News Article

Yappin’ Jack wins Illingworth Classic in style

15 / 04 / 2013 Article by: Peter Staples
Yappin' Jack leads Bell Oh Moss to the first turn in the Illingworth Classic final icon Click to enlarge

NOVICE greyhound owner-breeder Bill Witherden developed a passion for greyhounds when he was a kid but he had to wait until he retired from the workforce to realise his childhood dream.

Witherden and his wife Anne decided to become involved in greyhound racing as owners about eight years ago.

They enjoyed moderate success but it is their first attempt at breeding that has given them their first major victory.

Yappin Jack, one of 10 pups they bred from their broodbitch Patsy Anne, blitzed his rivals in the $20,000 Illingworth Classic over 515 metres at The TOTE Racing Centre in Launceston on Monday night.

The Mick Stringer-trained dog began brilliantly from box six and had the lead at the first turn from where he extended his advantage down the back stretch and went on to score by 5-1/2 lengths from Gracie with jack O’Reilly almost a length away third,.

It was Yappin’ jack’s ninth win from only 13 starts and Stringer believes he has the potential to go all the way.

“This dog did just what I expected him to do tonight and if he continues to improve as I believe he will then he has what it takes to he a very smart dog,” Stringer said.

“He is already proving his class and who knows, the sky could be the limit for this dog,” he said.

It was Stringer’s first Illingworth Classic victory.

“This is one race I have wanted to win for some time because it was one of the big ones that had eluded me,” he said.

Witherden found it difficult to suppress his jubilance.

“We are thrilled out of our minds about this litter,” Witherden said.

“To breed the litter and watch them grow up and eventually get to the races is such an amazing experience and when you get a result like this (winning an Illingworth Classic) it is quite moving,” he said.

Yappin’ Jack is regarded as the best of the litter of 10 and Stringer should now as he was given nine of them to train.

“Yappin’ jack is the fastest and probably the toughest of the litter but there is another named Oscar Ralph that could be at least his equal provided I can sort a few head issues,” Stringer said.

Yappin’ Jack will head to Devonport soon to contest a heat of the Country Derby and Stringer is confident the son of Astron Galilee will perform well.

“I’m fairly confident this dog is a better U-turn dog and the Devonport track suits him,” the trainer said.