Who Will Wear the Duke’s Silver Collar on Sunday?

Who Will Wear the Duke’s Silver Collar on Sunday?


Sunday’s prestigious Duke Of Silver Edinburgh Silver Collar at the Manukau Stadium will be raced for a record $100,000 and deservedly so. This is the 49th running off Australasia’s longest greyhound race which is contested over the demanding 779m journey. Two heats held last Sunday finalized Sunday’s line up.


Pictured: The priceless Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar – which stayer will briefly wear the silver collar after the great race on Sunday afternoon?


Dyna Weslyn $1.65 & $1.15 (TAB Final Field) was sublime in the manner that she delivered her track debut 46.36s heat win. She controlled the pace throughout and the Craig Roberts trained recent Addington 732m track record breaker is poised to do likewise on Sunday despite her poor five trap draw. This girl can burn at both ends of her staying races – a quick first sectional, while producing a strong run home final sectional.      


“Weslyn pulled up fantastic from her heat and she’s quite full of herself. I reckon there’s further improvement in her after having her first race day look at the Auckland track. I don’t think her draw is a concern as the dogs drawn either side of her aren’t fast box dogs. She’s all set to go on Sunday,” confirmed Roberts.


Victorian trainer Gerry O’Keefe trained the classy stayer Ring The Bell (who will parade the field to the 779m traps on Sunday) to the first of his two Silver Collar victories. He will line up two stayers on Sunday. Vandagambo $3.50 & $1.25 caught the eye in the solid manner he finished for his four length heat second to Dyna Weslyn while Billy’s Bake $9 & $2 set up the pace prior to being run down half a length by Bigtime Chloe.


“My boys are terrific – they pulled up an absolute treat. I’m eyeing up the generous portion of the stake that New Zealand allocates to the minor place getters. If I can get a podium finish I’ll be rapt. I can see Vandagambo settling back along the rail from his draw (trap one) and then finish strongly, while I expect Billy’s Bake to contest the early pace.


“Both of them are hardened and ready to go after a steady diet of Angle Park 731m races,” advised O’Keefe, about the pair of stayers who are part owned and were bred by Melbourne greyhound commentator James Van de Maat, who is making the trip across the Tasman to attend the final. 


Perhaps the forgotten stayer in this final is Rippin’ Sam $8.50 & $1.80. The Angela Turnwald prepared stayer endured a traffic impeded heat racing passage when he was on track debut. You only need to go back one race for a better guide to his stake claim here. It was at the Manawatu Raceway where this proven Australian Group 1 winning stayer dug in real deep to nail his 720m win.


“Drawing out in trap eight is likely to help him – hopefully he’ll get clear early air out there, unlike what happened to him in his heat. I think back to his Palmerston (North) 720m race when he looped right around the outside of the field (to win). You wouldn’t even know that he raced over 779m on Sunday,” commented the trainers partner Paul Freeman who also added similar comments about the other luckless kennel runner Ebby Ripper $8.50 & $1.80 who is Sunday’s first reserve. “You can say the same about her – she never received any racing room whatsoever. Both of them pulled up fine,” added Freeman.




Sunday Duke Of Silver Edinburgh Silver Collar finalists (from left): Dyna Weslyn; Vandagambo; Billy’s Bake; Rippin’ Sam & first reserve Ebby Ripper


The elation was there for all to see at the Manukau podium last Sunday when trainer Mark Goodier brought his $76.90 upset winner Bigtime Chloe $26 & 3.20 back to receive her red ribbon. She completed her heat assignment in 47.04s when sighted finishing stoutly along the rail. A repeat of the effort can see her featuring in the stakes payout in this event, while she is also one of three New Zealand bred stayers contesting this final.


“I’m still coming down from the high after Chloe’s heat win. I was in total disbelief when she won. She’s a tough greyhound who will run all day. She was bouncing around on Monday and I’m really looking forward to the occasion, as are her other owners who will be up there on Sunday. She’s a one pacer and she will maintain that pace all day long. We’ll stick to her normal weekly routine,” he stated about the first greyhound he’ll line up in a Group 1 final – what a race to do it in!


Qualifying his stayer Shooters Hill $26 & $3.80 for the big dance is a dream come true for the youngest trainer represented in the rich final. Sam Lozell wasn’t even born when his recently deceased grandfather Max Mathews trained Cutie’s Sister to victory in the 1995 edition of the Silver Collar.


Shooters Hill is a massive sized dog in terms of stayers, weighing in at a hefty 38kgs. He’s a known tardy starter who fairly charged home late to grab his heat third placing. “This is a dream come true for me to have a Silver Collar finalist – I’m blown away. He was pretty much last all the way, then he powered home. He’s so big that it takes him most of the race to wind up. It’s a tough race, he has pulled up great and it’s really awesome to be in it, especially for poppa,” explained an emotional Lozell.


Canterbury trainer Gary Cleeve provides the other two Kiwi bred finalists and Classy Witch $31 & $4 must be afforded a place chance after her sound heat third when she whacked away solidly during the run home behind Dyna Weslyn. Kennelmate Know Anxiety $26 & $3.80, hasn’t won a staying race of any description and that factor won’t change on Sunday. She was sighted fairly rocketing home late for her heat fourth placing.


“I feel my best stake chance is Classy Witch who hopefully can bounce away and take a sit behind Dyna Weslyn. I thought Know Anxiety was brave in the way she muscled up and then strongly finish off her effort. They have both pulled up great and hey I’ll be happy with a minor stake in that field,” advised Cleeve.      


The second reserve is the Matt Roberts prepared Cawbourne Taylor $15 & $3 who plugged her way into her fifth placing after she also suffered from a hindered racing passage. She is a Group 1 winner in her right having won the Wanganui Distance over the 755m trip.




Sunday Duke Of Silver Edinburgh Silver Collar finalists (from left): Bigtime Chloe; Shooters Hill; Classy Witch; Know Anxiety & second reserve Cawbourne Taylor


By Peter Fenemor 



Posted on 8/06/2019 10:36:26 AM

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