Lightning forces early finish at Sale greyhounds

David Braithwaite

THE final five races on Sunday night’s Sale greyhounds meeting were abandoned because of lightning.

Racing was suspended at 7.50pm because of continuous lightning strikes in the area. Seven races had already been held.

After consulting with the Bureau of Meteorology, the rest of meeting abandoned at 8.47pm.

With heats of two series unable to be held, ballot draws were needed to determine which dogs advanced to the respective finals.

The feature of the program was the Sale heats of the Provincial Plate, with the winners progressing to the final at Sandown Park on Friday night.

The only heat to go ahead, over 520 metres, was won by Ballymac Vicar, trained by Des McPhie. Ballymac Vicar opened up a lead approaching the turn, and claimed a seventh win from 13 starts by four lengths in 29.3 seconds.

William Rose, trained at Rosedale by Sharon-Lee Chignell, claimed another spot in the final after being randomly drawn from the field of the other Sale heat.

Blue Tiger, trained at Alberton West by Gavin Burke, will also race in the final after winning a heat at Cranbourne last Wednesday.

The winner of Friday night’s final will receive $25,000.

Only one of the three heats of the 440m mixed grade six and seven went ahead, with Kobe winning for Jenny Gill at Darriman by a neck from Jenny Kay Rose, trained by Jeff Chignell at Rosedale.

Locally-trained dogs to gain spots in next Sunday’s final following a ballot draw were Massimo (Matt Clark, Briagolong), Dr Topaz (Bill McMahon, Darriman), Airly Liberty (Lesley Russell, Sale) and Akina Archer (Sam McKay, Denison).

In the final of the 440m maiden series, Willow Ash, trained by Leigh Carter at Devon Meadows, led for most of the race, winning by half a length from Maxwell, trained by Bill McMahon. In third place was Tarlee for Jenny Gill at Darriman.

Victory Raja, trained by Jenny Holden at Longford, notched his first win from his ninth start by taking out the race one 440m maiden. Dr Macie finished second for Judy McMahon at Darriman, with Let Out, trained by Yvonne Andrews at Kilmany, third.

Airly Pablo, trained by Lesley Russell, won race seven, a 440m grade five, with a good run down the home straight.

Imperial Jack, trained by Melanie Lithgow at Devon Meadows, won the race four 440m grade five, with Bomber’s Wonder, trained by Geoff Green at Woodside, third.

The race five 440m grade five was won by Vice Grip, trained at Neerim Junction by Gerard O’Keefe, by a nose from Omega Gringo, trained by Barry Harper at Seaspray.

Greyhound racing will continue at Sale on Friday night.