Last Sunday’s racing provided terrific excitement and a satisfying winning double for greyhound trainers and partners, Claire Allen and Brett Hare (pictured with Slingshot Reaper).
Their first victory of the day took place at Healesville, with Slingshot Reaper (Unlawful Entry x Paw Sa Prize) winning his 100th start in an extremely competitive Free For All (300m). In fact, less than 3L separated the entire field at the finish.
Then, almost four and a half hours later, Showtime Boomer (Blazin’ Bomber x Zipping Emma) clocked 29.75sec in a Grade 5 (515m) at Sandown Park.
RSN race-caller Victoria Shaw was lucky enough to catch up with Claire Allen after Showtime Boomer’s impressive victory.
They reflected firstly on the wonderful win of Slingshot Reaper, which Allen owns, and the strong field he managed to stave off – a field full of enormous ability over Healesville’s short course.
“When you have a field like that, you can’t get overly confident,” Allen said. That was as strong a Free For All at Healesville as you are going to get.
“We were happy that we drew box eight, as he was out of the way a little bit. I’m sure if he’d been on the inside, and got among the trouble, we may not have had the same outcome.
“He goes straight and drifts over; he likes his room. And if he gets caught up at Healesville, there is not much time to get clear. It was a very good result.”
A winning centennial starter, Slingshot Reaper was sent out race favourite and didn’t disappoint his many admirers. Punters happily backed the veteran straight track specialist into $2.50.
Slingshot Reaper notched up his 32nd win from 100 starts in 16.73sec. He added to his glowing resume which also includes seven back-to-back victories up the picturesque Yarra Valley straight track, over both the 300m and 350m distances, earlier this year.
SLINGSHOT REAPER (B8) in ‘shanghai’ mode at Healesville last Sunday.
Allen was also incredibly happy with the way Slingshot Reaper jumped from the traps, getting clear early and holding his rivals at bay. “They were coming at him but as I’ve said before, he’s a mad chaser.”
Shaw added: “I have been able to broadcast some of Slingshot Reaper’s events at Healesville, and I’ve often noticed the wonderful alacrity that he displays when heading out to the start. Which I have no doubt, has not diminished, having now had 100 starts.”
Allen also cheerfully recalled her veteran greyhound’s antics: “He has almost pulled both of us over. He ends up in the garden, he spins around, he jumps up and down, he goes berserk, he’s like a little puppy.”
Both Allen and Shaw commented on how much Slingshot Reaper loves his racing, with Allen mentioning with great affection: “He is a beautiful dog, he’s one in a million and has real character.
“He’s very over the top, not everyone’s cup of tea but he makes us laugh, and he loves his belly rubs and his Schmackos. He’s gorgeous.”
WATCH: SLINGSHOT REAPER (B8) wins his 100th start for trainer Brett Hare.
And the excitement of the day continued for the training duo with Showtime Boomer, which exited from box four.
At box-rise, Showtime Boomer was swamped by his rivals. But Showtime Boomer overcame early difficulties to chase the early leader down.
Allen remarked: “He’s been jumping not too badly this preparation but today he missed it and got into a little trouble. However, I knew if he got in a good position he’d try and run whoever is in front of him down, he always does.”
Finally, Allen informed Shaw that Slingshot Reaper will be returning to Healesville this forthcoming weekend for start 101 and Showtime Boomer might be back at Sandown Park this Sunday as well.
WATCH: SHOWTIME BOOMER (B4) went ‘boom’ for trainer Claire Allen at Sandown Park on the weekend.