It’s A Bale Charge On Colin’s Race

Colin Keen was long time respected regional and national administrator for the greyhound code while based in the Otago region. His name lives on through the annual running of the Colin Keen Memorial with the $16,000 Group 2 545m event being contested at Forbury Park during the Otago GRC’s New Years’ Eve meeting. Two 545m heats, held two weeks ago decided the final field. Both heats were comprehensively won by a pair of greyhounds trained by Canterbury conditioner Craig Roberts.

Pictured: Oster Bale delivering his easy Colin Keen Memorial heat win (pic Dave Robbie)


Oster Bale was impressive in the strong manner he won his heat when stopping the clock in 32.78s when making it two 545m wins from as many races at this venue. He controlled the pace throughout when delivering his heat win and he demands obvious respect in this decider. In saying that he must position himself up handy to the early pace from his trap seven draw.


His kennelmate Uthor Bale was absolutely massive in his heat when he came from a clear last possie when going into the first turn to clear out for his effortless 33.15s heat win. It certainly was an impressive effort from him and he is a likely improver following that after his top track debut effort. He will be sighted wearing the white racing vest in this event.


Roberts’ son Dan qualified his Dunedin Cup winner Egomaniacal for this final. He has previously performed with credit on this track as seen in the solid manner he was sighted chasing home Oster Bale in his heat when finishing up 4.5 lengths behind him. He will be loaded away into the six trap here.


Gary Cleeve will return south with two finalists, plus his kennel also provides both reserves. Know Refusal finished stoutly for his 3.5 length heat third behind Uthor Bale. He then contested Tuesday’ $12,000 NZRS Advance final at Ascot Park where he pressed on during the run home for his close up 457m third placing. He has compiled sound Forbury Park track form, however this Group 2 winner (NZ Sires Stakes) must make a better start from trap two here.


Know State found herself jammed up in early traffic and never saw clear racing air when she also contested Tuesday’s NZRS Advanced 457m Ascot Park feature event. She kicked on boldly when she delivered her 6.2 length heat fourth to Oster Bale. She doesn’t mind the wider draws; therefore she can feature from her eight trap draw and she’s another contender who is likely to be sighted finishing boldly here.


Making moderate starts, which has led to traffic impeded racing passages, certainly hasn’t aided the recent stake earning claims held by the first reserve Know Shame. She was held in traffic during Tuesday’s NZRS Advanced final which followed a similar outing in her heat, resulting in her fifth placing. She is a capable chaser around this circuit, although she must make a better start if she’s required here.


The second reserve Know Betrayal was shuffled back to the rear group when heading into the first turn during his heat. He does own sound 545m track stats, however again tardy starting habits hasn’t been helping him at this level of racing.   


Spring Falcon surprisingly didn’t kick on as strongly as he normally does at the business end of his heat when making his track debut when finishing a 4.7 length third to Oster Bale. Forget that and go with the powerful finishing effort that this Dave and Jean Fahey prepared chaser produced for his prior Group 1 520m third placing (Spion Rose Cup final). He was making his track debut appearance in his heat his claims have been enhanced after being allocated the ace trap to hop away from here.


Opawa May was the victim of an impeded racing during her Tuesday Ascot Park NZRS Advanced final 457m outing. She controlled the pace throughout when she gamely held on for her prior Addington 30.51s C4/5 520m win after having been run down by Uthor Bale in her heat when after setting the early pace she chased him home 2.25 lengths behind him. She will be loaded away into trap four here for her trainer Robin Wales.


Ray Adcock applies the finishing touches to Double Speed. He has the ability to contest the pace and he has no option to do so from his five trap draw. He contested the early pace in his heat, then he battled a tad during the run home when finishing 5.75 lengths astern of Uthor Bale. He then raced just behind the pace when he finished a 1.3 length fourth in the Southland hosted NZRS Advanced final.



Leaha Washington brought make Colin Keen Memorial heat winner to the podium, while her mum Ange did likewise after the strong heat win that kennelmate Uthor Bale delivered – pics Dave Robbie


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 30 December 2019

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