Tony Hart’s team primed for Invercargill on Monday

Victoria Lu is a winning hope in Monday’s Group 2 Far South Challenge. Photo credit: Dave Robbie.


Tony Hart is a busy man. Across his Rakaia and Dunsandel training bases, he trains 68 greyhounds.

And he’s going into Monday’s feature meeting at Ascot Park armed with a number of winning chances, following a spectacular day at the track last Sunday.

Hart picked up four wins on the programme last week, including victories in both heats of the Group 2 Far South Challenge.

Victoria Lu won the first heat off Box 8 in 26.13, where she demonstrated her excellent early pace to lead throughout.  The daughter of Fabregas and Tee Time has come up with Box 6 in Monday’s $20,000 final, and despite the tricky draw, Hart still rates her a big chance.

“She’s come through last week really well. We’re really happy with her and are expecting a big run from her,” said Hart.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the draw, but she came from Box 8 last Sunday and went really good, and she can probably overcome Box 6 with her early speed.”

Hart’s other charge in the final is Charlotte Lu, who won her heat in 26.12, nearly an identical time to her littermate, Victoria Lu. Charlotte Lu, who finished fourth in last month’s Group 1 New Zealand Galaxy Sprint, began well in her heat off Box 3. She then quickly accelerated to take over, and managed to hold off the fast-finishing It’s A Blaze.

She will jump from Box 7 in the final.

“I thought Victoria Lu could lead her out, but it just depends on what sort of run she gets. If Charlotte Lu can ping out and land in front of her sister, it will be game on.

“But there’s obviously a lot of speed inside them too, with Rock On John and Money Spinner – and It’s A Blaze should get clear air out in Box 8, and he’s the one we’re worried about.”

Later in the day, Hart also has four runners in the $15,000 Sprint Feature Final in Made The Cut (Box 3), Violet Lu (Box 5), Tucker (Box 6) and Penalty Drop (Box 7), of which he considers Violet Lu as his best hope in the race.

“She ran okay the other day – she just couldn’t cross Penalty Drop. But she’s got Box 5 this week and Penalty Drop is in Box 7, so it will be a different story with the box draws.

“So Violet Lu is probably our best chance in the race, although I was really impressed with Penalty Drop last week. Our only concern with Made The Cut is her last 40 to 50 metres.”

By Liz Whelan

Posted on 16 December 2021

< Back