Brilliant Cowra chaser Dana Beatrice landed the Fengore Plant Hire Bathurst Gold Cup in dashing style at Kennerson Park on Wednesday March 18. Spearing straight to the front at box rise the talented daughter of Collision and Dana Betty was never headed in posting a slick 30.07.
After being last to leave the boxes exciting youngster Arthur Ritis produced another eye-catching performance to snare second spot only going under by three quarters of a length with grand local sprinter Flying Mitch another one and three quarter lengths back in third position.
Trained by Rod McDonald for brother Wes, Dana Beatrice took her impressive record to 24 starts for 15 wins and 6 minors. The $12,500 first prize money catapulted her stakes earnings to $31,570. Despite her great record it was a welcome change of luck for Dana Beatrice as success in feature finals had so far eluded her, albeit she was only beaten in the last stride by Spring Lee when runner-up in the Soldiers Saddle Final in December.
McDonald has enjoyed tremendous success with his team over the past three years and the it was only back eight weeks ago that litter-mate and fellow finalist Dana Tiger annexed the GRNSW Country Challenge Orange Cup final at Bathurst. Rod paid homage to his family at the presentation and in what seems a year of remarkable co-incidences pointed out that it was a year to the day since the passing of his beloved granddad.
Fabulous Greyhound Racing At Bathurst
On a fabulous supporting program where a record $39,200 in prizemoney was on offer six other feature finals were staged and the quality of nominations were outstanding.
The Trevor Black Memorial (700m) is the feature staying event on the Bathurst calendar and it seemed a mere formality that the track record would be lowered with the likes of Gold Slammer, Lyn’s Daisy, Ashes Platinum, Lightening Lizzy and Fort Shakin engaged. Unfortunately the latter was scratched but that didn’t deter the interest of such a terrific line-up.
Recent Wentworth Gold Cup winner Gold Slammer was sent out as favourite and when he jumped straight to the front it looked to be all over. However the fave appeared lost and after tangling with another runner dropped to the tail of the field and the race took on a whole new complexion. The despised outsider of the field Devil’s Country made the pace from that point with Lightening Lizzy in pursuit and Ashes Platinum looming ominously out wide.
The Paul Galea trained Ashes Platinum surged to the lead after a lap and waltzed off with the prize downing Lightening Lizzy one and a quarter lengths in a speedy 42.05. Track record holder Lyn’s Daisy got home nicely for third a further length in arrears and her 41.78 mark remained intact. Gold Slammer got going again late and wound up fourth not too far behind.
Tha Mark Wicks prepared Forest Diamond gave her rivals a galloping lesson in the final of the Dick Buttsworth Memorial over 618 metres. Leading throughout the Most Awesome X Forest Fever whelp clocked a sizzling 36.18 and had six lengths to spare over Dana George with Osti’s Exposure two length adrift in third spot.
Australia’s number one racecaller Paul Ambrosoli and wife Pat were in attendance and Paul was kind enough to call the event at a moments notice. Proving the consummate professional that he is PA grabbed the mike 60 seconds before the start and never missed a beat. Paul and Dick go back a long way and I know it meant a lot to the Buttsworth family. BTW PA, thanks again and there’ll be a bottle of deBortoli’s headed your way.
The Geoff Cooke Plumbing Bathurst Bullet (307m) was expected to be a walk in the park for track specialist and reigning GOTY Bells Fair but punters were left empty handed when the raging favourite uncharacteristically missed the start. In a race full of class veteran chaser and 2006 GOTY Earllee came out running and it was left to Larappin Storm to do the chasing. The Gary Adams trained Larappin Storm proved to strong in the run to the judge scoring by six and a half lengths from the fast finishing Mavriki Wolf in a blistering 17.58 with earlle holding on for third.
Nicely bred youngster Carla was a most impressive winner of the Bathurst GBOTA Branch Mixed Final for Cowra mentors Pam & Paul Braddon. After an ordinary beginning Carla was at the rear of the field on the first turn and initially took the long way around her rivals before cutting back to the rails. By the home turn Carla had overhauled the leader Mud Blood and went on to post a comfortable four and a quarter length victory. Anna Osti was third and given the roughness of the event in the early and mid-stages the time was still a more than commendable 30.42.
The St George Marketing & PR Battlers Cup (450m) was taken out by Ray Bourke’s handy chaser At The Hop in a slick 26.13. It was the eighth win in twenty one starts for the lightly raced Big Sam Banner ~ Work This Out pedigree. Royal Scout got home well for second to be beaten a little over a length with Just Dazzle Em rattling home late a head behind in third spot.
Night To Remember For Geoff Case
The remaining final decided on the gala program was the Geoff Case Appreciation and victory went to Danny and Janet Gooley’s talented chaser Moonlit Hideaway in a thrilling finish. Favourite Luci Tee set the pace but had no answer to the barn-storming finish of Moonlit Hideaway who posted a brilliant 25.93 with veteran Rain King close up in third.
The event was run in honour of the local GBOTA Area Director Geoff Case who has had to relinquish the position for personal reasons. Geoff was pleasantly surprised and visibly moved when acknowledged with a Distinguished Service Award by GBOTA Chairman Bill Mangafas and CEO Brenton Scott immediately following the race presentation. It was a fitting recognition for Mr. Case after more than twenty years involvement with both the GBOTA and Bathurst club.
Geoff’s father Bertie, also a respected trainer, passed away last month and I’m almost certain he was looking down as Geoff’s maiden debutante Aroora Dancer led throughout to secure race nine in 26.62 capping off a very memorable night for the popular local figure.
Two heats of the Fish & Sons Produce Sprint rounded out the meeting. Houdini Dancer downed Jack Bristow and Dana Antonia in 30.38 in heat one for Don and Jan Collins whilst the Tom Astbury owned and Simon Ma trained Tadmore Lyndee proved too strong in 30.32 for Jemini Too and Spring Belle in the second run-off.