Greyhound racing made a hugely-anticipated return to Traralgon on Saturday night, with the club staging the first official meeting on its state-of-the-art $6m ‘J-curve’ track.
Ten races were held over 395m and two over 500m, with the 350m and 450m starts currently inactive.
Highlights of the historic opening meeting were:
- Adrian Smit trained the first winner on the new track, with Aston Miguel winning the opening event in 22.43sec.
- Ivy Isobel, trained by Brett Mackie, claimed Best Of Night honours over 395m, clocking 22.10sec to bring Hill Top Jonah’s six-race winning streak to end.
- Mackie also trained the faster of the two 500m winners, with Mystify Kick running 27.83sec, shading Paua Of Oscar’s 27.89sec performance.
- $26 outsider Do Good Davlin, prepared by Wendy Neocleous, was an upset 22.46sec winner of the Special Event over 395m, with Group performers Mr. Fix It, Ferdinand Boy and Lots Of Chatter all unplaced.
- Box 7 was the most successful draw, producing four winners, while Boxes 1 and 5 were the only alleys not to win a race.
WATCH: Aston Miguel (7) and Longford trainer Adrian Smit wrote their names into the history books last night, winning the first race at the new Traralgon track.
Brett Mackie, who’s based at Tooradin, was the only trainer to prepare multiple winners at the return meeting, with littermates Ivy Isobel and Mystify Kick winning in differing styles, in a positive sign for the new track.
Ivy Isobel ran down Hill Top Jonah over 395m, while Mystify Kick led all-the-way over 500m.
“It’s not often you go home with two track records on your swab tickets!” quipped Mackie.
“I was very happy with how both dogs went.
“They’d both been going very well and I expected them to run well. Even though Ivy Isobel was in a really hard field – it was nearly a Cup heat – her last two wins at Warragul had been super. It’s good to see Mystify Kick back racing like he was.
WATCH: Ivy Isobel (2) ran down Hill Top Jonah (4) in thrilling fashion to give Brett Mackie the first leg of a winning double at Traralgon.
“For me, I think the track is great because it will cater for a different variety of dog. Some dogs go up the straight, others like two-turns, and we’ll see, but this track is going to suit other types of dogs.
“We do a lot of education work at Healesville and with the big run-up and the fluent corner, Traralgon is going to be a good educational tool too.
“A lot of dogs won from on the pace last night, but there were dogs that came from behind too. On what I’ve seen so far, I think it’s a track that’s going to give every dog their chance.
“Even the really tight race last night – the Special Event – was a clean tight race.”
Traralgon will race again on Monday, while the heats of the G2 Traralgon Cup (395m) next Friday night and the Australian Day final will showcase the world first ‘J-curve’ track design to a national and indeed international audience.
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