40 races over three days heralds a record-breaking carnival for Moree Greyhound Racing Club
AN 18-race card on Saturday split across two sessions headline Moree Greyhound Racing Club’s huge three-day dog-racing carnival this June long weekend – and another 16 races on Monday will see the club smash all previous carnival records.
Saturday’s bumper meeting, with the first race set to jump from the boxes at 9.45am, features heats of the rich 421m Outback Sprint and 302m Outback Fly.
Also programmed are heats of the 551m IPR Contracting Final and 302m Ladbrokes Maiden.
The fastest eight dogs from all heats will contest the rich finals on Monday, with consolation finals also decided.
Saturday’s morning session embraces nine races.
A two-hour break will be followed by the nine-race afternoon session, featuring the 551m Sam Sabine Memorial Stakes, 302m John Martyn Trial Track Stakes and 421m Burke and Wills Stakes.
Moree Greyhound Racing Club secretary Helen Ayre will rug four starters on Saturday, including last-start winner Tiny Faye in Heat 3 of the Outback Fly, Dalair Pearl in Heat 4, Dalair Cruzin’ in Heat 2 of the Ladbrokes Maiden and Bounce That in Heat 5.
Partner Neil Dallison will start Little Gesture in Heat 2 of the Outback Sprint and Seldom Talks in Heat 6 of the Ladbrokes Maiden while fellow Moree trainer Bobby Moore is in for a busy day with seven starters.
Moore will rug last-start winner Uno The Maid in Heat 1 of the Outback Sprint, in-form speedster Fruit Zafonic (Outback Fly Heat 3), first-starters Lee Marlow (Ladbrokes Maiden Heat 1), Swift Bobby (Ladbrokes Maiden Heat 3), Petite Harbour (Ladbrokes Maiden Heat 4), Harbour Reign (Ladbrokes Maiden Heat 5) and Swift Attitude in the William Sabine Memorial Stakes.
Ayre said numbers for Saturday’s huge card were outstanding.
“It’s great to see the support of so many owners and trainers from across NSW and Queensland – Saturday is going to be a very busy day for the club, as is Monday,” Ayre said.
“Sunday’s program is a little disappointing with only six races, but Monday will again be huge with some quality dogs contesting eight feature race finals, as well as another eight supporting races,” she said.
Trainers from across NSW and Queensland will arrive en masse to Moree as early as Friday, including Newcastle trainer Alex Verhagen, who won the Outback Fly Final two years ago with Little Sunshine.
Verhagen has pulled out all stops to defend his crown, with Plaza Princess in Heat 1 and Where’s Kinloch (Heat 2) both aiming for berths in Monday’s rich final.
Verhagen also starts Prince Zesta and Opening Night in the 551m Sam Sabine Memorial, named in honour of one of the club’s longest-serving supporters who passed away in 2015.
Sabine was involved in all things to do with greyhound racing in Moree for more than 75 years and began training in his early teens.
Over the years he threw a rug over scores of top-grade dogs, including Game Venture, Credit Account, Cindy Moree, Milo’s Conquest, Home Comforts, Sally Nicole and Game Venture’s mother, Miss Farlena.
Also remembered on Sunday is staunch club supporter Shirley Steel, wife of longstanding club member and on-course bookmaker, Brian Steel.
The 421m Shirley Steel Memorial Stakes has drawn eight quality greyhounds, including Paul Wasson’s Clever Chloe and Roman Zesta, Blanchett from the Shane Staples kennel and Danny Single’s Step Back Lass.
“The club has a very busy weekend ahead of it,” Ayre smiled.
The Royal Hotel Moree Social Club will also be out in full force on Saturday, and looking to back plenty of winners – and it shouldn’t be hard with 18 races to choose from.
“The social club likes to get out on the town every now and again and support something local,” club member Geoff Peachey said.
“We had such a great time at the local greyhounds early last year that we’ve decided to again support the local dog club and make a real day of it,” he said.
Words and Image Copyright Bill Poulos
A feature article on the late, great Sam Sabine can be viewed here: