Fencer puts Illingworth Classic rivals to the sword

Caption: Trainer Neville Allison and owner Kingsley Jarman with their Illingworth Classic winner Nail ‘Em Fencer.

By Brennan Ryan

BRILLIANT Tasmanian-bred sprinter Nail ‘Em Fencer turned in a front-running display at Launceston to take out the recent $16,100-to-the-winner Ladbrokes Illingworth Classic (515m).

Prepared at Dilston, just north of Launceston, by highly-respected trainer Neville Allison, Nail ‘Em Fencer is owned by the popular Kingsley Jarman and is one of a highly successful litter burning the Tasmanian tracks over the past 18 months.

Jarman has not been tempted at all to sell his brilliant sprinter as good dogs are few and far between and Nail ‘Em Fencer is obviously giving both owner and trainer tremendous pleasure each time he goes around.

At the time of writing, Nail ‘Em Fencer has the enviable record of eight wins and nine minor placings from his last 21 appearances – all against top class opposition.

Nail ‘Em Fencer was desperately unlucky to draw outside his talented litter sister Just Posh in this year’s $7120 Tasmanian Breeders Classic final at Launceston.

Nail ‘Em Fencer, along with other promising greyhounds Just Posh, Saint Zac, Joyful Juggler and Self Control, were bred at Westbury by Anne and Bill Witherden when they mated their talented chaser Hoity Toity to former Melbourne Cup winner Aston Dee Bee.

The litter has proved to be one of the most talented produced in Tasmania, dominating the current racing season on the Apple Isle. They have  46 wins and 39 placings from 145 starts for prize money in excess of $161,268.

Anne and Bill have the right confidence to breed on again with Hoity Toity and are expecting the immediate arrival of a litter by WA champion sprinter Tommy Shelby.

Kingsley Jarman has also had great success in racing a limited number of greyhounds over the years with I’m A Fencer, a former Illingworth Classic winner, being arguably his best greyhound, after winning 26 races and over $72,420 in prize money.

He bought Nail ‘Em Fencer at three months old from the Witherdens.

The 2022 Ladbrokes-sponsored Illingworth Classic brought together just three heats for the series with Dashing Pippa setting the fastest heat  time of 29.45 seconds.

Nail ‘Em Fencer showed class after missing the start in his heat to rail through and take the lead mid-race, eventually powering away to score by over two and three quarter lengths.

Jumping from box one in the final, Nail ‘Em Fencer faced stiff opposition, including heat winner Dashing Pippa and Launceston Breeders Classic winner Just Posh.

In a pre-race shock the ruling odds-on favourite Dancer Of Flame was scratched after suffering a back muscle injury.

Sent to the boxes as a $2.90 chance for the 31rst running of the feature, Nail ‘Em Fencer made it five wins from seven starts at the Ladbrokes Racing Centre to score a dominant three-length victory.

It was trainer Neville Allison’s third  Illingworth Classic winner following on the success of Dilston Prince in 1992 and Dilston Diamond in 2005.

The trainer said he was thrilled to again win the Illingworth Classic which is named in honour of Ollie and Des Illingworth.

“We had some luck go our way, having come up with box one in the final which was a massive help,” said Allison.

“There was going be plenty of speed in this race and it was a matter for Nail ‘Em Fencer to get out and avoid any trouble.

“To have his box manners was a huge asset, it’s definitely proven that leaders often win around Launceston.”

Since its inception back in 1991, the Ladbrokes Illingworth Classic was designed to highlight the best juveniles bred locally in Tasmania.

Allison was the first to give praise to breeders Anne and Bill Witherden for their involvement.

“Anne and Bill have done a tremendous job whelping and rearing the entire litter,” he said.

“There were seven pups born from Hoity Toity and they’ve all won races now and have also produced two classic winners as well, which is a great achievement to showcase our breeding industry.”





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