The Mick Byrne Memorial headlines the feature racing this Thursday night at Queensland’s Albion Park. Named in his honour, the event is an annual feature on the Queensland Greyhound calendar with participants remembering the contribution of the greyhound tragic. A life member of the Brisbane Racing Club Mick sadly passed away in 2006. Restricted to 5th graders this years five heats have attracted a number of quality greyhounds both local and interstate.
MICK BYRNE MEMORIAL – HEAT ONE – 7.22pm
The ever consistent Mr Garcia for Sandra Hunt draws the cherry in the first heat and he looks to be ideally boxed to continue his good form. Mr Garcia (Bit Chilli – Mrs Trickett) has faced the starter on 24 occasions so far with the outstanding record of 7 wins and a further 11 placings including being a finalist in the recent Albion Park Young Guns. The white and black chaser is easily recognisable in his races and always puts himself in contention with his strong running style and chasing ability. He has great box speed and a good jump here will certainly makes things tough for his opposition.
Looking to spoil the Sandra Hunt show will be Pharmacopia for Margaret Quarrell. The October 2010 son of Premier Chief – Kathy’s Recall is from an outstanding litter who between them have made numerous feature finals already this year in Queensland. Pharmacopia himself is a recent Ipswich Auction finalist and Group 2 Derby finalist and after 15 starts has the enviable record of 5 wins and 4 placings. At Albion Park he has raced on 9 occasions for 4 wins including a fast 30.08 registered in March this year. If he can exit the 7 box and clear them early he will be a massive chance of winning this heat and qualifying for yet another feature final.
The other leading chance in heat one looks to be Gotcha Back for Burpengary trainer Gary Keep. The February 2011 black son of Mogambo – Gotcha Covered has been in great form since stepping up in distance to 520m racing. With recent wins at the track and distance in near BOD times, he will be a strong winning chance if he can improve his box manners and avoid early trouble as he exits box 2.
MICK BYRNE MEMORIAL – HEAT TWO – 8.25pm
Recent Queensland Futurity Finalist Pearl Za Zinger for John McCarthy looks to be the dog to beat in heat two after drawing the pink rug. Pearl Za Zinger (Surf Lorian – Kaycee Diva) has recently contested the Capalaba feature events, and while not disgracing herself the freshen up over the straight 366m track may work in her favour here as she steps back up to 520m racing. The November 2010 whelping has faced the starter on 40 occasions resulting in 6 wins and 18 placings and close to $25,000 in prizemoney.
The Brian Francis trained Arabian McAbdi (Soprano Drive – Elite Juno) will wear the white rug and looks to be the biggest danger to Pearl Za Zinger. With limited starts on the Albion Park circuit where she has registered just the one win from 3 attempts she has won in fast times at Ipswich. In her last 4 Ipswich starts she has recorded 3 wins, including 2 BOD’s in 30.92 and 30.55. If she can replicate her 30.55 Ipswich run here she will be very hard to beat.
Box two runner Poetic Mover for Ray Burman will be another strong winning chance after coming up with the striped box. The January 2011 son of Knocka Norris – Bomber Babe has outstanding recent form including contesting the heats of the Group 3 Big Dog Cup where he finished 4th behind Irma Bale. He has also recently won a Monday night heat and final. The regular racing seems to have switched him on nicely as he is in a real purple patch of form. With the great overall record of 39 starts for 7 wins and 9 placings he is a definite winning chance with clear running.
MICK BYRNE MEMORIAL – HEAT THREE – 8.44pm
Front running Honey Bouquet looks to be the greyhound to beat in heat three after coming up with the ideal cherry box. The beautifully bred June 2010 daughter of Bit Chilli – Honey Mist has really come of age recently and her front running style is well suited to the Albion Park circuit. A recent Big Dog Cup finalist where she produced the best runs of her career in the heat and final she looks well placed here for trainer John Conlon. With the consistent record over the track and distance of 12 starts for 6 wins and 4 placings, she will start a short favourite for the heat as she looks to qualify for another Albion Park feature final. The Dam won the inaugural Mick Byrne Memorial and it would be a great result if she could qualify and win the final, replicating Honey Mist’s 2007 win.
Looking to spoil the party of Honey Bouquet will be the interstate raider Winsome Blackie for Thirlmere trainer and popular mentor John Finn. The November 2010 black son of Bit Chill – Ruby Red Lips has a recent fast Bulli win to his credit and will look to improve on his overall record of 37 starts for 4 wins and 14 placings. The 33 kilogram chaser will look to have more luck then his first and only appearance at Albion Park where he fell in April this year over the 600m journey behind Starliner. He looks to be a strong chaser like most Finn charges and with clear running from box 3 will be one of the fancies to knock off the favourite.
Dayseas Jet for Gilberton mentor Claude Dacey looks a strong place chance in heat three also after drawing box 6. A noted short track performer, the August 2010 son of Cosmic Rumble – Classy Kate has outstanding form at Casino, the Ipswich 431m and Albion Park sprints where he has won a total of 17 races with numerous BOD performances. He struggles to get the 520 m as evidenced by his track and distance record of 5 starts for 1 second. With the overall record of 41 starts for 17 wins and 14 placings, if he can lead clearly and there be any mix up behind him he may hold onto a deserved 520m win. His recent form is excellent with 4 wins and 2 seconds from his last 6 starts. He will need luck behind him however, with the strong finishers of Honey Bouquet and Winsome Blackie engaged. Place chance.
MICK BYRNE MEMORIAL – HEAT FOUR – 9.28pm
Ben’s House for leading trainer Glenda Dart looks the greyhound to heat in heat four. The son of Runs House – Spirit Released has faced the starter on 24 occasions for the imposing record of 8 wins and 5 placings. He can be sloppy at times from the boxes but he does have a good first section on his day. At Albion Park he has a best time of 30.18 set earlier this month in a BON performance and if he can run up to that time he will take beating.
The consistent Ellie’s Choice for John Edwards looks to be another chance in heat four. The daughter of Buckingham Chuck – Ellie’s Diamond is no stranger to racing at Albion Park having had every one of her 46 starts on the track. Over the distance she has faced the starter on 31 occasions for 6 wins and 13 placings. Her recent from is below her best but if she can find some of her early zip she will give a lot of cheek from the tough box 5.
Peter Simpson returns to Albion Park with Glamour Row, a daughter of Go Wild Teddy – Rose Chalice. From an outstanding litter that includes Rush Of Power and Raging Obsession, Glamour Row will hope to add to the list of litter winners at Albion Park for the inform Simpson kennel. Drawn favourably in box 1, she has had just the two starts here for no luck on both occasions. She is relatively inexperienced with just 9 starts resulting in 3 wins and 3 placings including a last start BOD win at Casino on last Friday. She is better than her times and form shows and with luck will be a strong each way chance.
The offspring of Bit Chilli seem to have a strong chance in the heats and another Bit Chilli offspring in Rylee’s Reign looks a good chance to add to his impressive winners rate as a sire. The June 2010 son of Reneen Lass has a best time over the track and distance of 30.22 set in February this year and overall he has won 13 races from 36 starts with a further 10 placings. Prizemoney already tops $22,000 and with early luck the strong finisher will be charging home late. Dropping back from 600 plus racing, look out for the green rug if he is close at the home turn.
MICK BYRNE MEMORIAL – HEAT FIVE – 9.53pm
Woodview trainer Robert Cooke returns to town with his ultra consistent bitch Watta Jackpot in the 5th and final heat. Drawn the cherry red, the daughter of Vapour Whirl – Teddy’s Jackpot has the great record of 20 starts for 7 wins and 9 placings. At Albion Park the white and black chaser has had two placings from two starts, but with the better draw this time she looks set to atone those placings. Slow early, if she can find a length or two at box rise she will be on the bunny and hard to beat.
Diane Hannon always has a strong chance in feature racing at headquarters and in the Mick Byrne heats that looks to be continued with young black chaser Fashion Guru. A new coming to racing he has faced the bunny on 8 occasions, all over the creek 520m, where he has recorded two wins and 3 placings including a solid 30.23 maiden win in March this year. The July 2011 son of Made To Size – Elegant Enforcer will have to contend with box 7 but he looks a smart young dog and is in good hands with the astute Hannon.
The final contender in the final heat looks to be the aptly named Mr Contender for Derek Milham for Forest Hill. Wearing the striped rug, the 3 year old 35 kilogram black dog has amazed a good record over the track and distance where he has recorded 6 wins and 11 placings from 35 starts. He has a best time of 30.22 set way back in November 2011 but on his day he is a real fighter and at his best will challenge the younger brigade in this. A half brother to the earlier mentioned Runs House, Mr Contender is by Collide – Spirit Released and it will be a great effort if Spirit Released can get two finalists through to next Thursdays final.
The five winners and three second fastest seconds will qualify for the final next Thursday week. All greyhounds will hope to join the list of winners of this great event, that includes fellow winners Honey Mist (2007), Bogie Ace (2008) and Auriga Fox (2010).