Deserved Canterbury Futurity Victories

Two Canterbury Futurity finals were decided at the Addington Raceway on Thursday evening with both finals won by greyhounds whose breeders and owners who have strongly supported the Canterbury Futurity series for many, many years.

Pictured: Opawa Rooster captured here by Dave Robbie in full stride when winning the Christchurch Casino Canterbury Futurity

Littered amongst the list of the $25,000 Christchurch Casino Canterbury Futurity winners are numerous talented greyhounds who has enjoyed successful careers. Now joining that esteem list of previous winners is Opawa Rooster, who is trained by Dave and Jean Fahey for the Opawa Racing team. He confirmed his known ability when he strode to his effortless victory in the Group 2 event over 520m by an ever increasing 9.5 length margin. In achieving his win he produced a personal best 520m time when clocking a smart 29.99s.

Opawa Rooster hasn’t always delivered on his known raw talent purely because of his tardy starting habits which has prevented him from attaining a higher grading that his current C2 class. Dave Fahey decided that that costly tactic has to be addressed as he explains. “I gave him heaps of box work in the week leading up to the final. It did the trick,’ he confirmed.

It sure did as Opawa Rooster came away from the three trap fairly humming and it was quite obvious to most watching, that was game, set and match for this son of Fabregas and Token Kay. The further they went, the further Opawa Rooster got ahead. He was lonely when he turned in for the run home as he strode to his ninth career win.

His kennelmate Opawa Purdie held the rail when rounding the first turn after leaping from the ace trap. He gamely stuck to his task when leading the forlorn chaser behind the freewheeling pace setter. This inexperienced son of Fabregas and Opawa Rosie looked set to provide his trainers and his owing Opawa Racing team with the Group 2 quinella.

However it was Goldstar Ashton who prevented that result as the Steve and Bonnie Evans prepared son of Yella Mustard and Know Love Affair extended strongly to snatch the runners up prize by the barest possible margin. Perfect Result (Barcia Bale – Andrea) kicked on soundly for Ray Adcock to claim the fourth placing a further 1.25 lengths behind.

It was the eighth Canterbury Futurity training success for the Fahey’s since Waxeye first won the Christchurch feature event for the couple in 2006. For the Opawa Racing team Thursday’s win was the fifth occasion that a greyhound bred and raced by them has prevailed in this race after tasting their first win back in 2007 when Opawa Rose won for them.

“Rapt, we always knew he had the potential – he just needed to put it all together (start) which he did this time. The box work that Dave did with him certainly helped. Actually Dave reckons he’s going to do the same with all of our dogs,” chuckled Opawa Racing manager Robin Wales, who added, “This has been a race that we have always supported and we have been lucky enough to now breed and race a number of Canterbury Futurity winners.”

Opawa Rooster will now head south where he will contest the heats for the New Zealand Racing Series Graduation over 545m on Forbury Park next Tuesday. No doubt there will be further big assignments, for example next month’s New Zealand Derby, in front of this winner of nine of his 26 race day outings. He has placed on further ten occasions which sees his career stake earnings now sitting at $32,841.

Opawa Rooster Opawa Rooster

Christchurch Casino Canterbury Futurity winner Opawa Rooster with from left Robin Wales, Christchurch Chairman Chris Earl, Jack Johnson, Graham Campbell and Dave Fahey; the full Christchurch Casino Canterbury Futurity podium with Opawa Rooster flanked by runner up Goldstar Ashton and third placed Opawa Purdie – pics Dave Robbie

The Fitz Sports Bar Canterbury Futurity Sprint

It was great initiative by the Christchurch Club to instigate a sprint final with The Fitz Sports Bar Canterbury Futurity Sprint final carrying an attractive $10,000 stake. In doing so they provided an opportunity for those who made the progressive Canterbury Futurity nomination payments for those greyhounds who has turned into short course sprinters.

Rosemary and Ron Blackburn has been long time breeders and owners of greyhounds who has contested various previous editions of the Canterbury Futurity. On this occasion they qualified two finalists in their racing interests, plus they also had the first reserve.

They have entrusted the training duties of Timely Affair to Jason Dunn who loaded this son of Fast Archer and Business Time away into the one trap on Thursday. He came away smartly from there to set up the early pace. It was a wise tactic to use as it turned into the winning move as he controlled the pace throughout which resulted in him completing the 295m dash in a handy 17.22s, which turned into the meet best time.

Jinja Mongo had only contested four career races, which included his heat win prior to this final. Dave and Jean Fahey prepared this son of Fabregas and Jinja Ruby to win all four of those races. He was bold when giving away racing experience to his rivals when he gamely chased home the pacemaker, only three quarters of a length behind.

The race favourite was the Rosemary Blackburn trained Danziger who was the only open class assessed finalist. He had to overcome early traffic problems from the tricky five trap which then saw this son of Gordon Bale and Fleur Du Llys finishing stoutly for his third placing 2.25 lengths further behind.

Timely Affair Timely Affair Timely Affair

Timely Affair dashing to his The Fitz Sports Bar Canterbury Futurity Sprint win; Trainer Jason Dunn, along with his daughter Brooke joined by Tony Music, Rosemary Blackburn and Chris Earl at the podium; Timely Affair flanked by the second placed Jinja Mongo and the third placed Danziger - pics supplied by Dave Robbie – drobbie91@gmail.com – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 12/02/2018 8:01:57 AM

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