THE GREGORY Board-trained Spring Lee has confirmed its status as a dog to watch after blitzing an inexperienced field at Bathurst yesterday afternoon.
Lining up in the $875 Bathurst Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association Branch Maiden (520 metres), Spring Lee jumped best from the third box and was never headed for the duration of the race.
He eventually ran out an 11-and-three-quarter length winner.
At the 300 metre-mark, Miss Skaife struck trouble allowing outsider No Comfort ($7.30) to squeeze through and run on for second, with Youtar Tiger ($2.60) holding on for third a further two-and-a-quarter lengths back.
The only other starter who attracted significant attention with the punters was the Wayne Vandenberg debutante Flying Schooner, who jumped from box seven as a $4.10 second favourite before fading to finish near the rear of the field.
Prior to the event, the two-year-old Brett Lee-Knockabout Betty dog had enjoyed relative success from his three starts, an indifferent fifth in April sandwiched between a pair of seconds, both at Bathurst.
To date, all four starts have been over the same distance, to which Board understandably thinks his dog is best suited.
“The 520 is ideal for him, he’s a very strong dog and is out of a strong bitch,” Board said.
“He has been a real good pup and was pretty unlucky last week in finishing second [from box eight] and just couldn’t get across,
“He is still young and just learning what it’s all about.”
The winner got around in the very slick time of 29.93 seconds including 10.58 for the run home.
The successful trainer was reluctant to promise too much from Spring Lee at such an early stage, though he indicated that it would be some time before he stepped up into more competitive company.
“He’s allowed to win one more TAB meeting before he is forced up into a higher grade,” he explained.
“I’ll look around and try to find him a non-TAB meeting somewhere around the country and keep him where he is at the moment.
“He is in the fifth grade now and if he went up he’d get blown away,” the Spring Hill-based Board said.
Courtesy : Sam Debenham, Bathurst Western Advocate