The Massina family had their hands full on Sunday 22 July with four greyhounds from the same litter engaged in the Victorian Derby and Oaks series at Longwood.
The May ‘16 Dyna Double One and Chelabella litter, who was bred by Robyn Massina, showcased sibling rivalry at its best in the Victorian Coursing Derby (for male greyhounds only) with Yakari and Dakora coursing off against each other in the final round. Yakari came out on top to claim the first prize of $3,765 plus $1,000 VicBred bonus.
Yakari is no stranger to success on the coursing circuit, having won two out of three coursing events (Victorian Derby and Victorian Puppy event). He is also well accomplished on the circle tracks, having won four consecutive races from five starts at Ballarat and Bendigo.
“You can never judge how a greyhound will go coursing. They could be a well performing greyhound on the circle track but not handle the multiple runs on the same day or over the weekend,” Yakari’s trainer Dallas Massina said.
Also from the litter is Julana and Barinya, who had less luck in the Victorian Oaks (for female greyhounds only) with Barinya making it through to the final course only to be scratched due to injury, leaving Lady Christina (trained by Gerard Rigg) the 2018 Victorian Oaks winner.
A black female out of Hooksy and Lavana, this was Lady Christina’s second attempt at coursing, having finished the runner-up in a maiden event at Benalla in April.
But the biggest thrill was for Lady Christina’s owner, Ross McDonald – who is in his early 80’s.
McDonald has been involved in greyhound racing for the majority of his adult life as a trainer, owner and slipper in the Western District.
A stroke stopped him from training dogs but it didn’t stop his love of greyhounds, keeping his interest in the dogs through ownership.
“Lady Christina is the first dog who had won a major event for Ross, and being a former slipper in coursing, it was a very emotional win for him,” Rigg said.
McDonald was at Longwood to collect Lady Christina’s trophy.
“Lady Christina was to be Ross’ last greyhound, but now he is working overtime to convince his wife Leonie to let him buy another pup.”
More than $20,000 was distributed across Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July at Longwood, including two other feature events – the Longwood Cup and Bert Clark Memorial.
The Longwood Cup was won by Raloo Barbara, who is trained by Wade Green. Raloo Barbara defeated accomplished courser Cullquin Bomber to claim the first prize of $1,400.
The final feature event was the Bert Clarke Memorial and it was a battle between Bear Left and Mickey Rawson, with Bear Left for trainer Raymond Henness coming out on top.
Bear Left showed the benefit of his Longwood outing with a follow-up win at Shepparton on Thursday at the juicy odds of $9.70.
It is set to be a huge month at Lang Lang in August with the biggest coursing event of the season, the Waterloo Cup on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 of August, with the final to be broadcast live on the GRV’s Facebook page.