Electric Sunday NZRS Sprint Final

It was a really rugged afternoon weather-wise during the Waterloo Cup meeting at the Manukau Stadium on Sunday. Just ask the handlers who copped the brunt of a heavy rain squall as they paraded their sprinters for the $8,400 NZRS Sprint final to the 318m traps.

Pictured: The Sunday NZRS Sprint dead heaters Highland Laddie (two) and Belcroft Banker (seven)

It was torrential rain, stirred up by strong winds gusts (just ask the professional golfing ladies who were playing their tournament just down the road) that those handlers and greyhounds endured. What then transpired during the 318m dash for cash turned into an electric sprint.

Winning the break from the two trap was Highland Laddie for his trainer Hayley Mullane who in the race prior had produced her kennel darling Cristiane Cyborg to deliver her astounding Waterloo Cup second placing.

Pushing quickly forward from trap seven was the Henny Laagland prepared Belcroft Banker. Settling within reach of this pair from trap eight was Wong All Along from the Phil Green kennels. It was this trio of sharp sprinters who dominated this final from that point on.

Highland Laddie charged into the rain soaked home straight holding the race lead handy to the rail. Belcroft Banker was putting in back strong bounds out wider. Wong All Along had angled down to be right in contention on the rail.

They flew to judge Murray Larmer, hitting the line virtually locked together. For those in the stand it was a quick check out of the race replay. The placings then flashed up on the infield electronic board. Numbers 2 & 7 had a solid line between them indicating a dead head for the win. Just a half a head from them was Wong All Along in third.

Highland Laddie had a won one of the three heats held the previous Sunday from the two trap and this Lynne Udy bred son of Star Conquest and Elly’s Girl carried the checks racing vest to his shared Sunday victory. It was the biggest race win for his owning Novics Choice syndicate which saw his strake earnings lifting up to $18,627, the result of his 13 wins and 11 minor placings from his 49 race day appearances.

It was clean sweep of the entire portion of the stake won by Belcroft Banker for Laagland who bred him. This son of Magic Sprite and Kitty’s Thunder has proven to be a wonderfully versatile greyhound throughout his career. Finishing third in the last edition of the 527m Auckland Cup confirms that. His 58 career races has yielded him 12 wins and 19 minor placings, resulting in $35,733 in stake earnings.

That effort by Wong All Along to claim third was huge with this son of Collision and Wong Way Suzie very nearly pulling off back to back Sunday feature race wins for his owner Craig Rendle.

Belcroft Banker Highland Laddie
It was a crowded NZRS Sprint final post race Manukau podium with connections of the two dead heating sprinters Highland Laddie (left) and Belcroft Banker attending. The full Manukau NZRS Sprint podium with the dead heating pair being joined by third placed Wong All Along

There was a strong undercard to the Auckland hosted Sunday feature meeting, which was highlighted by a 13 race card that pleasingly carried seven 527m races. Here’s a pictorial round up on those support races.

Nangar Panther Jack No LagRace 11
From left: The meeting opened with Nagar Panther winning his C3 318m dash for Denis Schofield; it sure was a week to remember for Yani Castro who trained her ever race winner with Jack No Lag landing back to back Maiden wins, firstly at Cambridge on Thursday and then taking out a 527m event for her as seen here on Sunday; Beaumont was another dual winner from the week scoring tidy 457m and 527m wins for his trainer Ben Craik, pictured here with handlers Tracy Craik, Selwyn Loader and Georgie Milne

Fancy Gas Hezaman Cosmic Barwon
Fancy Gas finished strong to nail his C2 318m win for trainers Mark and John Smith; Hezaman found the line strongly for his C2/3 527m win, seen here with his trainers Jared Udy and Denise Cottam and their daughter Charlotte; Cosmic Barwon provided team Schofield their second training success via his C1 527m win

Maximum Express Bigtime Shaker Alzheimer's
Maximum Express landed a thoroughly deserved win for Phil Green in the C4 318m sprint; Lisa Cole brought Bigtime Shaker north for her C5 318m win, seen her with Brendon Cole, his son Sam along with sponsors from Carol’s Tab Clendon Inn, being represented by her daughter Karen (middle); Alzheimer’s regained the winners circle for Peter Ferguson pictured here with his wife Wendy

Kava Blu On Demand
The Waterloo Cup first reserve Kava Blu took out the C4/5 527m event, handled here by Melissa Steele for her parents Wayne and Tracy Steele; Marsha Black trained On Demand to take out the last race C1 318m sprint.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 2/10/2017 4:18:01 PM

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