The available stake is a credit to the greyhound racing industry in Tasmania, which had the foresight several years ago to cut overheads, with the result that the sport is in a very healthy position despite the fact that we are supposedly experiencing a recession.
Four members the all conquering Head Bound – It’s A She litter, bred by Devonport’s Leigh Alexander, have qualified for the rich annual feature named in honour of former leading administrator Des Illingworth.
Master Penguin trainer Butch Deverell will box both Beaudine and Jethro, while champion Mangalore mentor Ted Medhurst’s kennel will be represented by Bell Haven and Zavance Man.
The outstanding litter, which also includes the Gary Johnson prepared Tiny Tilly, have won a total of 35 races between in the short time that they have been racing.
Two heats of the Illingworth Classic were run at last Monday night’s LGRC meeting, the victors being the Debbie Cannan prepared Emerald Lee (Paddy’s Flame – Inbetween Days) and the Mick Stringer prepared New Recruit (Paddy’s Flame – Miss Bardie).
Emerald Lee recorded the time of 29.95 as opposed to New Recruit’s 30.21 and the pair, which have won a total of 23 races between them, are likely to be vying for favouritism come Monday night.
Meanwhile former Victorian trainer Paul Hili continued on his winning way at the Devonport Raceway on Tuesday afternoon when the smart chaser Black Nitro (Bombastic Shiraz – Leetyla) recorded his fourth win in succession since debuting in Tasmania on March 16.
The speedster blitzed his rivals by six lengths in winning the Dowling McCarthy Tyres Grade 4 (452 metres) in the outstanding time of 25.39 and had previously recorded a slippery 29.57 winning over 515 metres at the Tote Racing Centre and 25.86 scoring at Tattersalls Park over 461 metres.
Hili relocated from Keysborough in Victoria to a property near Launceston only recently and is having an immediate impact on the sport in this state.
Veteran trainer David Crosswell of Bishopsbourne took training honours at the NWGRC meeting, taking out a treble with Candy Spice (Where’s Pedro – Paua To Explode), Volatile Flame ( Paddy’s Flame – Volatile Miss) and Hollyheath (Mandagery Man – Mohar).
Relbia trainer Tony Dawson was also seen in the winners circle at the meeting when Stylish Kim ( Knocka Norris – Cleburne Lass) broke through for her initial win at the venue at her 12th attempt.
Another veteran of the sport in Launceston owner Mike Bernath, also experienced success when the Sandra Elphinstone prepared Busy Bee Mike ( Big Daddy Cool – Tuncurry Tiger), broke his maiden status in the first event on the card.
$21,540 SHAW CONTRACTING ILLINGWORTH CLASSIC
1. New Recruit
2. Bluffy Lad
3. Emerald Lee
4. Bell Haven
7. Just Sioux Me
8. Zavance Man
9. Night Train
10. Buckle Up Gaye.