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2018 Gawler Produce Final Written by:
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09/07/18

The Murray family had a very successful outing at the Gawler track Sunday by taking out the feature event on the program, the 2018 Produce Final, and providing another four winners between them.

The field in the Final of the Produce had been selected after two qualifying rounds, and on paper was a very even field with plenty of winning chances. However that is not the way things panned out, with Panhandle Slim scoring an impressive all the way win, by nine lengths. There was an early contest for the lead, but Panhandle Slim held his ground on the rails and with some other runners getting tangled up back in the field, he was able to win in convincing style. Running an impressive personal best time of 30.55 secs, it would have been difficult for any other runner in any circumstances to have won.

It was the first run from box 1 for Panhandle Slim, who is owned and trained by Ray Murray at Reeves Plains. In addition, Ray and wife Lesley had bred and reared “Chad”, so it all added to the winning feeling, which Lesley described as “great”. The mother of Chad, Sometimes Speedy, had been trained with much success by their son Troy, and the sire Kalden Komoto had been a great performer for them, before being retired. Panhandle Slim has an excellent racing record, being unplaced only once in his 17 career starts, with a tally of 10 wins and 6 placings. The black dog will be transferred to a kennel in Victoria to try his luck over there.  To complete his night, Ray also led in another winner in a later event when Steel was able to fight back in the last few strides after being headed.

Ray had achieved previous success in the Produce, having won in 1999 with Criticize, so he was pleased to win the prestigious event again.  Ray and Lesley have seven racing dogs in work as well as a recent litter of pups to keep them busy, a task they enjoy working as a team. However they will miss Chad, a good kennel dog that Lesley described as having an inquisitive character.

Troy Murray also had reason to pleased, scoring three wins with Aston Abbott, Zipping Hondo and More Than Black. Troy has also tasted success in the Produce, winning with Ten Tornados in 2006.