Classy NZRS Distance Victory

She was classy, very classy. That was the best description about the strong pace making Thursday NZRS Distance win that Classy Witch delivered at the Addington Raceway last Thursday evening. It was game, set and match for the Gary Cleeve bred and trained stayer when she seized the early race lead in the 732m feature.

Pictured: Classy Witch cruising to her Thursday NZRS Distance victory – pic Dave Robbie


Yes, Classy Witch was challenged by her kennel mate Know Equal during the middle stages of her endurance test, however that challenge was short-lived as Classy Witch asserted her strength to come away for her easy 43.71s feature win by a comfortable five-length margin.


Goldstar Sydney was the only other C2D graded stayer in the field of Kiwi bred stayers. Her class shone through when, after racing in the midfield, this daughter Know Peace and Noble Fantasy extended stylishly to claim the runners up prize for her conditioners Steve and Bonnie Evans.


Go Belle actually won the break from the  732m traps for her trainer Robin Wales, however this daughter of Dyna Lachlan and Opawa Andrea wasn’t able to muster the initial early pace and she maintained a midfield position until the run home when she was sighted finishing stoutly at the business end. She wound up 1.5 lengths behind Goldstar Sydney in a creditable third placing.


Classy Witch has been a competitive stayer for a long time for Cleeve and his partner Gaylene Turnwald. It was the second NZRS Distance win claimed by her after last season’s Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar finalist (779m) won the Hatrick hosted 755m version of this $12,000 race back in December. She also won a $7,340 NZRS Novice final over 545m at Forbury Park during the early stages of her career.


It comes as no surprise that this daughter of Know Class and Know Which is a proficient stayer as both of her parents were successful strong staying greyhounds during their respective stellular racing careers.


Classy Witch has now attended the races on 82 occasions, winning 15 of them. She has placed in another 23 outings with her career staking earnings now sitting at $48,854 (excluding the generous amount of dollars she has won from Breeders’ bonus payments).


She is seeking more Breeders’ bonuses as she will contest Tuesday’s Otago GRC hosted 545m NZRS Graduation heats (race 8). Forbury Park is a venue that she has raced very generously at in the past therefore her current race fitness can see her advancing through to the $8,500 final in two week’s time.



Gary Cleeve and Classy Witch was joined by GRNZ Director David Emerson (left), plus Christchurch GRC Board members Tony Hart and Cory Steele for the race presentation; runner up Goldstar Sydney and third-placed Go Belle


Strong Addington Support Races


As usual, during a Christchurch GRC hosted Group 1 meeting there was an array of strong undercard support races contested through the evening. Here’s a pictorial round-up of those competitive events.



The meeting opened with the Ashley Bradshaw trained Country Gent winning his C4 295m sprint in 17.45s – he’s pictured here with his handler and co-owner Pete Seque; the open class 295m sprinters were next up which saw the Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Archie John Hill prevailing in 17.31 – he was brought back to the podium by his handler Mark Lin; Jason Dunn produced his 295m sprinter Forehand Raid to claim his C4 295m win in 17.29s



The first 520m race during the evening was stylishly taken out by the promising youngster Goldstar Mauney when he out finished his rivals to claim his C3/4 win in 30.36s for his trainers Steve and Bonnie Evans; Our Dazzel potentially booked himself a trip north to the Manukau stadium later this month to contest the Group 1 Railway Sprint 318m heats for his trainer Robin Wales when he delivered the meet best 295m 17.15s time; Pearls Are Us has recently returned from spell and this Gary Cleeve trained NZ Oaks contender sizzled through her open class 520m assignment in a slick 520m meet best 29.96s time



This season’s Group 1 295m Galaxy Sprint finalist Culvie Ness returned 17.22s when annexing her C4 295m sprint win – she’s pictured here with her trainers Tony Hart and Kirsty Taylor; Von Strass led home a Dave and Jean Fahey trained first four result in the C1/2D 645m staying event, clocking 37.77s; Hilton Forabet has been a consistent Addington 295m sprinter for a long time - she claimed her tenth Addington win when she won her open class 295m sprint in 17.28s for her trainer Bruce Dann; wrapping up the evening’s racing was the Allan Joyce trained Jinja Dylan who took out his C4 295m dash in 17.37s


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 11 February 2020

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