Big Black and She’s Gifted into Million Dollar Chase semi-finals

Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov, Ladbrokes business development manager Keith Lamb, Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison, Maitland Mayor Loretta Baker, NSW GBOTA director Gary Minter, Maitland Greyhound Club manager Tony Edmunds and trainer Donna Campbell with Million Dollar Chase Maitland regional final winner Big Black (No1) and runner-up She's Gifted (No6).
Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov, Ladbrokes business development manager Keith Lamb, Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison, Maitland Mayor Loretta Baker, NSW GBOTA director Gary Minter, Maitland Greyhound Club manager Tony Edmunds and trainer Donna Campbell with Million Dollar Chase Maitland regional final winner Big Black (No1) and runner-up She's Gifted (No6).

Big Black and She’s Gifted will represent Maitland in the semi-finals of the world’s richest greyhound race, the Million Dollar Chase, at Wentworth Park in October.

The pair finished first and second in the Maitland regional final last Thursday afternoon and trainers Donna Campbell and Deborah Coleman now have four weeks to prepare their chasers for the biggest moment of their racing careers.

Big Black, a son of El Grand Senor and Time And Money, and She’s Gifted, a daughter of Fabregas and Big Gift, will join an elite field of 64 runners to contest eight semi-finals at Wentworth Park on Friday, October 12.

The eight semi-final winners will then progress to the grand final at Wentworth Park for a shot at the $1,000,000 first prize on Saturday, October 20.

Both runners are tipped to be competitive as Big Black has a career record of 23 wins and 19 places from 55 starts and more than $80,000 prizemoney while She’s Gifted has 11 wins and five placings from 22 starts and more than $64,000 prizemoney.

Big Black pinged the lids from box one in Thursday’s regional final and clocked 24.85s to beat She’s Gifted by one and a half lengths.

Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov joined with Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison and Maitland Mayor Loretta Baker trackside to congratulate the connections of the two greyhounds and wish them well in semi-finals.

Les Darcy Cup final

Fastest heat winner Glengarrie Son is likely to start an odds-on favourite in the Easts Les Darcy Cup Final over 450m at Maitland this Thursday.

Punters sent the Jodie Lagogiane-trained son of Barcia Bale and Wongawilli Helen to the boxes as the $1.60 favourite in the second heat and he didn’t disappoint with a strong run from box eight to clock 25.29s and beat the Susan Smith-trained Bundah (25.55s) by three and three quarter lengths. Helen Hanson’s Dare Eye was third in 25.62s.

Glengarrie Son has won both of his 450m starts at Maitland, with almost identical times, and needs only a repeat of that to take the Les Darcy Cup back to Sydney.

Cessnock trainer Fred Goodall secured a spot in the final when his well-tried chaser Miss Pinafore stormed home at huge odds to win the first heat in 25.55s and beat Brian Mitchell’s Riden’s Reach (25.58s) by half a length with Paul Roderick’s Proud Racer (25.65s) third.

Beemo’s Opal won the third heat for Budgewoi trainer Les Hudson in 25.45s, beating the Charmaine Field-trained Zipping Hector (25.52s) by a length with Jodie Lagogiane’s Bula Fab Girl (25.64s) third.

The three winners and runners-up plus the two fastest thirds will contest the final.

Free entry for East clubs members

Maitland Greyhound Club will roll out the red carpet for East Maitland Bowling Club and East’s Leisure and Golf Club members at its Les Darcy race day on Thursday afternoon.

The two clubs sponsor the annual race day, which honours one of our city’s greatest sporting heroes.

East Maitland Bowling Club houses a magnificent collection of Les Darcy memorabilia and overlooks the beautiful King Edward Park which is home to a life-size statue of the boxing great.

Free entry will be offered to any member of the two clubs, simply by showing their Easts club membership card at the Evans Street gate. The gates open at 2pm and the first race kicks off between 3pm and 3.30pm.