Story of sibling rivalry in Howard Ashton final Written by:
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It will be a story of sibling rivalry in this Sunday’s Group 3 Howard Ashton Final with littermates Jack’s Well and Fire Strike winning the two semi-finals to progress through while littermates Victa Grosso, Victa Haydn, Victa Daryl and Victa Saige also made the final - with Victa Reid and Victa Maggie the reserves as well! – in an outstanding feat.

While both are blessed with obvious talent, the sons of Aston Dee Bee and Molly Be Nimble, Jack’s Well and Fire Strike have had contrasting careers to date. While Jack’s Well, trained by Cameron Butcher, has launched himself onto the scene with big wins at Angle Park including feature finals including the SA St Leger and the SA Anniversary Cup across his 40 starts, Fire Strike has encountered some setbacks and entered this series a Maiden with 5 starts to his name.

In a terrific feat by the dog and trainer Bosco Stamenkovic, Fire Strike led all the way in his heat on the 30th May stopping the clock at an impressive 30.88 seconds to break through for his first win – in a Group 3 series heat no less. Backing up the following week against a strong semi-final field, Fire Strike showed the previous win was no fluke with a strong 30.77 second victory from box 8.

Fire Strike in action winning the first semi-final of the Howard Ashton series for Bosco Stamenkovic. 

Meningie trainer and breeder Cameron Butcher sent Fire Strike along with a couple other greyhounds to Stamenkovic to train while he dealt with some health concerns at the time and appears to have been a great outcome for all concerned.

Speaking to Tim Edwards and Shaun Mathieson on The Dogcast, trainer Bosco Stamenkovic said on Fire Strike’s fantastic showing in the series, ‘He hasn’t stopped amazing us with the way he has progressed over just the past 4 weeks. We’ve had him for a bit over 2, probably 3 months, and he was injured when he came to us and Cameron with his health didn’t have the time, so we didn’t really know how good he was.’

Fire Strike has drawn box 1 and will be looking to lead the field early while Jack’s Well is drawn out wide in box 7, which suits him fine but may have more work to do to get himself on pace and within striking distance.

Jack’s Well and Fire Strike are likely to lead the markets, however, the Rasmussen kennel hold a few aces up their sleeves with their ‘Victa’ contingent led by Victa Grosso being more than capable of causing an upset.  Bred by Joan Schadow, the litter by Fernando Bale and Victa Victoria have been a picture of consistency and quality with all 12 pups carving out careers on the track with 10 all claiming wins. Victa Grosso has a great record at Gawler over this distance with 2 wins and 4 placings from 7 starts including a great personal best time of 30.73 seconds to his name and drawing on the inside in box 2 will certainly help him to inject himself into the race. Claiming second place in both his heat and semi, he will be looking to go one better in the final. Lining up next to his brother, Victa Haydn is another who is capable of running a race here from box 3, where he hasn’t started from before but with a personal best of 30.75 seconds, a good start from the inside draw will have him right in the mix.

The final jumps at 8:03pm as race 8 on a great night of racing at Gawler.
Be sure to call the Club on 8522 2935 to book in for a fantastic meal in Nixons with the best views of the racing!

Howard Ashton - Semi-final 1


Howard Ashton - Semi-final 2