Caption: Trainer Blake Pursell with Easter Cup winner McInerney.
Tasmanian News By BRENNAN RYAN
Trainer Blake Pursell kennel landed his first classic race win for 2022 at Ladbrokes Park in Hobart recently when McInerney claimed the 84th running of the Brighton Hair & Beauty Easter Cup (461m).
In what was a brilliant final field, the Noel Mugavin-owned son of Fernando Bale and Born Ali started one of two main chances alongside kennelmate Green Machine, both top of the betting at $1.70 and $4.60 respectively.
In the $3475 decider for top graded chasers, McInerney took full advantage of a passage through along the rails to catch the leader Tah Liam down the straight and draw away to win by a length.
Run Red Run produced an enormous run late to rattle home and finish in third place for trainer Debbie Cannan.
McInerney’s victory was his 13th win from 34 starts, while also extending his winning streak to four straight. That gives Pursell the confidence to make plans of taking his star chaser back over to the mainland.
“I thought his performance was great,” said Pursell.
“For a dog that is noted to be suited to wider draws he certainly handled the inside draw (box 2) really well which is what I took away from the win. He came from Victoria with good form, however he has progressed to a top-class chaser.”
Pursell gave full praise to his partner Kayla Cannan for her handling duties with McInerney who gave the kennel its third classic race winner overall, having previously won both an LGRC Winter Stakes and the Shane Yates Memorial Cup.
McInerney backed up a few days later in Launceston to win over Just Mercy, running 29.80s from box three.
The victory by McInerney in the Easter Cup capped off a great night for Pursell who landed a treble after other wins with Gold Symbol in a 461m Grade 5 and Pages Creek in the 599m April Distance Final.
Easter Purse triumph for new owners
New South Wales-bred youngster Count Bingley proved a popular winner of the recent O’Driscoll Coaches Easter Purse.
The lightly-raced sprinter produced an eye-catching performance to win the juvenile feature for trainer Josh Wright.
The dark brindle son of Fernando Bale and She’s Grand jumped from box seven in the $3235 event, setting up the early speed and having a winning break on the field heading in the turn.
Count Bingley dashed well clear in the home straight to score by almost three lengths over Semi Precious in 26.42s.
“He has been a nice dog right through from the start of break-in to having his first race,” said Wright.
“We had trialled the dog a few times at Devonport and he showed a lot of promise. When they didn’t get enough noms for the Easter Purse heats, I decided to enter Count Bingley for the final and he trialled well at Launceston in the lead-up.”
Both Josh and his dad John Wright found the pup to purchase for the Roo Boy Syndicate.
“We brought the Clarence Old Players Association back together through Covid-19 and late last year out of the blue, we decided to get a dog and John (Wright) was a trainer at the club with seven other members,” said Geoff Doyle.
Count Bingley was named in honour of 2014 Tasmanian AFL Hall of Fame inductee John Bingley who played for St. Kilda in the 1966 VFL Premiership, winning the flag over Collingwood in one of the most famous eras of the sport.
He was also captain-coach of the Clarence Football Club from 1969 to 1972 while winning the premiership in 1970.
The Cascade Draught Easter Plate final, worth $3250 to-the-winner, was also staged on the night with Debbie Cannan’s Jewel Titan jumping from box seven to win by 2-3/4 lengths over Pop’s Promise in 25.96 seconds.
Schedule for former Devonport features
Since the closure of the Devonport showgrounds track, all upcoming feature events held by the NWGRC will be staged at both Launceston and Hobart, starting with the Tasmanian Country Derby and Tasmanian Country Oaks series.
The Launceston Greyhound Racing Club will play host to these highlighted age-restricted races with the heats of the Country Derby and Country Oaks to be held on Tuesday, May 24 for greyhounds whelped on/after 1/12/2019)
Both finals, staged over the 515-metre journey on Tuesday, May 31, are to carry a prize purse of $8180 with winning connections to get $5360.
The City of Devonport Cup will be held the same day as a 515m Best 8 event.
Upcoming feature events across Tasmania held in May/June/July
– LGRC Life Members Cup (Launceston – May 23)
– Jared Davies Carpentry Medley Series (Hobart – May 19 & 26, June 2)
– H.G.R.C. Tasmanian Breeders Classic (Hobart – June 4, 9, 16)
– Greg Fahey Middle Dist. Championship (Hobart – June 9 & 16)
– Great Northern Super Crisp Winter Stakes (Launceston – June 20)
– M A Morgan Stakes (Hobart – June 23)
– Sires On Ice Tasmanian Oaks (Launceston – June 20 & 27)
– Tania Rattray MLC Tasmanian Derby (Launceston – June 20 & 27)
– R L Foley Perpetual Stakes (Launceston – June 27)
– J.G. Nelson Cup Series | 4 Divisions (Launceston – July 4 & 11)