In a move by NSW GHRRA graders that is sure to cause another barrage of criticism directed toward NSW greyhound racing; Tasman Queen, the 2008 Group 1 Australian Cup winner and recent victor of the sought after Bert Bryant Memorial at Sandown; has been left out of the fields for the Group 2 2008 Allan Evans Jewellery Ladies Bracelet Heats to be held at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.
The Group 2 event which pays out $25,000 to the winner is open to the best 32 female greyhounds nominated plus reserves, and is a much anticipated race on the calendar by breeder owners, as a final berth in the event ensures added value as a brood bitch upon retirement.
Tasman Queen, trained by Victorian Robert Britton; as recently as February 2008 brilliantly won the $125,00 to the winner 2008 Group 1 Australian Cup, and has been made first reserve for heat 4 of the bracelet.
Gaining a start ahead of Tasman Queen in that heat are dogs the calibre of Free Paris; the victor of 7 wins, 5 of which were non-tab or low grade events; and Muskerry Belle, the winner of only 6 races to date.
Tasman Queen has had 51 starts for 19 wins, 10 seconds and 5 thirds and in the process earned in excess of $213,000 in prizemoney.
Sensation has of course followed Tasman Queen’s career. She was scratched by order of the stewards from the 2007 Melbourne Cup Final after returning a positive swab to a substance known as Guaiphenesin in the heats. Tasman Queen’s trainer, Robert Britton was subsequently fined $500 for the offence.
Connections must be wondering what they have done wrong to deserve this further sensation, although the root cause of this further setback will lay fairly and squarely with the NSW GHRRA graders and the grading system they work under.
The question now must be asked; Where to for NSW greyhound racing from here?
To leave out one of the countries best performed bitches from a bitches only race; which is a showcase race for that states greyhound racing is ludicrous in the extreme; and only serves to further underline the fact that commonsense has little or no place in greyhound racing in New South Wales these days.