Wink’s as good as a nod-off for smart sprinter’s owner

Caption: Trainer Tony Parker with talented sprinter Paulie Walnuts after his record equalling run to win the Young Guns (380m) at Townsville last month. (Photo – Louise Partland)

Queensland regional wrap with MIKE HILL

OWNER Doug Warrington just couldn’t stay awake to see his smart sprinter Wink At Me win the $9800 Grand Prix (498m) at the Townsville Showgrounds last month.

“I fell asleep before the race,” he said the following morning.

Warrington, who is battling a form of lymphoma, hasn’t attended a greyhound meeting at Townsville since March.

“I’m on to my fourth chemo treatment and I get tired easily,” he said.

“I was watching the earlier races but I couldn’t stay awake after race five.

“I thought Wink At Me’s best chance was a placing.

“When I woke up this morning and saw he had won I was shocked.

“It was a complete surprise. I immediately watched a replay of the race.”

Wink At Me, trained by Ken Boody at Dalma, west of Rockhampton, led all the way in the $6370-to-the-winner final.

Starting a $6 chance, Wink At Me beat kennelmate Dixie Gambles ($4.20) by one-and-three-quarter lengths with the Kevin Wheeler-prepared Bonnie Goes Bang ($31) two lengths away third.

The hot $1.80 favourite Paulie Walnuts finished fifth after suffering some early trouble.

“Ken is doing a great job with the dog and all going well I hope to be back trackside by September,” Warrington said.

Leading Townsville trainer Brad Belford, who is in partnership with Warrington in several dogs, had suggested sending Wink At Me to Boody late last year.

“Brad said the dog needs a change of scenery … he needs to race on different tracks,” Warrington said.

The talented sprinter has won a total of 17 races on five different tracks – nine with Belford, two while based with northern NSW trainer John Dart and six since joining the Boody kennels.

Belford, who has his own health issues, said he was feeling a lot better.

“I’ve put on 10 kilos in recent weeks after losing 24 due to cancer treatment.”

*****

MEANWHILE, versatile chaser I’m Explosive was just that in winning the $9800 Bundaberg Grand Prix (550m).

The Robert Ayres-trained sprinter led all the way for a highly impressive victory, beating Darren Taylor’s Annali ($3.70) by three-and-three-quarter lengths with the Brian Terry-prepared Koolboo Supreme ($19) a half-length away third.

I’m Explosive, the $2 favourite, ran a smart 31.06s.

The win took the Barcia Bale-Explosive Madame black bitch’s record to 56: 18-11-10 and $122,300.

*******

IT seems only a matter of time before talented North Queensland sprinter Paulie Walnuts breaks the Townsville 380m track record.

The Tony Parker-trained brindle dog (Fernando Bale-Flyrite) equalled his own track record in winning the $6500 Young Guns Final (380m) at Townsville early last month.

Paulie Walnuts sizzled home in 21.41s, the same time he clocked to set the new 380m mark in mid-January.

“With a bit of luck I think he could have broken the record,” Parker said.

“Paulie copped a slight check early which pushed him sideways.”

The trainer said the incident would have impacted on his time for sure.

“We know he can run fast,” he said.

“He’s run 21.33s in a trial there.”

Parker, based at Ayr between Townsville and Bowen, said the Young Guns victory was a good, hard win.

“He had to put in the big ones late to land the money,” he said.

“I like it when he comes from behind.

“It shows he’s versatile – he can lead or charge home late.

“However, he needs clear running room.

“He doesn’t like getting a bump.”

The fast time was set up by tearaway leader Shy Shin, the $2.70 favourite. She led the field into the home straight before Paulie Walnuts ($3.60) unleashed his big strides to grab victory by a length.

Another Parker runner Velocity Nora ($14) impressed with a gallant third, two-and-a-quarter lengths back.

“Shy Shin ran an exceptional 7.30 early split,” he said.

“They just don’t go that fast.

“I was a bit concerned when the leader gained the early break but once Paulie moved to a clear second, I was confident he’d get the job done.

“We’ll definitely go to town again with him.”

Paulie Walnuts, Parker ‘s first city winner, was successful over 520m at Albion Park in early February.

“I won’t be going down this time,” he said.

“I’ll send him to Tony Brett if he’ll have him … I think he will.”

Brett has had success with another Parker sprinter -Bogie Bandit – in recent months.

“He’s won three and had a series of placings for Tony,” said Parker.

The trainer now believes Paulie Walnuts is looking for more ground.

“Five hundred metres is definitely his go,” he said.

Parker said he was planning on just a short stint in Brisbane for his talented sprinter before bringing him home for the Townsville Wildcard and rich Cup series in August and September.

******

TRAINER Ken Boody is pushing on with plans for talented sprinter Zip Stream to head towards the Listed Townsville Wildcard (498m) series next month.

This is despite a couple of unplaced runs last month – in a heat of the Flying Amy Classic (520m) at Albion Park and an out-of-character performance in a heat of the Townsville Grand Prix (498m).

Heats of the Wildcard will be run on August 16 with the $15,000-to-the-winner final a week later.

As of last month the sprinter still needed another four runs at Townsville to qualify for the series.

Prior to her unplaced runs, Zip Stream (Zipping Garth-Night Time Lover) had been in scintillating form with 15 wins, a second and a third from 17 starts this year. Her overall stats stood at 49: 25-5-3.

Her most recent win came early last month with a highly impressive victory in the $9800 Rockhampton Grand Prix (510m) beating  the Darren Taylor-trained Say Some Words ($6.50) and Dallas Beckett’s Canary Wharf ($11).

Zip Stream, the $1.30 favourite, led all the way after a brilliant start from the outside box, winning by six-and-a-half lengths in a smart 29.69s.

Boody said he couldn’t explain the Townsville run although stewards said Zip Stream  was ‘checked off another runner and became unbalanced’.

“She was meeting much stronger opposition in the Flying Amy and  she only had five days between her Albion Park run and going to Townsville,” he said.

“Both trips were 10 hours in the car.”

He suggested there were excuses.

The trainer said he couldn’t find anything wrong with the sprinter after the Townsville run and has decided to give Zip Stream a short break.

“I’ll give her a week or two off,” he said.

Boody was confident his smart chaser would bounce back.

He said prior to her two recent runs she had been improving.

“She has surprised us so far this year,” the Dalma-based trainer said.

“It takes a fair dog to run the times she’s been running, particularly at Rockhampton.”

******

SUPER consistent sprinter Travis’s Lauryn just managed to hang on to win the $6500 Young Guns Final (460m) in an exciting three-way go at Bundaberg last month.

In what was almost a triple dead-heat Travis’s Lauryn ($3.90) crapped home to beat the David Plummer-trained $2.70 favourite Garfunkel with John Kuhn’s Queen Norma ($19) centimetres away third.

The winner, trained by Travis Elson at Yandina Creek, had a commanding near five-lengths lead mid race before the big striding Garfunkel closed the gap on the turn.

The Plummer sprinter looked the likely winner on straightening before, in the words of the stewards, ‘his attention was taken away from the lure’.

Travis’s Lauryn (Barcia Bale-Lauryn’s Best) gained the judge’s nod by the barest of margins, with both dogs credited the same time (26.44s), while Queen Norma, charging home along the rails, just failed to grab the leaders, clocking 26.45s.

Elson, who had two runners in the final, said the winner was a very consistent chaser.

“He’s getting better and stronger with racing,” he said.

“The whole litter is improving as they get older.

“Travis’s Lauryn has good box speed and always lands near the front in most of his starts.

“However, 460m seems to be his limit at the moment.

“He’s not a real strong dog but he ran up to his best in the final and I can’t ask for more than that.

“He’s turned into a nice dog.”

The victory took Travis’s Lauryn’s record to eight wins and 10 placings from 23 starts and lifted his prizemoney to just over $20,000.

Elson’s second finalist Hope’s Golden ($3.40), a litter sister to the winner, finished fifth after suffering interference at least twice in running.

“She’s a much faster dog with a better winning strike rate, but Travis’s Lauryn was always going to lead,” said Elson.

PAWNOTE: Unfortunately for the Plummer kennels, Garfunkel was stood down for 28 days for a ‘fail to pursue’ second offence.

 

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