Growing in stature each year the Lockwood National Capital Distance Championship did not disappoint on Sunday night as 27 greyhounds fought it out over four heats to qualify for this week’s $6,000 final, which also sees the winning trainer take home a 4 berth Lockwood Dog Float.
With the quality of middle distance greyhounds competing the club was confident the 2001 Pecajoma record of 34.52 was likely to fall and punters did not have to wait long with Jodie Gilbert trained Bunny’s Reward stepping to the plate in the first heat and recording 34.40.
With the vacant box to her outside it was made to look easy for the Bombastic Shiraz x Dusty Bunny red fawn bitch winning 11 ¼ lengths from Cyclone babe Canberra greyhound Whit It Up coming in third by a head.
Within twenty five minutes the old mark had gone again with the classy John Tyrell trained Smart Betsy stepping out in heat two.
Having her first look at the Canberra track the black bitch had to work hard early before taking off clocking quicker sectionals than Bunny’s Reward however was unable to better the overall time recording 34.47.
Tom Astbury trained Bluey Tadmore too out heat three, with the slowest qualifying time of 35.07, Carolyn Reinke’s Freddy Lee putting in a strong effort for second. Prelude winner Regal Thyme just unable to avoid trouble in his trip around the Canberra circuit coming in fifth.
The final heat going to Denice Warren’s Licence To Dance who again posted quicker sections than the previous heat winners, however was just unable to close it out recording 34.79.
The all important box draw seeing Bunny’s Reward drawing the four box while Smart Betsy has come up with the two, and will start early favourite.
In the remainder of the program Lyn White trained Heavily Armed was cleanest away in the Kilcoyne Kennel final, a tangle up through the pen saw the red fawn dog get away beating War Machine for the Jenkins’ kennel, True Octane for Ian McFarlane third.
Other winners for the evening included Rockarea for Kevin Mahoney leading all the way in 31.09, Flat Tracker for Carolyn Reinke had a successful first look recording 31.11, odds on favourite Exotic Ghost took out the third event in BON 30.74.
With only one starter for the evening Jane Currathers Natural Journey made the trip worthwhile winning the ninth, Daytona Kent for Geoff Stafford producing the first of two big dividends for punters in the tenth paying $16.
Ken Staines trained March Maiden getting to Walkaway Tiny on the post to take out the eleventh race before the biggest payout of the night courtesy of Walkabout Jill paying $32 with ACTTAB.
We look forward to what will be a sensational final this Sunday the all important box draw sees Smarty Betsy in the checks and will start favourite ahead of Bunny’s Reward (box 4) and Licence To Dance (box 1)
Hope to see you at Canberra soon.