Master Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt is remaining modest towards his chances in this year’s Nowra Spring Puppy Classic, despite having three runners qualify for this Monday’s semi-finals of the $25,000 to the winner event, including fastest heat winner Ritza Hattie.
Blowing her rivals away from box 2 in a near-record 29.74, this sizzling sprinter has made a stunning start to her short career, having recorded five wins and four minor placings from just nine starts. Gatt’s newest sensation recorded her third consecutive win on Monday, much to the delight of her astute trainer.
‘She went really well on Monday, she uses the inside boxes so well. She still does a few little things wrong in her races which will improve with experience but I just hope she can jump on the bunny again this week’ said Gatt.
Gatt was favourite to score a treble of winners last Monday, however had to settle for second in heat one as Jason Fletcher’s Fantastic Barb, a half-sister to multiple group winning chaser El Brooklyn, sprinted away at the finish, clocking an impressive time of 30.01. Fletcher will head into this week with plenty of confidence after Fantastic Barb came up with box one against Ritza Hattie in semi-final one.
Ritza Danny also impressed enthusiasts last week with a positive performance from box four. After beginning well and getting a rails run at the finish, accelerated away in a smart time of 30.20. The victory added another brilliant personal best to some outstanding times recorded at Dapto (29.60) and Richmond (30.54). According to his trainer, there is plenty of improvement in store for this talented greyhound.
His got plenty of ability he just hasn’t learned how to use it yet. He will sit behind a dog and wait for the run, he wont go around a dog so that’s a bit frustrating, he just needs to get some luck’.
Gatt had two runners in last years final and suffered shock defeat at the hands of Steve White’s star chaser Amadeus Strikes. Looking to go one better this year, Gatt is adamant his taking it one race at a time.
‘I know all my runners qualified and Ritza Hattie ran the fastest heat time, but I was in this position last year and came second. I’m just hoping to get as many through to the final as possible and hope for some luck’.
This extremely talented litter by Bombastic Shiraz out of Gatt’s brilliant producer Midnight Flare are giving their trainer plenty of reasons to smile, with stunning performances week after week and are yet to reach two years of age.
‘Ritza Hattie is definitely the pick of them and is one of the best she (Midnight Flare) has produced. Ritza Rita was very fast and unfortunately broke down before she got her chance but Midnight Flare has given us some very special dogs’.
Other heat winners from last Monday included; Good Odds Demon trained by Frank Hurt, impressive in clocking 30.14, Willie’s Tale for Valetta McDonald (30.23) and Tarzan Luke for Ruth Matic (30.66).
Nowra Spring Puppy Classic Semi-Final One:
- Fantastic Barb – Jason Fletcher
- Sizzling Sally – Charlie Gatt
- Sutton Flight – John Thorpe
- Ritza Hattie – Mark Gatt
- Alpine Alley – Ruth Matic
- Dark Simon – Allan Manwaring
- Willie’s Tale – Valetta Mcdonald
- Cocktail Party – Kayla-Jane Coleman
Nowra Spring Puppy Classic Semi-Final Two:
- Ritza Liam – Mark Gatt
- Tarzan Luke – Ruth Matic
- My Bella Rose – Allan Manwaring
- Minkara Yarmi – John Hartley
- Good Odds Demon – Frank Hurst
- Mike Lowrie – Frances Harris
- Watch Me Ignite – Kayla-Jane Coleman
- Genetic Jenny – Judith Fisher
Nowra Spring Puppy Classic Semi-Final Three:
- Bo Bonnie – John Thorpe
- Ritza Danny – Mark Gatt
- Lady Million – Dennis Gialanze
- Clan Annie – Karen Midson
- Obee One – Leslie Thompson
- Thunder Buddy – Jeffory Alaban
- Folk Tails – Carly Absalom
- Argo Alley – Ruth Matic