Opawa Racing Prevails In Hatrick NZRS Final

It was the Opawa Racing team who received the major slice of the Breeders bonus dollars in what was an absolute grandstand finish to Friday’s running of the $8,500 NZRS Graduation final over 520m at the Hatrick Raceway.

Pictured: Friday’s Hatrick NZRS Graduation winner Punters Bolt with handler Danielle Waller (pic Wanganui GRC)


The field of handy intermediate graded New Zealand bred greyhounds was dominated by two breeders – Opawa Racing had five greyhounds they bred contesting this final, while Brendon and Lisa Cole bred the other three finalists who advanced from the previous Friday’s three 520m heats.


There were three Canterbury trained greyhounds in the field and they drew the inside three traps. They were all prominent during the early rush with the Dave and Jean Fahey trained pair of Opawa Slick (1) and Opawa Cutie (3) displaying pace while Punters Bolt (2) was with them for her trainer Robin Wales.


Pushing up to join them on their outer was one of the favoured contenders the quickest heat winner Big Time Harley (5) for Lisa Cole. However, he copped a check when rounding the first turn which effectively ended his stake earning claims.    


Opawa Slick led them down the back straight with Punters Bolt boldly chasing after him, while the two Marcie Flipp trained runners Our Tyson and Go Glow were leading the balance of the field.


Opawa Slick led into the home straight, hotly pursued by Punters Bolt and this pair charged to the finish locked together. It was Punters Bolt (Barcia Bale – Albie Punter) who snatched victory in the very final bound over a gallant Opawa Slick (Fernando Bale – Opawa Jay Jay) by the barest possible margin. She completed her assignment in 30.27s. The result provided the Opawa Racing team with the thick end of the Breeders’ bonus dollars attached to this race.


Big Time Anton (Banjo Boy – Chai Latte) extended strongly during the run home for Lisa Cole arriving another 2.75 lengths behind for his third placing, while his kennelmate and litter sister Big Time Odette was another length back in fourth. It was to be two races later when Lisa Cole brought up the kennels 600th training win for the current season when Big Time Elsa took out the man open class 520m event.


“I didn’t think she got up,” indicated Wales. “Obviously I’m rapt she did. It’s nice to pick up Breeders’ bonus money up there. It was also a great result for the boys who raced Albie Punter and who are now racing her progeny.” He is referring to the owning Little Brown Jug Syndicate and Opawa Racing.


They formed their racing partnership from the Little Brown Jug bar in Christchurch with Albie Punter (Fabregas – Opawa Peekay) turning into a handy greyhound for them, winning 16 races ($39,569). She then onto whelp a litter of eight puppies with Punters Bolt, who raced in the Group 1 NZ St Leger final, leading the way with her seven wins and minor placings and $16,498 in stakes (excluding Breeders’ bonus payments) from the 24 races she has contested so far. 



Friday’s NZRS Graduation runner up Opawa Slick (left) and third-placed Big Time Anton along with the race winners Punters Bolt mum Albie Punter seen here with Opawa Racing’s Robin Wales


By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 10 March 2020

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