Beginning well from an unfavourable draw in box seven, Glenreagh Rocket managed to cross the field behind Sassy Dior who began flawlessly from box six. After checking off the leaders heels in the early stages, Glenreagh Rocket regained his momentum and drew level with his speedy competitor down the side of the circle track. From there the big black dog was always going to be hard to hold out as he assumed the lead in the run to the line, scoring by half a length in a 27.33s BON performance.
Going into the event, Streatfield did not give the son of Magic Sprite much of a chance from the wide alley. However, when the leaders turned for home, he realised he was going to go close to the prize.
“I was extremely wrapped. I didn't give this dog much of a chance from the outside box but he just produced on the night”, Streatfield explained.
“If he had an inside box I would have given him a much better chance but from the outside I thought he'd get into a lot of trouble. So, I was pretty lucky that Sassy Dior jumped really well and he sort of just got a cart across behind her”.
“After about 15-20 metres he has a good deal of early speed but he can be a little bit tardy and just that little bit slow out of the boxes”.
“Down the back near the 600 boxes I thought I would have been happy to run second. When he came up not far from the 480 boxes where we were standing and he went up next to her (Sassy Dior) I thought, ‘hey I might have a hope here'”.
Glenreagh Rocket's win in the $25,000 to-the-winner event took his record to 17 wins and seven minor placings from 35 career starts with over $40,000 in prizemoney earnings. His victory gave Streatfield his first win in the Casino Cup and his first Group victory since being involved in the industry. It was also particularly special as Streatfield bred the litter and owns Glenreagh Rocket with his friend Brent Jones.
“I might have had one in the heats one year but this is the first time I have had one in the final”, Streatfield said.
“I've been involved in the dogs for about 16 years but the guy that owns half of him (Jones) has been involved about 41 years”.
“He owned the bitch (Avon Lee) and he was travelling at the time and he said ‘would you take her and breed a litter?' He picked the sire and we went halves in everything”.
“There were eight pups in the litter. He had four and I had four. I've still got two racing at the moment (Glenreagh Magic and Noir Lee) and we've got two together, Glenreagh Rocket and Magic Diore, and he sold the rest and they ended up in Victoria”.
While they may not be quite as good as their talented brother, Glenreagh Rocket's littermates have turned out to be handy money spinners on the track.
Noir Lee is a winner of eight races from 30 starts, as is Glenreagh Magic whose record currently stands at eight wins and fourteen minors from 34 track appearances. Magic Diore has also turned into quite a smart bitch, with nine victories to her name after 23 starts. Included in those wins is a slick 30.00s win at Wentworth Park in April this year
“His sister, Magic Diore, has won at Wentworth Park and she is a lot stronger than him but she hasn't got the mid-race pace that he has got”.
Streatfield rates Glenreagh Rocket as the best dog he has trained throughout his career.
“I had a stayer 10 or 12 years ago and I won 13 races with it and it won at Wentworth Park. But, he is by far the best and the quickest dog that I have ever had anything to do with”.
They say behind every great man stands a great woman and this is certainly the case for Garry Streatfield who credits his wife Rosie for her help in running their kennels. Also on hand is Streatfield's son, Thomas.
“When I go racing she is at home feeding the dogs and everything like that and my son is helping me at the moment too. He has been great lately; I have been doing a little bit of racing, so he has been really good”.
“I'll probably go to the Lismore Cup with him but it is over 520 and his weakness is at the end of the 520. He probably can't run the 520 out. He has won races over the 520 but he is not real strong at the end”.
“If he can get out and if something happens behind him it will be alright but I am not going there with any great confidence”.
At just two years and nine months of age, Glenreagh Rocket should have plenty of racing left in him and looks set for a prosperous career for Streatfield. Regardless of whether he goes on to taste victory at the elite level again throughout his career, there is no doubt that this gallant little chaser will always hold a special place in the hearts of Streatfield and Jones, as their first Group winner after many years of dedication to the greyhound racing industry.