NSW National Distance Contenders On Target

When the nominations for the AGRA Schweppes Nationals closed last Friday, the list of NSW entries for the staying division included two exciting prospects in Smart Betsy and Forty Twenty. Both greyhounds completed their preparations for the NSW State heats of the series with emphatic wins over the testing 720 metres at Wentworth Park last Saturday.

Smart Betsy, owned and trained at Nowra by John Tyrrell, was very impressive in winning the first race, a grade 4/5 event, by an ever widening 11 ¼ lengths in the smart time of 42.52. Tyrrell was delighted with the performance and can’t wait for the NSW heats of the Nationals at Wentworth Park.

“She pulled up a gem and is jumping out of her skin,” Tyrrell remarked.

“I could not have done any more to get the greyhound ready for the Nationals with the present racing opportunities available to me and I am looking forward to the challenge of getting her through to represent NSW in the final at Cannington on September 5,” Tyrrell added.

Forty Twenty, trained by John Heard at North Entrance for a syndicate which is managed by Ron Bennett Operations Manager of St George Leagues Club and which is comprised mostly of members of that club, was equally impressive in winning his race on Saturday. The race in question was the final of the first round of the Wentworth Park Stayers Series.

Forty Twenty qualified for the final when he ran a very slick 42.32 as the fastest heat winner of two quality heats of the series held the Monday prior for grade 4/5 greyhounds. Delighted members of the syndicate were on hand to participate in the presentation ceremony after the final on Saturday.

Heard was also delighted with his greyhound’s performance.

“He pulled up sensational” were Heard’s exact words when asked about his charge today.

Heard said Forty Twenty’s preparation had been terrific but that it is not always easy to place a dog like Forty Twenty, commenting that his previous experience with stayers had shown him how important it is to plan well.

“You have to sit down and map out a program, peruse the calendar. Your must do your research and have a plan,” Heard said.

Heard said the win on Saturday was very good and he is very happy where his charge is up to at the moment. Chad Simpson, Heard’s number one offsider handled the dog for Saturday’s win.

“Chad is only 29 years old and has been helping me for the past 18 years – he does a great job and the Nationals heats can’t come soon enough for both of us,” Heard added.

Both trainers confirmed that their greyhounds would not have another start before the Nationals heats at Wentworth Park on Saturday week, August 15.

Both greyhounds have impressive records. Smart Betsy, October 06 black bitch Bombastic Shiraz x Awesome Berger has won 4 out of 4 over the 720 at Wentworth Park (best 42.50) with 9 wins and 3 placings from 13 starts at the track and 19 wins and 10 placings overall from 36 career starts.

Forty Twenty is younger, a March 07 Wh & Blk dog Big Daddy Cool x Westend Kaitlyn and has won 3 and placed in 2 from 6 starts over the 720 at Wentworth Park (best 42.32) with 5 wins and 2 placing from 8 starts at the track and 17 wins and 4 placings overall from 24 career starts.

The Smart Betsy, Forty Twenty and the other NSW nominated greyhounds will compete for the right to represent NSW in the $50,000 to the winner Group 1 AGRA Schweppes National Distance Championship over 715 metres at Cannington on September 5.