From The Caller\’s Box

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By PAUL DOLAN

The Gold Coast Cup was always one of my favourite races to call when it was run on the ‘one turn’ track at Parklands.

It was initially staged in Queen Street Southport from 1977 to 1988 over 560 metres. Then at Parklands from 1989 to 2008 over 457 metres. It was transferred to Albion Park when Parklands closed in 2008, the land resumed by the State Government to be part of what is now the Gold Coast University Hospital.

One of the notable Gold Coast Cup winners at Albion Park was ten years ago, in October 2010. Late Show Lee, owned by John Hanley and trained by Neil Thompson, won the Cup following a remarkable comeback to racing.

“Late Show Lee broke a hock in a race at Albion Park in February 2010. At that stage he had ten wins from 53 starts,” Hanley said.

“Dr Richard Eaton-Wells successfully repaired the hock and the dog resumed racing in June. It was 17 starts later that he won the Gold Coast Cup, then a Group 2 race. He beat a couple of classy ones, Tony Brett’s Velocity Regina ran second and Ron Ball’s Mr Metz was third.’’

Late Show Lee raced on for another 13 months, retiring in November, 2011, with the record of 16 wins and 36 placings from 113 starts.

“Would you believe he survived after being hit by a car ? Overall, though, he lived a happy and spoilt life until cancer took him in October last year,” Hanley further explained.

Late Show Lee, who was by Neil Thompson’s sire Late Late Show, sired 87 offspring from 14 matings, the standout being Late Angel Lee, also owned by Hanley. The dog won 17 races, all at Albion Park. He won over 395, 520, 600 and 710 metres. Over 520 metres he ran a best time of 29.57 and over 600 metres clocked 34.79.

The honour roll of Gold Coast Cup winners at Parklands looks like a ‘who’s who’ of greyhound racing.

West Cape, Key Dancer, Wallowa Flash, Tickety Boo, Flying Amy (twice), Roanokee, Hotshot, Faithful Hawk, Elite State, Buckingham Chuck and El Galo are among them.

What about Flying Amy? She won from box seven in 1994, running 25.32. In 1995 she won from box six in 25.31. How good is that for holding your consistency?

The Gold Coast Cup is no longer, replaced by a race at Albion Park known as the Golden Ticket. That’s fair enough. We don’t see a Toowoomba, Lawnton, Mackay, Ayr, Mackay or Mt. Isa Cup run at other venues, now that those tracks are closed. So why continue with a Gold Coast Cup?

I say – remember it’s great history. And spare a thought for a tough nut in Late Show Lee as well.

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