Queenslander Knocka Norris equalled the deeds of his father Elite State by brilliantly winning the Group 1 Rapidvite National Sprint Championship Final (520m) at Wentworth Park. Owned and trained by master trainer Reg Kay, Knocka Norris emulated his sire, whom Kay also trained and who won the 2003 National Sprint Champioship.
Elite State joined the immortal Temlee as the only National Sprint Championship winners to sire a National Sprint Championship winner. Temlee – 1974 National Sprint Championship winner and 1974 Victorian Greyhound of the Year – sired Kate’s A Scandal (1981) and Winifred Bale (1983).
Trainer by leading Queensland trainer Reg Kay, Knocka Norris recently made a one act affair of the Rapidvite National Sprint Championship Queensland Final when he led form the boxes, running a sensational 29.70 best of night and followed that up with an emphatic 29.82 solo trial the week prior to the Final.
In a virtual replica of his solo trial, Knocka Norris began well anough from his box five draw and then worked to the lead, showing none of the timidness or field shyness which had plagued his early career. In fact it was a totally different Knock Norris, the big blue brindle dog still has the same brilliant speed but is racing with much more confidence and agression in the field and chased like he would not be denied what was righfully his. In doing so he managed to cause interference to almost half the field inside him and put paid to any chance Snozz or Hendrix may have had.
As we stated in out National Sprint Championship Preview “If he leads from the boxes he will win” and that was exactly what happened. Once in the lead, “Knocka” made a one act affair of the race, clearing out to win almost effortlessly in a verty smart 29.83.
Back in the field Light Ice Lad had failed to negotiate the notorious Wenworth Park first corner and had caused even more inconvenience to most of the field and grand campaigner Mountain Of Love, who had been last early, had used all his experience to rail up under the field and run to second. All Caution had overcome several checks at this stage to hold down third place.
Knocka Norris ($2.75F) defeated New South Wales veteran Mountain Of Love ($13.00) by seven and a half lengths, with Victorian star All Caution ($3.50) two and three-quarter lengths away third.
Knocka Norris supplied Queensland with its sixth national sprint champion. Along with his sire, Knocka Norris is in esteemed company joining Queensland counterparts Coorparoo Flyer (1975), Madonna Lee (1982), Dancing Gamble (1988) and Flying Amy (1995) on the NSC honour roll.
Knocka Norris registered his 20th win (with two seconds) from 30 starts. The $50,000 winner’s purse lifted his prize money to $86,285.
During April/May this year, Knocka Norris had a stint in Victoria, where he equalled the 450-metre track record of 24.81sec in a Warrnambool Cup heat. He went on to finish fourth in the final.
He was also a finalist in this year’s Group 2 WA Derby (4th) and Group 2 Gold Coast Cup (7th).
Five years ago, Kay said Elite State was the best greyhound – excluding Flying Amy – he’d seen in Queensland since racing commenced at Albion Park in 1992. (Ironically, Flying Amy is Elite State’s paternal grand-dam.)
Kay, who has been training greyhounds since the late 1960s (the past 25 years on a professional basis), also rated Elite State superior to his former greats, Incredible Fool and Fool’s Heart.
Now a champion sire, Elite State was the subject of some big offers during his illustrious race career – including a couple of $1,000,000 overtures believed to be from New South Wales interests. There was also a $750,000 offer from a solicitor acting as an intermediary for Victorian interests.
Knocka Norris still has some work to do to reach the lofty heights of Elite State.
But it could be a watch this space scenario on the “like father like son” parallel.
Full National Sprint Championship Honour Roll
- 1965 Haroldpark Best Sun (NSW) 500 Yds. 26.6/10
- 1966 Olympic Park Kinta’s Son (Vic) 560 Yds. 30.9/16
- 1967 Wentworth Park Meteor Paso (NSW) 580 Yds. 31.8/16
- 1968 Sandown Park Princess Kerry (Vic) 555 Yds. 31.2/16
- 1969 Harold Park Red Zero (NSW) 500 Yds. 26.7110
- 1970 Olympic Park Regal Hermes (Vic) 560 Yds. 30.7/16
- 1971 Wentworth Park King Miller (NSW) 580 Yds. 31.1/16
- 1972 Sandown Park Lord Galaxy (NSW) 555 Yds. 30.9116
- 1973 Harold Park New Mariner (Vic) 457 Mts. 26.28
- 1974 Olympic Park Temlee (Vic) 511 Mts. 29.71
- 1975 Wentworth Park Cooparoo Flyer (NSW) 530 Mts. 31.36
- 1976 Sandown Park Clover Duke (NSW) 513 Mts. 30.65
- 1977 Gabba Bowetzel (Vic) 558 Mts. 32.70
- 1978 Angle Park Mr Toewhyte (WA) 512 Mts. 30.69
- 1979 Cannington Acclaim Star (NSW) 530 Mts. 30.95
- 1980 Harold Park Fast Sapphire (NSW) 457 Mts. 26.72
- 1981 Olympic Park Kate’s A Scandal (SA) 511 Mts. 30.70
- 1982 Gabba Madonna Lee (Qld) 558 Mts. 32.73
- 1983 Harold Park Winifred Bale (NSW) 457 Mts. 26.13
- 1984 Harold Park Busy Vintage (Tas) 457 Mts. 26.38
- 1985 Sandown Park Scenic Spa (SA) 513 Mts. 30.70
- 1986 Angle Park Stetson (SA) 512 Mts. 29.98
- 1987 Hobart Fremantle Echo (WA) 457 Mts. 26.39
- 1988 Gabba Dancing Gamble (Qld) 558 Mts. 32.89
- 1989 Cannington Sandi’s Me Mum (WA) 530 Mts. 31.78
- 1990 Sandown Sandi’s Me Mum (Wa) 511 Mts. 30.70
- 1991 Wentworth Park Jessica Casey (NSW) 520 Mts. 30.66
- 1992 Olympic Park Mr. Slick (Vic) 511 Mts. 30.02
- 1993 Angle Park Casino Tom (SA) 512 Mts. 29.98
- 1994 Wentworth Park Gallant Ruler (NSW) 520 Mts. 30.38
- 1995 Sandown Park Flying Amy (Qld) 511 Mts. 30.08
- 1996 Albion Park Shayne’s Champ (Vic) 520 Mts. 30.23
- 1997 Angle Park Prince Of Tigers (WA) 512 Mts. 29.68
- 1998 Cannington Rapid Journey (NSW) 530 Mts 31.22
- 1999 Wentworth Park Harry Hand (NSW) 520 Mts 30.31
- 2000 Launceston Placard (NSW) 522 Mts 30.76
- 2001 Mgra (Meadows) Henerik Bale (Vic) 518 Mts 29.82
- 2002 Albion Park In The Frame (Vic) 520 Mts 30.26
- 2003 Angle Park Elite State (Qld) 515 Mts 29.33
- 2004 Cannington In For Life (NSW) 530 Mts 30.78
- 2005 Wentworth Park Pure Octane (Vic) 520 Mts 29.91
- 2006 Launceston Immortal Love (NSW) 515 Mts 29.52 (Rec)
- 2007 Sandown Park Bit Chilli (NSW) 515 Mts. 29.88
- 2008 Wenworth Park Knocka Norris (NSW) 520 Mts. 29.83