Tough sprinter has work cut out
GELZINNIS Clan has shown he is as tough as they come but Casino trainer Jeff Ahern thinks the greyhound will need all his fighting qualities for the Group 2 Lismore Workers Club Cup.
The sprinter, which overcame a broken hock early in his career to become a solid campaigner, will go from box five in the third of four Cup heats today.
Gelzinnins Clan has a sparkling record at Colemans Point but the tough opposition includes last year's winner Regal Lauryn (box three), the dangerous Outa Tempo (box one) and superb starter Premier Mozz (box seven).
Ahern hopes his chaser can shock his rivals in the race.
"Fingers crossed he gets a shot at them," Ahern said.
"He has a lot inside of him but he has had plenty of practice at the track at least.
"He has not been racing this class of greyhound but I think he has a chance."
Gelzinnins Clan's racing career was in doubt after he was injured while racing at the start of 2013.
He was out for more than eight months but the break has not stopped him becoming a handy performer.
The chaser has gone unplaced only once at Lismore in 11 previous outings and has had eight wins and 17 placings from his 38 starts.
Gelzinnis Clan has drawn poorly but his racing record demands respect.
"I nearly passed out when I saw the draw," Ahern said. "He likes the inside.
"I wasn't sure how he would go (when he returned) but it was magnificent to see him back on the track.
"We've eased him along and he has his confidence back."
Ahern started training about 30 years ago after handling cattle dogs for friends on Queensland properties.
"I got pretty good handling them so I thought, 'I'll give greyhounds a go'," the 63-year-old said.
"I like the dogs and the dogs like me.
"It's a good life - better than digging holes for a living."
Others to watch in the heats include Cyndie's Special, Exhibitionist, Miner's Moss, Yogi Blue and Pace Ventura.
Ten races are on the card and action will start at 7.19pm.