Feature racing returned to Devonport this week with the finals of the Tasmanian Country Oaks and Country Derby being run Tuesday afternoon.
The Oaks final was the first to go, with the Debbie Cannan trained Sultan's Swing ($2.50) vying for favouritism along with the well-performed Perfect Socks ($3.50). Considering the awkward draws for both greyhounds, Anthony Bullock's brigade consisting of Posh Di ($9.00), Posh Emma ($5.50) and the in-form Kialdu Anna ($13.00) were all given genuine chances.
But once the lids opened, Sultan's Swing was the only dog worthy of being on, as she sped away in front and set up an a handy break off the back, ahead of Perfect Socks. The outsider of the field, Tiu Jet ($36.00), was making things awkward for those doing the chasing, as she positioned forward early but then weakened, allowing Posh Di to fire up to second. But it was all too late, as Sultan's Swing was off and gone, hitting the line with four lengths to spare. Posh Di was a clear second with Perfect Socks and Kialdu Anna finishing third and fourth.
Readers of this website will remember Sultan's Swing putting the writing on the wall after running a brave third behind Gardam Prince in the Launceston Cup earlier this year. Since then she's had a much deserved let-up before returning for this series. The wins also brings up another feature for sire Big Daddy Cool. Both Sultan's Swing and her dam, Presitige Girl, are both owned by prominent Tassie racing identity Barry Heawood.
In stark contrast to the Oaks, the Country Derby final was expected to be dominated by one greyhound. Sonny's Brindle came into the race having won his last four in devastating lead-all-the-way performances, and would start a $1.60 favourite as a result.
Anyone who follows Tasmanian racing would know Thirteen Black ($3.90) is one of the strongest dogs going around, and it was a matter of how far back he'd get in order to chase Sonny's Brindle. But the favourite put his mark on the race almost immediately, after crossing Regent Typhoon ($7.40). Those two greyhounds continued on to run the quinella, with Thirteen Black only getting warm late in the race, grabbing third.
Sonny's Brindle (Our Spence – Sonny's Fool) has a very bright future, with a career record of six wins and a placing from just nine starts. Trainer Graeme Sheriff and owner John Davis can look forward to having much fun with Sonny's Brindle, as he only turned two years old this month.