Fence jumpers…the four legged kind

LAST Sunday afternoon at the Sandown provincial-class meeting, a greyhound named Supreme Deal exited box two in the last race.

The Where’s Pedro x Supreme Vision fawn dog was having his fourth start at Sandown, and his 44th overall. The winner of eight races (with 12 seconds and three thirds) is no slouch, but he missed the jump and was back near the tail of the field at the first turn. After being squeezed between a couple of runners at that point, Supreme Deal trailed out to last. He stayed in this position until the field swept past the finish line.

However, as the rest of the field continued on around the bend and towards the finish-on lure, Supreme Deal, almost without breaking stride, hurdled the inside rail, narrowly missed colliding with a track lighting tower and zoomed across the inside of the course heading in the direction of the now slowed lure.

Unfortunately the camera pans towards the semaphore board so we don’t get to see whether Supreme Deal manages to get back onto the course proper to complete his outflanking of the lure.

The steward’s report notes how the Jessica Sharp-trained sprinter was ‘vetted following the event. It was reported that there was no apparent injury found,’ (except, perhaps, to Supreme Deal’s overall dignity. After all, had he stayed the full course he would have had the joy of mucking into the quarry along with the rest of the field).

Supreme Gold’s fence jumping brought back memories of similar antics by a greyhound named Hiraani Blade, who started doing the same thing at the new Wentworth Park course way back in the late 1980s.

Obviously frustrated at failing to ever be successful in catching that elusive bunny, Hiraani Blade pulled up just past the winning post one night at Wentworth Park, hurdled the fence and scooted off across the soccer oval in the direction of the catching pen.

The red brindle bitch had clearly decided this was the only way she was ever going to get to grips with the lure.

On that first occasion Hiraani Blade’s actions gave patrons something to laugh about. Unfortunately, Hiraani Blade did the same thing again at her next start on the track, and stewards were forced to ban her from racing at Wentworth Park.

Hiraani Blade was a much-travelled and high-class competitor. She won the 1987 Young Star Classic (at Harold Park), ran second to Yannick (in track record time) in the 1988 Tweed Heads Galaxy, was third in the 1988 Ladies Bracelet and ran seventh in the 1987 Melbourne Cup and sixth in the 1988 National Futurity, before going on to become a prolific brood bitch.

The problem for the connections of Supeme Deal, I would think, is how to stop the greyhound doing the same thing again. Having tried it once, there’s a good chance, based on what I recall of Hiraani Blade, of him doing it again, certainly at a Sandown daytime meeting.

What may be surprising is that fence jumping by beaten runners is not a more common occurrence.