Author Archive for Kelly Frampton

Hero’s Journey

By James Broadhurst

There’s extra meaning to Incredible Hero’s bid for a spot in next week’s WA Derby (520m) final for Harvey-based trainer Fran Farrell and her husband Ben.

The strong running chaser will contest a heat of the Group 2 feature at Cannington on Saturday night.

Farrell believes her greyhound is capable of winning but admits it’s a “tough ask” in a very competitive heat.

There are only six runners in the field but there is plenty of talent across the grid with the likes of Premium Share, Hastie Guess and Mandurah Derby winner It’s A Storm.

“He’s got his work cut out for him. Every dog in the field is really good,” Farrell said of Incredible Hero’s prospects.

In his favour Incredible Hero, with eight wins from 28 starts under his belt, has a big edge in experience over all of his rivals except Laptop Guru (31 starts).

Although he’s still in the early stages of his career Incredible Hero has already become very special to the Farrells.

Fran purchased the greyhound, along with his litter-sister Incredible Dream (winner of three races), as birthday present to herself and he quickly established him as a kennel favourite due to his keen attitude.

In his very first appearance on the racetrack Incredible Hero provided Farrell with a major training highlight.

Despite having numerous handy greyhounds with the ‘Incredible’ prefix over the past couple of decades Farrell had never claimed a city grade victory until Incredible Hero blitzed his maiden by nearly ten lengths last September.

“It only took me twenty-odd years to get a city graded winner but to do it in that style was pretty wonderful,” she enthused.

More importantly, working and achieving success with Incredible Hero has provided a joyful respite for the Farrells during a particularly rough period.

For the past year Ben has been battling Amyloidosis, an illness which requires regular chemotherapy treatment.

Every week the Farrells make the more-than-two-hour journey up from Harvey to Charlie Gardner Hospital in Nedlands for treatment.

“It’s been hard road for the past 12 months so what Incredible Hero has done has really given us a boost,” Farrell said.

“Our main hope is for him and all the other dogs to go around safely (on Saturday night) but if we do get into the final with him that would be really special.”

Incredible Hero’s path to the WA Derby series has been slightly unusual.

After flashing home late to run third in the Mandurah Derby two weeks ago he travelled up to the city last weekend to compete over 600m.

Farrell gave him a hit-out over the stayer’s journey as a strategy to re-build his confidence out of the boxes in race where the early speed wasn’t going to be as hot as in a sprint event.

Incredible Hero executed the plan to perfection when he led-all-the way to score by nine and half lengths in the very slick time of 34.66.

“He runs on well so we knew the extra distance wasn’t going to be a problem,” Farrell said.

“Basically, the idea was to get him on the lure.

“He can be a good beginner on his night but he’s been pretty inconsistent and often he’s coming out behind them and having to find his way through a field.

“We’re hoping that run was what he needed to be more reliable out the boxes.”

As Incredible Hero continues to mature as a racedog Farrell is looking forward to an exciting future with him on the track.

“It’s probably taken until now to get his racing brain, so to speak, and he’s made his own bad luck at times but you can’t fault his attitude,” she said.

“His desire to race is unquestioned.

“At home you practically have to drag him off the straight track, if you don’t, he’ll just keep going!

“He loves running, he loves being at the track, he loves everything about it.

“There’s only one thing on his mind and that’s chasing.”

Diamond Firms for Mandurah Oaks

By James Broadhurst

Classy young chaser It’s A Diamond will attempt to emulate her litter brother’s Mandurah Derby winning effort from last weekend when she contests the Mandurah Oaks final (490m) this Friday night.

It’s A Diamond and Derby winner It’s A Storm are both out of a March 2017 Barcia Bale–It’s A Blur litter and both greyhounds are showing a heap of promise on the racetrack.

With six wins and four minor placings from her first 13 races It’s A Diamond has enjoyed a fruitful start to her career for trainer Kody Charles.

It’s A Diamond returned from a short stint on the sidelines to record an impressive victory in her Oaks heat last weekend.

After launching out of the traps beautifully she led all-the-way to score by more than four lengths ahead of the runner-up Fancy Francene in 27.68.

Charles revealed that It’s A Diamond nearly didn’t get an opportunity to run in the race as it was a late decision to put her into the series.

At the time It’s A Diamond was on light duties as she recovered from split webbing she’d picked up during a race at Northam in mid-April.

“At first we weren’t going to put her into the Oaks as she’d only had a couple of gallops since the injury and was a little underdone,” Charles said.

“Then the nominations for the race got extended so we had a rethink and took a punt with her.

“It wasn’t an ideal preparation but we worked hard in the few days we had to get her ready and fortunately it paid off.

“My only concern is that because she put in such a gut-buster during her heat she might pull up a little flat for the final but she’s been bouncing around the kennel this week so that’s encouraging.”

It’s A Diamond has drawn box seven for the trophy decider, the same box that It’s A Storm had in his Derby triumph last week.

Given her notable early pace Charles expects that It’s A Diamond will still be able to vie for the all-important lead from the wide alley.

“If she can come out like she did in the heat it will set her up,” he said.

“I think she’s a good chance.”

Charles is on target for a cross-code ‘Oaks-travaganza’ if It’s A Diamond takes out the silverware on Friday.

The Hopeland-based trainer is also heavily involved in harness racing and he carved a big slice of pacing success when Has No Fear, a filly that he bred, took out the Oaks at Gloucester Park last weekend.

It’s A Diamond is also a contender for the Group 2 WA Oaks at Cannington later this month.

Hecton Bale On Target For Lew Dorsa Memorial

By James Broadhurst

Hecton Bale will spearhead trainer Enzo Crudeli’s team of three chasers in the final of the Lew Dorsa Memorial (520m) at TABtouch Park Cannington on Saturday.

The classy veteran flexed his muscles with a commanding victory in 29.78 during his heat last weekend and now joins kennelmates Verne Allen and Snazzy Whompo in the trophy decider.

Hecton Bale will likely start as favourite but all three dogs have claims following a favourable box draw.

The Crudeli trio will occupy the first three alleys on the grid with Verne Allen in the pole, Snazzy Whompo next box over and Hecton Bale will launch out of three.

Given the other heat winner and main danger, Eighty Eight, has drawn awkwardly in box six the race has opened up for team Crudeli.

“I was joking before the draw that boxes one, two and three would be great so I won’t complain,” said kennel foreman Graham Crudeli.

“Our dogs are drawn to perfection.

“Hecton Bale should get a nice clear run to the corner but if either of the other two happen to be in front they’re both strong so they’ll be hard to run down.”

The Crudelis took a punt when they brought Hecton Bale over to WA late last year so they are understandably thrilled, not to mention a little relieved, to see the greyhound have success and have their investment pay dividends.

The 2018 Australia Cup winner was purchased along with several other high-profile greyhounds from the eastern states, including the likes of Verne Allen and Dyna Dean.

Hecton Bale was easily the jewel in the crown of that group despite the fact that he had been winless in his final six months of racing in Melbourne.

The speedy black chaser arrived here with a huge reputation but he had a slow start for his new kennel, producing a solitary win from his first seven starts.

“He came over with spilt webbing and was off for six weeks or so, which gave us the opportunity to put him to stud for a short stint,” Crudeli explained.

“When we put him back in work he trialled well but his first few races for us were sub-par.

“It wasn’t the start we wanted with him but he’s always had the ability and we knew it wouldn’t take him long to turn things around.”

Hecton Bale announced his return to form with an impressive win in a heat of the Perth Cup and then followed up with a very nice effort to finish second in the final behind Orson Allen.

His victory in last week’s Lew Dorsa heats confirmed his comeback.

“He’s raced against the best all his life so he knows what he’s doing,” Crudeli said.

“He’s pulled up (after the Lew Dorsa heat) a million dollars and is raring to go.

“He’s jumping out of his skin.”

Crudeli believes that Hecton Bale can hit some truly ominous form now that the greyhound is firing on all cylinders.

“Now he’s racing with confidence he should just get better and better,” Crudeli said.

“I think there’s more improvement in him and we should see the very best of Hecton in the next few weeks.”

The Lew Dorsa Memorial (race 5) is scheduled to jump at 8.32pm on Saturday night.

MANDURAH – TRACK MAINTENANCE

On Wednesday 20 March the Mandurah track surface was deep raked to a depth of 80mm. The track was then rolled and bladed to reconstitute the racing surface. The track is in good order.

2019 SKY Racing Perth Cup

Don’t miss Perth’s biggest race!
2019 SKY Racing Perth Cup

Saturday 23 March

  • Free entry
  • Live band trackside
  • Free kids activities
  • Greyhounds As Pets

Racing from 7pm.

Phone 6350 4600 for more details.