Coonamble trainer Graham Pickering, for many years one of the prime movers behind that town's successful annual carnival, has suffered a devastating loss in a fire at his kennels.
Eight of Pickering's 10 greyhounds were burned to death last Monday, among them the highly promising Nangar Dash, who had won 12 of 25 races.
"We were only able to save two of our dogs,'' a distraught Pickering said.
"The fire was sparked by an almost brand new refrigerator, and once the insulation in the kennel block took hold there was no way to stop the blaze.''
NORTH has earned a tilt at Friday night's heats of the group 1 Ladbrokes National Derby with his impressive first-up win at Wentworth Park, venue for the classic, last Wednesday night.
The two-years-old North, who had previously won three of five starts at Richmond and Gosford, jumped cleanly from box eight and dashed clear rounding the home turn to win a 520m fifth grade by five lengths in a handy 30.30sec.
North's owner-trainer John Hughes is the brother of current successful trainer Caroline Hughes, but in the 1990s was enjoying a great sequence of wins himself.
Hughes won the 1992 Tweed Heads Galaxy with the brilliant front-runner Genesis and three years later took out the Richmond Derby with another good beginner, Fabian.
GLEN McKinley, the partner of Hughes' sister Caroline, will shortly have two of his best money-spinners, Royal Turbo and Canya Ayden, back in action.
Royal Turbo, whose 22 wins include victories in the 2016 group 3 Christmas Gift and 2018 listed The Collerson at WP, has been sidelined since mid-2018 with a dropped back muscle.
Canya Ayden, a winner of six WP races, has not raced since cracking a hock in October.
"Royal Turbo has only just turned four so being eligible now for masters races, his future remains bright if he can stay sound,'' McKinley said.
"Canya Ayden is not far away from resuming and I had been hoping to have him ready for Monday's Orange Cup heats at Bathurst but that series has just cropped up a bit too soon.''
POCO Dorado may have had to miss Saturday night's Summer Distance Plate final through injury but her litter brother and kennelmate Two Times Twice bounced back to his best form at Dapto on Thursday.
The 2018 Queensland Derby winner led throughout to win a strong 600m event by four lengths in 34.35sec, not far away from the track record of 34.09.
SKY Wave (pictured) broke down in her heat of last week's Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder at WP and her immediate future is up in the air.
Sky Wave, who represented NSW in the 2018 National Sprint Championship at Sandown in August, boasts a better than 50 per cent winning record with 23 wins from 44 starts.
The Vic Sultana-trained speedster was at her best at WP where she won eight of 15 appearances.