Jack the latest success story for Ruth and Graham

By Jeff Collerson
Poppy Jack continued owner Graham Ganderton's amazing run of success with the Ruth Matic-trained speedster notching his fifth win in nine starts at Bulli on Saturday night. 

Poppy Jack began only fairly but drove between the pacemakers to hit the front on the first turn and then careered away to win a 400m fifth grade in the fast time of 22.40s. 

After the race Ruth Matic said: "Poppy Jack tends to miss the kick when he is in the boxes for a long while but he really takes off near the first turn, just like he did tonight. 

"Although he has not been tried beyond 400m I will now take him to Goulburn and step him up to 440m because I think he will get 500 metres. 

"His run home times over 350m at Goulburn have been unbelievable so I'll be surprised if he can't get further. 

"Poppy Jack's owner Graham Ganderton has had several top class greyhounds including Black Bear Lee, which I trained to win the group 3 Wentworth Park Magic Maiden in 2015, File The Writ, who won 25 from 67 starts and Hurricane Luke, who won 21 from 45 races and was runner-up in the 2009 group 1 Hobart Thousand. 

"Zulu Power, the dam of Poppy Jack, is a half sister to Black Bear Lee, so he is certainly well bred.'' 

Megalodon won 16 races and reached top grade at Wentworth Park in 2017 and on Saturday night Eagle Rock, a 19 months old puppy from her first litter, scored an impressive first-up win. 

Trained by Lynne Aldous, who prepared Megalodon, Eagle Rock showed great determination to exit box four and lead quickly before scoring in a nippy 26.56 for the 472m. 

"Eagle Rock is the first starter I have had since my good bitch Princess Nala retired five months ago,'' Aldous said. 

"But it looks as if Megalodon is going to be a good brood bitch because other people who have pups from this first litter, sired by Barcia Bale, are very happy with them.'' 

Lynne Aldous' son son Brandon handled Eagle Rock on Saturday and said: "He has been very talented from day one and although still very green, we knew he was good when he clocked 22.60 in his first trial over 400m at Richmond. 

"His win tonight was better than it looked because from behind the boxes, when he jumped from box four he was colliding with the dog in box three for a fair way.''

Christine Oldfield has long considered Bulli her favourite track and the Appin-based trainer took out Saturday's opening event, a 400m maiden, with the 23 months old Gordito, and the 472m Free-For-All with Acapulco Heat

Both greyhounds are owned by Angela Della Bosca, with Acapulco Heat scoring his 12th win in 21 starts and clocking 26.27s. 

Despite being hampered severely from box eight, Gordito finished tenaciously to win by a nose in 22.88s. 

"Over the years I have probably won more races at Bulli than anywhere else and it is a track I have always liked because it tends to give every dog a chance,'' Oldfield said. 

"Gordito finished fifth at Goulburn at his only previous start but that was the first time he had ever seen so many other dogs, he had previously only ever trialled against one rival. 

"He won from box eight tonight but I think he will be better from an inside draw.''

Oldfield's string of Bulli winners over the past 20 years includes Spring Gun, who went on to win the group 1 Vic Peters Classic at Wentworth Park in 2011 along with several speedsters carrying the "November'' prefix. 

Hobby owner-breeder Steve Fitch landed a winning double, training Cumbria Ninno to a nippy 22.47s win in a 400m fifth grade before watching that greyhound's litter brother Cumbria Lad steal the show by winning over 472m in 26.23s, fastest time of the night, for his new trainer Allan Wanwaring.