Extra Gear, a greyhound purchased for $8500 at last year’s Ready 2 Race Sales, will be chasing a $47,000 first prize in Saturday night’s Group 2 Shepparton Cup (450m).
Trainer Ray Henness bought Extra Gear (then 22 months old and unraced) on behalf of the Lindray Park Syndicate, and he has been stunned by the progress of his greyhound, who has won 12 of 37 starts and $32,170 in prize money.
“When we bought him I thought he’d make a nice country dog who might win a few races. But to make a group final with him is a big thrill,” Henness said.
Henness is hoping for his second group win of his career, having won the Traralgon Cup with Dee Winter in 2010. And he believes Extra Gear (pictured in rug 1), a $10 chance with TAB, could sneak under the guards of punters in the Shepparton Cup final.
“He (Extra Gear) has enough early pace to be in the first three in the early stages of the Shepparton Cup, and I think he’s a decent place chance,” the Heathcote trainer said.
The Shepparton Cup isn’t the only big race on Henness’ agenda this weekend, with another of his greyhounds, Bear Left, to take on coursing’s elite in the 145th running of the Waterloo Cup.
“When I bought Bear Left I was told he is a flying machine up the straight, but I didn’t take a lot of notice because I didn’t buy him for coursing. But he had been ordinary out of the boxes, so I thought I’d give him a go at coursing and his speed up the straight shocked me.”
“I trialled 10 dogs up the straight at Longwood and he was the best by a long way. He trialled five lengths quicker than Extra Gear that day,” Henness said.
Bear Left is unbeaten on the coursing circuit, winning a maiden event at Benalla in April (with his previous trainer) as well as the Bert Clark Memorial in July (with Henness).
The quickest of the seven Shepparton Cup heat winners was Zoom Out (25.12sec), followed by Peter Galo (25.20sec), Elevated (25.37sec), Extra Gear (25.39sec), My Name’s David (25.42sec), Despacito (25.45sec) and Hone In (25.63sec).
TAB was quick to put up a market for the Shepparton Cup following the heats, with Zoom Out instilled the favourite at $3.
Full results & replays click HERE
Group 2 Shepparton Cup
Saturday 18 August – 450m
1. HONE IN (Brett Bravo, Lovely Banks VIC) $8
2. DESPACITO (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC) $14
3. MY NAME’S DAVID (Alan Ferguson, Girgarre VIC) $7
4. ELEVATED (Harry Manolitsis, Devon Meadows VIC) $5
5. EXTRA GEAR (Raymond Henness, Heathcote VIC) $10
6. PETER GALO (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC) $3.80
7. MAYOR DIGBY (Darren Brown, Lara VIC) $16
8. ZOOM OUT (Michelle Mallia-Magri, Avalon VIC) $3
9. UP HILL JILL (David Geall, Lara VIC) $5.50
10. REGAZZONI (Angela Langton, Anakie VIC) $51
TAB odds click HERE
HEAT 1: Zoom Out (5) leads all the way to win in 25.12sec (Best) HEAT 2: Hone In (6) comes from mid-field to win in 25.63sec. HEAT 3: Extra Gear (1) takes full advantage of his inside draw to win in 25.39sec. HEAT 4: Despacito (5) reels in the classy Chief’s Sidekick to score in 25.45sec. HEAT 5: Peter Galo (6) began well and powered to the line in 25.20sec.
HEAT 6: Elevated (1) comes from the clouds to defeat Up Hill Jill and Raw Ability in 25.37sec. HEAT 7: Local duo My Name’s David (1) and Tiempo Dinero (7) run one-two in the final heat.