Hot Waikato New Year Chasing Action

The Waikato GRC hosted New Year meeting is regarded as a “Night of Chasing Stars” and this Friday’s meeting at the Cambridge Raceway certainly confirms that fact with a race card that is stacked full of feature chasing events.

Pictured: Thrilling Raider who is one of four Karen Walsh prepared Waikato Cup finalists

In this preview piece we take a look at the competitive fields that will contest the $10,245 Waikato Cup, the $6,000 Denis Cole Memorial Sprint and the $6,000 Ollie & Hazel Lawrence Maiden finals.

Waikato Greyhound Club Waikato Cup – race 11 (9.06pm)

It was the Matt Roberts trained Quistis Bale who set the time standard from the two 457m Waikato Greyhound Club Waikato Cup heats held during the mammoth Christmas Eve Cambridge meeting. That was a very stylish 25.38s heat effort when she scampered clear for her easy 5.25 length win. She had been hinting in her prior races that a strong performance like that was looming and repeat of that effort from the three trap will make her awfully hard to head off in this final. Quistis Bale has since backed up that performance with her sound Hatrick 520m second behind the talented Bigtime Paddy last Friday evening.

Local conditioner Karen Walsh has qualified four finalists for this decider. Her runners bookended the field after they drew the inside two and outside pair of traps. Light ‘em Jax will be sighted wearing the red racing vest here after he gamely led home the chase after Quistis Bale. He has compiled a respectable 457m race record on this big, sweeping track.

The picket fence form line that the talented Ridin’ Shotgun brought into his heat was dented a tad when he arrived home eight lengths behind Quistis Bale in third. It was still a creditable effort by this bloke as he stepped significantly up in class for his fresh up heat assignment. He has claimed a podium finish in all twelve of his races since his brilliant 20.95s, 12.25 length race debut victory. He would have derived benefit from his heat outing.

Move out to trap seven where the ever resilient chaser Timmy Trumpet will step away from. This bloke just keeps on delivering race in and race out. Sure, he is only a couple of months away from attaining veteran status, but he certainly doesn’t know that. He pressed on stoutly for his 2.75 length heat third behind Spare Some Time. Let’s put this way, this winner of 42 races (27 Cambridge 457m races) knows his way around this circuit blindfolded.

Drawing out in trap eight certainly isn’t where the remaining Walsh prepared contender Thrilling Raider wants to be. He is a dead set railer who delivered his 5.75 length heat fourth to Spare Some Time from the seven trap. In saying that, he has compiled tidy looking trap eight stats which say that his post race podium claims cannot be lightly dismissed here.

As indicated, Spare Some Time won the other Waikato Cup heat when he completed his 457m assignment in 25.69s for his conditioner Lisa Cole. He took control when heading into the turn from where he held for his 1.75 length heat win. He must position himself forward onto the early pace after being allocated the lousy five trap to jump away from here. This Hatrick 520m Group 1 winner from last season also contested last Friday’s C4/5 520m event when he became tangled up in traffic when rounding the first turn.

Kennel mate Allegro Gun chased home Spare Some Time when claiming his heat second. This bloke is a proven big race performer on the spacious one turn tracks as was seen when he took out the North Island Challenge Stakes over 457m at Group 2 level last season. He also returned to Hatrick last Friday when he was held in the midfield pack after jumping from trap eight in a 305m dash. He must and can use his known early pace from trap six here.

The drawn field is completed by the Ben Craik trained Westworld. This fella certainly holds stake earning claims in this decider following his heat fourth placing behind Quistis Bale when he was sighted finishing stoutly. He isn’t really known for his quick trapping ability, however what he will do is to take up sit behind the early pace ready to seize on any racing passage that presents itself to him.

Occupying the reserves bench here is the Wayne and Tracy Steele trained Opawa Jimbo who was bold in making up lost ground when he stumbled leaving the 457m traps when making his track debut. The second reserve is provided from the Cole kennels with Map My Run who also made an awkward start in his heat.

Quistis Bale Timmy Trumpet Allegro Gun
Waikato Greyhound Club Waikato Cup finalists includes (from left): Quistis Bale; Timmy Trumpet; Allegro Gun

Denis Cole Memorial Waikato Sprint Final – race 9 (8.06pm)

It was the Ben Craik prepared Just One Smile who was the quickest over the 375m dash when she clocked her tidy 21s flat time when winning her heat for the Denis Cole Memorial Waikato Sprint. She is a proven sharp straight out short course sprinter as seen by her frequent Manukau 318m Sunday afternoon wins. Completely forget about her Friday 375m miss where she was caught up in midfield traffic. The scenario for her in this final is very simple – lead out from trap three and she can lead her race rivals home.

It was Cawbourne Messa for Matt Roberts who prevailed in the other heat which she took out in 21.17s. She is in solid sprinting form as she traveled north six days after she won a Manawatu 375m in the meet best time of 21.69s. This girl has no option but to step away smartly from the eight trap on Friday.

Roberts has qualified a second finalist here with his recent Group 2 Dash For Cash winner Hypocritical finishing a 4.5 length heat third behind Just One Smile. He has secured a cheque in all three of his 375m sprints on this track, while he has proven to be competitive from trap five before – that’s where he’ll jump from in this final.

Securing the draw advantage for this sprint is the Karen Walsh trained Danny Dee who will be loaded away into the one trap. He kicked on soundly for his 2.5 length heat second behind Just One Smile. He then followed that up with his 3.75 length Friday 375m third. He is presented with sound claims from his kind draw here.

Kennel mate Zipping Gabby was sound when she kicked on boldly from an early midfield position to claim her 3.5 length heat second to Cawbourne Messa. She hasn’t won from a limited number of race starts on her home track and again she must push forward during the early rush to take a forward possie here.

Walsh also has Thrilling Zap occupying the first position on the reserves bench. He has compiled a tidy looking 375m sprint record on this track and it was an early bump that made the difference between him gaining direct entry into this field or sitting where he is.

It will be emotional scenes at the podium should the Lisa Cole prepared Bigtime Jane take out this feature final. The race remembers her husband Brendon’s brother Denis. Bigtime Jane was involved in a torrid finish for the minor placings in her heat which eventuated in her winding up four lengths behind Cawbourne Messa. She went onto endure a traffic impeded Hatrick 305m sprint last Friday.

Birdie Tee demands absolute respect in this decider. She is from the Canterbury based Ray Adcock kennels and drawing trap two as enhanced her stakes earning claims in this dash. She would have derived benefit from her track debut heat outing. She was also the victim of lousy racing luck when she returned to Addington on Thursday evening where she was denied a clear racing passage in her C5 295m sprint.

Bruce Banner delivered a 3.75 length heat third to Cawbourne Birdie for his conditioner Hayley Mullane. He was sighted contesting the early pace then which is a tactic that he must use here. He has also been active since then, when he copped a check while racing handy to the pace going into the turn back this venue on Friday evening.

The second reserve is from the Ross and Lynne Udy kennels. Racing Demon is a recently downgraded open class sprinter who kicked on soundly for his heat fifth after having to check off paws when heading into the turn in his heat.

Just One Smile Cawbourne Messa Danny Dee
Denis Cole Memorial Waikato Sprint finalists includes (from left): Just One Smile, Cawbourne Messa; Danny Dee

Ollie & Hazel Lawrence Maiden Series Final – race 8 (7.33pm)

It was an empathic display of chasing action that the Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Opawa Purdie displayed when he easily won his Christmas Eve heat for the nation’s richest Maiden race, the $6,000 Ollie & Hazel Lawrence Maiden series.

Opawa Purdie completely dominated his heat rivals when he cruised to his heat win by an impressive 11.75 length margin, clocking a tidy 25.76s and in doing so was the only heat winner who cracked the 26s barrier for the 457m trip. His prospects in this final soared even further after he was allocated the one trap to step away from.

Lord Louie has made a quick statement about his racing potential having win his debut outing on Forbury Park over 545m prior to conditioner Ray Adcock travelling north with him. That translated into a rather stylish 26.16s heat win. His Dunedin debut win came from trap six which is the same trap will exit from in this final.

Two Manukau race misses bookended the maiden heat win that Hitch A Ride lodged in 26.09s for his trainer Thayne Green. He jumped handy to the early pace in his heat, took over the race lead on the turn and then extended to land his win. It would pay to overlook his Manukau 318m and 527m misses when assessing his claims in this final where he is required the hop away from the tricky five trap.

The remaining heat resulted in an upset win by the Hayley Mullane prepared Stensness. He jumped handy to the pace, tracked the pacemaker around the turn and then extended to nail his heat win 26.17s. He jumped from the ace trap on that occasion and for the final he moves out to the opposite end of the traps where he’ll be loaded away into the eight.

This race has been the launching pad to bigger and brighter things for a number of previous winners and that includes the outstanding greyhound Thrilling Brat. He was mentored throughout his illustrious career by Karen Walsh she’ll be hoping that a similar career path unfolds for her finalist here Thrilling Major. He finished strongly for his heat length second to Stensness which he then backed up by finishing in the same position behind the second reserve for this event Zipping Andrea on Friday. He has been provided with the trap two to exit from here.

The Lisa Cole kennel will be represented by two finalists here. Bigtime Tears gamely chased home Lord Louie when finishing three lengths behind him after having raced handy to the pace. She then returned to the Hatrick Raceway where she delivered a rather stylish December 27 30.61s win over 520m.

Bigtime Serena pressed on solidly for her 1.25 length heat second to Hitch A Ride from the four trap, which is the same trap she will be jumping from on Friday. She also then returned to the Hatrick Raceway where she sighted doing her best work at the business end landing her one length 520m second.

The Cole kennel also provides the first reserve with Bigtime Clyde who was shaded at the judge by a half a length margin by Bigtime Serena. It was the same position he filled when he backed up at Hatrick over 520m behind his kennel mate and finalist here Bigtime Tears. He then followed that with his bold Manawatu 457m second on Monday.

Denis Scofield produced Fancy Fox to lead home the vain chase behind the tear away pace making winner Opawa Purdie. He found himself being held in early midfield traffic when backing up over 457m on Friday which saw him finishing fourth behind his kennel mate and the second reserve here Zipping Andre.

Zipping Andre set up the early pace in his heat before he yielded by 2.25 lengths when delivering his heat third. It was that same pace that he used when he made no mistake when leading his rivals all the way for his easy five length 26.20s Friday 457m win.

Opawa Purdie Lorde Louie Stensness
Ollie & Hazel Lawrence Maiden final contenders includes (from left): Opawa Purdie; Lord Louie; Stensness

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 4/01/2018 10:10:22 AM

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