Box one has again proved decisive at the elite level at The Gardens. Track specialist Lochinvar Prada ($6.50) faced a quality field in the Group 2 Black Top Final and, after beginning safely from the rails, trailed only National Futurity winner Elite Oriental ($3.50) at the posted for the first time.
Local experience then shone through with Lochinvar Prada railing inside the Queenslander as the field sped through the catching pen and he held handy lead to the middle stages but, thereafter, raced clear to score by an impressive 3 1/4 lengths in a smart 29.65.
After her showing all her usual dash, Elite Oriental tried valiantly but was no match for the winner and the Reg Kay-trained bitch held race favourite Cindeen Shelby ($1.80) at bay by a half length for an all-important second place.
Cindeen Shelby (4/5) did not begin as well as expected and was only sixth at the post the first time and got to fourth mid-race but was never a winning chance.
Her effort was sound but shy of last week’s exceptional 29.41secs effort on a rain-soaked track.
The win represented a career highlight for owner Karla Gordon. Last year, Karla, the eldest of Multicam Routing Systems owner Kevin Gordon’s daughters, was represented in the Black Top Final by Lochinvar Diesel while kennelmate Lochinvar Armani (owned by Karla’s sister, Clare) but each finished down the track behind One Tree Hill in a sizzling 29.44.
“We were confident if he was able to ping out and lead around the first turn, that his strength would get him home,” Karla said.
“This is the biggest win of our career and I am over the moon. Bring on the Paws of Thunder at Wentworth Park later this month.”
Both means of filling the quinella positions, Lochinvar Prada and Elite Oriental will be seeded directly into the semi final round of the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park.
Trainer Robert Smith, who has had a long and successful association with the Gordon family, also won the Black Top Consolation earlier in the night with Miss Elly Mint.
Miss Elly Mint led from box eight and scored by 4 1/4 lengths in a handy 29.85.
Lochinvar Prada is Black Dog whelped September ’05 he is by Primo Uno from Tureena Lee (Brett Lee x Tureena Bay). He is raced by Karla Gordon and trained by Robert Smith the Group 2 Black Top Classic win took his record to 30 starts for 16 wins and 10 placings and prizemoney earnings of $66,940.
The NSW NCA could not have selected a better name for this on going feature at the Gardens. Black Top by Top Linen from Classy Jane was an icon of the sport, he was raced by Frank Holmes of Highfields (near Newcastle) and his breeder Mrs. Edna Hanson bred him in Birmingham Gardens the suburb in which the Gardens track is located. He raced in the early 60’s only contested 20 races for 17 wins and two seconds. He retired as Australia’s highest stakes winner with 5352 Pounds. His introductory stud fee set at 65 pound was a record service fee in Australia.
A breeding success of extraordinary proportions Black Top created his own dynasty which continually re-wrote the record books on greyhound racing in this country. The feature races his progeny won and the stars he produced are to numerous to list, he served a record 1326 bitches and sired 6000 puppies earning approximately $150,000 in service fees.
There is no doubt we will never see another Black Top, he was the one and only. Black Top was inducted into the AGRA Hall of Fame at the AGRA Awards night at Sandown in March 2008.
Black Top Honour Roll :
- 2005 Buddy Rich 29.41
- 2006 Mojestic 29.87
- 2007 One Tree Hill 29.44
- 2008 Lochinvar Prada 29.65