Exeter based trainer Anthony Bullock is extremely confident that former Queensland chaser Are Ate (Lochinvar Marlow – Long Long Mama) can provide him with an early Christmas present by taking out the Brooks Group Christmas Gift Final (452 metres), to be conducted at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting at the Devonport Raceway.
Six heats of the feature were conducted at this week’s NWGRC meeting and Are Ate was by far the fastest qualifier, scorching to a four length win in 25.84, as a well supported $3.00 commodity.
“The track was very slow early but improved as the day went on, my fellow was the only heat winner to break 26 seconds and I think he will have benefited from the run,” Bullock explained this week.
“I don’t think it matters where he draws in the final, he will just be winning.”
Just back from a period of disqualification, Bullock is enjoying a great run of success. He has also qualified Are Ate’s litter brother Devocean, and Lakoda Pretty (Cosmic Rumble – Zingara) for Tuesday’s showdown.
Rosevale owner- trainer Sonia Martin has qualified Cosmic Fire (Cosmic Rumble – Aspen Gold) for the Christmas Gift and she is also quietly confident of success.
The chaser recorded a time of 26.06 in winning his heat, and he is another which will be improved by the outing.
Sonia and her husband Ricky entered litter-mates Cosmic Fire, Mental As Ben and Leica Comet for the series, but the former is the only qualifier for the final.
“When they turned two, we elected to give them a brief spell and Cosmic Fire was racing first up for a couple of months, so I imagine that the run will have done him the world of good,” Sonia explained.
“He is very bright and looked good winning on Tuesday, so we are hoping that he can provide us with some Christmas cheer.”
Dead heats are rare in the world of greyhound racing, but the judge could net separate Sir Slater (Slater – Princess Keeping) and Street Talk (Talk’s Cheap – Card Shark) in the fifth of six Christmas Gift Heats.
The pair recorded a time of 26.32 in winning and will now contest Tuesday’s final from the kennels of Maurie Strickland and Loretta McShane.
Sir Slater has now won eight of 66 lifetime outings and has therefore recouped expenses for owner Samuel Page, whereas Street Talk has won six of 26 for owner Raymond Brittain.
Meanwhile, a big crowd is expected to witness the running of tomorrow night’s Tattsbet Hobart Thousand Final (461 metres), which has attracted a star-studded field of greyhounds.
The programme will also feature the running of the Bob Brown Hobart Thousand Consolation (461 metres) and the Billy Grice Memorial (461 metres) in what promises to be an action packed night of racing.