Aston Olenna eyes straight track championship

Allendale East trainer David Peckham will be chasing national representation with Aston Olenna when the 36 kilograms fawn son of Aston Bolero x Aston Selena contests an SA heat of the National Straight Track Championship at Murray Bridge next month.

The SA heats will be run over 350 metres on Wednesday, July 28 and the final on Tuesday, August 3.

Heats in other states will be run at Healesville (Victoria), Richmond (NSW) and Capalaba (Queensland).

The national final will be run at Capalaba on August 15.

Bred and owned by Ray Borda, the lightly-raced Aston Olenna – 11 starts for seven wins – showed his liking for straight track racing when winning last month’s Murray Bridge Straight Track Cup (350 m).

And on Monday last week, Aston Olenna was also part of a big night at Murray Bridge’s one-turn-track meeting when joining Aston Dijon, Aston Hayato, Sunset Milo and Zinfandel Tori as part of a five-win haul for Peckham.

While training five winners on a day at Tara Raceway is not altogether new for Peckham, this was his best effort away from his home track.

“My previous best effort at an away track had been at Murray Bridge on  May 26 when Aston Olenna won the cup and Zinfandel Tori, Sweet On Me and Midnight Daisy were successful.

“That, also, was a pretty special day,” he said.

He said his big night had been well received at Murray Bridge.

But Calomba trainer Paul Fagan, who narrowly deprived Peckham of six winners when Pyrotechnic defeated Out Of Gas by a head in the final event, probably summed it up best.

“Sorry about that Dave.

 “But you had to leave us some- thing.”  ‘Radioactive fall-out’ at Tara Raceway Portland greyhound Radioactive gave off plenty of energy waves at Tara Raceway last Thursday when opening his winning account in the Greg Martlew Autos Maiden Stake (400 metres).

Trained by Neville “Nifty” Lenehan, the black dog had been chasing his first win in seven starts as had Miss Sniper, a greyhound possessed with plenty of early pace.

“But Radioactive quickly gave her the go-by before running out a 63⁄4 lengths winner in 23.23 seconds.

As far as Lenehan was concerned, the win had been a while coming.

He took over the training for Newport owner Jarrod Sharp early in  the year after the dog fell foul of stew- ards at Geelong in January.

 “He took a while to sort out,” Lenehan said.

“In fact, it was May before I got over  to Tara Raceway in order that he could complete a satisfactory trial and be cleared for racing.

“As far as today was concerned, I was really happy with the way he went to the line.” By leading sire Fernando Bale, Radioactive’s dam is eight-race winner Nicky’s Gift, while his granddam is Mepunga Nicky, winner of the 2011 Group 1 Adelaide Cup.

Later in the day, Lenehan brought up a double when Hostile Raven scored a narrow win in the Exchange Printers 1-4 Wins Stake (400 m).

Chasing her first win since late January, the daughter of Hostile and Sweet Savage was the rank outsider at $12.

 And with Giveaway Vegas opening up a big lead mid-race, the Lenehan runner had plenty of work to do.

But in the run home, Hostile Raven,  a minor placegetter over the mid- dle-distance at Sandown Park and Tara  Raceway, finished strongly to get up by a head in 23.47 seconds.

The winner, along with her litter brother (also with Lenehan and now  racing as Hostile Savage), were pur- chased as pups from Warrnambool  breeder Jamie Quinlivian by former Mount Gambier-based owner Jim Collins.

For the trainer, this was his second double this year at Tara Raceway.

On April 11 he had been successful in heats of the Mount Gambier Cup  (512 m) with Fabriola Zad and Gypsy Bun.

Lenehan trains in partnership with Nicole Stanley who stitched up the JB Irrigation 1-4 Wins Stake (400 m) pretty well after Aston Prestige, Aston Cleo and Aston Stella ran the trifecta.

Aston Prestige, a 37 kilograms son of Fabregas and Cairnlea Ellie – a Tara Raceway 400 metres winner in September 2014 – made amends for his unplaced first-up run the previous week behind Midnight Incy.

The black dog led all the way from box one, leaving his kennelmates to do the chasing and eventually finishing some eight lengths behind the winner in 23.19 seconds – one of the better short course times on the day.

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