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‘Hot August Month’

Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club’s ‘Hot August Month’ was a forward-thinking extravaganza!

And it reached a month-long climax tonight with four feature races – Enduro Series final (545m), Enduro Series final (660m), Tier 3 Enduro Cup final (545m) and Tier 3 Enduro Cup Consolation (545m).

The progressive approach was designed to foster middle-distance and staying racing in a four-week series rather than one-off special events.

And the exciting and proactive initiative resulted in a gala night of racing.

In-form stayer Euro Bro (Oct ’17 My Bro Fabio x Broadway Miss) landed a $7000 first prize for Lara trainer Jamie Ennis in the Enduro Series (660m) final.

Euro Bro ($2.70) notched his third win from his past four starts with a powerhouse performance defeating Weetbix Jester ($21.80) by 2.1L, with Look Fancy Nancy ($5.50) – also trained by Ennis – a further 0.1L away third in 37.89sec. Burn Time ($2.10F) finished fourth, 2.9L from the winner.

It was his ninth win from 42 starts and his stakes lifted to $37,900. He’s won or been placed in 13 of his past 14 starts.

And he’d defeated G1 star Here’s Tears in a heat before finishing third to him in a $12,000-to-the-winner Grade 5 final (600m) at The Meadows prior to tonight’s assignment.

“He was the form dog of the race and I thought he had the right draw (Box 3). It was just a matter of getting to the rails,” Ennis said.

WATCH: Last Hurrah (1) ledads all the way to claim tonight’s Enduro Series final (545m) at Ballarat.

Last Hurrah with trainer Brett Nye. Photo by: Peter Morganti, BGRC Race Day Photographer.

“Basically, I’ve been lucky enough to win Ballarat Cups, so the club is a soft spot for me… I educate most of my dogs here; it’s always been one of my favourite tracks.”

It was also consolation for Ennis who had to scratch rare talent Jim Zarr Dashian from the $5000-to-the-winner Enduro Series (545m) final, which was taken out by ultimate professional Last Hurrah (Feb ’17 Where’s Pedro x Quick Succession).

Trained by Brett Nye at Little River, Last Hurrah – a finalist in the G1 Australian Cup – was the star performer during the ‘Enduro’ carnival.

He won both his preludes (30.73sec & 30.82sec) in best-of-night times before clocking a stunning 11L win in 29.77sec (Best) at The Meadows.

Tonight, Last Hurrah ($1.30F) led from go to whoa defeating Chief’s Magic ($5.90) by 2.2L, with rank outsider Lady Pandora ($40.10) a further 4.3L away third in 30.97sec.

And how about these stats: Last Hurrah recorded his fourth straight win and his fourth win from five starts over Ballarat’s middle-distance trip. He also notched his eighth win in 12 starts from Box 1.

WATCH: Euro Bro (3) storms home to claim tonight’s Enduro Series final (660m) at Ballarat.

“I picked this series out a long time ago,” Nye said. “I was pretty blessed with box draws, but he’s a super dog. It’s personally satisfying when these plans come to fruition.”

Meanwhile, the Tier 3 Cup concept met its brief to provide the so-called ‘battlers’ in the sport a kick-along.

As Balliang trainer Gary Mannion said in the lead-in to the series: “It’s a brilliant idea and fantastic for the hobby trainer… You get a chance to properly prepare a dog for this concept and it gives grass-roots trainers something to strive for.”

Mannion had Grime Time Zeus (6th) in the $2000-to-the-winner Tier 3 Enduro Cup Consolation won by Fast Izzi (Jan ’16 Paw Licking x Live Wire) in 31.54sec.

Trained by Marcus Lloyd at Anakie, Fast Izzi ($7.90) notched his 11th win from 95 starts. His stakes increased to $27,978.

BGRC Racing Advisory Committee member Sheldon Hamilton, who was pivotal in the genesis of the ‘Enduro’ brainchild, had Keeping Busy (7th) in the $3000-to-the-winner Tier 3 Enduro Cup final won by Lachie’s Legacy (Jun ’17 Worm Burner x Strongbeth) in 31.32sec.

Trained by Mark Johnson at Heathcote, Lachie’s Legacy ($5.40) registered his third win from 24 starts. His prizemoney jumped to $6250.

WATCH: Lachie’s Legacy (5) storms home to snare the $3,000 to-the-winner Tier 3 Cup (545m).

Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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