It’s hard to believe, but Devon Meadows trainer Karen Leek claimed her first win in a group race in Friday night’s Shepparton Cup.
Highly respected as a trainer and also as a rearer of young greyhounds for more than 30 years, Leek’s star sprinter Din’s Son ($4.50) claimed a $28,000 first prize after running second in the 2009 Shepparton Cup.
Early leader Vandaliser ($14.10) ran second, beaten by three quarters of a length and collecting $8,000 for his trouble, with Allegra’s Sunset ($13.80) a distant third, earning $4,000.
Veteran trainer Leek was a delighted figure on course overcome with emotion after her very honest chaser had finally broken through for a richly deserved Group victory.
Leek had missed been at the track for the heats while recovering from a bout of pneumonia and had to be content to watch the action on Sky Channel.
Din’s Son has enjoyed a career that has seen him place 44 out of 59 starts – including 21 wins – and tally close to $124,000 in prize money.
It had been a long time between drinks at Shepparton for Karen Leek as the win marked her second Shepparton Cup after she had put the polish on brilliant sprinter Relle Louise back in 1978.
Din’s Son seemed he may always be the bridesmaid following seconds in a Healesville Cup, and last year’s Shepparton Cup when he started favourite from box one when gallant in defeat behind Gardam Prince. He also finished second in the 2009 Dawson at Sandown behind Dyna Forte.
The son of Where’s Pedro and Din’s Portrait had again this year won heat in style, leading all the way and knocking out the dog who beat him last year, Gardam Prince.
The 30.6 kg red-fawn will be four in October and Leek said injuries had begun to take their toll.
“It (the preparation) had all been about this race. He hasn’t been racing much at all because of an injury (wrist tendon) that’s why he’s been very sparingly raced over the last few months,” Leek said.
“He loves racing and can still go as fast as he ever could it’s just sometimes he pulls up a little sore and it takes a little while to get it right again.
“I’ve had this race in mind for a while, I thought it might be his last chance for a country cup, so it has worked out perfectly.”
Time for the final was 25.39 after splits of 6.64 (8) and 11.38.
After the placed runners the field finished in the following order 4th Warning Label ($9.00), 5th Enry Walt ($4.30), 6th Zenth ($6.30) 7th Vee Eye Pee ($5.00) and Radley Bale ($9.00).
Din’s Son is a Red Fawn dog whelped October 2006 by Where’s Pedro from Din’s Portrait (Awesome Assassin x Lovely Portrait). He is raced and trained by Karen Leek of Devon Meadows in Victoria.
Din’s Son has won 21 of his 59 starts and has been placed on 23 occasions with the $28,000 first prize for the Shepparton Cup it took his current stake earnings to $123,630.
The Graeme Bate trained Stanford Bale took out the Ron Nestor Memorial special event. Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club commemorate the passing of greyhound figure Ron Nestor by honouring his memory with the special event after his passing in March 2006 – Nestor was one of few people who had never missed a Shepparton Cup Final and the Committee at the time decided to make sure that spirit remains forever for a true gentleman of the sport.
The Shepparton Cup has always been a well sought after country cup and a one time a very important lead up race for the Melbourne Cup. It has been won by some brilliant greyhounds over the years none better than Hall of Famer and local superstar Highly Blessed.
Other Melbourne Cup winners included Master Giant and Kantarn Bale. While like Highly Blessed, Bahama Image went on to win an Easter Egg. The race was run over the 440 metres at the old Shepparton Showgrounds until its closure in 2004.
Shepparton Cup Honour Roll
- 1973 Garner Bin
- 1974 Morning Glow
- 1975 Tivashley
- 1976 Marungi Boy
- 1977 Near History
- 1978 Relle Louise
- 1979 Mannerism
- 1980 Proven Bold
- 1981 First Question
- 1982 Golden Impulse
- 1983 Blue Echo
- 1984 Blitzem Bill
- 1985 Thorgil Magic
- 1986 Thorgil Magic
- 1987 Nan’s Pal
- 1988 Fantasy Boy
- 1989 Pure Talent
- 1990 Highly Blessed
- 1991 Bomber Gleeson
- 1992 Master Giant
- 1993 Head Honcho
- 1994 Thorgil Tex
- 1995 Hanson Diamond
- 1996 Bahama Image
- 1997 World Title
- 1998 Ashigga
- 1999 Star Of Mine
- 2000 Kantarn Bale
- 2001 Salong Bale
- 2002 Knockabout Wok
- 2003 Puzzle Prize
- 2004 Whisky Assassin
- 2005 not run
- 2006 Slater
- 2007 Overflow Breaker
- 2008 Hanify’s Impact
- 2009 Gardam Prince
- 2010 Din’s Son