As the 30th running of the annual Vince Curry Memorial draws closer we take a look back at who Vince Curry was, along with previous memorial winners and try to decipher our way through the hoards of dogs hoping to win Australia's richest maiden race.
Not many people will be aware of who Vince Curry actually was. He was a talented radio broadcaster and often referred to as “Racings Mister Nice Guy”, who had a love for racings other four legged types, the equine speed machines. Vince sadly passed away in 1983 but his legacy lives on, with the Ipswich greyhound racing club honouring him annually.
Previous winners who have gone on to become superstars of our game are such dogs as, Token Prince, Just the Best and High Earner, the Queensland born and bred superstar who went on to become Australia's highest prizemoney earner, and who now sits second in the career earnings list just behind the mighty Miata.
The Ipswich club have made changes this year to the format, dropping the usual four dog qualifying heats in favour of a three round series this year. 72 Maiden dogs line up on Saturday night in 9 heats, and there plenty of talk around about some seriously speedy pups.
Rumour has it, Size Does Matter, engaged in heat 8 from box one, by Bekim Bale out of Size it up, has been the subject of some enormous offers from interstate interests. With the dogs owner knocking back offers of $80,00 and $100,000 for the black April 2012 chaser. He's reportedly trialled the house down in preparation for the series, and hails from a litter that look to be well above average. Litter sister Sticker Size ran 29.91 at Albion Park in only her fifth race start and first go over the trip. He's certainly one to watch come Saturday night.
Tony Brett has also got a quality youngster engaged and these two look to be the stand-outs this far out from the series.
Heat one at 8.08pm has three first starters engaged with Ferrera, a daughter of previous memorial winner Just the Best jumping from box six. Jacqueline Greenough, wife of Kel, has a first starter out of new sire Humdrum from box seven, and Don't Josh Me is the other first starter, who is also by a new sire in Enry Walt. Five performed dogs will make up the rest of the field.
Heat two at 8.34pm will see superstar High Earner represented by Independent Man, engaged to exit from box one for trainer Mick Boody. Keep a close eye on Trident, a son of the A Teams Fear Zafonic and Una's Pride, who has thrown some handy types in previous litters.
Heat three at 8.51pm sees five first staters engaged, with an industry blue blood in Clash Of Kings exiting from box two. The son of Fear Zafonic and Champion bitch Queen Lauryn, will be one to watch. Bekim Bale, Just The Best and Collision are represented in the rest of the first starter progeny.
Hear four kicks off at 9.11pm With progeny by Bekim Bale, Fear Zafonic, Cosmic Chief, Collision and the two new kids on the block, Radley Bale and Take the Kitty, both sons of the great Big Daddy Cool. Bat Outa Hell, a daughter of Take the Kitty, will exit box five for Thagoona trainer Noël Evans and Radley Return jumps from box eight for Jake O'Rourke from Churchable.
Interestingly enough, box six runner Smashing Niro, will be contesting his second series, after competing in last years Vince Curry. Smashing Niro remains eligible, as he is yet to win that elusive maiden. Could this be a first?
Heat five will jump at 9.26pm with another six first starters. Cosmic Rumble, Mantra Lad, Collision, Pure Octane and Ivan Brown, will all be represented. Ivan Brown, the sire of box five runner Iva Vision, was a previous Maitland track record holder, who suffered shocking injuries after hitting the lure in a trial one day at Ipswich, all before his first race start. He was apparently quicker then his more successful litter brother in Gnarley Boy who won countless races for breeder and trainer Mal Dawson.
Other runners of note are Jungle Junction, for trainer Reg Kay, who is by Cosmic Rumble from superstar Cindeen Shelby.
Heat six at 9.41pm stays in line with other heats having six first starters engaged. Where's Pedro, Recently retired Surf Lorian, Mogambo, Lochinvar Marlow and Queensland champion Dashing Corsair all have progeny engaged. Atlantic Hawk from box four for trainer Ron Ball might be one to watch here, as he hails from the super producer in Ultra Swift.
Heat seven 10.02pm is another heat littered with multiple first starters from sires such as Premier Fantasy, Collision,
Surf Lorian and Made To Size. Aston Galilee and the relatively unknown Elite and Classy both have first starters also engaged in this. Elite and Classy is making a bit of a name for himself here in the Sunshine State, with multiple city and feature winners, from minimal offspring.
Heat eight 10.22pm looks all over before it starts with the potential superstar in the making Size Does Matter exiting from box one. He's reportedly run the hands off the clock in trials, and could be the quickest qualifier in the series. Seven first starters are engaged to run in this. Bekim Bale, High Earner, Knocka Norris, Pure Octane, Bit Chilli, Fear Zafonic and Westmead Offsprey are represented. Young trainer Geoff Uhrhane has Ollie Benz exiting from box eight, and the son of Westmead Offsprey will be Geoff's only stater for the night.
The Final heat of the night is heat nine, at 10.37pm. Only three first starters line up in this. Collision and Cosmic Rumble are represented here and a big watch is the Tony Brett trained and Lenoard Antonio (Aka The Tooth Fairy) owned
Tom Dooley. He's another who has talent and is likely to start favourite for the final heat.
In total 28 different sires are represented in the heats, and with such superstars as High Earner winning the race, their's no doubt the series is likely too produce another star of our industry by the time the final is run and won in a few weeks time.
Best of luck to all competitors in Saturday's heats.