DASHING EFFORT: Waikerie Warrior strides to victory in last Saturday night’s auction series race at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
DASHING EFFORT: Waikerie Warrior strides to victory in last Saturday night’s auction series race at the Ipswich Showgrounds. RICK ODONNELL

Quality runners looming large as series heats up

THE men have been sorted from the boys. And the women from the girls for that matter too.

Seven heats of the Rosewood and District Community Bank sponsored Magical Auction series were run at the Ipswich Showgrounds last Saturday night.

There were 45 runners of which 32 progress to tomorrow night's semi finals.

Five of the heats featured the favourite winning.

The two favourites which didn't salute were With a Gee, who finished third, and Sivamet (fifth). But they are among the top 32 to move to the next stage.

Time honours went to War Picture, trained by Mark Wilkes at Casino in northern NSW.

The son of College Causeway and Sheeza Picture ran 30.63 from box eight. He has box seven tomorrow night and shows a distinct liking for a wide draw.

Majestic Jester, for Craig Campbell, won in 30.74 from box two. He goes to box four tomorrow night.

Brian Baker, from the Northern Rivers, won heats with Waikerie Warrior in 30.95 and Waikerie Magic in 31.16.

It wouldn't surprise to see the pair run quicker tomorrow night with the benefit of the experience at Ipswich. Neither had raced at the track previously.

Tony Brett's Whata Nice Size just scrambled home in 31.06 from box seven. He might go quicker tomorrow night from box one.

Just like the way Bart Cummings has trained his horses to the minute for the Melbourne Cup, the astute Brett will have Whata Nice Size at his peak for the Magical Auction final.

From tomorrow night's semi finals, first and second move to the grand final on Easter Saturday night, worth $38,150 to the winner.

Tomorrow night's meeting commences at 5.53pm.

The Magic Auction semi finals are the quadrella legs, races five to eight.


Embargo lifted

FOLLOWING the Four Corners illegal training revelations last month, Racing Queensland confiscated greyhounds from properties of people deemed to be involved.

For a few weeks those greyhounds couldn't be transferred to other owners or trainers. Now, RQ has lifted that embargo.

Affected greyhounds included Pop the Cork, the exciting youngster owned by Paddy Twohig in Melbourne.

Pop the Cork was trained by Reg Kay at the time the drama unfolded and was withdrawn by RQ from the Vince Curry final at Ipswich.

Pop The Cork was an odds on favourite to win that race following brilliant wins in his heat and semi final.

Twohig has now transferred the dog to Peter Ruetschi.

Racing Queensland has issued a return to racing policy where all greyhounds which were seized from offending trainers must perform three satisfactory field trials before stewards before they can race again.

Pop the Cork is on the comeback trail. Last Sunday at Albion Park he easily won a four dog trial before stewards, running a slick 22.49 for 395 metres.

The track record is Mr. Babbici's 22.30.

"It was his first look at Albion Park and the track was a bit off following some rain,'' Ruetschi said.

"There were decent dogs in the trial too. Pop The Cork is a superstar, the best dog I've ever put a collar on.''

Ruetschi will follow the return to race procedure with two further trials for Pop the Cork, leading into the heats of the group 2 Queensland Derby at Albion Park on April 16 and 23.


Confusing changes

LIFE is easier when things are consistent.

Race dates are no exception. If you want to go to a greyhound meeting at the Ipswich Showgrounds, they're on Tuesday twilight, Friday twilight and Saturday night every week.

In recent months, Capalaba has had its dates chopped and changed for various reasons. It created a lot of confusion among owners, trainers and punters. Now some sensibility has happened with the club being granted every Saturday afternoon for the next three months. There is one exception, with no race meeting on May 23.

Actually, it's not one hundred percent correct to say that Ipswich race every Friday. Next week is Good Friday, with no racing.


Consider this...

THE severity of the itch is proportionate to the ability to reach it.

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