Caption: Trainer Paul Gregory with Hannah Pearce and Wellington Blaze
Tasmanian news with Brennan Ryan
Devonport’s two latest feature winners, Rojo Diamond and Mini’s Magic, rounded off the end to the autumn chasing carnival with popular wins in the Country Derby and Country Oaks Finals staged at Launceston on June.
Rojo Diamond completed a rare feature race double, giving an outstanding career-best effort to land the Carlton Draught Devonport Country Derby Final over 515 metres.
Already the winner of the Tasmanian Breeders Classic in Devonport last December, the Robin Grubb-trained son of Fabregas and Sing The Song, signed off his puppy career in the best possible style by lifting the $5,360 prize at the Ladbrokes Racing Centre circuit with a superb performance in a cracking race.
Rojo Diamond’s form of 2021 has carried into this year by landing the first NWGRC feature after the track was closed back in March, giving connections their second success in the event following Silver Drone in 2017.
Beginning fairly at the start, Rojo Diamond was soon out-paced by Nail ‘Em Fencer, which led into the first turn.
However, Rojo Diamond showed his determination gaining a rails run to secure a challenging position as they headed down the back straight looking to overtake the race leader running towards the top corner.
Rojo Diamond passed his rivals coming around the home corner and raced on for victory, coming away to score by one and half lengths in 29.93s from Saint Zac with Nail ‘Em Fencer running on strongly in third, securing yet another big feature race success for breeder/trainer Robin Grubb’s portfolio.
“A brilliant effort, Rojo Diamond continues to prove he’s a very talented dog,” Grubb said.
“His efforts in the final were great. I thought he felt the run coming out of the heats last week and would improve with a good hit-out under his belt.
“Launceston is certainly not his track though, it’s by far the toughest and he’s proved his value. He’s much more a U-turn chaser and he has such a great will to win.”
Victory in the Devonport Country Derby Final brought up Rojo Diamond’s 13th career win along with five minors from 24 starts with the litter bringing up their 15th win with over $59,520 in prizemoney (at the time of writing).
Rising towards three-years of age later on this December, connections aren’t getting to carried away with making plans for upcoming races, though the Group 1 Ladbrokes Hobart Thousand is certainly in their sights.
Well-bred local chaser Mini’s Magic scored the biggest win of her promising career by taking out the $8,180 Great Northern Super Crisp Devonport Country Oaks Final (515m) in Launceston.
Coming from off the pace, the daughter of Sh Avatar and Social Sally was headed early by the fast-starting Buckle Up Aria, before racing into a position and mounted a winning challenge down the back straight.
Mini’s Magic began taking ground off the leader, coming home late in the shadows of the post to score by a neck on the line in 29.83s, beating Buckle Up Aria with Buckle Up Avery 5-1/4 lengths away in third.
“It was a fantastic result. Mini’s Magic deserved to accomplish a big feature race,” trainer Gary Fahey stated.
“She’s always had lots of ability early. The litter has been going well without being brilliant. Certainly Mini’s Magic is the one going well in the kennel at present and she has plenty of guts and is an honest little race dog.”
Mini’s Magic has now won eight races from 20 starts with 4 minor placings and her prizemoney earnings move to $23,530.
Ending the week on a memorable high for connections, litter mates April Cruiser and Turbo Inferno produced a great winning double in Hobart on Thursday night, bringing up over 40 wins for their home-bred progeny.
Gary along with his brother Greg Fahey combined to win their second Country Oaks following Jouster in 2017.
With the Sires On Ice Tasmanian Oaks coming up in just over a fortnight’s time, the Tasmanian Hall Of Fame trainer Gary Fahey says Mini’s Magic will return to Launceston, contesting the event with heats on 20 June.
Gary applauded the assistance of his daughter Carol Martin and her handling of the runners. He hopes that she will eventually take over the role of trainer at their Mangalore-based breeding/training establishment.
“Carol has been around the dogs since she was five. She does a great job helping my wife Bev and myself in travelling to the races. I have got ambitions that she would soon take out her own training licence,” he said.
“My health hasn’t been too good lately and having Carol, Bev and Jordan Young helping is a real benefit.”
Local greyhound racing participant Hannah Pearce celebrated her first success in the sport as Wellington Blaze produced a thrilling performance in taking out the Tasmanian Breeders Classic Final (461m) at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart on June 20.
Hannah shares the weekly preparation of Wellington Blaze, assisting trainers Katrina and Paul Gregory, who are based at Brighton. The result was the promising young sprinter claiming the $7,120 feature.
Trainer Katrina Gregory says Hannah has the patience and ability to be a quality trainer.
“I couldn’t be more pleased for Hannah to be involved with experiencing such a big thrill with Wellington Blaze winning the breeders final,” she said.
“She is such a lovely young girl who has come from a good background in greyhounds with her pop (John Pearce) being a trainer. He would have been very proud.
“Once she’s old enough, Hannah will take out her own trainer’s licence and I can’t wait for the time to happen.”
Wellington Blaze was one of several offspring from the Mepunga Blazer-Fiery Woman litter making their race debuts in the Tasmanian Breeders Classic Series, finishing second on debut behind Rojo Henry.
“Wellington Blaze is still very soft. He will take some time to really harden up. The major advantage is his box manners, which are good for a young pup. With experience and more racing under his belt I think he will be a very nice dog for Hannah and her family,” Katrina said.
Hannah races both Wellington Blaze and Slower Than Pop with her mum Jess Swifte and Rodney Walker.