OUT Of Range (Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields Dec ’15) affirmed his status as one of the hottest prospects in greyhound racing with a brilliant win in Friday night’s Group 1 Silver Chief Classic (525m) at The Meadows.
Owned and bred by Darren and Michael Puleio and trained by Seona Thompson, Out Of Range started as the $2.40 favourite off box one and when the lids flew open he didn’t disappoint, racing to the front of the field and defying a late challenge from Degani (Kc And All x Surfonic Nov ’15) to win by just over three quarters of a length in 29.83.
It was the first group win for Out Of Range’s owners, whilst it was also the sixth victory for the Thompson family in the $100,000 to the winner final. Seona’s husband Jason had previously trained five winners of the Silver Chief Classic – Light Of Fire (1994), Awesome Assassin (1996), Ben’s Fury (2005), Fedex (2009) and Godsend (2012).
Out Of Range has now won nine of his 14 starts and has earned more than $140,000 for his connections.
It was a great night for the Fernando Bale x Nicki Fields litter with Poke The Bear, which is also trained by Thompson, saluting earlier in the night.
The youngster took on a classy field in the FFA event but was dominant when recording a brilliant 29.71 success – taking his record to 16 starts for 10 wins and three minor placings.
Thompson had a night to remember, also winning a heat of the Group 2 Warragul Cup with her kennel star Aston Dee Bee (Barcia Bale x Aston Elle Apr ’15).
The Melbourne Cup champion was drawn ideally in box one which he used to his advantage, bringing up his eighth straight triumph in a slick 25.49 over the 460m trip.
He will have to overcome box five in the final next week, up against a field including Shadale, Jimmy Newob and Kouta Mayhem.