Best sprinters clash in bid to make elite Ipswich final
THE short course specialists get their chance to impress on Saturday night trying to race into the Ipswich Sprint Final.
The Ipswich Sprint Final will compliment next Thursday's Ipswich Gold Cup.
The three heats over 431 metres have some of Queensland's quickest dogs.
Heat One features Brian Baker's One Mumma.
One Mumma is searching for a hat-trick of wins after victory in the Best 8 over 395 at Albion and a 25.11 win over the 431 metres on Tuesday's card.
Heat Two has the likely series favourite Hammer Down, for Tony Brett, jump from box four, the same draw.
He ran a scintillating 24.69 in just his second race start.
Hammer Down has been racing over the 520 metres at Albion but his first two sectionals have still been electric.
He looks like the perfect candidate for a race of this distance.
Heat Three is headlined by Darren Russell's 288 metre track record holder Major Rose, who will have to use all of her early speed to cross the field from the pink.
The first two dogs plus the fastest two thirds will progress to the final five days later.
Gold Cup hopefuls
LAST Saturday's card served as an appetiser for what is to come in the Group Three Ipswich Cup heats and final. Several dogs and trainers improved claims for the total prize money pool over $113,000, which will be handed out on Thursday.
The marquee race on the card was the Ipswich Gold Cup Prelude. Queensland National Sprint representative Silver Stunner left her mark for trainer Travis Elson, displaying her customary finish to wear down Joanne Price's Crazy Bella in second, ahead of Tony Brett's Charming Chaos, who recently won two straight 431m events at the track in quick time.
Silver Stunner is known as a backmarker. When she landed third on the first turn from box seven, she was always going to be hard to beat, clocking an impressive 30.40 run.
Elson prefers the chaser drawn closer to the rail and with limited experience at Ipswich look for her to only improve if she draws well going forward.
PARK Ridge trainer Tom Tzouvelis was encouraged by a double on the night from Cosmic Rumble/Miss Lauryn brothers Kravitz and Cooper Dooper.
Despite not running in the official prelude, the greyhounds were ultra-impressive.
Known for having his dogs peak on the big stage, Tzouvelis had given both two-year-old' a bevvy of starts over the 431 sprint and the 520-metre cup distance in the build-up to the event. Both looked right at home on Saturday night.
Kravitz caused a boilover in race five upstaging Col Harris Gold Sovereign winner Bago Bluff and $1.35 race favourite Smooth Act to win in a handy 30.58.
Jumping from box two, Kravitz was able to drive through using plenty of the track on the first corner signalling he would be more than comfortable from an outside draw in the heats and final.
After Silver Stunner ran 30.40 in the prelude it looked like that would be the benchmark of the night. But just one race later, Cooper Dooper upstaged Silver Stunner and his brother running away an eight-length winner in a sizzling 30.31.
Known for his early speed the chaser put the result to bed early, punching up from box one to find the front but it was his run home and overall time a massive personal best that left an impression on his competition.
Cooper Dooper and Kravitz are a lock for a Gold Cup campaign along with veteran sprinter Brandi Alexander who is a five-time winner at the track and trip.
PARK Ridge trainer Greg Stella's promising two-year-old Certification returned at Tuesday's meeting, eating up the 431 metres on his first visit to Ipswich after a 52-day spell.
Certification first turned heads winning the Dave Brett Memorial over 520 metres at Albion Park and also excelled up the straight at Capalaba.
Jumping from box seven in race five, the dog was impressive avoiding trouble from the wide alley and opening up late to finish just outside the 25 second barrier in 25.02.
With his ability to adapt and win at multiple tracks Certification is a name to watch out for in the coming weeks over the 431 trips as Stella looks to build him back up towards his pet distance.
In a successful day for Stella, he took out the Grade Five Final with $1.45 shot Regal Opal too good for a handy young field including Greg Brennan's Colbar Boy and Darren Russell's Bemused.
Regal Opal came into the final off a 13-length romp in her heat. Stella is expecting further improvement for the lightly raced sprinter.
IPSWICH Greyhound Racing Club manager Merv Page took some time out of his busy schedule to watch Miss Milky Bar win her sixth race for him as a trainer.
Track record threat
TRAINER Brian Stephens has hand `picked the 288-metre sprint as the ideal starting point for talented pup Mia Beryl May who made it two from two over the track and trip running a scintillating 16.79 over the distance.
Stephens trains out of Rileys Hill south of Ballina in Northern NSW, but still made the three-hour drive to the November 1 meet to see his pup go close to the track record.
The run was clearly the standout of the meet going .49 quicker than the higher graded Class Three/Four experienced greyhounds.
Mia Beryl May exploded out of box one en route to a four- and three-quarter length victory the well-bred Magic Sprite/Kingsbrae Missy pup looks set to continue to impress over the sprint trip, with a step up to the 431 metres imminent.