Action heats up at dog meeting
GREYHOUND racing on Saturday afternoon featured the running of four heats of the Highland Pet Foods fourth and fifth grades over 407 metres.
The fastest heat winner was the Jim Madigan trained Villarchi who also recorded on of the biggest winning margins for a long time at Grafton 14 and a half lengths on the Finish Lynx camera. Villarchi appreciated the small field and was able to avoid any trouble to record the time of 23.30.
Millordo trained by John Corrigan was in line for four wins in a row in his heat and after a moderate beginning and a check at the first turn he was still able to balance and run down the early leader Security Star and win by two and a half lengths in 23.31. Millordo was coming off a good win at the Gold Coast the previous Wednesday.
The first heat saw the Maxine Gleeson trained Go Wild Shadow upset the odds on favourite Arara Chief when he bounced to the lead from box five and came right away to score by six lengths from Natural Barbie with Arara Chief in third place in the time of 23.37.
Leading Grafton trainer Brad Northfield took out the final heat with Corporate Ben who railed to well for his opposition and won by two and a quarter lengths from Kenny Rock in 23.51.
The field for the final Saturday 28th not in box draw order is Villarchi, Haarcourt Lilly, Go Wild Shadow, Natural Barbie, Millordo, Security Star, Corporate Ben, Kenny Rock 1st res Hayley's Fiesta 2nd res White Yo Yo.
Trainer Charlie Northfield and owner Margaret Bird look as if they have another pup to replace the evergreen performer Amber Phoenix when she does eventually retire. They started a youngster Lord Aragorn for the first time at Grafton after winning a maiden at Tamworth recently and he showed that he could develop into a good dog when he came from well back at box rise to win running away in the good time of 23.22.
Stephen Keep was all smiles when Heap's Good exploded out of the boxes in the top grade sprint over 407m and never gave anything else a chance when he won by four and a quarter lengths in 23.19 the best of the day.
After some good runs over the unsuitable 407m trip Awesome Shuffle trained by John Haaring finished too well along the fence to win the Nature Vet third and fourth grade over 480m by a length in 27.74.
Another good winner over the 480m trip was the Peter Fuller trained Loti who had won his maiden at Lismore in good time, Loti reached the lead at the top turn and then came away to score by five and three quarter lengths in 27.77.
Not to outdone by his brother and cousin Mitch Northfield produced New Kooringa to lead all the way in the opening maiden, she won by two lengths in 23.55.
Direct Energy trained by Rick Godwin had an easy win by six lengths in the other maiden and recorded the good time of 23.29.