Quality Racing In All Three Regions

A blanket finish saw three greyhounds dip under the Manawatu Raceway 660m track record on Monday during the Dave and Jean Fahey dominated Nancy Cobain heats. Craig Roberts mentored both winners in Tuesday’s Colin Keen Memorial 545m heat at Forbury Park, while on Sunday strong wins were delivered in the Auckland hosted Founders Day feature events. 


Pictured: The new Manawatu 660m track record holder Mighty Muscle seen here after his strong 38.26s win with handler Mark Lin – pic Sue, Palmerston North GRC


Nancy Cobain 660m heats (Monday)


It was total domination from the Canterbury-based Dave and Jean Fahey kennels when stayers prepared by them stylishly won all three of the Group 2 Nancy Cobain heats over the 660m distance. Obviously, they hold strong claims on the $16,000 stake on offer for next Monday’s final.


Leading the Fahey charge was Mighty Muscle who, in the third heat, lowered the recently set Manawatu Raceway 660m track record when he stopped the clock in 38.26s. It was a keenly contested finish with Mighty Muscle outstaying his rivals when snatching his three quarter length heat win.


It was the Angela Turnwald prepared series favourite Emgrand Park who he cut back while the winners kennel mate Max Dancer provided the Fahey kennels with their fourth finalist who was a length further behind in third place.


Earlier Tradition produced a sustained finish when he galloped to his 38.53s heat win. Kamada Park kicked on stoutly for his length second for Turnwald and he cut back the Lisa Cole trained pacemaker Djay Dynamix back to third by three-quarters of a length.


Gem was the victor in the second heat when she hauled back the freewheeling Hot Platter, also from the Turnwald kennels, by the barest possible margin, when clocking 38.49s for her assignment. Making the final a two-kennel looking challenge was Opawa June as she’ll occupy the first possie on the reserves bench for Turnwald when she finished a further 3.75 lengths behind. Opawa June started the race as the 38.41s 660m track record holder – a record she was to lose in the following heat.



The other Nancy Cobain 660m Monday heat winners were Tradition (left), seen here with handler Ross Mathers, while Mark Lin brought back the stayer Gem who he bred and races following her heat win (pics Sue, Palmerston North GRC) 


Colin Keen Memorial Heats (Tuesday)


Canterbury conditioner Craig Roberts applied the finishing touches to both of the Colin Keen Memorial 545m heat winners on a wet Tuesday Forbury Park track, although he would have been mortified with the failure of his kennel star Dyna Dave not advancing through to the Group 2 final after he became tangled up in first turn traffic.


Oster Bale delivered an emphatic statement when he dictated the pace to his heat rivals when he cruised to his 32.78s heat win, outpacing his rivals by a handy 4.5 length margin. Gamely leading the chase home behind him was Egomaniacal who is prepared by Roberts’ son Dan.


There was neck further back to the Dave and Jean trained race favourite Spring Falcon who whacked away during the run home as did the fourth-placed Know State for Gary Cleeve who was another 1.5 lengths astern. Her kennel mate Know Shame will occupy the reserves bench for the New Year’s Eve run final.


It was a completely opposite performance that the exciting chaser Uthor Bale produced to strongly win the second heat. He was a clear last when heading into the first turn, from where he received a saloon rails racing passage to improve his field position when heading down the back straight. Uthor Bale then punched around the outside of the pacemakers and cleared out to nail his 2.25 length win, clocking 33.15s.


Opawa May led the field into the first turn for her trainer Robin Wales. She was pressured by the Ray Adcock prepared Double Speed when racing down the back straight. She gamely stuck to her task and Opawa May was rewarded with a place in the final via her second placing.


Know Refusal provides Cleeve with a second finalist when he produced his known strong finish to claim third, another 1.25 lengths behind, while Double Speed kicked on soundly a further 2.25 lengths behind for his fourth placing. It’s an all “Crafty” trained reserves bench for the final as Know Betrayal overcame first turn jostling to claim the heat fifth placing.



The Craig Roberts trained Colin Keen Memorial heat winners Oster Bale, handled by Leaha Washington, while her mum Ange brought back the other heat winner Uthor Bale – pics Dave Robbie   


Founders Day Cup (Sunday)


Delivering a strong finish saw the Glennis Farrell prepared Opawa Magic proving to be too strong when she out finished her rivals to claim her 30.86s feature Sunday $5,000 Founders Day Cup win over 527m at the Manukau Stadium.


Opawa Magic hopped away in the midfield with the early pace being applied by the Sean Codlin trained Opawa Viking. The warm Peter Ferguson trained race favourite Sakichi was slow from the traps, then he was impeded when racing into the first turn.


Kiwi Gal chased after Opawa Viking down the back straight for her trainers Jared Udy and Denise Cottam with Opawa Magic also ranging up into contention at that point. She proved too strong at the business end getting up to win this feature event by a length margin for her owing Opawa Racing team.


Kiwi Gal gamely stuck to her task for her second placing, while Sakichi finished strongly for his third another 1.5 lengths behind and in doing so cut back Opawa Viking to fourth by half a length.


It was just ten races ago when the talented sprinter Carbon Tiger won his Maiden race. On Sunday afternoon he stylishly stepped up to open class sprinting, resulting in his impressive 18.45s 318m win in the feature Founder’s Day Trophy dash. It was also back to back training successes for his conditioners Wayne and Tracey Steele after they mentored Jinja Mongo to victory in this feature sprint last year.


Carbon Tiger was always in control of the pace when he led his litter brother Buddy Boom home by a 1.25 length margin. The recent Group race performing sprinter was solid in holding down second for his trainers Jared Udy and Denise Cottam, while three lengths further back saw Does He Exist (Rob Roper) and Miss Claude (Udy & Cottam) being declared as dead heaters for the third placing.



Handler Johnny Cleaver with Sunday’s Founders Day Cup winner Opawa Magic, while co-trainer Tracey Steele is pictured with the Founders Day Trophy winner Carbon Tiger`      


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 19 December 2019

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