Hazelwood North hobby trainer and former jockey Gavin Burke won his first group race when taking out tonight’s $67,000 Group 2 Topcat Video Traralgon Cup (525m) with Pantera Nera.
Burke, a regular at Traralgon, was ecstatic as Pantera Nera led all the way at the huge odds of $14.00, keeping the fast-finishing Demon Bale and Eren Bale (both trained by Blake Shillington) at bay.
“It is the first time I have had a runner in a group race and I was so nervous when I was standing behind the boxes before the race,” said Burke, who took a redundancy package last week from his full-time position as a Sales Rep.
“It was great competition tonight and I couldn’t be happier because we paid quite bit of money for Pantera Nera, but it’s been worth it. We’re a small kennel with only seven dogs so this is very satisfying.”
Pantera Nera notched his 13th win from 28 starts after clocking the time of 30.189sec.
WATCH: Pantera Nera wins the Topcat Video Traralgon Cup.
Pantera Nera with Gavin and Leanne Burke and the prized Traralgon Cup.
Pantera Nera is a happy pup after winning the Traralgon Cup. Pics by Clint Anderson.
Earlier in the night, top class stayer Lithgow Panther (Robert Britton) was simply superb when delivering a commanding last-to-first victory in the $10,000 Traralgon Cup Consolation (525m) after gaining a start as the first reserve.
WATCH: Lithgow Panther (9) comes from last to win the Traralgon Cup Consolation.
Two other substantial features were run on the night, with Dr. Melezar (Bill McMahon) winning the $10,710 GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (525m), and Allen Membo (Robert Britton) snaring the $10,000 Life Members Cup (595m).
WATCH: Allen Membo (5) wins the Life Members Cup in 34.556sec.
Watch: Dr. Melezar (2) leads all the way in the Vic Bred Maiden Final (525m).
2016 Traralgon Cup Gallery