Double Brings Up Milestone

By Jeff Collerson
When siblings Fascinate Mel and Super Aussie gave owner-trainer-breeder Noelene Holloway a winning double at Wentworth Park on Saturday night they achieved a remarkable 150 wins for their litter.

Whelped in March, 2020, and produced by a mating of Holloway's bitch Fascinate Mary with Aussie Infrared, the star of the litter is Fascinate Mel, whose 29.89 all-the-way win in a fourth and fifth grade on Saturday took her record from box one to seven wins and six placings from 16 appearances.

Johnny Fitzgerald has been either leading out or catching greyhounds trained by Mark and Daniel Gatt for the past six years and he has a hot prospect of his own with Sammy Ethan, who scored his second Wentworth Park win from two outings on Saturday night.

The Mark Gatt-trained Sammy Ethan led all the way to win his maiden heat in 29.86 at Wentworth Park on November 10 but was even more impressive on Saturday although his time was only 29.97.

On Saturday Sammy Ethan began only fairly but drove hard through a narrow gap between two rivals to take the lead from Totally Emgrand at the first turn.

After the race Fitzgerald said: "I owned a handy dog called Good Time Lenny which Mark trained for me in 2021 and I have been pestering him to find me another one ever since.

"When Vicki's Queen whelped a litter to Fernando Bale in January last year he recommended I contact their breeder Dawn Garrett to buy a pup.

"There were only two dog puppies in the litter and when they were three months old Dawn sent Mark and I pictures of the youngsters and we both chose the fawn dog which races as Sammy Ethan.

"I bought him for $10,000.''

When crack Victorian trainer Mark Delbridge dropped Zadie Bale off to his new trainer, Sydney's Simon Rhodes, in July, her only win had been over 460m at Geelong three months earlier.

But after getting off to a slow start with a mediocre 21.10 trial over 365m at Nowra, Zadie Bale has continued to improve and on Saturday she notched her sixth win for Simon Rhodes, bolting away for a seven lengths Wentworth Park victory.

Zadie Bale covered the 520m in a slick 29.81 and went to the line powerfully for an outstanding run home time of 11.64.

A 622m race which was programmed for Richmond last Wednesday had to be scrapped through lack of nominations and that forced trainer Robert Howard to enter Downtown Zipper for a 720m event at Wentworth Park n Saturday night.

That gave Howard a $6700 windfall when Downtown Zipper led all the way to beat hot favourite Glaski Poke by a half length in a handy 42.38.

"Because it is so hard to find long distance races I had not been able to give Downtown Zipper as much work as I would have liked so I was happy with how well he hung on,'' Howard said.

"I will now set him for the group 3 Newcastle Cup over 715m at Ladbrokes Gardens on December 9.''

Dashing front runner Nangar Jim, who recorded a flying 5.38 first split when he won at Wentworth Park on November 11 for Joe McFadyen, produced identical initial figures before winning in 29.88 on Saturday, his 11th win in 18 starts.

Dual Million Dollar Chase winning trainer Peter Lagogiane saw Rocket Riot, the star of his team, run down narrowly in a Melbourne Cup Prelude on Saturday night but he picked up a consolation prize when that greyhound's kennel mate Nad Al Sheba won a 520m Wentworth Park fifth grade in 29.61, best of the night.