There’s feature greyhound racing at two Queensland venues this Tuesday.
Ipswich in the twilight timeslot will stage the final of the $10,000 to the winner Racing Queensland Young Guns over 520 metres.
That programme will be followed by five heats of the Lounds Fresh Seafood Townsville Cup over 498 metres in the evening.
At Ipswich, the Reg Hazelgrove trained Wise Forecast (pictured) will be the favourite to take out her second Ipswich Young Guns after drawing box one.
Hazelgrove’s success this year at Ipswich and Albion Park has been a feature of racing at both tracks. The Park Ridge based trainer also has Seek Shelter and Whirlwind Dexter in the Ipswich event, drawing boxes three and six respectively.
When Wise Forecast won the Ipswich Young Guns held in May this year, Hazelgrove declared that the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Whirly Storm was not only the fastest greyhound in his kennel but possibly the best he has ever trained.
Her career started in this year’s Vince Curry Memorial Maiden series at Ipswich. After being the fastest heat winner on the opening night with a time of 30.80, Wise Forecast got bowled out of the series when unplaced in a semi final. But in the subsequent six months, she has taken her prizemoney tally to just a few dollars short of $40,000, racing at Albion Park, Ipswich and Capalaba.
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This is the third year that the Townsville Cup has been a group three event. In 2010, Ron Ball ventured north from his base near Ipswich to take the Cup with Mr. Metz. Last year another high profile visiting trainer took it out – Tony Brett with Velocity Regina.
Brett doesn’t have any starters this year. But Ball is back for another tilt, his four pronged attack being regular Albion Park winners Cakes and Pies, Cool Trick, Rando’s Rocket and Tough As.
Geoff Allen is heading north with Albion Park free for all performer Hanson Senor who has drawn box one in his heat.
Top Victorian trainer Graeme Bate has one runner – Leeroy Rocker in heat two, drawn box seven. Bate contested last year’s Townsville Cup with Shereen Bale who won a heat before finishing fifth in the final to Velocity Regina.
In the ‘’Best Eight’’ over the Cup distance of 498 metres last Tuesday in Townsville, locally trained Here’s To You stormed home to another impressive victory. That made it six wins in a row in Townsville for the former Brisbane trained dog, now with Brad Belford.
Here’s To You won the group 3 Darwin Cup final three weeks ago.
‘’I won the last Townsville Cup which wasn’t a group race. That was in 2009 with Ryan’s a Rocket,’’ Belford said.
‘’I had two finalists in 2010, they ran fourth and last. I didn’t get one through to last year’s final.’’
‘’Here’s To You is going really good but it’s tough when you’re up against the likes of Ron Ball.’’
‘’Here’s To You was originally sent to Noel Vohland here in Townsville by owner Ken Crawford. But Noel was getting out of training and asked me if I’d like to take the dog.’’
With five heats of the Townsville Cup, it will be a case of all winners plus the three fastest second placegetters making it through to the $25,000 to the winner final on Tuesday night, August 28.
Story by Paul Dolan, photo by Rick O’Donnell.