Lady Luck is now in Greta’s kennels


Caption: A happy Greta Thomson gives the thumbs up after Aston Aurora\’s victory in the Evelyn Gough Memorial 5th Grade Final (380m) at Townsville (Photos Louise Partland)


Queensland Country Round-up with MIKE HILL

BLACK River-based trainer Greta Thomson was all smiles after her promising sprinter Aston Aurora impressively won the Evelyn Gough Memorial  5th Grade final (380m) at Townsville in late September.

It took a bit of luck to land the victory. The black and white sprinter had been second reserve  but gained a start after a series of scratchings.

\”I actually didn\’t want to be in the final,\” said Greta. \”I wanted to race in the fifth grade she was drawn in – it looked an easier race.\”

But winning the final was fantastic, the trainer said. Jumping from box two, Aston Aurora ($8) was in the leading group before driving to the front  and holding off the fast finishing Matt McGuire-prepared  Gold Assassin ($5) by three-quarters of a length with Michael Hickmott\’s Diva Valentine ($7) a further five lengths off third.

\”She\’s a lovely little bitch,\” Greta said. \”She likes the rails and runs home strongly over the 380m.\”

Aston Aurora has been a model of consistency since arriving in the north from Victoria mid-year. The daughter of Aston Bolero and Aston Coco came with moderate form – a placing from six Victorian starts – but she has blossomed under Thomson\’s care.

\”Actually, Jay Schaffer got her up here and I bought her off him after a couple of starts,\” she said. \”At her first run for me she pinged the lids and said \’see you later\’.\”

Aston Aurora won by five and a half lengths first-up and has added another three victories and four placings from just 11 starts for Thomson.

\”I fell in love with her the first time I saw her and I said to Jay if ever you want to sell her I\’ll buy her.

\”Within a few weeks Jay said she was for sale and I bought her straight away.

\”I like the black and white dogs and she is a beautiful greyhound.

\”I also have a black and white male, Sir Suave, they\’re like twins. Their markings are almost identical although they\’re unrelated.\”

Greta admitted she preferred to train dogs but lately she has had better success with bitches.

\”It\’s a bit weird about that,\” the trainer said.

She had great success with visiting bitch Bumpy Black during the Townsville Cup Carnival, winning the Cup Consolation and Futurity final, both over 498m.

The NSW sprinter had five starts for Thomson for three wins a second and a third.

\”She was a pleasure to have in the kennels,\” the trainer said. \”She just gelled with me and I didn\’t want her to go home\”

Meanwhile, Brad Belford\’s highly-talented sprinter Major Gibson was successful in the Peter Wilson Memorial  (498m).

Major Gibson, a hot $1.70 favourite, cruised to a three-and-a-half length win over Scott Atkinson\’s Go Molly Go ($23) with the Matt McGuire-trained Tears To Glory ($2.40) a quarter of a length back third.

It was the black sprinter\’s sixth win in a row and he added to his record early last month before his winning run ended a week later when he took a tumble.

RANGEWOOD-based (Townsville) trainer Jay Schafer has high hopes for his promising young sprinter, Laying Low.

Schafer produced the Blazin\’  Bomber-Miss Bel Air black dog in the Townsville Maiden 1000 series over 380m last month and after winning his heat in 22.07s, the youngster clocked a quick 21.99s seven nights later to land the $2450-to-the-winner final.

Laying Low ($1.80 fav) began quickly before racing to a two-length victory over the Brad Belford-trained I\’m Scandalous ($2.50) with the Paul Smith-prepared Zipping Sapphire ($9) six-and-a-quarter lengths back third.

\”He\’s a smart young dog,\” said Schafer. \”I think he can develop into  a very handy 500m dog. He does everything right.

\”He\’s well-behaved, doesn\’t bark and is so calm. He just does what he has to do, he\’s really professional. I\’ve never had a dog like him.\”

Schafer bought Laying Low and his litter brother Friendly Shadows from Victorian breeder Glenn Rounds earlier in the year.

\”Laying Low had raced twice at Sandown (for one placing) but Friendly Shadows came up here unraced,\” the trainer said.

Schafer had hoped to have Laying Low ready for the Judy Olsen Townsville Maiden 1000 series during the Cup Carnival in August, but a wrist injury delayed his preparation.

\”I think he\’s going to be good and I didn\’t want to risk him,\” he said.

While sidelined Schafer had success with Friendly Shadows, whose record stands at three wins and four placings from nine starts.

\”He, too, is a smart dog, but I think Laying Low is going to be better,\” he said.

CONSISTENT sprinter Fernando Tears pushed his winning record to 11 with a powerful victory in the $7875 TAB Bundaberg Cup Consolation (550m) last month.

The Phil Carter-prepared chaser grabbed the lead down the back straight and proved too strong for the fast-finishing  Brett Hazelgrove-trained $2.90 favourite Sea Riding, winning by three-quarters of a length.

John Kuhn\’s Ava Surprise ($13) finished a close third.

Fernando Tears, well supported at $3.40, clocked 31.75s and the win pushed his prizemoney tally to almost $30,000.

IN-FORM sprinter Sumatran Star displayed his track smarts with an impressive victory in last month\’s $5250 Central Queensland Derby (510m) at Rockhampton.

The Craig Emery-prepared red brindle sprinter (Moreira-Cartel Queen) sliced up along the rails inside leader Klemmer Banner on the corner to take control and hung on for a half-length win over the fast-finishing Darren Taylor-trained Barcia Bullet ($8.50). Another Taylor runner On The Buses ($61) was three lengths away third.

Sumatran Star was sent out a $2.30 favourite after some late support and from the inside box didn\’t let his backers down.

It was the first feature success for the sprinter, who has hit a purple patch of late with six wins – at Rockhampton (two), Ipswich (two), Albion Park and Townsville – and two minor placings from his last nine runs.

Victory in the $3500-to-the-winner final took his career tally to 13 wins and six placings from 30 starts and lifted his prizemoney to just over $26,000.

Meanwhile, Bill Boon\’s sprinter Velocity Faith outlasted the Darren Taylor-prepared $2.60 favourite Precious Hope to win the $5250 CQ Futurity (510m).

Velocity Faith ($8.50) had opened up a three-length advantage mid-race which proved too much for her rivals.

Precious Hope was a length behind the winner with the fast-finishing Dr. Braelyn ($21) another length back third.



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