Tonight, The Gardens plays host to the opening round of one Australia’s biggest maiden series, Laurie Healion Memorial, which will culminate on Friday August 6 with the $20,000 to the winner final.
The eight heats of the ‘Healion’ promise to unearth another future star of the track following in the footsteps of greyhounds such as Group One Winner Bit Chili, record breaking bitch Miss Elly Mint, iron dog Mandagery Man and last year’s champion Lochinvar Marlow, which have all raced in the series.
This year, the Healion Memorial has attracted chasers from some of the most successful kennels in the greyhound racing.
Legendary trainers John and Minnie Finn will line up littermates, Winsome Gun (race1, number one) and Winsome Shiraz (Race three, number two). Both have reportedly trailed extremely well and both should start close to favourite in their respected heats.
Steve Kavanagh, the trainer of iconic 1980’s chaser Brother Fox and more recently the owner and breeder of Cosmic Rumble, winner of Australia’s richest ever race, the 2010 Golden Easter Egg, also has two runners engaged from his Dungay base near the NSW, Queensland border.
Kavanagh’s ‘Rumble’ bred has won virtually every big race in the country, and will be represented tonight by Rumble Missile (race one, number five) and Voodoo Rumble (race four number eight).
Kel Greenough, the man who put the polish on 2009 Black Top champion and Australian Greyhound of the Year, Cindeen Shelby, will debut Solar Octane in race five. This is Greenough’s second successive attempt to win the ‘Healion’, after Sergio ran fourth in last year’s final.
Local trainer, Robert Smith, who won the final in 2009 with Lochinvar Marlow, will be attempting to go back to back with Lochinvar Havoc. The beautifully bred son of Where’s Pedro and Madam Collision is raced by Heather Gordon, daughter of NCA Director Kevin Gordon and will line up in arguably the toughest heat, race three.
Adding to the night will be a trial by Group One National Derby winner, Elite Blue Size before the first. The Reg Kay trained speedster is preparing for the $25,000 Macro Meats Megastar at Dapto on Thursday night, where he’ll be the nominal favourite.
The Laurie Healion Memorial heats are the first eight races on tonight’s card at The Gardens, with the first seven races being broadcast on Skyracing1 and the remaining three races non-TAB events for on-course patrons only.
This makes the best way to catch all the excitement by being at The Gardens. ‘Edens’ restaurant is open with great food at reasonable prices, right on top of the action. Bookings can be made on (02) 49515842.
You can get bet live on todays meeting at The Gardens with Sportsbet or Iasbet, with the first race of the program scheduled to kick off at 5.00pm AEST