News Article

Rising stars in Minister’s Gift series

10 / 10 / 2014 Article by: Peter Staples
Amazing Harry defeats Wynburn Loco in Minister's Gift heat clocking 26.24s icon Click to enlarge

IF the winners of the first round of heats of the Minister’s Gift all make it to the final then it promises to be one of the best in the series’ history.

The Minister’s Gift is open to all three, four and five-grade chasers and the response from trainers was strong enough to produce five first-round heats.

The second round of heats will be held in Launceston on October 20 with the top eight point scorers from the two rounds of heats to progress to the final at Devonport on October 28.

Winning a heat will earn the dog 11 points, eight for second and six for third while fourth will earn four points and it reduces by one through to seventh with no points for last place.

The first round of heats were run at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night (Thursday) with all five winners capable of progressing to top grade by the end of the year.

Smart bitch Howzat Grace ($1.60) was the quickest of the five heat winners clocking 26.06 over the 461 metres to score by 6-1/2 lengths from Mauri Baba with another 2-1/2 lengths to Great Taylors.

The Neville Allison trained bitch began well from box eight and once she edged clear of the pack she crossed down to the fence and proceeded to give her rivals a galloping lesson.

The Karlene Cuthbertson-owned and bred bitch is fantastic when she is on the lure but often she can miss the start and that often spells disaster for the daughter of Thirteen Black-Icy Popsicle.

However Allison has always maintained she would get better with age and that she probably had a future over longer distances.

The in-form Daniel’s Bay from the Gary Fahey kennel gave punters no cause for alarm when he scored an effortless win in his heat as the $1.90 favourite.

He was fairly away from box two but mustered speed quickly to boot through to hold the lead to the top turn and went on to score by 1-1/2 lengths from Bit Hot Rusty that chased hard from the outset with Sweet Izzy getting up for third but over four lengths away.

Daniel’s Bay ran the 461 metres in a slick 26.07.

The in-form Kirkby Lodge from the Patrick Ryan kennel continued on his winning way with an impressive heat win wearing the pink vest.

Kirkby Lodge began well and engaged in a battle royal with the well backed Underground but Ryan’s dog gained an advantage close to home to hit the line a head clear with Buckle Up Omnin coming from well back to grab third with the winner clocking 26.10.

Amazing Harry impressed in winning his heat scoring by 1-1/2 lengths from Wynburn Loco with the fast-finishing Winklea Rose two lengths away third.

It was Amazing Harry’s third win from four starts on the Hobart track and at his only other try he was third to Senor Slamma in the Tasmanian St Leger final.

Amazing Harry stopped the clock at 26.24 but could have run faster had it not been for slight interference heading to the top turn.

Bailey’s Comet scored arguably the best win of the night coming from looked a hopeless winning position at the tip of the home straight.

Real Caution found the lead nearing the top turn with outsider Colonel Cain two lengths astern and chasing hard and Bailey’s Comet a further four lengths away third and tracking wide.

When they straightened Real Caution gained the upper hand from Colonel Cain and was at full steam 80 metres from the line with Bailey’s Comet still four lengths off him.

But Bailey’s Comet looked to sprout wings over the final stages and grabbed victory in the shadows of the post scoring by a head from Real Caution with Colonel Cain hanging on for third 1-1/4 lengths away and just clear of Winklee Frank.