On a bumper day of racing the main highlight is no doubt the 2013 Akubra Cup final to be held over the 508 metre distance with Kempsey trainer Debbie Spurgin looking to have a great chance of taking out the event with her charge Jackson Tyne.
The three year old campaigner is by Hunter Valley champ Cool Mat who claimed both the Richmond Derby and Gosford Gold Cup in 2006 for the late Wayne Cox and is out of Santee Larricki- a daughter of Pearl Larricki- one of the greats from the late 1990’s. Jackson Tyne has been a handy dog on the racetrack winning seven of his 45 appearances including slick times at Unibet Gardens (29.73 seconds) and Wentworth Park (30.01 seconds) whilst he has claimed three of his seventeen starts since joining Spurgin’s kennels late last year with a further four placings in that time.
Jackson Tyne burst into calculations for the feature last week when claiming his heat in a nippy 30.04 seconds at what was his first racetrack appearance. This week the black speedster will line up from box two which is where he wants to be according to Spurgin, “He is desperate for the inside; boxes one two or three”.
With a good draw in the final, Spurgin is hopeful of Jackson Tyne’s chance in the $3000 to the winner event, “We had a greyhound in 1986 that we won it with but this is our best chance of taking it out since then”.
“We have only had him for seventeen starts and are very happy with him…certain people said he wasn’t chasing so we have proved a few people wrong”.
The Spurgin’s have been involved in greyhounds for decades with Debbie’s husband Wayne training his first greyhound 45 years ago whilst Debbie has been in the industry for 35 years herself.
Debbie’s love for her dogs certainly shines through admitting that her Cup aspirant, “Loves his cuddles and kisses”, with the 33 kilogram chaser compared to some of the best dogs to have come from his mentor’s kennel, “He is up there with the best we have had. We try to have the best in the kennels and give them the best and now it’s showing in the results”.
The biggest threats in the race look to be Nintendo Bones, Bit Salsa and Excel Like life who were all triumphant in their respective heats. Fastest heat winner Nintendo Bones looks the favourite for trainer Robert Brandolini after his 29.80(BOD) heat success however he has drawn poorly in box five for the decider. Bit Salsa also broke 30 in her heat running 29.90 seconds and has drawn outside Jackson Tyne in the white whilst Excel Like Life has come up with the coveted rails alley after qualifying in 30.23 seconds.
A win in the feature on Saturday would also be special for Debbie and Wayne, with the husband and wife team working for Akubra in the past, “We both worked for Akubra Hats. I spent 22 years working for them and my hubby was with them when they moved to Kempsey”.
“The family that own it are wonderful people and it would be an absolute thrill to win it again”.
A testament to how special the Kempsey Cup is, the Spurgin’s still have the photograph of the late Steve Keir making the winning presentation when they took out the race 27 years ago. It would definitely be sentimental to have a photo of his son Steve Kier junior presenting the trophy to Debbie and Wayne if Jackson Tyne can take out the event on Saturday to hang beside his father’s in their lounge room.
Racing kicks off at 1:00pm this Saturday and in addition to the Akubra Cup there is a full list of supporting events on the twelve race card including the Carpet Court best 8 over 350metres ($1000), Frank Brady Memorial Final ($2000), Neil Griffen Appreciate Stakes ($700), and the Andrew Stoner Consolation ($500) just to name a few.
If you are in the area on Saturday and have the afternoon free, head over to the Kempsey- Macleay Greyhound Club for a stellar afternoon of racing and see the fastest sport on legs at its brilliant best.