REID IN CRUZ CONTROL

BY JAMES BROADHURST

We haven’t seen the best of Clifton Cruz yet according to trainer Vince Reid.

Clifton Cruz has been one of the most consistent stayers in the state with regular wins over 600m and 715m since he stepped up in distance late last year.

The November 2020 whelping took out the Galaxy Consolation in March and claimed a hat-trick of Free To All victories between May and June.

Clifton Cruz’s next assignment is in the Stayer’s Series final over 715m at Cannington on Saturday, where he encounters a quality field that includes Couch Surfer.

The talented black chaser comes into the trophy decider after finishing third in his heat.

After a typically quick jump out of the traps Clifton Cruz found the lead but was immediately challenged by Crypto Monelli and was edged out of position as they approached the first turn.

He lost ground, which opened the door for the eventual winner Cawbourne Roses, but finished strongly and was only a length off the front at the finish.

“Hopefully we can get some clear air (in the final),” Reid said.

“He got into a bumping duel with Crypto Monelli last week and came off second best but he ran home very nicely, so I was pretty happy.”

Reid trains out of Herron, just south of Mandurah, on a property that backs onto Lake Clifton.

Many of his greyhounds are named with the ‘Clifton’ prefix but Reid says he rarely ventures down to the bank of the lake because its “Tiger snake country”.

Reid got into greyhounds though ownership and wasn’t discouraged following an inauspicious introduction to the game.

His first greyhound, which he purchased as part of a syndicate, never made it to the track.

Reid remained enthusiastic and had better luck with his next dog, Beyond Resolve, which he bought into with a couple of friends.

The ex-Victorian racedog won numerous races at Mandurah.

He bred with Beyond Resolve and resulting litter produced Banjo’s Girl, a 2020 Perth Cup finalist.

Reid fell in love with the sport and wanted to get more involved as a trainer.

He is semi-retired from his job with Alcoa, which has allowed him to devote more time with his dogs.

“(Training) does take over your life, but in a good way,” Reid said.

The success of Clifton Cruz has given a boost to Reid’s kennel as he looks to establish himself in greyhound racing.

“I was almost scared to get a dog (like Clifton Cruz) because I thought I’d probably mess them up but at this point it hasn’t been the case, touch wood,” he said.

Even so, Reid is happy to give most of the credit to Clifton Cruz and he says that he’s learning just as much from the dog as the dog is learning from him!

“I probably prefer the training side rather than the actual racing,” he admitted.

“I get a bit nervous on racenights.”

“So it’s a good thing he’s so chilled and relaxed, especially at the track.”

Reid believes that Clifton Cruz will continue to mature as a racedog and there should be better things to come.

“I think there’s lot of improvement in him, it’s going to be interesting to see how far he does go,” he said.

“He’s still relatively young and is still developing.

“I’m very excited for what’s to come.”

The Stayer’s Series final is scheduled for race 3 (7.52pm) at Cannington on Saturday.