I’m speaking to Garry Selkrig as he makes the trek to Traralgon from his Devon Meadows base with prolific four and half year old race winner Stagger. Selkrig will rug up Noaki Spitfire in the Cranbourne Cup on Wednesday. It’s the second consecutive Group race that Noaki Spitfire has found himself in within a matter of weeks, after finishing sixth in the Group 1 Sale Cup back on Boxing Day.
Noaki Spitfire is a February 2011 whelping by Bombastic Shiraz-Noaki Pace (Spiral Nikita-Leprechaun Pace). Noaki Pace is a litter sister to multiple Group 1 winner Oaks Road and Mystic Pace. Mystic Pace has a very good litter by Collision running around at the moment (Boyce Road, Addison Road, Black Road, Red Road). Noaki Spitfire belongs to a litter that includes Zelemar Fever, a bitch that was a finalist in the 2013 WA Oaks. She is currently dominating Free For All events at Cannington and has won 20 races in her 48 start career. Another of the litter, Noaki Hurricane, is performing well across the ditch in New Zealand.
Selkrig has had Noaki Spitfire in his kennels since August 2013 and has won seven races with him since, including a heat of the Group 1 Sale Cup. Under Selkrig’s tutelage Noaki Spitfire has contested the Sale Cup final and will now contest the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup final. In the Sale Cup he didn’t quite finish off the race after leading. “Towards the end, he struggles. But he goes okay at Cranbourne. It’s a better distance for him there compared to the 650 metres at Sale.”
It’s a great achievement for Selkrig who only has a small team. “I’ve been in the game a real long time. It is hard to compete when the top trainers are always turning up with a trailer load of champions. I have to find my own dogs and train them up.”
Noaki Spitfire and Selkrig spend a fair bit of Noaki Spitfire’s race preparation at Frankston beach. “He’s a beautiful, quiet dog. I call him the smiling assassin though, you have to watch him. He likes Frankston beach. I told him if he wins the Cranbourne Cup I would buy him a surfboard.”
Selkrig is a lovely bloke to talk to and it would be great to see Noaki Spitfire get that surfboard. And if you were wondering how Stagger went at Traralgon, well he notched up the 55th win of his 101 start career in a time of 16.75. Not bad for a veteran when you consider that the track record is 16.60. He’s a busy boy, as he also stands at stud and Garry has reliably informed me that he has served about 30 bitches and has around 80 pups on the ground. Interestingly, Stagger has served Noaki Spitfire’s mother. Eight puppies have resulted from the mating and they were whelped in June 2013.