricki
  • 2002 Outrageous Angel
  • 2003 Bella’s Angel
  • 2004 Irinka Barbie
  • 2005 Best Quoted
  • 2006 Royal Riddle
  • 2007 Romantic Diva
  • 2008 Miagi
  • 2009 Gold Slammer