Ulverstone trainer Joanne Ivory surprised not only herself when Latro greeted the judge in the $2,155 Hankook Tyres Invitation (452 metres) conducted at the Devonport Raceway on Tuesday afternoon.
The former Queensland chaser returned the huge dividend of $49.20 in defeating Bit Regal and Ella Lucy in the event, to make it two wins in succession at NWGRC meetings.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes, I knew he had turned the corner and was racing well, but to win the invitation for me at such lucrative odds came as a huge surprise,” Joanne explained on Wednesday.
By Collision from the Brett Lee bitch Lankan Hope, Latro has now won eight of 29 lifetime starts and stakes of in excess of $10,000, five of the victories having been achieved in Tasmania.
“Greg Homan won two races with Latro, but when he decided to once again become in the hotel industry he asked me if I would take him,” Ivory explained.
“I couldn’t get him going initially and thought about sacking him, but in recent weeks he has turned the corner and I have now won three races with him.”
The chaser is raced by the Velocity Lodge Syndicate headed by Queensland owner Steve Williams.
“Steve rang me last night and was very happy with the result, he has another greyhound up there that he would like to send down, so I will have build another kennel,” Ivory explained.
Latro will have his next run over 515 metres at the LGRC meeting on Monday night and gives every indication that the extra distance will suit.
The grand-daughter of former champion trainer the late Reg “Shorty”Ivory, Joanne prepares only a small team but enjoys her share of success and is also involved in the administration of the sport as Treasurer of the NWGRC.
Meanwhile former top chaser Thirteen Black returned to his best form to take out the $4,390 Betfair Distance Championship Final (580 metres) conducted at Tuesday’s Devonport Raceway meeting.
By Bond from the Token Prince bitch Smart And Sassy, the Leigh Wood prepared chaser has now won 24 of 58 lifetime starts and stakes of in excess of $44,000 for owners Kelly Cuthbertson and Sally Wilson, in a career marred by serious injury.
While competing in the National Distance Championship series at the Tote Racing Centre, the chaser damaged an achilles tendon and was side-lined for several months.
“I nursed him back to good health for four months, so today’s victory is the result of a lot of hard work,” the Whitemore based Wood explained.
Thirteen Black and the Gary Johnson prepared Mr Issues fought tooth and nail down the Devonport Raceway straight for Betfair Distance Championship honours, with the former prevailing as a heavily supported $2.20 favourite.
“It was a titanic struggle to the end, Mr Issues ran a great race and was very gallant in defeat,” Wood declared.
The trainer is unsure where Thirteen Black will have his next run, but will be looking for longer distance races for the rejuvenated chaser.