Veteran trainer Maurie Strickland, who has been involved in greyhound racing for 56 years, cannot remember if he has previously had a starter in the time honoured Hobart Thousand or not.
“I may have qualified the good bitch Bookies Regret for the final many years ago, I am not sure – but one thing I am sure of is, I have never won the race,” he declared on Monday.
Maurie has qualified the very smart Rewind (Collide – Ricky’s Angel) for this year’s prestigious race and has an undeniable chance of taking home the major portion of the prize from the black box.
“I said I wanted to draw either the black or the pink, so I can’t complain – all I have to do now is keep Rewind on song and I believe he will give a very good account of himself,” he explained.
The winner of 26 of 41 lifetime outings and stakes of in excess of $92,000, Rewind was equal fastest qualifier for the Hobart Thousand with the outstanding Victorian chaser Dyna Tron (Collision – Gold Rush Bale).
Both chasers recorded the time of 25.78 in winning their respective heats, only marginally outside the track standard for the 461 metre trip of 25.71, established in July by the Mick Stringer prepared Bergermeister ( Bit Chili – She Be Nimble).
The Mangalore based Stringer is no stranger to Hobart Thousand success, having won the event in 2008 with Little Spaniard ( Firefly Boy – Barcelona Babe).
Bergermeister has drawn the coveted red box on Thursday night, with the Andrea Dailly prepared Dyna Tron alongside him in the check.
Another Tasmanian trainer to have previously enjoyed success in the Hobart Thousand is Ted Medhurst, also domiciled at Mangalore, who was successful in 2004 with the Barry Heawood prepared Regent Thunder (Lilli Pilli Lad – Magic Alarm).
Medhurst will be represented this year by Sandbanker (Collision – Baretta Betty), which will be one of the outsiders of the field from the yellow box.
The Tea Tree based Heawood, a prolific breeder and devout greyhound racing enthusiast, will once again be the only bookmaker fielding on what is the biggest night on the Tasmanian calendar.
But back to veteran trainer Strickland, who prepares his team in the shadows of the Western Tiers on the outskirts of the quaint Northern town of Bracknell.
Despite achieving great success throughout his career with the likes of former champion hurdler Golden Unicorn, a major event has to date escaped him.
“I ran second in the Launceston Cup with Society Friend, but that’s about as close as I have been to winning a big race, so here’s hoping,” he said.
Dyna Tron, which has been racing recently with success against the best in the land is obviously the one to beat and will most likely be a hot favourite, but the majority of Tasmanians will be hoping that this time Maurie Strickland will have his way.
$100,000 ACELAND HOBART THOUSAND FINAL
(461 METRES) RUN THURSDAY NIGHT DECMBER 15
2. DYNA TRON
3. CLYDE’S ANGEL
4. GALTEE AGAIN
6. DYNA BERT
8. DYNA BALE
9. RADLEY BALE
10. PORTRAIT IGNITES