Caption: Steve Neary with when Cake Is Bad beat home Cake Is Good. (Photo: Just Greyhound Photos)
Capalaba club wrap with ALEX NOLAN
HERE at Chase we’re all about asking the tough questions, which is why we started a recent chat with trainer Steve Neary the only way we could.
Steve, is cake nice, good or bad?
“I don’t eat cake!” he laughed.
Well, they do say ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too!’
Neary prepared a winning ‘cake quinella’ that may as well have been dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with coconut (a lamington, if you like) at the Australia Day meeting on January 26, when Cake Is Bad beat home Cake Is Good in a fourth-grade event.
“I normally box Cake Is Bad because he is a bit of a problem child but then I was focused on watching Cake Is Good (Box 8) and willing him on,” Neary said.
“Then I heard the call ‘Cake Is Bad’ and I looked up at the TV and thought ‘that’s mine as well!’
“To draw box four on Australia Day and win in the Australia Day rug meant a lot.”
The ‘Cake’ litter became social media sensations in 2021 when Cake Is Nice beat home Cake Is Bad on June 27. They lit up the online world seven days later when Cake Is Bad beat home Cake Is Good.
“I’ve always tried to keep the ‘cake’ name going as a bit of fun,” Neary said.
“One of the stewards once asked me if I owned a bakery.
“I told him I don’t own one, but I do eat at them!”
The Cake prefix can be traced back through a dam-line that started with Bake A Cake (Surf Lorian x Lily Grace) and has continued down through Don’t Eat Cake and Cake It On.
The latest batch of ‘Cakes’ to hit the track are from a litter by Worm Burner that includes Queen Of Cakes, King Of Cakes, Adventure Queen and Here’s Bruce.
Croftby-based Neary has been around greyhounds for most of his life.
His late father Jim was a life member at Capalaba and a former president at The Gabba, one of just two committeemen who held positions for the entirety of its existence.
Steve also spent time riding work for thoroughbred trainer Pat Sexton and held ambitions of becoming a jockey before taking up a part-time role as a thoroughbred Steward.
That lasted nine years but he has held his greyhound trainer’s license since his late teens.
A self-proclaimed ‘battler’, Neary said everything he earns from greyhound racing is put straight back in. He admires the ‘backyard trainer’ who give their hearts and souls to greyhound racing and is proud of the fact he can produce litters like the ‘Cakes’.
“I was born and bred in the industry and have done it tough at times, like everybody else,” he said.
“They’re bread and butter dogs and if you find one that can earn between $15-to-20,000 then they well and truly pay their way,” he said.
STORM THUNDERS IN AUSSIE DAY CUP
IN the wake of his seventh win in as many starts at Capalaba, trainer Bianca Whitford said Kismet Storm will remain racing there for the foreseeable future.
Kismet Storm continued his dream run since joining the Whitford kennel from Victoria when he took out the Aussie Day Classic (Best 8) on January 26.
It was a win Whitford labelled his best yet.
She said despite the fact Kismet Storm had been trialling well on the bends at Ipswich, she saw no reason to take him away from Capalaba, for now.
“There really isn’t any upside taking the dog back to the circle other than making money,” Whitford said.
“We’ve given him trials and slips around Ipswich and he has gone sensational, so that threw up another option.
“However, (owner) Melissa (Mayle) and I both agreed ‘Khaos’ is our number one priority and he loves Capalaba, so why would we want to change that?”
Kismet Storm then contested a Best 8 on February 13, which Whitford believed would be his toughest test to-date.
It was there he suffered his first Queensland defeat at the hands Magical Len, a chaser that rediscovered his best form from the Terry Priest kennel.
GRAND CAMPAIGNER RETURNS TO FORM
MAGICAL LEN shocked many punters when he scored in the aforementioned race.
Despite bouncing back to the winners’ circle for the first time since November last year just four days prior, the son of Cyndie’s Magic (by Fernando Bale) was sent out at huge odds of $61.
However, the result was never really in doubt.
Magical Len jumped cleanly, found the front and won rather comfortably on the line, stopping the clock in best of meeting time (19.56sec).
Magical Len has been a consistent campaigner at Capalaba for the past 18 months.
He’s started 77 times for 12 wins and 39 minor placings, collecting more than $27,000 in prize money.
Meanwhile, Jeff Crawford’s Hyper Haze continues to progress through his grades.
Since making his debut on November 28 last year, Hyper Haze has recorded six wins from nine attempts at Capalaba.
His most recent came in the Bernie Culey Fifth Grade Final on February 13, when powered late to record a personal-best time of 19.62sec and beat Arkansas Red by a length.
NATIONAL SPRINT CHAMP BOUNCES BACK
DECK FIFTY TWO handed trainer Darren Russell an early birthday present when he bounced back to form by winning the Best 8 at Capalaba on February 20.
Lining up for his 50th race start, Deck Fifty Two completed the course in 19.50 – a shade outside his personal best time of 19.45.
Russell marked his birthday on February 21, after what had been a tough month for his family, following the loss of his dad Barry Russell in January.
Barry will be deeply missed by wife Maureen, sons Darren and Andrew, grandchildren Chloe and Lachlan and great grandchildren Kahleia and Kaiden.
On behalf of everyone at Chase we wish to extend our deepest condolences to the Russell family.
LITTER CONTINUES TO SHOW CLASS
ANOTHER month, another dominant display from the Bekim Bale x High Class Belle litter at Capalaba.
A memorable chapter was written into the book when four of the siblings recorded wins at the meeting held on February 20.
Biscuit Roller and Mosin Nagant won for North Ipswich trainer Greg Mellen, while Christine Bourke enjoyed wins with Beck And Call and Don’t Tell Helen.
Shot The Sherriff came within a length of giving the litter five winners from the day when he finished second to Deck Fifty Two in the Best 8.
Bourke’s strike-rate in the past three-and-a-half months has been nothing short of freakish.
From 28 starts at Capalaba she has collected 16 winners at 57 per cent.
Mellen wasn’t far behind, with six winners from 15 starts.
Senri Gardot became Mellen’s first winner in more than three years when she won at her second start on January 16.
Mellen revealed Bourke spent many hours trying to save Senri Gardot in the early hours of her life, which led to her unique name – a combination of talented Japanese drummer Senri Kawaguchi and American singer Melody Gardot.
The name Mosin Nagant has stumped a few as well but Mellen revealed it is the name of a rifle that is said to be fast and accurate. Mosin Nagant has showed he has the potential to be both, recording two wins and two runner-up finishes in four starts to-date.