Strong South East presence set for Howard Ashton final

Racing News

Yoda Lady, following another dashing display over 530 metres at Angle Park last Thursday night, looks to hold a strong hand after drawing box two in next Thursday’s $37,500 Group 3 Howard Ashton final at the headquarters of SA greyhound racing.

Owned locally by Steve and Lee Bartholomew, of Worrolong, Yoda Lady has won five races in succession over 530 metres at Angle Park. The past two have been a heat and semi-final of the Howard Ashton, a paid-up series for SA-bred greyhounds whelped in the first half of 2022.

Yoda Lady won over 305 metres in a smart 17.62 seconds at her first start on December 24 last year at Tara Raceway when being trained by Steve Bartholomew. But in February she was transferred to the Finniss kennels of Lauren Harris.

“Really, it got to a stage where some of our dogs were probably going to be better off placed elsewhere in order to give them more opportunities and certainly less travelling for us,” Lee Bartholomew said.

By US sire Blazin Wildfire, Yoda Lady is out of 2019 Mount Gambier Cup winner Galactic Athena – and carries a line that traces back to the highly successful Killarney-based Mugavin breed. It’s also one that has kept on keeping on for the Bartholomews and Compton-based Robert Chuck.

“Back in 2005 we ended up with a blue bitch pup by Elite State out of Killarney Magic. Later, she raced as Elite Touch and all told won a dozen or so races at Angle Park, Warrnambool and Mount Gambier,” she said.

In 2010, Elite Touch whelped a litter by Cosmic Rumble that included Galactic Rumball – a winner of three races at Mount Gambier prior to whelping two litters of her own by imported greyhounds Milldean Panther and Paddy Whacker (the sire of Galactic Athena).

The Milldean Panther litter included Galactic Panther, best remembered for his two terrific winning clashes against Dynamite Danger in a heat and the final of the 2018 Summer Classic (512 m) at Tara Raceway.

Then, three months later, Galactic Panther headed to Angle Park for the Howard Ashton, the black dog reaching the final after running minor placings in a heat and semi-final.

And this year it is Yoda Lady – a granddaughter of Galactic Rumball – who heads to Angle Park seeking Group 3 glory and perhaps some form of redemption for the Howard Ashton of 2018.

Meanwhile, Lee Bartholomew reports that Galactic Athena’s next litter – by Blue Moon Rising – will leave for breaking-in early next month.

Going into the Howard Ashton final with only three race starts to his name – and still a maiden – is Tappet, a 37 kilogram son of Tommy Shelby and Kisses For Chloe.

The black dog actually had his first start at Mount Gambier over 512 metres last month when running second for Dennington couple Pat and Patricia Bouchier.

Then it was off to Angle Park for the Howard Ashton. So far this has resulted in a three length third to Yoda Lady in a heat, a two length second to Yoda Lady in a semi-final and box seven in Thursday night’s Group 3 final.

Bred by Ray Fewings, Tappet was reared at Compton by Tracie and Karen Price before finding his way over to Bouchier for pre-training.

“To be honest his breaking-in times were certainly nothing special but after he came back I could see he was starting to show some improvement. And while the previous owners had been keen to move him on I suggested they should perhaps hang on a little longer,” he said.

“We’ve been involved with greyhounds for 55 years and when the owners finally decided to sell, such is Tappet’s temperament, we opted to make what was one of our few purchases in all that time. And with the sale came a start in the Howard Ashton.

“We’ve certainly put in the hard yards, trialling twice at Angle Park leading up to the Howard Ashton. But he’s learning with every start he has although box seven in the final will probably test him given he wants the inside.”

Thursday’s trip to Angle Park for the Bouchiers will kick off at 9.30 a.m. and see them back in Dennington around 5 o’clock the next morning. A couple of hours later Pat will be out attending to the remainder of his team.

But as Patricia says: “We love our dogs.”