The highlight of the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club’s July Carnival will be this Wednesday, as the two main finals are staged after two weeks of sensational racing. Much of the early hype is surrounding the Taylor Family Maiden Classic over the 407 metre distance after the exciting heats were held last Monday. The prestigious maiden event is well-known for attracting some talented pups to the Jacaranda City, with the 2013 running no exception. The $12,000 to the winner event is proudly sponsored by Clarence Valley Sheds and as an added bonus for owners and breeders, offers a free service to the highly underrated sire, Disintergrate.
Disintergrate was a well performed chaser on the racetrack winning twenty three of his of his forty eight appearances. The April 07 whelp was raced by Catherine Field trainer Charlie Gatt and was owned by close friends Peter Baker and Craige Ward.
Baker and Ward generously donated the free service to their speed machine as first prize for the maiden classic, with Baker happy to do so as a means of supporting the small race clubs which form the backbone of our industry.
“I love to help out the country tracks and the die-hard people that are involved day-in day-out, so I don’t mind giving away free services to them”.
A renowned lid pinger, Disintergrate’s blistering early speed was a definite advantage throughout his career and ensured his success as a racer.
“He is the quickest dog I have had by far”, Baker said, “He could run anything on the clock and was really quick early”.
The black chaser started his career racing at Lismore, breaking his maiden at his first start in 24.57 seconds over the 420 metre sprint. Before the curtain closed on his triumphant career, Disintergrate would go on to win on eight different tracks in three different states- a feat not achieved by many.
Amongst Disintergrate’s wins on the track, perhaps most notable was his scorching 22.33 seconds track record at Bulli, which although now belonging to Barcia Bale (22.20 seconds), is a testament to his sheer speed and freakish ability.
The beautifully bred son of Collision and With Integrity proved on numerous occasions that his record was no fluke, also posting fast times at Appin ( 20.40 seconds), Richmond ( 22.37 seconds), and Hobart (25.97 seconds- the fastest time over the 461 metre distance in 2009).
Despite the fact that he was never able to break through for a well-deserved group race victory, Disintergrate was able to claim the 2009 Tasmanian Gold Cup, the 2009 Appin Gold Nugget and the 2010 Appin Cup (Country Challenge Final) whilst he also made the finals of the group one Hobart Thousand and the group two Cyril Rowe Gold Plate.
Disintergrate also managed three victories at Wentworth Park (30.46, 30.28, 30.29 seconds) on wet tracks before his career was sadly cut short when dropping a back muscle for the second time, with Gatt and Baker certain that spectators were not able to see his best.
Since retiring, Disintergrate has excelled in the breeding barn from limited opportunities. Most outstanding is his dazzling daughter Nosey Rozy who is currently on the comeback from a hip support injury. The Joseph Baldacchino trained bitch started her career in December last year at just sixteen months of age and put together six wins and a minor from seven starts before being sidelined.
Disintergrate will be well represented in this year’s Grafton Classic final with his son Unleash De Fear lining up from box two. The son of Unleash De Elite is fittingly trained by his sire’s mentor Charlie Gatt, who part owns the speedster with Baker. The two men formed a close friendship when Gatt took on Disintergrate as a youngster, with Baker thankful for the wisdom and dedication Gatt has shown throughout their involvement together.
“Charlie is such a gentleman, every person I speak to in the industry does not have a bad word to say about him”, Baker enthused.
“He really loves the dogs and he and his wife Ang do so much. I am really glad I met him because I really look up to him and just wish I met him in ‘99 when I first got involved”.
The 31 kilogram dog speared the lids in his heat last week at what was his first race start, claiming the event in a handy 23.27 seconds.
“He is a quick dog and that was only his second start over the 400- his first was in the performance trial two weeks before so we knew there was big improvement from him going into the event”, Baker said.
Unleash De Fear’s impressive performance came as a shock to many punters who let him slip out to $14.70 for the win, instead backing Reg Kay’s promising Classy Haze who started at $1.50. With a flawless beginning, Unleash De Fear was able to sprint away from his opposition, with the race favourite finding trouble.
“We knew Reg Kay’s dog was the danger but also knew that it would crash left,” Baker said, “ He (Unleash De Fear) comes out well so we knew he had a chance”.
Moving towards the rails for the final, with another quick beginning Unleash De Fear looks right in the event. The obvious dangers appear to be Francis Hancock’s talented litter sisters Lady Hannalore and Lady Jasmin who will jump from boxes six and eight respectively. Both bitches took out their heats in fine style clocking 23.38 seconds and 23.06 seconds (B.O.N). Also looking genuine threats are Preston Rowles’ pair Ridiculousness (23.38 seconds) and She’s Scandalous (23.18 seconds) with the latter particularly impressive after bombing the start in her heat, however she is now drawn awkwardly in the four for the decider.
Although it is an exceptional field, Baker is still optimistic of his youngster’s chance in the feature, whilst he is also excited about what the future may hold for him.
“The eight is the danger but box two is fine for him and he has enough early speed to lead. He is like his sire in that sense because he has a lot of early dash like him”.
“He is a fast dog and he could possibly win some good races in the future”.
“I just hope the pup can go well for Charlie because he puts so much work in and really deserves a big win like this”.
Also on the scene is litter brother Unleash Hell, who will be aimed at a maiden at Grafton on Wednesday should he get a run. Also trained by Gatt, the white and black dog is rated as the quickest of the two siblings by Baker and is certainly one to watch in the future.
With two promising types looking to kick start their careers in fine fashion this Wednesday, Baker will be tuning in to watch his speedsters compete with wife Carolyn and children Nathan, Lani and Ryan who will no doubt be cheering for not just one, but two generations of their greyhounds when the lids fly open for the final.