Fahey’s Provide Half of NZ St Leger Field

The powerful Dave and Jean Fahey kennels provides half of the drawn field for Thursday’s $30,000 Active Electrical Christchurch NZ St Leger final. That follows four 520m heats held last week at the Addington Raceway for the newly promoted Group 1 race. It is a busy week of chasing action at the Addington Raceway with four meetings being held.

Pictured: Max Dancer who produced the quickest of the NZ St Leger heat times (pic Dave Robbie)

The race for the $1,000 Breeders’ bonus for the for first Kiwi greyhound to finish in this Group 1 final will be keenly contested as half of the listed ten greyhounds here are New Zealand bred chasers.

Max Dancer hopped into her heat from off the reserves bench and she went onto to clock 30.13s which was easily to quickest of the heat times. Her winning claims in the decider then soared further after she was allocated the one trap to leap away from for the decider. “She has the draw, so I guess it’s over to her use it. Her heat effort was tops and hopefully she can repeat that time,” said Dave Fahey.

Von Strass is a promising greyhound and she confirmed that promise in the manner that she gamely stuck to her task to claim her 30.37s heat win. She boldly chased after the freewheeling pacemaker, mastering him heading into the final turn and she scooted clear for her 2.25 length heat win. She does own a handy 29.94s field best winning 520m time, however she must break quickly from her tricky five trap draw here. “I expect her to improve on her heat time. She hasn’t drawn the best so the run into the first turn is important. I did expect a stronger run home sectional by her in her heat. She’s all set to go,” added Fahey.

Manooka was real bold when he resumed from an eleven week spell to gamely lead the chase after the pace setting Max Dancer. He kicked on stoutly when he wound up 6.75 lengths behind his kennelmate. He is expected to have derived benefit from his outing and he certainly adds interest to this final from the eight trap. “He surprised me with his heat run. I reckon he will be improved after that. I’m not sure about his draw, although it should work out okay for him,” advised Fahey.

Opawa Viking attempted to pinch an all the way heat win when secured the early race lead from the three trap. He was gathered in during the run home when he was claimed by 1.5 lengths by Double Speed. His placing was his fourth consecutive runner up placing and he will be sighted wearing the white racing vest again on Thursday. “He must get straight onto the early pace – that’s the key part of the race for him. Yes, I was pleased with his heat run,” suggested Fahey.

The Fahey’s also provide the second reserve with Gem. It was a bold effort that this C2 graded chaser produced when she was sighted finishing solidly from an early rear group position for her 4.25 length heat third behind Double Speed.

Von Strass Opawa Viking Manooka
The other three Dave and Jean Fahey NZ St Leger finalists (from left); Von Strass seen here wining her heat; heat second place getters Opawa Viking and Manooka – pics Dave Robbie

As mentioned the Ray Adcock prepared Double Speed prevailed in his heat, when, after stalking the pace setting Opawa Viking, he extended stylishly during the run home to secure his heat win in 30.28s which was a personal best 520m time for him. He achieved his heat win from trap six and he is required to carry the green racing vest again for this assignment.

“He’s as good this week as what he was last week. He got underway okay then, so hopefully he does the same from the same trap on Thursday. His heat was the quickest to the back mark and that can see him being up there he can repeat that effort,” advised Adcock.

The Angela Turnwald prepared Diddilee boldly earned his place in this final by chasing after the northerner Kiwi Gal from where he railed underneath her to nail his 30.37s heat win. It was just his second visit to the Christchurch headquarters having previously won his track debut 520m race in a handy 30.09s during the New Zealand Cup meeting.

“We felt that was a big improvement on his previous efforts by him in his heat. Hopefully there’s a bit more improvement in him. I guess it’ll all come down to the start and the run into the first turn. All’s well with him – he’s looking forward to another road trip,” confirmed Paul Freeman.

Kiwi Gal was bold, real bold when she set up the pace in her heat for her northern trainers Jared Udy and Denise Cottam. She produced the quickest first sectional when she reached the first mark in 5.89s. It is a tactic that she must repeat in the decider when she exits from the two trap here. She does tend to race out in the middle of the track as we saw in her heat when Diddilee cut underneath her which resulted in her 1.5 length heat second to him.

“The key to her chances is her first sectional. We know she can place herself right up there early and she must do that. Her draw isn’t the best for her however we have to work with what we’ve got – at the end of the day it’s up to her. She’s pulled up find – she can through her “warrant of fitness” check over yesterday (Monday) great. One thing in her favour is that’s she’s a seasoned open class dog,” said Jaren Udy, who added, “Win, lose or draw we’ll enjoy a beer afterwards.”

Foxton conditioner Marcie Flipp has trained her chaser Idol Dude to make his third Group 1 final within two months. That alone is a great achievement as he was seen finishing resolutely when got to within a 2.25 length margin of Von Strass. He isn’t likely to object about being required to hop away from trap seven on Thursday His two visits to this track has yielded him with two minor placings.

“It was when he was running third down the back straight when I thought ‘gee he can qualify’ and was I rapt when he got himself into second. There’s seems to be quite a bit of early pace down on the inside, so I’m happy enough for him to be drawn out where he is. He is all set for Thursdays,” said Flipp who correctly added, “It’s good to see the New Zealand bred Restricted Age greyhounds muscling up.”

Double Speed Diddilee Kiwi Gal Idol Dude
Double Speed (left) and Diddilee delivering their respective NZ St Leger heat wins and they’ll be joined by Kiwi Gal and Idol Dude in the decider - pics supplied by Dave Robbie – drobbie91@gmail.com – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos

Craig Roberts provides the final’s first reserve with Lacko Allen. He settled in behind the heat pace being set by Kiwi Gala and Diddilee from where he pressed on stoutly to claim his 2.5 length heat third behind Diddilee. This C3 graded chaser has earned a stake in all five of his previous 520m races (three wins) here with his quickest being a 30.09s gallop.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 5/02/2019 3:18:39 PM

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