In what was the most turbulent race in the Regional Qualifying series of the GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase, Queenslander Fabrique scored victory at Grafton on Monday, and booked a berth in the Chase semi-finals at Wentworth Park next month.
The only problem now is his trainer needs directions how to get there.
Joining Fabrique – who clocked 27.82s - in the semi-finals will be local Bokarm Dean who ran home well for second five lengths away, but the finish was just a small part of the story of the race.
The favourite, Steve Scott’s Mottza, had led throughout last week in the heat, but missed the kick and was then checked soon after the start, virtually ending his hopes.
Mottza’s kennel and littermate Coopes, jumped into second behind the leader Tralee Jaz, but then struck trouble on the turn out of the back, thwarting his hopes, and in the process taking Bokarm Dean off the track with him.
Meanwhile Fabrique continued to make ground along the fence after missing the start slightly and swinging for home, when Tralee Jaz decided to head towards the outside fence, Fabrique found himself in front and racing away to victory.
Bokarm Dean came again for a gallant second, while Tralee Jaz was a head away in third, just in front of an unlucky Mottza, with Coopes close-up in fifth.
While we have had greyhounds from Victoria, Queensland and all parts of NSW qualify for the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals, Fabrique is the first dog trained on Bribie Island to make it through.
“I’ve been there for 35 years,” Fabrique’s trainer Chris Riordon said. “I was training trotters in Macau with a mate and I came back to Mortlake in Victoria. But it was too cold there after Macau so I came up here to Bribie.
“There’s a lot of retired dogs on Bribie and there’s a lot of retired trainers there too. All the other trainers ask me where do I go fishing on Bribie … I say I’m a dog trainer I haven’t got time for that.
“The problem now is we’ve got to get to Wentworth Park … I don’t know where it is. This is the furthest south I’ve been since I moved to Bribie.”
Riordon explained that Fabrique was injured in the final of the Townsville Cup last month and as a result he had to bypass the Chase series at Lismore.
“It’s certainly turned out alright for us though. I’ll probably nominate him now and hopefully get into a fifth grade down there at Wentworth Park before the semi-finals.”
Nine of the 11 Regional Finals have now been conducted and, combined with 15 qualifiers from last Saturday at Wentworth Park, there is a total of 33 of the 64 semi-finals spots decided.
Those through from the Regionals are: Rohan Hill and Double Up Dee from Bathurst, Snug and Raven Izmir from Lismore, Big Black and She’s Gifted from Maitland, Embye and Zipping Mitzy from Bulli, Blue Sky Riot and King Jeremy from Wagga Wagga, Midnight Starlet and Little Digger from Dubbo, Champion Model and Bogan Way from Temora, Zippy Ethics and Bogan Doonie from Nowra, and now Fabrique and Bokarm Dean from Grafton.
The regional series concludes on Friday with finals at both Richmond and Ladbrokes Gardens.
The series then has two more rounds of City Qualifiers next Saturday and the following Saturday, and then the semi-final on October 12.
For those looking for tickets for the Grand Final on October 20, these can be found at www.milliondollarchase.com.au/tickets.