G1 Golden Easter Egg (520m)
Best 80 nominated
Heats March 20. Semis March 27. Final April 3
$250,000 to the winner
G1 Association Cup (720m)
Best 32 nominated
Heats March 27. Final April 3
$75,000 to the winner
G3 New Sensation (520m)
Best noms whelped on or after 1-11-2018. No more than 10 wins or 20 starts.
Heats March 24. Final April 3
$25,000 to the winner
G3 The Ambrosoli (520m)
3rd-4th from Easter Egg semis
$25,000 to the winner
Listed Ultra Sense (520m)
Best 5th Graders
Heats March 27. Final April 3
$15,000 to the winner
By David Brasch
LEGENDARY dog man Jimmy Coleman says when he first started in greyhound racing it was never about the prizemoney … always about beating the bookies.
In those days he and wife Christine learned to ‘live off the punt’.
Which is surprising considering Jimmy and Christine won the very first running of the Golden Easter Egg in 1990, the first $100,000 greyhound race run in Australia.
They won it with the Archie and Fay Leverton bred and owned Ultra Sense, a daughter of Acacia Park-Sense Of Joy and it was Jimmy Coleman who started Archie back in greyhound racing.
Today, Ultra Sense it honoured with a race named in her honour, a fifth grade series with the final on Easter Egg night.
Archie Leverton cherishes the Golden Easter Egg trophy. \”It took some doing, but I made sure I got it from Jimmy and Christine,\” said Archie. \”It still holds pride of place in our home here at Seven Hills.\”
The Ultra Sense story goes back well before the early 1990s.
\”I\’d been in greyhounds for a short while, but decided to get back in around the early 1980s,\” said Archie. \”I had a dog or two with Jimmy and he told me they were no good at all.
\”We were out at the Londonderry kennels with our family and Jimmy looked at our son Michael and asked if he could put a collar and lead on a greyhound.
\”When Michael said yes, Jimmy told him to head down to one of the dog yards and bring back with him a brindle and white bitch called Silver Tail Girl.
\”Jimmy gave her to us to breed with.\”
Silver Tail Girl, royally bred by Temlee from the great Odious, a half-sister to superstar General Jeff and from the famed Gail\’s Beauty damline that has stood by the Wheeler family for decades, became an instant hit for Archie and his family.
Put to Subtle Sense, she produced Melbourne Cup winner Legendary Kid and the classy Current Design.
Also among that litter was Sense Of Joy which Archie remembers as a ‘pretty good bitch’.
When Sense Of Joy retired, Archie put her to Acacia Park and from that litter got Ultra Sense.
Jimmy Coleman takes over the story.
\”The litter was reared by Debbie Moore and when they got to about eight or nine months old, three-quarters of them developed arthritis and had to be put down,\” he said.
\”It left only a couple of them and Ultra Sense was one.\”
While the Easter Egg victory is obviously the standout memory of Ultra Sense for Jimmy and Christine, Archie and Fay, old habits were hard to relinquish even in those days.
\”I remember she started out in a good maiden series and we fancied her chances,\” said Jimmy. \”We backed her right through and averaged 3-1. It was a great win.\”
Archie remembers it a little differently.
\”Jimmy \’warned off\’ anyone who might have had ideas of taking our price,\” he said. \”He gave my boys the betting money and told them \’you know what to do\’.\”
Ultra Sense kept winning and had only a brief racing career before retiring. The Easter Egg victory was at the expense of Queensland sprint star Acacia Ablaze, the Brian McEvoy-trained great who would go on to a fine stud career.
\”The race was worth $80,000 to us,\” said Archie. \”The Melbourne Cup Legendary Kid won was worth $64,000. I look at the prize for those races today and am amazed.\”
Ultra Sense was known as Jeanie at home.
She produced three litters of pups, by Shining Chariot, Ginger and Dallas Duo.
\”They weren\’t that good, but a few won in town,\” said Archie. \”She wasn\’t a very good mother, not like her own mother Sense Of Joy. But Jeanie became our best mate at home. You would be surprised at how many people who came to the house had to visit \’The Champ\’.
Jeanie had to be put down when she was 14 and suffering from old age and ‘a growth’.
Archie said he rarely goes to Wentworth Park for an Easter Egg carnival, but the family enjoyed the 10-year anniversary of Jeanie\’s victory in the inaugural Egg.
\”She was given a rug and got to lead the final field to the start,\” said Archie. \”It was a wonderful night.\”
These days Jimmy and Christine Coleman live in an apartment at Coolangatta. Jimmy is rising 80, Christine 75.
Memories of their greyhound racing exploits read like a Group 1 notebook. Nine Derbies, six Dapto Maiden finals, a couple of Australian Cups, Laurels, Melbourne Cup … all of them testament to their training prowess.
\”When Christine and I moved from Toowoomba heading south to Sydney, we started off at Grafton with Young Moss and stayed there for a while,\” he said.
\”Then we went to Tamworth for three months, the same time at Muswellbrook and then another three months at Cessnock before finally settling in Sydney.
\”I remember an old fella at Tamworth who everyone knew as Chummy. He was 80 then. He gave me a piece of advice. He said \’Jimmy, don\’t go over the range, if you stay this side of the range, you\’ll be alright\’.
\”He meant the range before Sydney.
\”Lucky I didn\’t listen to him. The opposition never worried me. We held our own.\”
Jimmy ‘lived off the punt’.
\”In those days there were 10 to 15 bookies fielding at Tamworth, and 30 to 35 at Cessnock,\” he said. \”I remember winning $17,000 one night on the punt at Cowra.
\”The betting was my go. I never worried about the prizemoney.\”
That was until races like the Golden Easter Egg came along … and Ultra Sense landed the first ever running and raced into ‘immortality’.