Dogwatch: Ipswich Grand Prix needs full support
THE Ipswich greyhound track stages one race per year over the genuine staying distance of 732 metres.
If the club had its way there would be races over that distance at every meeting. But there isn't, and has never been, many more than a handful of long distance performers in work at any time in south-east Queensland.
Albion Park attracts southern stayers to its three feature 710 metres races of the year and races over that distance are rare at other times there.
The Ipswich Grand Prix, known last year as the Winter Cup, will be run over 732 metres tomorrow week.
It's for $10,400 in prizemoney.
Hopefully, there will be sufficient nominations for the race to go ahead because it's a terrific spectacle over that long distance.
Albion Park is just coming off its Winter Chase, Gold Cup and Superstayers events.
Dzeko, trained in northern New South Wales by Sam Dart, was a star at Albion Park and would be a major attraction if she goes to Ipswich.
Australia's best stayer, Victorian trained Sweet It Is, was to have raced at Albion Park last night. But following her recent win in New Zealand's richest race, Sweet It Is returned a positive sample which revealed the presence of caffeine in her system.
She was scratched from Albion Park last night as owner-trainer Braden Finn awaits an inquiry into the New Zealand drama.
I spoke with Finn on Monday and he was looking forward to racing Sweet It Is in Brisbane. He didn't say she would have gone on to the Ipswich Grand Prix but it wasn't totally out of the question.
Unfortunately, it is now.
The Christina Harman trained Wag Tail won the Ipswich Winter Cup last year.
Biggest win in 30 years
GREYHOUND racing has received plenty of adverse publicity over the past few months. The road to recovery is slow but every bit of positive news does help.
Col Graham is a trainer based in the Northern Rivers, of NSW.
He recently won the Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park, a feature event worth $25,000 to the winner.
"It's the biggest race I've won in 30 years of training,'' Graham said.
"I was really rapt when a reporter from our local newspaper, the Northern Star, phoned and they came out and did a story on the win.
"Also, NBN Channel 9, our main local television station, called and wanted to do a story as well. I took the dog and the trophy into the town of Kyogle where a nice story was put together for the local news.''
Graham added that a particularly pleasing part of winning the Flying Amy was the sportsmanship shown by other trainers in the race.
"Tony Brett couldn't have been more pleased for me, even though his dog which Len Antonio owns ran second to mine. Peter Ruetschi offered congratulations too, in fact, every trainer in the race was just great. I really appreciated that,'' Graham said.
Beaten by 10 good horses
MY tip for horse racing's Ipswich Cup last week, Shotover River, finished 11th. So there's been no improvement to my dismal tipping record in that race.
I can offer but one excuse for Shotover River's performance - it took 10 good horses to beat him.
THIRTY races have been run at the Ipswich Showgrounds over the past seven days.
Lowood's Peter Ruetschi continued his recent juggernaut with another four winners.
Tom Tzouvelis, from Ormeau, and Toowoomba's Col Byers enjoyed winning trebles.
Comeback trainer Kevin Ellis, from Brisbane, had a double as did Dean Turley from Casino.
With fit, in-form greyhounds which love the Ipswich track, following the aforementioned trainers should continue to be a recipe for success.
Consider this: When we leave a store without buying anything, why do we think "act natural, I'm innocent?''