Greyhound racing enthusiasts were treated to a wonderful display of sustained speed at the Tote Racing Centre last night when the outstanding bitch Xylia Allen recorded a sensational 29.09 in winning the $57,000 Group 2 A Total Car Rentals Launceston Cup (515 metres).
The winning time eclipsed the previous track record of 29.35 established by the bitch when she won her heat of the prestigious event last week.
A market wobbler out to $4.30, Xylia Allen chased hot on the heels of her kennel mate Fully Advanced, before assuming control on the home turn and streaking away from her rivals to score by seven lengths.
Fully Advanced hung on nicely to secure second prize money with Schroder Bale a further length away in third spot.
All three place getters and in fact the fourth place getter Imry Bale as well, are prepared by legendary Victorian mentor Graeme Bate.
It is believed that it is the first time that a trainer has prepared the first four home in a Group race conducted in Australia.
Bate has now won three Launceston Cups, having previously been successful in 2006 with Wongawillicath and last year with Radley Bale.
He revealed after Xylia Allen’s heat win that he considered her an “awesome greyhound”.
“She is one of the fastest I have ever trained and that is a big statement,” he said.
“However she is very big for a bitch at 31 kilograms, so she takes time to get going and invariably needs a bit of luck getting a run.”
The Launceston Cup consolation was won in good fashion by the Debbie Cannan prepared Parisette, which recorded 29.82 in defeating Cointreau Cap and Tadmore Dunoon while paying a dividend of $3.20.
Meanwhile the local champ Rewind, which was once again unlucky in finishing fourth behind Parisette, has been named the Tasmanian Greyhound of the Year.
Owned and prepared by Maurie Strickland at Bracknell, the son of Collide won 22 races and was placed ten times while competing in 36 races both in Tasmania and New South Wales.
The champ has run second in the Hobart Thousand, Tasmania’s only Group 1 event, for the past two years and can boast lifetime earnings of in excess of $209,000.
Exeter based trainer Anthony Bullock, was Tasmania’s leading trainer for the year, his kennel having been represented by 108 winners and 422 placegetters.
The leading sire was the Tony Lockett owned Where’s Pedro, whose progeny were successful on 150 occasions.
The leading matron was the Leigh Alexander owned It’s A She, a daughter of Bond, whose progeny won 80 races.