Paua To Burn
By Neil Brown
Paua To Burn in full flight winning the Rookie Rebel at the Meadows
The latest inductee into the AGRA Hall of Fame Paua To Burn curved out a race career that will be remembered by many, only small in size it was that special ability and her hard chasing tenacity that separated the flying machine from Nowra Hill from the other stars of her time.
Bred, raced and trained by Steve White she re-wrote the record books and changed the lives of everyone connected to her. Whelped on July 16 th 2002 her champion status didn't quite follow the text book breeding scenario. White had raced her dam Alice Dooley and her grand dam Impish Dancer and although Alice Dooley had thrown multiple city winners and track record breakers in her previous three litters to Light Of Fire, Awesome Assassin and Elle's Commando. It could be viewed as unusual to produce a superstar of Paua To Burn's quality in a fourth litter as well as the litter also being a repeat mating (Awesome Assassin). Putting breeding theories aside the tiny black and white bitch was to thrill crowds wherever she raced maintaining the highest standard possible for almost three years.
Paua To Burn commenced racing in the Vince Curry Maiden Series at Ipswich on the 15 th of February 2004 she finished second beaten 10 lengths in her qualifying trial in 32.05 the best time of the day was 30.87. She came out and won her next two starts in the series at Ipswich in 31.20 and 31.23 but unluckily fell in the final. Returning to the track a month later she stepped out on her home circuit at Nowra on the 12 th of April setting a new track record of 29.98 for the 520 metres. It was only her fifth race start and the best was certainly yet to come after a quick win at Dapto she scored her first city success at Wentworth Park winning easily in 30.16.
After another win at Wentworth Park she headed for Melbourne and a tilt at the Laurels. Paua To Burn took an instant liking to the Sandown Circuit winning her heat of the Laurels in 30.43, her semi in 29.89 then she ran a blistering 29.58 race record time to demoralize her opposition and score her first Group 1.
Back at Wentworth Park she made the final of the Group 3 Young Star Classic from box four she finished second to Eiffella the two were to clash in an important epic battle later in their careers. After finishing unplaced in the Puppy Classic at Cranbourne she defeated Sun Hero to make it into the Paws of Thunder final her second Group 1 she finished fifth to Kobble Rock. It was back to Sandown for a crack at the Sapphire Crown again against her own sex she proved too good winning her second Group 1 and a $10,000 bonus for the big female double. Along the way in her heat she set a new track record at Sandown recording a staggering 29.49. She then tackled the Group 3 Sandown Shootout, finishing second to a dominate Whisky Assassin. The same dog she finished unplaced behind in the first of her Top Guns a few weeks later.
Back in Melbourne in February 2005 for the Australian Cup carnival she won the Group 3 Temlee Invitational in a fast 29.64 at the Meadows after failing to make the Cup final her next target was the Easter Egg at Wentworth Park.
In one of the most exciting Easter Egg finals ever staged since the inception of the race in 1990, Paua To Burn had to get off the canvas to claim victory.
From her box six draw, Paua To Burn flew the lids and looked as if she'd lead easily on the first turn, but the red rugged runner Eiffella shifted out on the first turn and switched to her outside to move up quickly and put pressure on Paua To Burn down the back straight. Eiffella clearly headed Paua To Burn by about three quarters of a length before the home turn and the race looked all over. Paua To Burn – the $2.90 favourite – maintained the inside running and wouldn't be denied and as the judge called a halt, the Group 1 winning bitch had defeated Eiffella by three quarters of a length in a fast time of 29.98 with splits of 5.46, 13.98 and 10.54. In victory, Paua To Burn joined other champion bitches the calibre of Highly Blessed (1991 – 29.98) and Bogie Leigh (2004 – 30.07) to win the great race.
Two other champion male dogs that had won the race fellow Hall of Famers Rapid Journey (1998 – 30.17) and Brett Lee (2001 – 30.04), so for Paua To Burn to run the equal second fastest time ever jointly with Highly Blessed, was a wonderful effort.
Paua To Burn's next Group 1 was this time at Albion Park in Queensland when she finished second to Hades Rocket in the Winter Carnival Cup, after racing back in New South Wales she was again selected to take her place in the Top Gun at the Meadows were she finished unplaced behind Queenslander Black Enforcer.
Paua To Burn or kennel name “Tina” winning her second Sapphire Crown
Staying in Melbourne she fronted up at her favourite track Sandown Park and blew a quality field away to win her second Sapphire Crown and fourth Group 1 the margin was 10 and a quarter lengths in a fast 29.82. Only two weeks later in a heat of the Melbourne Cup Paua To Burn won impressively in 29.64 .Drawing box six in the final she finished sixth behind Closing Argument.
Back in Sydney she ran fourth in the Group 3 Xmas Gift behind Buddy Rich to round out 2005. In Melbourne for the New Year Steve White again stayed with outstanding Melbourne mentor Len Poore, White on many occasions acknowledged the enormous input he gained from one of Australia's top trainers. White stepped Paua To Burn up to the 600 metres at the Meadows and at her first attempt she smashed the record running an unheard of 34.09 in a heat of the Group 3 New Years Trophy. She came out in the final to again win easily in 34.26 it was onto the Rookie Rebel and she bolted in the Group 3 Invitational over the 600 metres recording 34.16.
Paua To Burn was i n a purple patch of form and p rior to the heats of the Australian Cup in a trial over the Meadows 525 Paua To Burn recorded track record time, she came out a week later and won her heat in the best time of the night 29.72. Starting favourite at $2.80 in the final she was slow away and never a chance finishing unplaced behind Miss Spicy.
Paua To Burn raced for the last time in the Easter Egg Consolation at Wentworth Park on the 15 th of April 2006 she finished fifth to Oxley Hero in her 17 th Group final and the curtain came down on a stellar career. She raced 58 times for 28 wins and 13 placings amassing $434,705 in stake money making her the third highest stake earning greyhound in Australian Greyhound Racing history.
Steve White with Paua To Burn after 2005 Sapphire Crown
Paua To Burn set five track records during her illustrious race career Nowra 520 29.98, Bulli 472 26.02, Sandown 515 29.41, Meadows 600 34.09 and Wentworth Park 520 29.51. Like her fellow Hall of Famers Paua To Burn is a very disserving member of the AGRA Hall Of Fame.
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