Qld Country round-up by MIKE HILL
TOP Rockhampton owner-trainer Dallas Beckett has shown enormous patience to get ‘giveaway’ sprinter Craig’s Regret to the track.
And his perseverance has paid off, so much so that Craig’s Regret has quickly developed into a smart sprinter and looks like being the Beckett kennel’s flagship runner in this month’s Rockhampton Cup.
At only 20 months old, the SH Avatar-Sweet Shine black sprinter has an impressive record of four wins and three placings from just 10 starts and in April won over the Cup trip at his first attempt before clocking a smart 30.25s when a promising second to the talented FFA sprinter Rose Ali a week later.
Beckett last month recalled how he obtained Craig’s Regret from Victorian owner-breeder Craig Davies.
“First they couldn’t get the young dog out of the bull ring cage, then he wouldn’t go around the bull ring and finally he just jumped out of the ring,” said the Gracemere-based trainer.
“It was then that Craig offered me the dog. I had to work with him for three months after he arrived here.
“SH Avatar pups seem to crave attention and he has settled in well to my way of training. My dogs are handled six to eight times a day.
“I let them out into a paddock every three hours and then they come back into their air-conditioned kennels. You need to be patient with SH Avatar pups and don\’t break them in too early.”
Beckett said after the young dog started to show him something he decided to name him Craig’s Regret.
“I have a feeling Craig may now regret giving him away,” he said. “He’s developed into a nice dog and a good sprinter.”
Beckett said he then got Craig’s Regret’s litter brother Erratic George, who’s also paying his way with two wins and three placings from eight starts.
MEANWHILE, Beckett is having an amazing run with a super smart Magic Sprite-Elle Bale litter he bred himself – headed by the very talented Remember Col, named after his great mate, Toowoomba trainer Col Byers, who passed away last year.
Over the years Beckett and Byers had a highly successful association winning many races together, including feature events and GOTY titles.
Beckett raced the well-bred Elle Bale (Spring Gun-Ucme Typhoon) – a half sister to the nation’s leading prizemoney winner ($1.365 million) Fanta Bale (David Bale-Ucme Typhoon) – with the aim to eventually breed from her – and he’s more than happy with her first litter of five.
They are all winners: Remember Col (20: 10-5-2), Speed To Burn (19: 8-2-0), Slick Seven (13: 5-2-2), Testing Speed (20: 4-5-4) and the Albert Harker owned and trained Archie Harks (13: 2-5-3).
Beckett is now waiting for Elle Bale’s second and final litter to Blazin’ Bomber to mature.
“I’m in partnerships with Albert Harker, who whelps and rears pups. There are eight in the litter and they are six months old,” he said.
“I’m very happy with the first litter and a couple of them could be heading down to Brisbane soon.”
Beckett, in his mid 60s, is again making a mark with his kennel full of talented youngsters.
At four of the five meetings at Rocky In April, he rugged up six winners at one, four at another and added two winning doubles.
MICHAEL Hickmott continued his outstanding recent success by landing the feature double at Townsville’s Anzac Day meeting in late April.
The Bluewater-based trainer rugged $12 chance Silver Lining to win the $3500 Lone Pine Queensland Bred 5th Grade Final (380m) and in the very next race Good Odds Nutty, the $2.10 favourite, proved too strong in the $3500 Anzac Trophy Final (498m).
And from his small team of four, he was unlucky not to go home with a winning treble.
The kennel’s rising star Moving Target, the hot $1.35 fancy in the top grade sprint, was run down in the straight when looking the likely winner.
Hickmott later said the dog had dipped in running and had pulled up a bit sore.
HANDY sprinter Courtois ($3.90) boosted her record with an impressive win in the Anzac Cup over 460m at Bundaberg.
The Allen Kelly-trained bitch (Paw Licking-Go Wild Shaz) defeated Louise Cameron’s $2.80 favourite Fizz Out by two-and-three-quarter lengths with the David Plummer-prepared Soda Caesar ($7.50) a quarter-of-a-length away third.
The victory took Courtois’s career record to six wins – all over the Bundy 460m trip – and seven placings from 25 starts.
Meanwhile, the Narelle Mulcahy-trained Larkin Po beat a smart field in the TAB Anniversary Sprint (460m) at Bundaberg last month.
Larkin Po, a $10 chance, proved too strong for Allen Kelly’s $1.75 favourite Savuro by three-quarters of a length with the Kev Pershouse-prepared Sparky Lass ($7) almost 10 lengths away third.