One of the most rewarding aspects of greyhound racing is when you bring pups through your kennel from a young age and they make it to the racetrack. Although ability makes the racing side all the more fun, it is more than rewarding for trainers to see the closest thing to their own flesh and blood make it to the track.
Southern River trainer Keith Harding purchased Freeway Sparkle when she was 12 weeks old, he put the time and effort into getting his young chaser to the track and he isn’t disappointed with her efforts. The daughter of Cosmic Rumble – Velocity Sky has had 25 starts for five wins and eight minor placing’s. This week she faces one of her toughest tests in the heats of the Puppy Classic over Cannington’s 530 metre distance. Jumping from box five the 29 kilo bitch will have to run close to her best to defeat this up and coming field.
“I think she will go okay; she is just an average type of greyhound with a bit of ability.” Trainer Keith Harding explained.
In Freeway Sparkle’s heat Harding rates Linda Britton’s chaser Petra from the red box.
“Box one always helps in those types of races; when you draw the red it’s a big advantage especially at Cannington.”
Harding’s interest lie with Star Recall and High Recall in the following heat, describing them as being close to the best chasers their age racing in Australia.
“Those two are just outstanding pups. Over the years you see real good ones come along and they are real good ones; they’re high quality!”
With just the three heats of this years Puppy Classic, the heat winners, second placegetters and the two fastest thirds will make up the $20,000 final field. Linda Britton looks to have the stand out chances up against each other in the second heat, with Star Recall, High Recall and Gone To Heaven.
Heat One (8.07pm Perth Time)
In the first heat of the Puppy Classic Linda Britton’s Petra finds herself in box one paying $3.50 for the win. Young Petra has only had five starts for one win, but she has been placed in all of her other races. Her first win was from box one when she jumped well and stuck to the rails, winning the race with a late lunge on the line. She hasn’t been jumping great in her past three starts from wider boxes, but if she comes out of the boxes like she did last time from box one she will be hard to beat because she sticks to the rails.
David Hobby’s chaser Jaguar Monelli is set to jump paying $5.00 from box three. She has had her last 10 starts at Mandurah in a mixture of 405 and 490 metre races, with two wins and some handy times to her name. Jaguar Monelli’s biggest issue is whether she will be able to run the 530 metre distance out well enough to win the race.
Linda Britton’s second chaser Bad Memory is drawn to jump from box six paying $4.50 in her third career start. The litter sister to High Recall and Star Recall has won on both occasions; in her maiden win she jumped from box three, and found trouble out of the boxes, but had enough early speed to pull herself in front of the rest of the field. This little bitch can only improve on her last two starts and therefore she is a very real chance despite her box.
Heat Two (8.22pm Perth Time)
The second heat is by far the strongest, with three of Linda Britton’s greyhounds set to jump paying very similar short prices. Litter sisters Star Recall (3) and High Recall (5) have been more than successful in recent starts. Last week High Recall took out the Canning Trophy in a personal best time of 30.21, with a first sectional of 5.55 from box eight. If she can fly out of the boxes this week from box three there is little hope for anything catching her.
Star Recall also ran a personal best time of 30.28 behind High Recall in the Canning Trophy from box one. She was unable to match the early speed of her sister and will find it hard to do so again if High Recall is to repeat her performance from last week.
Gone To Heaven jumps from box four in her first start back at Cannington since returning from a stint at Sandown. Last Friday night she ran a good second over the 490 to the talented Hillbilly Flash in 27.47, she will have to improve on her last four starts if she is going to get on top of her kennel mates.
Heat Three (8.42pm Perth Time)
Do The Roar, for trainer Roy Clarke, is set to jump $4.00 favourite heading into the last heat from box two. In his last three starts he has found trouble, preventing him from taking too much of a part in the races. Four starts back was his last win, jumping from box two he sat on the rails after jumping well to win the race despite a late surge from Bekim Maxim and Free Candy. He will need a clear run and a bit of trouble behind if he is able to take this heat out.
Bekim Maxim has gone head to head with Do The Roar on many occasions; the victories have been shared between the pair. Bekim Maxim is coming off an impressive Kanyana Cup victory on Friday night, so form is not the issue and even after stepping down to 490 for two starts, the distance shouldn’t pose a problem either. If this chaser can jump out of the boxes he is a good chance of lowering his personal best time.
Miss Moto for trainer Corey White is currently paying $4.50 to win the last heat from box five. Her last start at Mandurah she missed the start and used the outside of the track to run home strongly and finish second. She won last start at Cannington from box one in a near personal best time of 30.76, after again using a large amount of the track. If this bitch can jump from the squeeze box and there is a hold up behind with the rest of the field, she is a decent chance of winning the race.
Although Harding believes his chaser Freeway Sparkle will find it hard up against what he describes as Australia’s best young dogs, he still loves watching his fawn bitch go around after all the hard work he put into her.
“Over the years I have bought dogs and had success with them, but the most enjoyment I get out of them is when you do them yourself.”