Mark Bell’s 2nd Young Star Classic Hopes For Hooky Booky

Following the running of four heats of this event at Wentworth Park tonight the official box draw was conducted at the track for next Saturday’s final.

The final field for this year’s Group 2 event which carries a winner’s purse of $25,000 is below.

Fastest heat winner was Victorian Thanks To You in 30.10 with Manos De Piedra second and Pindara Bale third. Margins were 3¼ x 1.

Other heat winners were Hooky Booky in 30.11 from Gnarley Boy and Lochinvar Vogue, margins 4¾ x 4¾; Gazmick Storm in 30.33 from Root Canal and Moon’s Law, margins 1¾ x 7¾; and Zambola Bale in 30.35 from Premier Miss and Over Dylan, margins 1¼ x 2½.

Pre post favourite Dentax Bale failed to qualify for the final, finishing fourth in its heat and was reported to have injured a shoulder, with a 10 days incapacitation certificate issued.

This race is an age restricted event for greyhounds whelped on or after July 1, 2007, so as the name suggests, it aims to showcase the rising young talent in our greyhound ranks. This is the first year that the NSW GBOTA has conducted this event following the Association’s assuming the sole responsibility for metropolitan racing at Wentworth Park. Prior to that the Young Star Classic was a long established feature race on the NCA’s calendar.

Fast times were recorded by the winners of this race in the past two years with Cindeen Shelby recording 29.97 in 2008 and in 2007 the winner was Fergalicious in 29.95 (which is the race record on the current track).

However, in the twelve years prior to that the winners did not go under 30 seconds although Penny Drum 30.08 in 2002 and Go Wild Teddy 30.04 in 2000 went close.

Interestingly, in 2000 Go Wild Teddy also won the age restricted Group 1 Vic Peters Classic (the oldest feature race on the Association’s calendar) in 30.27 and the Group 2 Bob Payne Winter Stake in 30.14. 2000 was great for Go Wild Teddy as he also won the Melbourne Cup that year.

Further, this race was won by Faithful Hawk in 1998 in the relatively slow time of 30.44 but the following year Faithful Hawk came out and won the Association’s premier Group 1 event the Golden Easter Egg in 29.93 and also the Bob Payne Winter Stake in 30.21.

Winsome Dollars and Eiffella were also other winners of this race to go on to further Group race success at Wentworth Park – Winsome Dollars won in 2001 in 30.21 with successes in the age restricted Peter Mosman Classic and the Bob Payne Winter Stake in the same year, while Eiffella won in 2004 in 30.22 followed by success in the Christmas Gift in the same year. Eiffella also ran second to Paua To Burn in the 2005 Golden Easter Egg.

Obviously the connections of the winner of this year’s Young Star Classic will be hoping that their greyhound can also accumulate a record boasting multiple Wentworth Park Group race wins, like the other greyhounds mentioned.

As a guide to punters following the on track box draw tonight leading Wentworth Park bookmaker Sam Vardakis has framed an approximate market with the Mark Bell owned and trained Hooky Booky as a $3.20 favourite for the final. Bell will be hoping Hooky Booky can do what Go Wild Teddy did for him in 2000 and win next week’s final and, if his current charge can go from there to do half of what Go Wild Teddy did, Bell will be most satisfied.

Vardakis’ approximate market has the other runners at the following quotes: Thanks To You $3.50; Gazmick Storm $4.00; Zambola Bale, Gnarley Boy, and Root Canal $6.00; Manos De Piedra $8.00 and Premier Miss $11.00.

Group 2 2009 Young Star Classic Final

Saturday 25th July 2009
Wentworth Park 520m

  • Box 1 – Manos De Piedra – Glenn Starr
  • Box 2 – Zambola Bale – Brendan Wheeler
  • Box 3 – Hooky Booky – Mark Bell
  • Box 4 – Gnarley Boy – Peter Cohen
  • Box 5 – Thanks To You – Wayne Vassallo
  • Box 6 – Gazmick Storm – Marie Burton
  • Box 7 – Premier Miss – Mary Wright
  • Box 8 – Root Canal – Peter Rodgers
  • Reserves

  • 1st Res – Pindari Bale – Brendan Wheeler
  • 2nd Res – Over Dylan – Bruce Reynolds