Pearls Are Us, Opawa Nat head field for rich feature

Colin Keen
Colin Keen
The paws will be chasing the cash at Forbury Park tomorrow.

The Colin Keen Memorial carries a stake of $15,000, believed to be the richest race on offer at Forbury Park in either code this season.

The group 2 race is for open-class middle-distance dogs.

The day will also feature the Otago New Year sprint final for c5 sprinters.

Both these fields have been selected as a result of heats run at the Otago Greyhound Racing Club meeting at Forbury Park on January 11.

The race is named in memory of Colin Keen, who served many years on both the trotting club and the greyhound club committees.

Keen was a founding member of the Otago GRC and was instrumental in the move from Tahuna Park to Forbury Park in 1980. Keen died in April 2013.

He bred and trained many greyhounds and, after he died, his wife, Sandra, took over the training of a litter of young pups he had bred and was almost instantly very successful.

She only has a couple of dogs still racing but continues to breed and her newest litter is racing out of Brett Conner's Invercargill kennels with considerable success.

The Colin Keen Memorial will be run over 545m.

A high-class field will occupy the start boxes and is headed by the two very impressive heat winners in Pearls Are Us and Opawa Nat.

Both these runners are North Canterbury-trained bitches, the former trained by Gary Cleeve who also has Know State and Know Denying in the field.

Opawa Nat is from the very successful Jean and Dave Fahey kennels and will be joined by her brother, Opawa Deal, kennelmate Ripstorm and Opawa Hillary.

Pearls Are Us was most impressive in her heat win by several lengths over the highly rated Oster Bale in the good time of 32.45sec, recording her 12th career win and sixth win from 10 starts on the track.

Opawa Nat also recorded a very fine performance in convincingly defeating the well-performed Know State and Opawa Deal.

Box draws are all important in greyhound races but if Pearls Are Us shows the same box speed as she did last week from her outside box she could give the others a galloping lesson.

The race starts at 3.36pm tomorrow.

The Otago New Year sprint final is over 310m for the open-class sprinters.

Heat winners and kennelmates Oakmont and Sonja head the field but the list of possibilities does not end with these two and heat runners-up Homebush Boots and Opawa Bailey could easily turn the tables on the heat winners.

The race starts at 3.52pm.

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