Promising Youngsters in the Deep South

Promising Kiwi-bred youngsters will wrap up the feature 2016/17 racing season for the Southland Club on Tuesday when they contest their $7,000 NZRS Novice Final at Ascot Park.

Pictured: Opawa Tab delivering her Ascot Park NZRS Novice Heat win (pic Dave Robbie)

Three 457m heats, held two weeks ago, decided the final field. The quickest winner of those heats Ketchikan Blue (26.12s) from the Jason Dunn kennels was withdrawn prior to the box draw for this final.

The Dunn kennels will still be represented by two finalists with the kennel mates drawing the inside two traps. Charlie Runkel will be wearing the red racing vest, which he has carried into a podium position, in six of his eight previous races. It was a sound heat effort that this son of Magic Sprite and Molly Paisley delivered when he slipped around the outer from the eight trap to deliver his 1.25 length heat second to Junk Mail.

His half brother Granny Magnet, who is also out of Molly Paisley, by Cosmic Rumble, has drawn the adjacent trap. He was sighted running on from out of the midfield pack for his 4.5 length heat third behind Opawa Tab. He then went onto to contest a heat for the Garden City Classic over 520m at Addington where a slow start proved to be rather costly.

Dave and Jean Fahey are returning south with three finalists. Included is the impressive heat winner Opawa Tab, who, in just her fifth career race, displayed track sense way beyond her limited racing experience. The daughter of Fabregas and Token Kay hopped away from the eight trap from where she stayed out wide prior to angling down onto the rail heading into the bend when gaps presented. From there she slipped clear to lodge her tidy 26.14s heat win. She’ll be looking to adopt similar racing tactics from trap seven after having since sat on the reserves bench for last week’s Flair Canterbury Laurels final following her heat fifth placing.

Kennelmate El Narco raced handy to the pace throughout, in his heat, which saw this son of Velocette and Space Race landing his five length heat third to Junk Mail. The C1 graded chaser then returned to his home Addington track where he delivered a six length 520m fourth over 520m. His only career win came after he jumped from the three trap – he’ll jump from that trap on Tuesday.

Trumped, who is a member of the talented Barica Bale and Jinja Power litter, has inherited the family ability, judging by the sound start he has made into his career. His heat yielded him a three quarter length second to the withdrawn Ketchikan Blue in what was also just a fifth race day outing. He underlined his potential by taking on much more experienced greyhounds when he produced his bold 8.25 length heat third behind the flying Tom Tee in the Garden City Classic. Completely overlook his miss in the $7,500 final and keep him safe from trap eight here.

Junk Mail was the other heat winner for his conditioners Robin Wales and Josh Lane. The litter brother to Trumped completed his 457m assignment in 26.23s. He also displayed track sense when, after a slow start from trap five, he pushed out wide to take control of his heat when rounding the big sweeping bend on this track. He will be sighted wearing the blue racing vest for the first time in his career on Tuesday.

Opawa Tab Junk Mail Junk Mail
Southland NZRS Novice heat winner Opawa Tab with handler Nathan Breen; Junk Mail landing his Southland NZRS Novice Heat win and seen here with his co-trainer Robin Wales on the podium. Photos supplied by Dave Robbie:, 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos.

The local kennels are represented in this final by the Roy Hamilton prepared Southern Honey. She was bold in the manner that she stuck to her task when sighted pressing on solidly for her 2.25 length heat second to Opawa Tab. This daughter of Yella Mustard and Stock Taker then went onto win a Forbury Park 545m C1 race in 33.17s.

The John McInerney kennel completes the drawn field with the not-so-well-drawn Avalanch City who will be loaded away into the five trap here. This daughter of Sergio and Homebush Iris was involved in the early chase after Ketchikan Blue when she initially matched strides with Trumped in her heat. From there she dug in deeply, which saw her winding up 3.5 lengths astern of Ketchikan Blue. She then contested the same Otago 545m race that was won by race rival here Southern Honey, finishing 4.25 lengths behind her in fourth placing.

Goldstar Marvely from the Steve and Bonnie Evans kennels occupies the first possie on the reserves bench after she completed her heat task 6.5 lengths behind Ketchikan Blue. We then saw this daughter of Yella Mustard and Know Love Affair return to her home Addington track where she won a C1 520m event in 30.70s.

It is the Wales and Lane kennel who provides the second reserve with Opawa Amber. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Opawa Gem was brave when she overcome traffic issues for her heat fourth placing 6.5 lengths behind Junk Mail. She has also been a subsequent Addington 520m winner when scoring her comfortable win in 30.65s.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 17/07/2017 4:21:37 PM

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