In the last three weeks, Dubbo greyhound trainer, Charmaine Roberts has clocked up 2,200kms, won 5 races with her two in-form dogs and collected $58,200 in prizemoney.
During that time, her brilliant stayer Caitlyn Keeping has won the $40,000 ‘Sires on Ice’ Black Top final at The Gardens and qualified for the Bathurst final of the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase to be contested this Monday afternoon.
Three weeks ago Charmaine took the 26-month-old bitch, Caitlyn Keeping, to Bathurst, along with another kennel start, Cliff Keeping. Both duly won and set Charmaine off on the biggest roll of her 30-year training career.
On Friday, August 24 Caitlyn Keeping was beaten by a whisker in a heat of the Black Top at Ladbrokes the Gardens, but qualified as first emergency for the final. Lo and behold there is a scratching and Caitlyn Keeping is drawn in Box 8 in last Friday night’s final.
Charmaine’s star stayer flew the coop, hit the front before the first turn and held on safely to win. Later in the evening, kennel mate, Cliff Keeping duly saluted the judge.
The Roberts entourage then made the long journey back to Dubbo overnight, arriving at 4.30am on Saturday morning.
The trainer and the dogs freshened up over the weekend and it was back to Bathurst on Monday afternoon for a heat of the Million Dollar Chase, which Caitlyn Keeping won in dashing style, putting over 6 lengths between herself and the second-placed dog. On the same card, Cliff Keeping again got the major share of the prizemoney.
Both the trainer and the dogs are resting up this week in preparation for Monday afternoon’s final of the Million Dollar Chase in Bathurst, which sees Caitlyn Keeping drawn badly in Box 5.
The poor box draw, and the fact that the other three heat winners ran slightly faster times, does not deter Charmaine, who says her greyhound has to begin well and keep the speedier dogs in box 7 and 8 out. “She can’t do a thing wrong against this class of dogs,” says Charmaine.
“We’re on a roll at the moment. The plan is to keep on that roll,” says the trainer who earlier in her career led in the winner of a $75,000 race at Wentworth Park.
The winner of the Million Dollar Chase final in Bathurst will then graduate to a heat of the event at Wentworth Park, with the final to be run in October.
One of the local areas leading trainers, Jason Mackay, of Richmond Vale, continued on his winning ways when Zipping Buddy won a heat of the Chase at Maitland this week, making amends for Zipping Tayla’s narrow second placing to Caitlyn Keeping in the Black Top final.