Ladies Bracelet recalled: Spider Web storms to victory in 1990

IN 1990 the Wentworth Park track was still a grass surface and the GBOTA were basking in the success of the inaugural Golden Easter Egg series, which had been won by the smart bitch Ultra Sense, who was then expected to be the toughest to beat for the Ladies Bracelet. As often happens, the unexpected gets in the way of the script.

A series of non-betting heats were run for the 520-metres Ladies Bracelet on April 26. Ultra Sense, trained by Christine Coleman, was only the 34th fastest qualifier, out of 40, so was drawn as first reserve for the second semi-final. As there were no scratchings for this race Ultra Sense missed out on a start.

Four semi-finals were run on May 5 with the first of these being won by Spanish City who downed Another Dundasand Grafin in a fair 30.52.

The second semi-final, the one missed by Ultra Sense, saw Velvet Balerun down the speedy World Park Lass to score by half a length in 30.63. Kylie Bale,the fastest qualifier through the heats (30.10) was in trouble in the early stages of this race and ran seventh.

Semi-final number three saw National Futurity winner and Golden Easter Egg finalist Gozo Nicoloa get out fast and lead all the way to score by three and a half lengths from Spider Webin in a quick 30.34, a time that proved the fastest of the run-offs.

Rave Raider led all the way to snare the fourth and last semi-final in 30.60, downing the equally speedy Classy Spiderby just over two lengths. For the latter greyhound, having only her 18th start, the Bracelet was to be her third major final.

The box draw for the final saw Spider Web come up with the coveted cherry (she’d had the same alley in the semi-final) with Velvet Bale in box two, and Gozo Nicoloa in three. Spanish City and Classy Spider (a litter sister to Spider Web) drew poorly in boxes six and seven respectively.

Punters stuck with Gozo Nicoloa and sent her to the boxes as a 2/1 ($3.00) favourite ahead of Spider Web at 7/2 ($4.50) and Spanish City at 7/1 ($8.00). The rest were at double-figure odds.

At box rise Rave Raider (box 4) and World Park Lass (box 5) were the best to begin from Spider Web while Gozo Nicoloa missed the ‘kick’ and was last away. Rave Raider led into the back straight from Spider Web, World Park Lass and Gozo Nicoloa with the rest out of contention.

Turning for home Spider Web railed to the lead and held off outsider World Park Lass to prevail by a neck, with Rave Raider hanging on for third, two and a half lengths further adrift. Velvet Bale ran home strongly for fourth while Gozo Nicoloa faded into fifth place.

The time was a fair 30.56 and netted Spider Web (Acacia Park x Spider Bite) $10,000 for her eighth win in 28 starts. Yet the greyhound who would emerge from this race and go on to greater things was Spider Web’s litter sister Classy Spider. She would later annex the Peter Mosman Memorial and a swag of top-grade races before being named 1990 NSW Greyhound of the Year.

As a brood bitch, Spider Web was the dam of Mysterious Jet, runner-up in the 1996 Potential Stakes at Wentworth Park, and Zoomarama, runner-up in the 1996 Gawler Gold Cup.

The 2015 Ladies Bracelet will be run on Thursday night at Wentworth Park, stand by for Australian Racing Greyhound’s free tips, which are due out on the morning of the big race.