The Sunday Afternoon "Finish On"

Thursday’s NZ$25,000 Golden Chase series at Manawatu created much interest and it was Auckland Cup winner Federal Morgan which prevailed in 25.50.

Peter Davis

4 April 2021

Thursday’s NZ$25,000 Golden Chase series at Manawatu created much interest and it was Auckland Cup winner Federal Morgan which prevailed in 25.50 seconds.

His winning time was .25s outside his March 8 track record yet enough to snare the major prize from Drink Shoeys and Pedro Lee.

Therein, this match race series takes on new life.

Controversy surrounded the fourth – and final – match race in which Pedro Lee safely accounted for Big Time Pluto.

Pedro Lee prevailed by an estimated three-and-a-bit lengths and tripped the timing mechanism at 25.5 … not decimal in place until the FinishLynx system is manually set to the tip of the dog’s nose.

Pedro’s time, being not recorded, was then calculated to be 25.61 which moved the black dog from second to third in lieu of prizemoney and TAB dividends.

The previous 13 contests on the day went this way and it’s fair to say the out-of-kilter correction lies squarely with Pedro Lee:

Early, Pedro Lee was .04 slower to the first and second sections than Federal Morgan but .12 quicker than Drink Shoeys to the second mark.

Overall, the times looked like this for the day’s racing:

Board              Actual

R1 23.7           23.71

R2 23.6           23.68

R3 23.3           23.38

R4 42.2           42.22

R5 26.1           26.11

R6 26.0           25.98

R7. 26.4          26.38

R8 26.1           26.17

R9 26.3           26.26

R10 26.0         25.98

R11a 25.6       25.59

R11b 25.7       25.68

R11c 25.5        25.50

R11d 25.5       25.61

The timing estimation was (attempted to be) explained by GRNZ but we will leave it to you to decide which one of the aforementioned times looks out of place!

The winning margin in these match races need be exact and not an estimation.

A margin was certainly ascertainable from the video replay if not the FinishLynx system.

Trainer Peter Ferguson missed out on something like $2500 in prizemoney and punters were left with a tale to tell.

Justice – or a compromise – in this case might well have been the declaration of a dead heat for second.

Loser: Another way to do your cash!


Just 12 months back, Nangar Rust posted a remarkable 28.39 win over 515m at Bulli – the fifth fastest time ever posted at the spacious Slacky Flat circuit.

Eight days later, a commanding 29.36 ‘first up’ win at Sandown was on his resume yet things soon went awry.

“He fractured his off-side hock in a trial and it was a significantly bad injury that surgery included a number of screws,” former trainer Mick Hardman said.

“The prospect of returning to the track was low but we needed him to be the best he could be and not suffering any long-term soreness.

“My decision to ‘look outside the square’ and that led me to Sean Cahill and Tvati.

“Sean was working with a number of professional athletes with Tvati and the success of the traditional medicine, which comes from the Cook Islands, was quite remarkable.

“At that time, there was no canine application with Tvati but Sean soon had something for me and we headed in a new direction regarding the treatment of racing animals.”

Tvati supports the healing of bone, cartilage and soft tissue injuries and, in treating Nangar Rust, Hardman found comfort himself.

“The oil works systemically via trans-dermal application, that is, you only need to rub it onto the dog’s skin to be effective – and we were advised to shave a small area on his neck for application,” the Goulburn-based trainer added.

“Just four weeks after surgery, another X-Ray showed stunning improvement and, once the cast was removed, he did not limp whatsoever.

“Not only was Rust’s recuperation remarkable, I asked Sean for some oil for personal use and soon after, the arthritis in my hand was no longer preventing me making a fist. The hand pain was all-but gone and nearly all flexibility returned.”

Last month, Nangar Rust won at Sandown in 29.18, The Meadows in 34.38 and last Thursday, registered a slick 33.81 over 595m at Sandown. He’s in career best form and now boasts 13 wins from 26 starts.

And the Nangar Rust story is not unique.

Anthony Azzopardi’s McCooley’s Lad is on the way back to racing after suffering a fractured hock at start nine. Just weeks earlier, the son of Fernando Bale won at Sandown in a sizzling 29.09 and elite level racing was on the radar.

His injury, however, was severe and considered career ending.

“I asked a few questions and decided to contact Sean and we started treating McCooley’s Lad soon after his surgery,” Azzopardi said.

“The prospect of him racing again was poor but we needed to have him pain free and, if this was to assist, we needed to go at it head-on.

“Four weeks after the surgery, I had the leg re X-Rayed and (vet) Des Fegan was stunned by the healing rate. He was unaware I’d been using Tvati and I departed knowing we were heading in the right direction.”

It’s now four months since McCooley’s Lad was injured and Azzopardi is upbeat about his chance of a return to the track.

“He’s now in fast work and showing no sign of favouring the leg or soreness. It’s a miracle!,” he continued.

Azzopardi is ‘sold’ on Tvati and now uses the oil as a preventative rather than a remedy.

“I’m convinced this is going to change the welfare outcome for many dogs – not just greyhounds.”

Tvati has applications for all bone, cartilage and soft tissue injuries.

Ruth Matic’s Poppy Jack is another mid-treatment on Tvati while Neil Staines is a devotee.

Staines, a former shearer, has cast aside knee braces for the first time in 20 years by means of Tvati.


With changes to rules regarding marring and failing to pursue the lure in the works, the likes of Pearl’s Entity and Patons Road have moved though failed trials ad nauseum with GRV stewards seemingly unable to act in a way to protect punters or canines.

And here’s another example. Put you stewards’ hat on and make a call on this:

Tactical Storm (box 7) was on debut at Healesville and post-race was found to have injured her right back muscle and the right calf!

Marring? Failing to pursue or nothing … that is the question.

Stewards, after viewing all the available race footage and acting on their observations, a warning was issued regarding the greyhound’s racing manners at the 200m mark.”

A warning?

Whether Tactical Storm is given a second chance is up to connections yet, should she infringe in terms of marring or FTP, it will be her first offence!


Golden Easter Egg semi-final night represented the 20th anniversary of one of the more bizarre nights in the history of greyhound racing.

Saturday April 1, 2001 was the night former NSW Chief Steward Rodney Potter was ‘wired’ at Wentworth Park following a police inquiry which later resulted in an Independent Commission Against Corruption hearing which was front page news and led mainstream bulletins.

Potter was later jailed for his deeds; life disqualifications were handed out to others with race ‘fixing’ and cash payments front and centre.

Wild speculation was now on the record with Potter’s disposal of swabs a lead item in news for days.