• Wednesday, 02 Mar, 2022,
  • by Peter Quilty

The Great White Hope

Big-barrelled Wonwondah sprinter Crackerjack Keg epitomises the proverbial “great white hope” as he ‘gloves up’ for the Group 2 Taylor’s Palace Hotel Horsham Cup (485m) on Friday night.

Trained by stalwarts of the sport, Patricia and Cliff Smith – just 25km out of Horsham – Crackerjack Keg ‘shapes up’ to some ‘heavyweights’ as he chases a $47,000 ‘title belt’.

The ‘gangly’ Crackerjack Keg – which receives his racing moniker due to generous 35kg proportions – will come out of the ‘white corner’ (Box 3) and is a $26.00 outsider to claim a hometown win.

TAB’s fixed odds favourite is G2 Traralgon Cup winner Typhoon Sammy ($2.80) ahead of Boston Garden ($4.20) and Zara’s Ivan and Americano Miss – both at $6.00.

“We were desperate to draw ‘seven’ or ‘eight… And now we’re just going to need luck.”

Crackerjack Keg ($16.40) qualified for the final by finishing second, beaten 3.4 lengths, to Boston Garden ($7.40), in a flying 26.90sec – the fastest of six heats last Friday.

The Smiths had a couple Horsham Cup finalists decades ago (names of which escape their memory) and they’re hopeful, but not confident, Crackerjack Keg can supply them with a first country cup success.

“We were desperate to draw ‘seven’ or ‘eight’,” Cliff said. “And now we’re just going to need luck.

“It was a ripper run in a heat last week, and he’ll finish the race right off in the final, but I still think Boston Garden is the one to beat.”

Crackerjack Keg (Feb ’19 Cutting Edge x Maximum Lil) has ‘climbed into the ring’ on 35 occasions for 11 wins and five seconds. He boasts a smart 27.05sec PB over Horsham’s testing 485-metre trip.

He also finished fourth to Ferdinand Boy in the Warrnambool Star in early January.

His sire, Cutting Edge, won 11 races from 18 starts, including seven of his first 11. He finished fifth, as $2.10F, in the G2 Great Chase final.

And his dam, Maximum Lil, won 16 races from 51 starts. She was runner-up in the 2013 G2 Laurels and a 2015 G1 National Futurity finalist.

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Friday 4 March – First prize: $47,000

1 OLD NEWS (Brooke Ennis, Lara)
2 INVICTUS RISING* (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows)
3 CRACKERJACK KEG (Patricia Smith, Wonwondah)
4 FERNANDO MICK (David Geall, Lara)
5 BOSTON GARDEN (Jeff Britton, Anakie)
6 ZARA’S IVAN (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
7 AMERICANO MISS (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)
8 TYPHOON SAMMY (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
9 LOTS OF CHATTER (Graeme Jose, Catani)
10 LALA IVORY (Andrea Dailly, Anakie)

*to be scratched

(Fastest to slowest)

Crackerjack Keg is bred and owned by father-and-son team Jordan and Dean Cooper whose ‘Jordean’ syndicate races greyhounds with either a “Crackerjack” or “Maximum” prefix.

“We used to pre-train a few dogs for the Coopers around seven years ago and they now send us dogs which are suited to bigger tracks in the country,” Smith said.

“Crackerjack Keg has got more ability than any dog we’ve trained. But he’s injury prone because he’s so gangly.”

Pawnote: It’s a ‘crackerjack’ night of racing (if you’ll excuse the pun) with the Horsham Cup Consolation (485m), Jan Wilson Memorial (485m) and Wimmera Cup (410m) also on the program.

WATCH: Crackerjack Keg (3) never ‘threw in the towel’ against fastest heat winner Boston Garden (4).

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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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