Intriguing Hatrick Group 1 Classic Field

There’s a fair amount of intrigue surrounding the field who will contest Friday’s running of the $30,000 Kernow Construction Classic at Group 1 level at the Hatrick Raceway. Four compelling 520m heats contested last Friday sees a competitive looking field being assembled.


Pictured: There will be plenty of local vocal support the Kernow Construction Classic heat winner Bigtime Bruno on Friday – he is owned by employees of the race sponsor – he’s seen here with a couple of them following his heat win, along with handler Hayley Mullane – pic Ivan Howe, Wanganui GRC   


Lisa Cole prepared three of the heat winners and her on fire kennels will be represented by four runners in this decider. It was Bigtime Bruno ($7 & $2.15 – TAB Final Field Win & Top 3) who clocked the quickest of the heat times via his solid 30.11s gallop. The roar went up from the grandstand when Bruno pushed up onto the early pace when rounding the first turn. He then held strongly to claim his heat victory. Expect a similar roar from his owning Buckwild syndicate if he’s sighted anywhere near the pace in this final while wearing the blue racing vest.


“He is a strong dog and once he got into clear air and was left alone rounding the first turn it was always going to be hard for the others to run him down. It will depend on where he is going into the first turn on Friday – if he’s anywhere near them early, then yes he can win it,” advised Brendon Cole who added, “If he wins it, then expect to see the boys to jumping out of the stand.”


Big Time Ocean ($10 & $2.60) secures the draw advantage here thanks to her one trap allocation. She raced on the pace when claiming her 30.26s heat win and this pintsized 24.3kg chaser must adopt similar racing tactics here. She has a big heart as was seen when she finished a gallant runner up in last month’s Spion Rose Cup also at Group 1 level.


“Ocean needs to lead them out and put a brake on them and she’s a chance if she does so. She’s only wee little girl who is still getting stronger. She can mix it up at this level as we saw in the Spion Rose final. She is spot-on for the final,” confirmed Cole.


Bigtime Rod ($4 & $1.45) has also previously tasted racing at Group 1 level, being the runner up in last season’s New Zealand Futurity. He stalked the pace making Hey Fernando around the final turn, then finished strongly along the rail to nail his 30.14s heat win. He has drawn to replicate that effort from his handy two trap draw here.


“Rod’s draw is perfect for him as it gives him some options. He can take an early sit-in behind Ocean and then possibly come of her back or he can jump straight onto the pace and kick away strongly. Either way, he is a leading chance in the final,” suggested Cole.


The Cole kennel representation is completed by Bigtime Tank ($23 & $4) who is required to exit from the eight trap. This bloke continues to dig in deep in his 520m assignments and that factor was evident in the solid manner when he finished stoutly for his two-length heat second behind Big Time Ocean.


“Tank always gives it everything he owns and then some. He isn’t a brilliant dog – more tradesman like. His draw has made it a lot tougher for him. All of our runners pulled up great from their heats and are ready for Friday,” confirmed Cole.


The question on most people’s lips is – can the classy Dyna Dave ($4.20 & $1.55)finally secure his deserved Group 1 victory? The Craig Roberts trained chaser was absolutely massive in the potent way that he nailed his 30.37s heat win. He was in a clear last position when heading into the first turn. From there he used his track sense as was seen when he extricated from a tricky position when completing the final turn. From there he found placed himself into clear racing air which saw his strength allowing to prevail at the business end.


He has to contend with the tricky five trap to race from here as he lines up in his seventh Group 1 final. This winner of 37 races and $245,876 in stake earnings has finished in the runner ups possie in four of those elite finals, including in last year’s edition of this race.


“Yes, on sheer raw ability Dave can win it. It all comes down to what type of run he receives from his lousy draw (five). He was also kneecapped on the home turn, stumbling for a stride. Hatrick certainly isn’t his favourite track, so I’m going back up there without any expectations. In saying that Dave is ready for another big one (race) on Friday,” said Roberts.



The other three Kernow Construction Classic heat winners were (from left): Big Time Ocean with her handler Mark Goodier; Bigtime Rod was brought back by Wendy Kite; while Leaha Washington handled Dyna Dave - pics Ivan Howe, Wanganui GRC  


The Roberts kennels also provides both reserves. Oster Bale ($6.50 & $2.05) had to overcome first turn traffic problems prior to finishing solidly for his close up heat third placing behind Bigtime Rod. He has proven to be competitive at Hatrick before and his stake earning claims cannot be lightly dismissed if he gains a race start from the first possie on the reserves bench in this event. If he doesn’t then take a look at him in the race 7 C4/5 520m event.


We mentioned that Dyna Dave was huge in the manner that he landed his heat win. His kennelmate Uthor Bale ($5.50 & $1.85)was just as impressive when he delivered his 3.75 length third to Big Time Ocean. Put it this way, he was absolutely poleaxed when racing into the first turn, lucky to stay on his paws. He flicked on the turbochargers when he fairly rocketed home for his heat placing.


Spring Falcon ($2.80 & $1.28)was another heat contender who was sighted doing his best work at the business end of his heat for his conditioners Dave and Jean Fahey when he finished solidly for his 4.75 length heat second to Bigtime Bruno. Strength at the business end of his races is this fella’s biggest asset and again it’s likely to be where he is positioned when entering the back straight that will define his finishing position. He fairly flew home late when he landed his December Spion Rose Cup third placing.


“It’s a case of where he settles and then what type of run he gets around the first turn. His draw could have been worse as the closer to the rail he draws the better suited he is. He races alright up there and he’s come through his heat in good shape,” advised Dave Fahey about their charge who will race from trap three on Friday.  


Hey Fernando ($16 & $3.50) is returning to contest another Group 1 final for his conditioners Gary and Sandra Fredrickson after their charge also contested the Spion Rose Cup. He set up the pace in his heat and he only yielded during the run home when he was caught by a neck margin by Bigtime Rod. He must utilize those same pace making tactics from his seven trap draw here.


“We’re really happy with his draw as I believe it gives him options providing he jumps onto the pace. We would like to see him get a good sit going into the first turn and if others jam up inside him, then yes, he can slip clear. He is a competitive race dog and we couldn’t be happier with him – in fact he was bouncing off the walls following his heat. It’s brilliant he has made another Group 1 final,” added Gary Fredrickson. 


Completing the drawn field is the Angela Turnwald prepared Silent Dismissal ($14 & $3.40) who totally belied his lack of racing experience when he was sighted finishing boldly to claim his 2.25 length heat second to Dyna Dave. He was having just his seventh race day outing and that illustrates what an exciting future that this currently C2 graded chaser has ahead of him.


Turnwald mentored the now-retired Nature’s Gent to victory in last season’s Hatrick Classic. The bulk of the same connections has committed to race Silent Dismissal, therefore, they’re hoping to witness a repeat victory in this final.  


“We were very happy with his heat effort and Angela says he’s come through that in great shape. He’s racing for luck from that trap (six), especially as he doesn’t have the race experience others have – he has to work it out for himself. There aren’t many greyhounds who line up in a Group 1 race in just their eighth race start,” suggested Paul Freeman.


Kernow Construction Classic finalists includes (from left): Spring Falcon; Hey Fernando; Bigtime Tank


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 23 January 2020

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