HEATS of the Great Chase series were held during Sunday’s Sale greyhound meeting.
Sale is one of 11 tracks across the state hosting heats, with the semi-finals to be held at The Meadows on Wednesday, October 14, with the grand final at the same track seven days later.
The series has traditionally been a way to raise money for Victoria’s disability sector, but with crowds not allowed at greyhound tracks because of COVID-19 restrictions, community days cannot be held this year.
More than 30 groups which care for people with intellectual or physical disabilities attended the 2019 Great Chase grand final, with those automatically going into the running to draw a greyhound in this year’s event. The eight groups drawn will win a minimum $2000, and the group matched to the winning greyhound will receive $10,000.
Since 2003, the Great Chase has contributed more than $650,000 to the disability sector.
Heats in Sale were run over 440 metres, with the first won by Disorientated for Nambrok trainer Lyn Smith. Disorientated claimed a third win from five starts in 25.23s, three lengths clear of Kobe, trained by Jenny Gill at Darriman.
Gill tasted success in the second heat, with Carrie, coming off a third placing at The Meadows on Thursday, winning by four lengths in 24.75s.
Dr Knuckles, trained by Bill McMahon at Darriman, won the third heat in 24.78s, four lengths ahead of Rostered Off, trained by Gerard O’Keeffe at Neerim South, who passed McMahon’s Inuka late to grab second place.
Each of the heat winners received $1900, the same prize claimed for Gotham Duke, who won the 440m grade five final.
The dog, trained by Melanie Lithgow at Devon Meadows, took the lead approaching the bend and cleared away in the home straight, winning in 25.56s. Five lengths back was Fernando Bluey, trained by Alan Hunter at Pearcedale, with Nicholas Rose third for Jeff Chignell at Rosedale.
After beginning her racing career with two second placings, Aussie Swan (25.21s) won race two, a 440m maiden, for Maffra trainer Donald Hay.
Alarm Response, trained by Matt Clark at Briagolong, claimed a second win from three starts by taking out race three, a 440m grade seven, ahead of Swift By Design, trained by Carolyn Jones at Rosedale.
Race four, a 520m event restricted to dogs with one to three wins, was won by Got Girl, trained by Terry Proctor at Alberton West, in 30.16s, half a length clear of Louranda, trained by Darren Watts at Maffra, and Even Keats, trained at Cobains by Ray Floyd.
The meeting began with El Rey Leon winning another 440m maiden for Dominic Crisafi at Tooradin in 25.02s. Rose’s Honey finished second for Jones.
Race five, the 440m grade five Damsels Dash, was won by Wonder Riri (25.17s) for David Baker at Keysborough, with Annie Rose finishing third for Rosedale trainer Sharon-Lee Chignell.
Daniel Avocado, trained by Jason Sharp at Avalon, won race six, the 440m mixed grade four and five, in 24.67s. In third place was Soda King, trained by Susan Northway at Heyfield.
Matilda Hook (29.9s), trained by Charlie Galea at Hazelwood North, won race eight, the 520m mixed grade four and five, by a neck from Moroka Magic, who finished strongly for Jodie Elston at Sale. Whodat Dare, trained by Davide Fasoli at Heyfield, came third.
Race 12, over 440m and restricted to dogs with two or three wins, was taken out by Agent Piper (25.07s), trained by Todd Chatwin at Johnsonville.
Bangor Lizzy finished second for Clark, and Fernando Bull, trained by Des Douch at Maffra, third.
Greyhound racing will continue at Sale on Thursday night, followed by next Tuesday night.