Eight Winners to Contest Novice Final

Just to make Friday’s $7,340 NZRS Novice final at the Addington Raceway was a great achievement in itself, as to make the final starting line up required no less than a heat win. Now it’s all on for last Friday’s set of eight heat 520m winners.

Pictured: Junk Mail, delivering the fastest of the eight NZRS Novice heat times (pic Dave Robbie)

Enjoying a really successful Friday afternoon in the heats was local conditioner Robin Wales who applied the finishing touches to four heat winners, plus he also prepares the first reserve. He also has a breeding and owning interest in another finalist via the Opawa Racing team.

Wales trained Junk Mail, who is raced by the jointly formed I Pave Opawa syndicate, to produce a scintillating fresh up 30.32s heat win. The nicely bred son of Barcia Bale and Jinja Power dictated the pace to his heat rivals when leading throughout. He jumped from the five trap then and he’ll jump away from the seven trap on Friday.

Opawa Mine took over the race lead when heading into the back straight from where he maintained a solid gallop when claiming his 3.5 length heat win, clocking 30.72s for his effort. This son of Winsome Opawa and Opawa Andrea copped an early touch up when backing up at the same venue on Tuesday. His trap one form isn’t overly flash, which says he must step away smartly in the final.

Opawa Jumper seized control of his heat rivals when he headed into the final turn. From there this son of Fabregas and Token Kay extended during the run home to claim his 31.01s heat win by a 2.25 length margin. Friday will be the first occasion when he occupies the two trap.

Zara Zara set up the pace, which saw this son of Winsome Opawa and Opawa Zara leading all the way to land his 30.98s heat win by a length. He must adopt those same healthy racing tactics when leaping away from trap five. Then when backing up again on Tuesday afternoon he found himself placed in a restricted racing room going into the first turn. From there he was involved in the vain chase after a rather promising looking chaser for his distant 520m third.

Opawa Silver is the first reserve for Wales after this daughter of Velocette and Miss Idol gamely chased after her freewheeling kennelmate Junk Mail for her 3.75 length heat second to him. Her time translated to the third fastest overall heat time.

The Opawa Racing team bred and owns the Dave and Jean Fahey trained Opawa Rooster, who was really stylish when he hopped away from the ace trap to lead his heat opponents throughout for his effortless seven length win. This litter brother to race rival here Opawa Jumper stopped the clock at 30.40s, the second quickest heat time. He will be loaded away into the opposite end of the starting traps, in the eight.

Opawa Mine Opawa Jumper Zara Zara
The heat winning performances by the remaining three Robin Wales trained NZRS Novice heat winners as captured by Dave Robbie (from left): Opawa Mine, Opawa Jumper, Zara Zara

The Fahey’s also had another handy looking contender in this event in the 30.90s heat winner Trevor Gibbs. He secured the race lead when going into the first turn to maintain a sold gallop when building his 2.5 length winning margin. Back in August it was this son of Collision and Spirit Of Grace who won the $5,000 Canterbury OTB Maiden here.

Bruce Dann will be represented by his 30.80s heat winner Velvet Girl on Friday. It was a sound effort by this daughter of Magic Sprite and Surf Girl who finished stoutly to nail her 2.25 length heat win. She will be sighted wearing the white racing vest in the final.

Completing the drawn field is Replica Rango for Bob Pringle. In his heat he got himself into a handy early position after hopping away from trap one. This son of Jinjarango and Smash Kingdom mastered the heat pacemaker going into the final turn from where he rounded up of his effort when reaching the judge in 30.84s, holding a comfortable two length margin. He will be loaded away into the six trap on Friday after having endured a luckless, traffic impeded Forbury Park 545m outing on Tuesday.

Occupying the second possie on the reserves bench is Goldstar Scooby from the Steve and Bonnie Evans kennels. This son of Yella Mustard and Know Love Affair led the chase after the pace setting Opawa Rooster for his seven length second. He backed up over 520m again of Tuesday where he finished a 1.75 length fourth.

Opawa Rooster Trevor Gibbs Velvet Girl Replica Rango
Dave and Jean Fahey trained Opawa Rooster and Trevor Gibbs to win NZRS Novice heats, as did Bruce Dann with Velvet Girl, while Replica Rango scored his heat win for Bob Pringle (photos supplied by Dave Robbie - drobbie@ihug.co.nz – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos)

Standardbred Rehoming Function

A number of greyhound participants attended a fundraising function in Christchurch last week which was held to provide support for retired Standardbred horses. Just like the greyhound adoption programs, a number of these horses go into a “halfway home.” Horses are retrained there prior to moving on to new homes for life in other activities. Feed is a huge cost during this transition period, therefore Trackside TV and Radio host Jess Smith organised the well attended function to generate funds for this vital cause.

An online auction raised $30,000 with other activities adding to that amount. Included in the auction was a generous ten percent share offered by Tony Hart and Kristy Taylor in their greyhound We Rocking. The share was brought by Sharon Major for $1000.

Feedback from the event indicated that interest in getting involved in greyhound ownership from other attendees was high. Steve and Bonnie Evans also attended the function, with Steve buying a set of boxing gloves donated by Kiwi world heavyweight title holder Joseph Parker for a decent amount.

We Rocking We Rocking
A ten percent 12-month share was sold in the Tony Hart and Kirsty Taylor owned and trained We Rocking during the Standardbred rehoming auction (photo supplied by Dave Robbie)

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 28/09/2017 10:51:03 AM

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