Caption: Young Isabelle Gilmartin, who hopes to make her mark in the sport she loves, with sprinter Filthy Lucre, owned by Allan Lang and trained by her great-grand-dad Garry Cluse. (Photo: Uncle Rustys Photos.)
Queensland Country Wrap With MIKE HILL
ISABELLE Gilmartin is a teenager dedicated to her dogs.
She’s one of the fresh, young faces the industry desperately needs for the sport to grow.
And as the great granddaughter of Gin Gin trainer Garry Cluse, she’s being well schooled in all facets of the sport.
“She just loves the dogs and is devoted to them,” said a proud Cluse, who’s had some smart chasers over the years since first picking up a lead and collar five decades ago.
“She’s always shown a great interest in them.
“Even when I was based at Casino and Isabelle’s family lived in the Grafton region she would come and stay during the school holidays and help me with the dogs.”
Isabelle and her family moved to the Gin Gin region about four years ago and Cluse followed a couple of years later.
They have a team of nine racing dogs in work on the family’s 62-acre property at New Moonta, west of Gin Gin, as well as four pre-race youngsters and they hope to shortly breed from their broodbitch Kingsbrae Sasha.
Armed with her handler’s licence, Isabelle, who is 16 and doing a business degree at TAFE, is honing her skills under the watchful eye of her great granddad.
“She is highly motivated,” he said.
“She up at five every morning to work the dogs … she’s truly committed.
“And she can do it all.
“On race days she handles all the dogs, kennels them, takes them out, boxes them and puts them away.
“We’re doing most of our racing at Bundaberg these days.”
He said Isabelle would get her trainer’s licence and take over the kennel when she turned 18.
As well as racing some smart sprinters over the years, including Sunburnt Moss and Sunburnt Cruiser, Cluse also bred and reared the amazing Sunburnt Highway (Oaks Road-Where’s Kitty), the sprinter that earlier this year broke the record for the most number of wins at Wentworth Park.
Group 1 victor Bessy Boo previously held the record with 34 wins but in late January Sunburnt Highway set a new mark with his 35th victory at the famed Glebe circuit.
ZIP Stream, arguably the most consistent sprinter racing nationwide at the moment, dominated her rivals with sheer speed to win the $24,000 Wildcard Series (510m) at Rockhampton last month.
The win guaranteed her a spot in the final of rich Rockhampton Cup and continued trainer Ken Boody’s amazing run in 2022.
Despite a moderate start, Zip Stream – the hot $1.90 favourite – quickly mustered speed to take control and open up a five-length advantage down the back straight.
The daughter of Zipping Garth and Night Time Lover maintained the pressure on her rivals before cruising to victory in the $15,600-to-the-winner feature.
The Dallas Beckett-prepared Canary Wharf ($6) chased hard, cutting the winning margin to three-and-three-quarter lengths, with another Boody runner Deadly Choice ($26) a length back third.
Boody had dominated the series with four runners qualifying for the final. His other finalists – Wink At Me and Blue Jeans Talk – finishing fourth and seventh respectively.
The winner clocked 29.93s – .20s faster than her first attempt at the trip in the heats seven nights earlier.
The victory took Zip Stream’s record to 22 wins and seven placings from 43 starts with earnings just under $60,000.
But it is her 2022 record that’s remarkable.
Up to the middle of last month, the talented sprinter had raced 13 times this year for 12 wins and a second for a winning strike rate of 92.3 per cent.
And like his sprinter, Boody, who is based at Dalma, west of Rockhampton, is also having a fantastic year.
He was sitting in eighth place on the all-states trainers premiership with 70 winners and 72 placings from 252 starts with the best winning strike rate of 28 per cent.
Boody is also dominating the Rockhampton trainer’s premiership and the kennel continues to pick feature finals at Queensland tracks.
In late March, the Boody-trained pair – Barely Friendly and Zip Stream – quinellaed the $5400 Qld Bred 4/5 Grade Final (498m) at Townsville after both sprinters won their heats a week earlier.
It was the kennel’s second successful raid north after Zip Steam won the $6500 Townsville Young Guns final (498m) earlier in the year with Barely Friendly a close third.
Boody’s other big win of ’22 came at Albion Park in early February when kennel star Love You Peaches won the $15,700 Country Cup (520m).
RHONDA Essery’s outstanding racing bitch Samshu is headed for the breeding barn, but not just yet.
Samshu resumed racing last month with an impressive first-up second after being sidelined for three months with a fractured toe.
The talented black bitch (Fernando Bale-Jingjing) had been honoured at the TAB Queensland Greyhound Awards in Brisbane early last month after winning the 2021 Townsville Greyhound of the Year title.
She had staged a great battle with her litter brother and kennelmate Stratford for the title.
Both sprinters chalked up 21 wins each, however, Samshu picked up more placings.
In an amazing run from late August to the end of the year, Samshu record 19 consecutive top two finishes with 13 wins and six seconds.
Her success proved a wonderful launch pad for Essery, who again won the club’s trainers premiership while becoming the first Townsville trainer to lead in 100 winners in a season.
And although it was her sixth successive premiership title, Essery surprisingly said: “That was my first GOTY victory.”
She said Samshu had pulled up well from last month’s comeback run.
“We’ve been taking her ‘slowly, slowly’ and we’ll continue to race her as long as she’s enjoying it.
“However, if she does suffer an injury we’ll retire her.
“We’ve got an SH Avatar straw for her … I think he’ll put strength into her pups.”
Essery, who has made a relatively slow start to the 2022 season, is hoping kennel standouts Stratford and Miss Priddle can also return to racing soon.
Both are coming back from injury.
Samshu, Stratford and Miss Priddle won a total of 50 races for Essery last year.
Other Queensland award winners were: Queensland Greyhound of the Year – Spotted Elk; Brisbane Trainers Strike Rate Award – Bianca Whitford; Brisbane Sire of the Year – Fernando Bale; Brisbane Leading Owner Award – Cynthia Elson; Brisbane Dam of the Year – Hope’s Magic; Top Simbi Award – Townsville Greyhound Racing Club; Brisbane Greyhound of the Year – Extra Malt; Bundaberg Greyhound of the Year – Fogelberg; Capalaba Greyhound of the Year – Magical Trav; Ipswich Greyhound of the Year – Spring Cleo; Rockhampton Greyhound of the Year – Love You Peaches; Brisbane Trainer of the Year – Cynthia Elson; Bundaberg Trainer of the Year – Darren Taylor; Capalaba Trainer of the Year – Terry Priest; Ipswich Trainer of the Year – Pauline Byers; Rockhampton Trainer of the Year – Darren Taylor; Young Achiever – Jedda Cutlack; Woman in Racing – Di O’Donnell; Outstanding Contribution Award – Neville and Norma Jackson; Run of the Year – Extra Malt; QRIC Welfare Award – Joanna Phillips from Love a Greyhound; Hall of Fame (Person) – Bob Lambert; Hall of Fame (Greyhound) – Trojan Tears.
DALLAS Beckett’s highly talented sprinter Canary Wharf landed his second feature of the year with an impressive victory in the $4700 Anniversary Cup (510m) at Rockhampton.
After an early tussle for the lead, the brindle dog (Unlawful Entry-Diama Bale) took control, winning by three-and-a-quarter lengths from the Ken Boody-prepared Deadly Choice ($21) with the Clinton Thompson-trained Blazing Norman ($5) a close third.
Canary Wharf, the $3.20 favourite, has been a model of consistency since joining Beckett’s Gracemere kennels from Victoria in July last year.
In early January, the sprinter narrowly won the Garrard’s Horse And Hound Open Final (407m) in a three-way go with smart Rocky chasers Skilled and Love You Peaches.
The most recent win took Canary Wharf’s career record to 15 wins and 16 placings from 38 starts, but his Rocky form is more impressive with 14 wins, seven seconds, six thirds and just two unplaced runs from 29 starts.
He also finished a gallant second to Zip Stream in last month’s rich Rockhampton Wildcard Series.
MEANWHILE, Rockhampton is preparing for its ‘new state-of-the-art’ tower complex.
“It will be the best in Queensland,” a proud club president Dallas Beckett said last month.
“We are already spending just under $100,000 on cameras and timing around the track.”
Beckett said the tower, expected to be completed sometime this month, will house the judge, race-caller, stewards, cameras … the lot.
“It’s not a tower, it’s more like a building,” he said.
“Work has already started and we’re hoping it will be finished in May.
“It’s been two years in the making and it’s something we desperately need.
“When completed, we’ll have amazing vision of races for off-course punters.
“You’ll feel like you’re right on the track.”
Beckett said the club was also hoping to have new lighting installed before the end of the year.