South Australian News By KURT DONSBERG
WITH Aston Rupee starting the overwhelming favourite, everyone thought they were running for second in the recent Adelaide Cup, but the owners of Do It gave their boy some chance.
Do it jumped safely behind Mr Fix It – who gained a start after Keep It Black was scratched. The littermates set up a race-winning lead down the back after Aston Rupee found trouble. Off the top turn Do It went around the heels of Mr Fix It and had plenty left in the tank charging away for a commanding win by lengths with Mr Fix It holding down second, local star Jack’s Well running third and Aston Rupee rattling home for a luckless fourth.
“His run in the heat was great, he loves to get to the rail so box one really helped him, but I thought all of our chances were in the hands of Aston Rupee – if he crossed the field early we were all fighting for a place. When we hit the lead down the back I couldn’t see anything coming out of the pack to get us,” said co-owner Jarrod Sharp.
“I’ve had dogs since I was about 16, I’ve always owned them. I’ve been mates with Jeff (Britton) for more than 30 years, and we’ve been a bit lucky along the way. We won the 2004 Derby with Pacific Sky, but Simon’s other owner is all new to the dogs”
The other co-owner Jarrod speaks of is Glen Mollison. Glen works with Jarrod as a forklift driver.
“Do It is Glen’s first ever greyhound. He absolutely loves the dog and to get a Group 1 with his first ever greyhound is amazing,” said Sharp.
“He definitely wants to get another dog now!”
Other feature races on Adelaide Cup night were the Cup Consolation, the Premier’s Cup and the Country Cup in front of a 1700-strong crowd, the biggest in recent memory.
Ray Borda wasn’t quite able to get the big Cup on the night but Aston Cade was successful in the Cup Consolation. With Mr Fix It elevated to the ‘big dance’ the field was reduced to five and Aston Cade was the absolute bolter at 15-1 but won like an odds-on pop. Trainer Matthew Payne, being a parochial Port Power supporter, was more than happy to cheer home his boy in the glorious yellow and black five rug.
Lashes Monelli continued her outstanding run of form since arriving in SA in the Premiers Cup. With no Fantastic Radley or Bedrock Fred in the field, Lashes Monelli started odds-on favourite with kennelmate Run Like Jess second elect…..and that’s exactly how it panned out. Sir Truculent was always at the rear of the field and the trademark run home we’ve come to love never materialised.
The remaining feature final, the Country Cup, was won by He’s All Purpose for Meningie trainer Tim Richards. After qualifying via the Mount Gambier heats the 20-month-old chaser showed enough speed from the seven box to get over and be right on the shoulder of early leader It’s Smudgy. Down the back the two fought it out with It’s Smudgy the first to hit empty on the gauge. He’s All Purpose held on for a gutsy win with Barbados Express coming from the clouds in the last 50 metres to be denied by a length.
Half Missing by name……and by nature.
The 2019 white and black son of Diablo Prince x Peruzzi won his recent maiden at his second start, but it’s amazing he ever made the racetrack at all.
After his first start Nicole Price told me Prince’s story and we were going to write something then but thought we should wait until he wins – and October 16 was his day.
Bred by Yvonne Maxwell, ‘Prince’ was bought by Nicole and Linton Price when he was about four months old. At around 14 months, just before he was ready to be broken in, the Prices noticed a change in their boy.
“He was just really quiet,” said Nicole. “We took him to the vet not expecting anything major. They couldn’t initially diagnose an issue so they did some x-rays and saw something didn’t look right.
“They opened him up and they just panicked. Half of his intestine was black – it was just dead! They rang mid-operation, it was that urgent, and said if we don’t try something now he’s going to die.
“It was very ‘real time’ and we weren’t sure what to do. We weren’t concerned about him racing, but more if we operated to save his life, what quality of life would he have if he survived. Would he be able to eat? Would he be able to toilet?
“We went ahead with the operation. The vets removed half his intestine – hence the name Half Missing. All of his other organs were fine but with only half an intestine the vets were concerned his food might not have enough time to be processed to get all the nutrients he needed to put on weight and be healthy.
“He was in the vets for a week after the surgery and only on fluids. When he came home to us he was on two hourly feeds – just a spoonful at a time. It was a lot of work but we wanted to do it and get ‘Prince’ as healthy as he could be. We gradually increased it and he started to come good.”
Fast forward to now.
“He eats like a normal dog. I do soak his food before he eats and I do cook his meat but otherwise he’s like any other dog.”
And as for his win?
“Even if he never won a race, we just love him but for him to win was such a reward – for all of us. He’s perfect!”
Golden Night calls it a day
The curtain has come down on the career of Golden Night.
After 49 starts that returned 17 wins, including the 2020 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, and over $100,000 in prizemoney, connections have decided to call stumps.
The February 2018 son of Go Wild Teddy x Hilary found some fantastic form after arriving in SA in July last year.
He won eight of his first 13 starts in SA and was deadset stiff to run second in the Match Race series behind Catch The Thief – with the judge splitting them by 0.0002 seconds, just missing an automatic spot in the Adelaide Cup Final.
He’d go on to turn the tables on Catch The Thief in the big one after scoring a great heat win.
He raced again on Adelaide Cup night this year where he won over the new 595m trip.
Injury plagued the latter part of his career with only nine starts in 2021.
Trainer Troy Murray explained: “He’s had some real hock troubles this year. It’s been a lot of work to keep him sound, but we knew how good he was so we wanted to give him every chance. He pulled up sore again after his run in the Gawler Cup heats so it was time to pull the pin.”
Troy rated his win in the 2020 Adelaide Cup as his best win by far.
“To miss a guaranteed start by such a small margin (Match Races) was hard, but for him to go through the heats and the win the final in the style he did in that field was enormous,” he said.
Golden Night will now look to a stud career.
“We’ll get him tested and go from there, but connections have decided to make available free services to South Australian breeders,” said Troy.