Caption: Off and running down the straight track at Capalaba in Brisbane. Club boss John Catton said the lure placement along the middle of the Capalaba track should not be an issue for interstate challengers in the upcoming National Straight Track Championship in August. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)
By TERRY WILSON
CAPALABA president John Catton has challenged sceptical interstate trainers to have a go and bring the best to the bayside Brisbane track for the National Straight Track Championship on August 15.
As the countdown begins for the first staging of the national final in Queensland, there have been rumblings from interstate that some trainers are set to give the event a miss.
And the reason is all about where the lure runs at Capalaba – down the middle of the track rather than have it go down the inside of the running rail on a pulley.
Some of the critics say the fact that the Capalaba lure goes down the track at ground level hands an unfair advantage to the Queenslanders.
This year is a historic one for Capalaba in that this time four tracks will be represented in the no-turn scamper over 366 metres.
Capalaba and Healesville were the only two states represented in the last national final at Healesville (Victoria) in 2019 when Queensland rep Certification (Greg Stella) ran second behind Victorian Peter Galo.
Since then both Murray Bridge (South Australia) and Richmond (New South Wales) have installed straight tracks so this means that two runners from each venue will qualify for the Capalaba final.
The burning issue is whether or not a middle-of-the-track lure is better than a lure along the inside rail.
Catton has a strong view that the former method is best.
“Those who are against it, it’s their opinion, but we believe the dogs chase harder when the lure’s along the ground,” said Catton.
“That’s the strength of it, that’s their natural instinct.
“Those people are saying they can’t beat us on our own track but it’s probably the same at Healesville.
“Queensland went down there and competed and one of them (Certification) finished second to Peter Galo
“Yes, it’s true to say that Capalaba has a home- track advantage but the (interstate) dogs can come up here and have a trial beforehand so they get the chance to show their best.”
Catton said it is a bit one-eyed for people to use the lure placement as an issue to bypass a race such as the National Straight Track Championship.
“After all, a good dog up the straight is a good dog up the straight, it hones in on all their chasing instincts, in our opinion,” Catton said.
The classic is a Listed event this year, a status that should be confirmed as Group 3 next year when it is held at Richmond. First money is $25,000.
And beyond that Catton expects a fifth straight track, one to be built in Western Australia, to come into play.
Capalaba also hosted the Straight Of Origin series late last month with runners from Queensland and New South Wales clashing for interstate honours leading into the Albion Park State Of Origin night.