Couple big chance of winning elusive Pop Northfield
IT COULD be a red letter day for Reg and Elva Gardoll at the Casino greyhounds meeting this afternoon.
The Clarence Valley couple's exciting newcomer Velvet Teddybear jumps from box one in the $8000-to-the-winner Pop Northfield Memorial Maiden Final (411m), one of the Northern Rivers' biggest races of the year.
Velvet Teddybear faces strong opposition in the decider but underlined his claims by cruising home from box one in his semi-finals by eight-and-a- quarter lengths, clocking a smart 23.55 seconds.
The Gardolls have had plenty of success in their near 50-year involvement with greyhound racing but a Pop Northfield title has always eluded them.
"Elva owns Velvet Teddybear and reared him, his mother and his grand- mother,” Reg Gardoll said.
"It's lovely for her to see him racing well.
"I've never had a Pop Northfield winner either so you could say we're both facing a big day.
"Velvet Teddybear seems to be racing more confidently.
"I believe that in a few months he will be a very handy greyhound.
"I think 23.40s would be his absolute best at this stage in his career, but if he could run that (in the final) it would give him a chance.”
Velvet Teddybear has the prized rails draw for the final but faces tough opposition from Go Lassie Go in box three.
A member of the gun Queensland kennel of Darren Russell, she has run dazzling times of 23.38s and 23.42s in the series so far and will be tough to stop.
The Evelyn Harris kennel is firing and she looks to have a strong contender in the final from box six with Cosmic Bonus, which is unbeaten in his two starts and ran 23.41s from box four in the semi-finals.
"Darren's greyhound is a big chance and I think Cosmic Bonus will be a very handy greyhound,” Gardoll said.
"It's going to come down to where they balance up going through the catching pen. If he can lead (after 100m) then he has a big chance.
"I'm not overly confident but I think he'll handle the draw fine (and) he's in contention.”
Eleven races are on the card, the first at 12.02pm.