VETERAN Tasmanian greyhound trainer Morrie Strickland had to fight to hold back tears after his kennel star Rewind powered his way to a brilliant win in the Group 3 Dowling McCarthy Hankook Tyres Devonport Cup over 452 metres at the Devonport Showground today.
It was Strickland’s first feature race win in over 50 years in the game.
Rewind showed his customary speed from box eight but he was not as swift as the sole interstate invader Classy Maldini, prepared by Graeme Bate in Victoria that led clearly to the top turn.
Classy Maldini turned for home two lengths clear but when Rewind loomed to issue his challenge the crowd roared and the son of Collide-Ricky’s Angel burst clear in the shadows of the post to go on and score by 2-1/2 lengths from Classy Maldini with Portrait Ignites almost three lengths astern.
“I’ve finally done it (win a Group race) and it feels great,” Strickland said.
“He is a wonderful dog and I reckon he can get better,” he said.
Rewind ran the 452 metres in a slick 25.31 seconds that was his best from 11 outings on the U-bend circuit.
It was the dog’s ninth win on the track but clearly his best as this year’s Devonport Cup boasted one of the best fields ever assembled in the North-West Coast club’s premier event.
Rewind was sent out the $1.70 favourite but there was plenty of support for the Graeme Bate-trained Classy Maldini that was backed in to start at $3.20.
Strickland, 72, began training when he was a teenager and snared his first winner at age 17.
He has taken a couple of breaks from the industry but he says he has always kept an interest.
Strickland said Rewind would now be aimed at the Launceston Cup with heats of the Group 2 event run on February 6 with the final a week later.