Some talented short-course sprinters participated in the four heats conducted last Thursday. Locally trained chaser Splash About took time honours for Weston trainer Paul Roderick, clocking a speedy 22.61. Racking up his 20th career win from 55 starts, the son of Elite State and Lee Kate recorded his second consecutive win and his fifth victory at Maitland from nine starts. Rose Sannette went in as the $1.70 favourite, however had to settle for second place as Splash About began beautifully from box one and led throughout, scoring by one and three quarter lengths.
Heat one went to second favourite Vanessa’s Flame for trainer Peter Lagogiane, who made the two and a half hour trip from Llandilo and wasn’t disappointed as his charge weaved his way through the field to salute by a length in a solid time of 22.71. This promising greyhound by Paddy’s Flame out of Big Girl Vanessa has only tasted defeated once out of five career starts, and has already recorded some slick personal bests at Richmond (22.63) and Bulli (22.57). Vanessa’s Flame was very impressive at his first Maitland start and expect plenty of improvement on the clock in the final.
Carol Hudson unleashed another talented greyhound from the highly-successful Magic Sprite x Awesome Opal litter in heat three. A litter sister to superstar Black Magic Opal, Glamorous Opal grabbed early leader Secret Touch in the home straight to streak away by three and a half lengths in a fast 22.68.
The final heat was won by four year old Yo Cool Maxie for trainer Barry Evans. Coming off an outstanding victory in the Armidale Cup, the son of Big Daddy Cool and Be My Girl notched up his 27th career win from 90 starts and won plenty of admirers with his performance on Thursday. The grand old campaigner ran down Richmond Cannonball winner Set and Match, to salute by one and half lengths in 22.84.
This week’s final winner will etch their name in the history books of a race that is highly respected and yearned by many in the greyhound racing fraternity.
Maitland Supporters Club Gold Collar Final 6.17pm (EDST)
1. Secret Touch – Neville Stokes
2. Vanessa’s Flame – Peter Lagogiane
3. Yo Cool Maxie – Barry Evans
4. Splash About – Paul Roderick
5. Barb’s Kiwi – Warren Kelly
6. Rose Sannette – Kevin Johnson
7. Glamorous Opal – Carol Hudson
8. Set And Match – John Grief