Like Makybe Diva, dead heat could be rare sight

WHEN the great thoroughbred mare Makybe Diva won her third Melbourne Cup in 2005, her trainer Lee Freedman made a profound statement.

"Go and find the smallest child on this racecourse because that will be the only person who lives long enough to see something like this again,'' Freedman declared.

Those same words could have been used by greyhound trainer Tony Brett at the Ipswich Showgrounds last Saturday night.

The group 2 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden final will go down in the annals as one of the all-time great spectacles. And it will be remembered for what is a unique training performance.

There was a dead heat result and it was between two Tony Brett trained runners.

Dead heats have happened before in group races but by the same trainer?

Available records suggest Brett's performance is a first.

The $39.70 longshot Split Image speared out of box four to lead clearly at the first turn of the 520 metres event.

The $2.70 favourite Paua to Avoid was about to position herself in third spot when she received a slight check and lost a length or two.

She quickly recovered to set after the kennelmate.

Coming to the home turn Paua to Avoid went for an inside run which, if available, would have seen her win for sure. But the gap wasn't there and she hooked around the leader.

She quickly regained momentum and finished powerfully to level up with Split Image right on the line.

Brett also had the Len Antonio owned Thirty Talks in the race.

From box one, he was slowly away and never a hope, finishing sixth.

"A dead heat in such a big race, it's an amazing feeling. I've been walking on air ever since,'' Brett said.

"I feel proud that George Kairouz with Split Image and Steve White with Paua to Avoid entrusted such good quality youngsters to me.

"I had the pair for nine or 10 weeks. It's a big job to get them ready for that series which runs over three weeks. George flew up from Sydney for the race and it was his first group winner.''

Paua to Avoid has returned to Victoria to Steve White.

George Kairouz has asked Brett to continue training Split Image.

"I guess it will be a fair while before a trainer has a dead heat with two of his dogs in a group race,'' Brett suggested.

That's for sure. Just ask Lee Freedman.


Memorable deadlocks

THE most memorable dead heat in a group race in greyhound racing in Australia would have to be the 1993 Top Gun at Sandown in Melbourne.

It was the first running of the Top Gun, an invitational race.

The weather was appalling and the track an absolute bog.

There was an amazing similarity between that race and last Saturday's Vince Curry. But not in the weather, it was a fine, balmy night at Ipswich.

In that 1993 Top Gun, Golden Currency led, wearing the box four blue rug as did Ipswich leader Split Image.

Golden Currency was being pursued by Worth Backing who went for a run on the inside near the home turn, as did Paua to Avoid at Ipswich.

And like Ipswich, the gap closed.

Worth Backing switched around the leader then finished powerfully down the outside to level up for a dead heat. Which is what Paua to Avoid did last Saturday.


Decent rewards

FIRST prize in the Vince Curry was $48,125 and second was $13,750.

With the dead heat, each winner split the combined total of $61,875 which amounted to $30,937.50 each.

Less Tony Brett's percentage, most of the prizemoney went interstate.

The third placegetter, Zabdon Ferrari, is owned and trained by Barry Kitchener at Laidley.

He picked up $6875, a more than decent reward for running third.


Consider this: Girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they drink like their fathers.

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