IPSWICH FIRST: Atkinson Dam-based trainer Geoff Uhrhane and his family enjoy winning their first Vince Curry Memorial Maiden final at the Ipswich Showgrounds.
IPSWICH FIRST: Atkinson Dam-based trainer Geoff Uhrhane and his family enjoy winning their first Vince Curry Memorial Maiden final at the Ipswich Showgrounds. Rick O'Donnell/www.justgreyhoundphotos.com

Young trainer's new fast track

FORMER motorsport pilot Geoff Uhrhane said adrenalin is the main similarity between driving race cars and watching his greyhounds dash around the track.

He experienced that sensation by winning his first British Formula Ford race at Silverstone in 2011. It was a memorable debut for the Queenslander.

Uhrhane went on to win four more races at elite level, including 36 podium finishes after also impressing in the 2010 Australian Formula Ford series.

These days, Uhrhane focuses on another form of speed - training greyhounds at his Atkinson Dam complex.

An emotional trainer and his team were rewarded when Heidi Benz held on to win the annual Vince Curry Memorial Maiden final at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

Connections collected $50,000 for the Group 2 victory, after the greyhound that's nearly two years old beat favourite Crazy Sexy, with Unaffordable third.

"We just had a bit of a drink afterwards and a little bit of a quiet celebration,'' Uhrhane, 23, said.

Although describing Heidi Benz as "very honest'', the trainer held his breath until she crossed the line first, jumping from box three.

"She was a chance. We were confident but not overly confident,'' he said.

The final also opened up after last week's forced scratching of earlier race favourite Pop the Cork.

However, after a "terrible'' week for the greyhound industry, the young trainer was hoping to see other people enjoy greyhound racing for the right reasons.

"Hopefully they (authorities) can clean it up properly and it will be better,'' Uhrhane said.

Growing up on the Gold Coast, Uhrhane has been living in the Atkinson Dam area for two years.

The regular visitor to Ipswich has 18 dogs in work.

The up and coming trainer has two 40 acre blocks on his property, one of which is used by Racing Queensland for its Greyhound Adoption program.

Saturday night's win was Uhrhane's first final triumph at Ipswich after successes at Capalaba and Lismore.

"I like to race in Ipswich. I like racing anywhere,'' he said, dreaming of one day winning Australia's biggest greyhound race, the Melbourne Cup.

Final honours

2015 Group 2 Vince Curry final run at Ipswich Showgrounds: 1st Heidi Benz (box three), trainer Geoffrey Uhrhane. 2nd: Crazy Sexy (box one), Tony Brett. 3rd: Unaffordable (box four), Adam Hines.



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