To be split among the first three place-getters in each race, the additional funding is the result of an improved performance by the industry and increased betting turnover on greyhound races.
Devonport owner Leigh Alexander and Penguin trainer Butch Deverell were the first to sample the increased stakes when the very impressive Jethro ( Head Bound – Its A She), ran on from a seemingly impossible position to take out the first event on the LGRC card, the Tote Racing Centre Juvenile (515 metres).
Paying a dividend of $4.30, the chaser accounted for the the highly rated Millie Grace (Paddy’s Flame – Miss Bardie) and the nicely bred Stynes (Where’s Pedro – Prestige Girl) in the time of 30.60.
Two races later young Burnie trainer Arnie Elphinstone was seen in the winners circle with Wynburn Jet (Big Daddy Cool – Swift Azz), which paid the lucrative dividend of $20.10 in winning the Shaw Contracting Juvenile/Graduation (600 metres).
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the approximate dividends prior to the event,” he explained this week.
“I gave him a great each-way chance from the draw and thought that he would be half those odds.”
Elphinstone has now won two races with Wynburn Jet since purchasing him from fellow trainer Scott Bryan four months ago and may send the chaser to Victoria in coming months with a 600 metre race at The Meadows in mind.
The young trainer took a break from the sport when his wife Ellen became pregnant with their first child, but has now resumed preparing a small team of two.
“My daughter Hannah is now two and a half years old and I thought it was time to make a comeback – the sport is in my blood and it is difficult to give it away altogether,” he revealed.
At the NWGRC meeting at the Devonport Raceway on Tuesday afternoon, Leith trainer Gary Johnson took out the feature event, the Virbac Vetsearch Tasbred Maiden Final, with the Barry Heawood owned Regent Bonny ( Where’s Pedro – Prestige Girl).
Johnson has now won two races with the chaser, which was transferred to his kennel in August, having earned the reputation of a wide runner at Tattersalls Park in Hobart.
The race proved to be disastrous for Bagdad trainer Allison Walker, whose promising chaser Black Torpedo (Big Daddy Cool – Marananga Moss) had to be euthanized after crashing into the running rail mid-race.
The chaser had been successful on debut the previous week and was a member of a promising litter of five currently being handled by the young trainer.
Another member of the litter in Magic Moss, was sent out at the cramped odds of $1.20 in the final event on the NWGRC card, but had to be content with third placing behind the Anthony Bullock prepared Whitney’s Rose ( Where’s Pedro – Chinatown Babe).
The bitch has failed to live up to her impeccable breeding in the past as the winner of only three of 30 lifetime outings, but may have turned the corner for Bullock, who prepares a large team at Exeter in the Tamar Valley.