Cranbourne officials hope Blaze returns

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By David Brasch

Group 3 Cranbourne Classic (520m)

Whelped on or after 1-3-2018.

Heats August 14. Final August 22.

$25,000 to the winner.

CLUB officials are hopeful track record holder It\’s A Blaze will target the up-coming Group 3 Cranbourne Classic.

The son of Fernando Bale-It\’s A Fling burst onto the racing scene back in June when winning a heat and final of a Maiden series at Cranbourne.

But he hit the national spotlight when he smashed the track record in the final running 29.54 for the 520m scoring by 10 lengths for the Kel Greenough kennel and owner Greg Sprod.

At his only start since, It\’s A Blaze headed to Wentworth Park for a heat of the Group 1 Vic Peters only to run into Tommy Shelby at a scorching 29.44 best.

He finished fifth.

Cranbourne CEO Amanda Frey said it was hopeful the Greenough kennel would return with It\’s A Blaze for the Classic series.

The Classic has been won by some outstanding race dogs in recent years including Weblec Ace in 2019 and the extra smart Slingshot Hammer and Zara\’s Entity before that.

\”The club is lucky that it attracts a very good response to the Classic and it has been won by some outstanding greyhounds,\” said Amanda.

Classic final night will be a highlight for Cranbourne according to Frey.

\”We always make the presentation of our club greyhound of the year and trainer of the year on the night of the Classic final,\” said Amanda. \”This year they are Why Not Bazza and Donna Dean.\”

But the club will also honour the late Karen Leek who recently died under tragic circumstances.

Cranbourne will run a 520m Karen Leek Memorial for 5th-6th-7th grade greyhounds, but restrict the race to dogs trained by women trainers only.

Amanda Frey has been at Cranbourne for six years.

\”I joined the club as assistant to Tony Wright who left just three months later,\” she said.

\”Tony Mitchell took over, but he then went to GRV to conduct a project there and eventually resigned to stay with GRV.

\”I filled in as acting CEO while Tony was away.

\”When the club went looking for a new boss, I applied and was lucky enough to get the job.\”

Amanda came to Cranbourne with greyhound racing credentials.

\”My dad trained dogs in the 1970s, but I had also been in a successful syndicate that raced a nice dog called Big Wolt.\”

She has since retained an interest in two bitches one of which has been bred with Out Of Range and they are now preparing education stage.

Amanda admits Cranbourne has had to cope like every other race club during the Covid 19 problem.

\”Our restaurant has been shut, but the club and participants are all on the same side making sure racing continues,\” she said.

\”Everyone has been fantastic, trainers and staff.

\”They know to keep greyhound racing going they need to be.\”

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