ANDY and Jodie Lord will play a strong hand in next week’s Group 3 Canberra Cup final, with two of their greyhounds taking out a heat in the $25,000 series on Sunday night.
The first of Team Lord’s greyhounds to score was the consistent Let It Develop (box five) in the opening qualifier of the night, with the son of Collision and Neat Irish recording a fast 30.51 over the 530m trip.
Stepping from box five, the black dog was able to work his way into second spot on the outside of Wairo Bob (box three) in the early stages before finding the front down the back and streaking clear to score by eight and one quarter lengths over Tiggerlong Dot (box seven).
It was Let It Develop’s first win since scoring in 30.26 at Wentworth Park back in July, with the triumph taking his career statistics to 27 wins and 38 minor placings from 95 starts.
Andy chimed in to even the score with his wife in heat two, with Asa Carrera (box five) holding off a late challenge from SA greyhound It’s Classified (box two) to win by a head on the line.
After beginning well from the centre draw, the 27-kilogram bitch was able to set up a handy lead down the back and, despite getting a little weary in the run home, was able to do enough to triumph in a good time of 30.68.
Also qualifying two through to next Sunday’s final was Neil Staines, with his first to salute being Slamming Thunder (box three) in heat three.
Beginning brilliantly from the traps, the red fawn dog strolled straight to the front of the pack, setting up a big break on his opposition which included Good Odds Angel (box eight), Ella Has Class (box one) and Fantastic Skye (box two).
Swinging for home and there was only one danger, with Tango Izmir (box seven) closing quickly down the centre of the track, however Slamming Thunder kicked near the post to hold off his rival by a neck in 30.70.
Staines’ other finalist will be Vince Fawn, who took out the final heat of the night from box six.
Despite clocking 31.05, the slowest time of the six heats, it was an impressive win, with the son of El Grand Senor and Bogie Dawn slow to leave the boxes and racing wide through the first turn before beginning his move coming off the back.
Railing through into third spot on the home turn, Fawn Express was able to push through the centre of the leaders, Dana Kis (box five) and Fubre (box seven), hitting the front and clearing out to score by three quarters of a length.
Heat four was another one act affair, with Blue Revolver (box eight) finding the front soon after box rise and giving nothing else a look-in, recording his 16th career win by one and one quarter lengths over Good Odds Bricky (box two) in 30.69.
The remaining heat was another exciting event, with Margaret Bannerman’s Reefton Treasure (box three) weaving his way through the pack to hit the front swinging into the home straight before hitting the accelerator in the run to the line, scoring by four lengths in 30.74.
A son of Turanza Bale and Pindari Bale, Reefton Treasure has now won 11 races from just 25 starts, including some impressive triumphs at Bulli (26.06), Wentworth Park (29.96) and Richmond (30.43).
The final of the Group 3 Canberra Cup will be run and won on Sunday August 11, 2016.