While the township of Meningie isn’t known as a racing mecca within South Australia, it is now the home of three finalists for Sunday’s $22,000 Gawler Produce final.
Cameron Butcher is the man responsible for making the four-hour round trip from the shores of Lake Albert to the Gawler showgrounds. It was a worthwhile trip, as he will lead a three-pronged attack for the final after two heats were completed on Tuesday afternoon.
While two of Cameron’s runners, Regal Looper and Boonoona Boy went through from the first heat, it was the Victorian visitor Footluce Diva that took out the race. Starting from box one, Footluce Diva was fair to begin before finding the front and running away from the Butcher duo who chased keenly throughout.
Winning by two and a half lengths, the Ken Trowbridge runner stopped the clock at 30.63, which was a vast improvement of the 31.06 run it put down a week prior.
Footluce Diva is indeed out of South Australian bitch, Foot Luce. Despite a modest career on the track, Foot Luce has recently made her name as a dam after the successes of Oakvale Destiny, Oakvale Flyer and Texas Titan, all being out of the same Vapour Whirl litter.
Punishment from the Carole Scott kennel was the popular elect for the race and despite causing some despair for punters, she managed to find her way into the final, running fourth just over four lengths from the winner.
The Butcher kennel atoned for that earlier defeat by winning the second heat with the talented Sidney’s Shadow. The black daughter of Mogambo burst onto the scene winning five of her first six starts, before catching attention with a game effort behind Ernie Bung Arrow back in January. She has barely put a foot wrong since then.
Starting a $2.30 pick on this occasion, Sidney’s Shadow did it the hard way from the tough five alley, running down a determined Wingard who did its best to lead all the way from box two. The second heat was won in 30.70 and a length slower than Footluce Diva’s heat win, although it was a more dominant performance with the margin over four lengths on the line.
Sunday Shoes for Nathan Wilson and Colin Simes’ speedy runner Dakota Premier make up the final eight, taking the minor prizemoney from those engaged in the second heat.
The box draw for the Gawler Produce final has been completed and creates an interesting conundrum, with the two heat winners drawing seven and eight respectively. Regal Looper will wear the coveted red rug, while Dakota Premier has drawn poorly again in box four.
The full box draw for the final can be found below.
The Anniversary Cup final will be held Sunday night, but with only six nominations, the single heat today served as a prelude for the main race worth $2,250 in five days’ time.
Cairnlea Layla, trained by Robyn McKeller and part-owned by several players from the Port Adelaide football club, looms as the likely favourite after bolting in by seven lengths in a blistering 30.42.
Known as a chaser that is nearly impossible to run down when on the bunny, Cairnlea Layla put the race beyond doubt shortly after boxrise and proved far too good for Emerley Lover, who is a very strong greyhound himself.
Cairnlea Layla has gone to another level during her time in South Australia and her overall record now reads impressively, having won 13 of her 26 career starts with a handful of minor placings to boot.
The remaining greyhounds in contention for the Anniversary Cup are Kaylarikki, Right Time, Hairy Bair and veteran chaser Aston Odin.
2014 $22,000 Gawler Produce final – Sunday 7th July 7:02pm (ACST)
1. Punishment – Carole Scott
2. Wingard – Des Hockley
3. Regal Looper – Cameron Butcher
4. Dakota Premier – Colin Simes
5. Boonoona Boy – Cameron Butcher
6. Sunday Shoes – Nathan Wilson
7. Footluce Diva – Ken Trowbridge
8. Sidney’s Shadow – Cameron Butcher
9. Aston East (res) – Troy Murray
10. Miss Footluce (res) – Ken Trowbridge