Caption: Handler Dave Eisel, left, and trainer Ned Snow with Vince Curry Memorial Maiden winner Shipwreck (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)
Ipswich round-up with MIKE HILL
VETERAN trainer Keith ‘Ned’ Snow, who admits his family has a distant connection to the infamous Ned Kelly, couldn’t stop smiling after his smart youngster Shipwreck won a drama-packed $72,250 Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) at Ipswich early last month.
And while the victory elevated Snow to an elite group, favourite backers were left stunned after the two hot fancies were put out of action early.
Shipwreck, a $15 chance, luckily missed severe crowding caused when the Tony Brett-trained King Cole (box 4) dived to the fence as soon as the lids lifted, taking the running of the three inside dogs, including the Greg Stella-trained $1.70 hot favourite Black Comanche (box 1) and the well-supported Jedda Cutlack-prepared $2.50 chance She’s Sweet (box 2).
The highly credentialed pair had gone into the final with lengths-faster times than their rivals.
And more pain soon followed for the fancied two when they were involved in a five-dog mix-up just past the winning post in which Black Comanche had his back legs taken out and She’s Sweet fell.
In the meantime King Cole ($34) had swept to the lead, setting up a handy three-length advantage heading into the back straight with Shipwreck moving into second just in front of Hara’s Herbie (Jemma Daley).
The Snow youngster quickly made ground approaching the turn and took control in the straight, racing away to a three-and-a-quarter-lengths victory from King Cole with Hara’s Herbie two-and- three-quarter lengths back third.
The winner clocked 30.77s, almost a length slower than his heat victory (30.71s) a fortnight earlier.
The triumph, carrying a $50,000 winner’s cheque, allowed Snow to join Hall of Famer Tony Zammit and John Clancy as the only trainers to have won the prestigious feature twice.
Zammit won in 1996 and 2004, Clancy in 2001 and ’19, while Snow was victorious with Woops A Daisy back in 2003.
Despite the quality of the two favourites, Snow said he had gone into the final with an air of confidence about his fawn sprinter – a son of Out Of Range from the smart chaser Aussie Diamond, a litter sister to the brilliant Group winner Champagne Sally, a dual Ipswich record holder and winner of $233,618 for Ray and Mary Burman.
“If he was within a couple of lengths of the leaders in the back straight, I knew he could run over the top of them,” he said.
“His run-home times are very strong.
“I knew I had him (King Cole) up the back straight.”
He said Shipwreck had trialled impressively at Ipswich during the week and had clocked a couple of 30.50s in earlier trials there.
The youngster began racing in the Dave Brett Memorial Maiden series at Albion Park last November, finishing runner-up in both his heat and final.
Snow knew he had a good one and decided to ‘save him’ for the Ipswich feature.
The man, who has been training for almost five decades after kicking off in north Queensland in the mid-’70s, said the Ipswich track had been very good to him over the years.
His three major wins have all come at the track – the 2002 Auction Series with Happy Chappy and the two Vince Curry victories.
And to this day Snow still believes he should have had his first Vince Curry success way back in 1997, the year star sprinter Token Prince won.
His promising chaser Lend A Paw had gone into the final after heat and semi-final victories and ‘he was improving all the time’.
“I was quietly confident we could beat (Token Prince),” Snow said.
“He had drawn box eight. Two dogs fell and he tried to jump them, but injured his leg. He never raced again.”
Happy Chappy was a real good dog for Snow, who isnow based at Cornubia in the Logan area south of Brisbane, where he has a smart young team in work.
With 29 wins and 29 placings from 90 starts, the red fawn sprinter racked up victories at Albion Park, Wentworth Park, The Meadows, Sandown Park, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Dapto.
Snow said Woops A Daisy’s win in the 2003 Vince Curry had been very timely for the family.
“Circumstances were different then, my wife was working and the prizemoney was most welcomed.” he said.
“Times were tough back then.”
Snow raced Woops A Daisy – later to win the Flying Amy Classic at Albion Park – in partnership with Capalaba stalwart Bob Patching.
“I was confident she could win the Vince Curry,” he said.
“She was a fast beginner and I knew she would lead. She only ran 31.03s but she was able to pinch it.
“We all went that night. My wife Lyn dressed in yellow as a good luck omen.”
Snow, who lost his wife about four years ago, said his daughter Tanya, who also has a breeder’s and trainer’s licence, is a great supporter.
With her partner Dave Eisel, they help him with the dogs.
“Tanya is home looking after the dogs tonight and Dave is helping me. The three of us do the dogs,” he said.
Shipwreck’s win capped off a big week for Snow and his smart Out Of Range-Aussie Diamond litter.
“Two brothers – Come On Aussie and Pocket Money – won over 520m at Albion Park last Monday and a sister Blue Queen won first-up over 288m here yesterday.”
And yes he does admit his family has a distant connection to the infamous Ned Kelly.
“It was through my father’s aunt but I don’t know her name. I never worried about that,” he said.
“They had a big wool barn in Euroa, right beside a creek, and after the Kellys did a bank up to seven or eight of them used to bed down in the barn. And she would feed them all no matter what time it was.
“They’d be looked after and they also looked after her in return. At the time everyone needed money.”
And although Snow says he was given the name Keith, his father started calling him Ned.
“When I was a toddler my Dad Fred nicknamed me Ned. Maybe it was because I was a bit of a handful, a bit mischievous and a bit of a rogue,” he said.
NORTHERN Brisbane-based trainer Jemma Daley and owner Tony Glover landed a rewarding ‘consolation’ maiden double at Ipswich last month.
Hara’s Herbie (Sennachie-Hara’s Annie), fresh from his third behind Shipwreck in the Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden at the track seven nights early, crushed his rivals with an 11-lengths victory in a heat of the Sky Racing Maiden series over 520m, clocking 31.20s.
Then in the very next race, kennelmate Hara’s River (Fernando Bale-Hara’s Honey) demolished her opposition in the other heat by an incredible 15-and-three-quarter lengths, stopping the clock at a super BON 30.35s.
Hara’s River had finished second to the super talented Black Comanche in a heat of the Vince Curry before a semi-final fourth behind Hidden Agenda.
The two Daley runners were solidly supported. Hara’s River started a hot $1.55 favourite, while Hara’s Herbie was ever shorter at $1.40.
Seven nights later they quinellaed the final with Hara’s River, the $1.65 favourite, coming from behind to beat Hara’s Herbie ($2.70) by three-and-a-half lengths, with the Bob Giltinan-prepared Velocity Lotus ($15) a length back third.
The winner clocked 30.79s for the journey.
OWNERS and trainers are reminded of upcoming major races at Ipswich.
The $25,000 Young Guns (520m) series heads this month’s list with heats on March 5 and the final on March 12, while the $6500 Past Members (431m) runs in tandem with heats on March 4 and the final on March 12. The rich $59,500 Ipswich Auction Series (520m) will be run next month with heats on April 2, semi-finals April 9 and the $40,000-to-the-winner final on April 16, with a $10,500 Consolation on the same night.