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).