Ring The Bell Storms to Silver Collar Victory

It was an absolute comprehensive staying performance that the grand stayer Ring The Bell delivered when he powerfully secured his second $88,000 Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar victory at the Manukau Stadium on Sunday.

Pictured: Ring The Bell following his second Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar win

It was a sustained staying performance that the Ray-Adcock-prepared greyhound produced over the demanding 779m endurance test, just six days after contesting the heat rounds on a rain-sodden track.

It was Trip to Eden who won the break from the five trap for his trainer Nyomi O’Regan and he was quickly joined by the stripe racing vest worn by Ring The Bell. Pushing forward around the outer from the eight trap was the Karen-Walsh-trained, race favourite Dusty Gambler.

Entering the home straight for the first occasion we saw Dusty Gambler and Tip To Eden jostle, which led to Dusty Gambler losing momentum. Ring The Bell then surged away with a lap of the track to complete, looking set to secure his second Silver Collar title at that point.

Dusty Gambler was having none of that and after balancing up he set off after Ring The Bell steadily closing at such a rate that he took over the race lead when heading down the back straight the second time.

Undeterred, Ring The Bell dug in deep when turning into the home straight and he eased away from Dusty Gambler over the concluding stages to become the first greyhound to win back-to-back Silver Collars, clocking a respectable 46.50s. It was entirely appropriate that Ring The Bell created Silver Collar history in the week that Prince Philip, who owned an English Derby winning greyhound, celebrated his 97th birthday.

Dusty Gambler was real gallant in finishing second 3.25 lengths behind, holding the fast-finishing, Hayley-Mullane-trained Cristiane Cyborg at bay by a length. Cristiane Cyborg had made her usual slow start from the one trap and then struck a degree of traffic problems when recovering. Ray Amer bred this daughter of Bekim Bale and Nina’s Girl (she won the 2011 Silver Collar) and the $1,000 Breeders’ bonus was picked up by Cristiane Cyborg owing to her being the first New Zealand bred stayer to finish.

Ring The Bell Dusty Gambler Cristiane Cyborg
Ring The Bell with (from left) handler Mark Smith, Graham Tapiki, owner Glenn Prask and Thayne Green; Karen Walsh with her Silver Collar runner up Dusty Gambler, while Hayley Mullane brought back to the podium her third-placed Cristiane Cyborg

“Ring The Bell is a super greyhound who thrives on his racing. He’s as strong as anything and I am so proud of what he achieved on Sunday. I did have a moment of concern when Dusty Gambler got past him, although I knew he had the stamina to run strongly through the line which ultimately won the race for him,” advised the rising 84-year-old Adcock.

“Disco (kennel name) is such a professional race dog who is an easy dog to handle around the kennels. Staying greyhounds are born, not made, and he had to be a true stayer to do what he did in the Silver Collar. To keep on doing what he’s doing at his age (4.7 years) speaks volumes about him. This win was a team effort as I couldn’t have achieved it without the help of the team at home,” added Adcock who was also grateful for the help he received from Thayne Green who tendered to Disco during his week in the north.

Adcock then advised that he planned just two more possible races for Ring The Bell. He will line up in the heats for the New Zealand Stayers Cup at the Addington Raceway on June 21 and then hopefully advances to defend that 732m Group 1 title (June 29) that he so impressively won last year. “That’ll be enough once he completed the NZ Stayers Cup series – Disco can enjoy his retirement after that.”

Enjoying the success for the second consecutive year was northern trainer Thayne Green who looked after Ring The Bell during this visit after he hosted his former Australian conditioner Gerry O’Keefe the previous year. “We didn’t have too much at all with him. Basically all we did was maintenance work with him. His weight stayed spot on during the week and really perked up after having a couple of hydro baths,” said Green, who has enjoyed previous Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar success having co-owned and trained Steiny Blue (1988) and Brydie Girl (1989) to Silver Collar when the Auckland club raced at the Claudelands Showgrounds in Hamilton.

The Manukau Stadium is quickly becoming a favoured track for the Australian owner Glenn Prask who is a member of Disco’s owing Four Frothy’s syndicate. He was again in attendance to witness his charge delivering his second Collar victory. “The race panned out really nicely for Disco. He’s a really smart dog where he positions himself in his races – a true professional. I always though his strength would greatly help him – he’s so strong. I guess when Dusty Gambler got a check, that helped us.

“I wish to thank all New Zealanders for their wonderful support for Disco. He has such a great following over here. Full credit has to go to Ray Adcock, plus Thayne Green, along with all of their staff and especially to Mark Smith, who handled Disco for all four of his Manukau wins.

“I haven’t met Ray Adcock yet and I hope to make it to Christchurch so I can. Ray’s an unbelievable guy – every time I speak to him he’s been the complete professional. He always puts his greyhounds first and that’s all we can ask,” stated Prask about his tough greyhound who will head into the NZ Stayers Cup series as the winner of $446,545, the result of 36 wins (27 minors) from his 89 career races.

Ring The Bell Ring The Bell Pete F
Ring The Bell was the guest of honour inside the Manukau Stadium during the post race celebrations – Disco is pictured here with his co-owner Glenn Prask; Glenn is shown here with the miniature Silver Collar that owners get to keep after being presented with it by Auckland Chairman John Roberts; the Auckland GRC continued with their Group 1 policy of presenting connections with specially inscribed Silver Collar collars and leads for all finalists – Peter Ferguson is pictured here receiving his for his finalist Tullabung Googar from John Roberts

Pawnote: Tivoli Tom also won two Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collars with the late Pat Patterson training him to victory in the 1992 and 1994 editions. A bout of kennel cough denied him the opportunity of contesting the 1993 Silver Collar. Tivoli Tom has also had another impact on the great race as a sire, being the Dad of Gotta Cruise (1997) and Bet On Bessie (1998), who Tom and Jill McGillivray owned and trained to their respective Silver Collar victories.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 12/06/2018 11:25:43 AM

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