Group 1 Winning Spree Continues for Ange Turnwald

“Diddilee has adapted unbelievably well to the Addington track,” commented Paul Freeman about the greyhound who provided his Foxton based training partner Angela Turnwald with her third straight Group 1 training victory after he stylishly won last Thursday’s $30,000 Active Electrical NZ St Leger final at the elite level over 520m.

Pictured: Diddilee striding to his NZ St Leger win at Addington on Thursday (pic Dave Robbie)

Freeman’s comment came when Diddilee made it three consecutive 520m race wins at the Christchurch headquarters. He easily won his track debut outing when he secured his 30.09s feature 520m win on New Zealand Cup night. He then recorded 30.37s when winning his NZ St Leger heat and he then completed his hat trick of Addington wins when clocking 30.19s in his Thursday Group 1 victory.

It was the Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Opawa Viking who displayed early pace when he won the break from the 520m traps and he held a reasonable lead heading into the first turn. Pursuing him at that point was the northern Jared Udy and Denise Cottam trained Kiwi Gal, while Diddilee, who was racing in the blue vest, was sitting on her outer.

Diddilee motored into a clear second while racing down the back straight and he boldly set off after the freewheeling pacemaker. It remained that way until the run home, where Diddilee slipped underneath Opawa Viking to kick clear to secure his biggest career victory by a length margin.

Opawa Viking, who is son of Fabregas and Token Kay, gamely held for his second placing and in doing so he secured the Breeders’ bonus payment for his owners and breeders’ the Opawa Racing team that is paid to the first New Zealand bred greyhound to finish in this Group 1 event.

The Fahey’s had qualified four finalists and it was Von Strass who extended strongly during the run home to claim the third pacing a further four lengths behind his kennelmate Opawa Viking. Surging into fourth was another Foxton trained runner Idol Dude for Marcie Flipp. He was contesting his third straight Group 1 final.

Diddilee Opawa Viking Von Strass
NZ St Leger winner Diddilee is pictured here with Paul Freeman and representatives from the J Dogs portion of the owning syndicate; handler Katie Wylie with runner up Opawa Viking, while the newly married Anthony Tregurtha brought back the third placed Von Strass to the podium

“It’s always a great thrill to win a Group 1 race. From where I was standing I wasn’t sure if he got up to win it, until Marcie (Flipp) said to me, ‘well done you’ve won it’. What impresses me about Diddilee is the track sense that he displays – he’s a thinker as we saw when he ducked underneath the pacemaker in both his heat and now in the final.

“He’s racing at Palmy on Monday (race 4, meeting 9) where hopefully he records a decent 457m time for the Golden Chase (check out the City of Palmerston North Golden Chase leader board on this web site). From there he’ll head into the Auckland Cup heats (February 24).

Also occupying places in Turnwald’s kennels are two other litter mates to Diddilee. His Barcia Bale and Heat The Plate sisters Waitohi and Hot Platter are also competitive greyhounds. Diddilee is raced by the Brady, Patrickson, Szybiak & J Dogs syndicate. There were two members of the J Dogs owing portion who was on course at Addington to savior the victory. The J Dogs component are part of the Wellington based Johnsonville Club members who race greyhounds.

Kevin Brady is also a member of the The Bookie & Us syndicate who race Diddilee’s sisters, plus also the three time Group 1 winner Nature’s Gent from the Turnwald kennels. Incidentally the connections of Nature’s Gent declined their invitation to be considered for field selection in the A$140,000 The Temlee Invitation which will be raced on Melbourne’s The Meadows track this coming Saturday. They are aiming their charge towards the forthcoming Auckland Cup series.

Waitohi Hot Platter
Diddilee’s competitive kennelmates Waitohi (left) and Hot Platter

Diddilee has now contested 32 races, winning 13 of them. He has placed on a further five occasions which sees his career stakes tally now sitting at $52,515, a total that he’s likely to quickly extend judging by the great track sense he displays.

Freeman also firmly added when responding to a tongue in cheek suggestion that he may as well leave Diddilee in the Garden City with his father Barry owing to the tidy Addington race record he’s compiling, “There’s no way that Angela would contemplate leaving him down here – he’s Angela’s pride and joy – actually all of her greyhounds are.”

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 11/02/2019 10:26:59 AM

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