MOTHER AND OFFSPRING TO COMPETE AT SAME MEETING
It is extremely rare that any athlete or sports person gets to compete at the same time as their children and even more rare for animals to do so which makes Thursday night’s Bendigo greyhound race meeting a little out of the ordinary.
As the annual Gold Rush Carnival kicks off this week starting with heats of the rich Golden City Concrete Pumping Gold Rush Maiden local sprinter Sparkeen will line up here her 71st career start and one could argue she is racing as good as ever despite turning four years of age in January.
Trained at Huntly by BGRA life member Lyn Anstee, Sparkeen’s best time in her 52 appearances over 425m at Bendigo has been 23.89 back in February last year and only four starts back on January 27 she posted 23.99 when finish second at her home circuit.
Nothing appears out of the ordinary with the runner up in last years Bendigo greyhound of the year being drawn to race at her home track. That is until you have look through the entrants for the Gold Rush maiden heats and realise that there are four greyhounds by Paw Licking out of Sparkeen entered, including two on the same day.
Robert Victor and Hiazakyte will travel to Lord’s Raceway on Thursday night for their debut race track appearances under the watchful eye of their mother, whist litter mates Macadamia Rose and Sartori make their debuts on Friday afternoon.
Sparkeen has thrived since returning to the track after her lay off to have a litter of pups. Her record up until her last start before whelping was a moderate two wins from seventeen starts and she went to the breeding barn a winner on December 19, 2014. After whelping her litter in March 2015, Sparkeen returned to the track with a victory on July 24, 2015 and has saluted at eleven of her fifty three starts as a mother.
The youngsters are bred to have plenty of speed not just from Sparkeen but also sire Paw Licking was an explosive sprinter who retired to stud after winning the 2014 Group 2 Bendigo Cup. With a lot to live up to from a breeding perspective these debutants will no doubt get plenty of time to find their feet and provide some excitement for the Anstee family.
In April last year Lyn’s husband, Robert, also a life member of the BGRA passed away and in the ensuing twelve months Lyn’s daughter Susan, son in law Greg and grand daughters Paris and Samantha have become heavily involved with the dogs and no doubt the Anstee “clan” will be on track this week to cheer home both their old star and hopefully some future ones.