For much of the last week the eyes of the greyhound industry have been firmly fixed on Warrnambool and Sandown Park, who, across two nights of racing, hosted five Group races with almost $270,000 in prize money paid out. As impressive as the runs of Zambora Brockie (Warrnambool Cup winner in 24.92), Blazin' Bomber (Speed Star winner in 29.09) and others were, there were several other, less high profile winners who deserve to be noted down in you black book just as much.
From over 100 debutants across the country last week, the following are arguably the most impressive and definitely worth keeping track of.
On Friday at Sale over the 440m it was the Geoffrey Scott-Smith owned and trained Dundee Fury (Crown Poke x Barcia Bale) that shone brightest. Dressed in the green run, the 36kg dog jumped double figures on the tote and stepped out of the boxes in last place. It was not long however before he had rounded up most of the field and was sitting second entering the first turn, taking the lead and pulling away shortly thereafter. By the time he stopped the clock at 24.68 (next best on the day was 25.01) the lead was over ten lengths. Its next start is Sunday at Sale, where it has drawn box 5 in the semi-final and is sure to be in contention with a similar performance.
Also running at Sale last week was Classy Diamond. The Jason Thompson trained pup jumped favourite from box 3. After beginning well, the son of Surfing Idol (x Vee Man Vane) found trouble when attempting to take the lead and stumbled, losing several lengths. He was however able to stay upright, recover, and take the rails run around the home turn to record an impressive win in 25.42. He has again drawn box 3 at Sale this Sunday and should improve considerably with a clear run.
At Gosford it was Runway Angie (Runway Ready x Cosmic Rumble) over the 515m who was most notable. After finding herself third early, she settled four lengths off the lead down the back before powering to the line to win by almost two lengths in 30.04, with a run home that suggests she's destined for the middle distance at least.
Further North at Albion Park over the 520m, jumping as even money favourite, Fast Azz El made a winning start to her career. Having drawn the red, the daughter of El Fooling (x Mildean Panther) did her best racing early, leading by three lengths the first time past the post and pulling further away mid race. The 27kg chaser crossed the line in 30.51, some six lengths better than second place and will now jump from box 5 on Thursday night in the maiden final.
One of the shortest priced debutants for the week was the Jodie Lord trained Mysterize who started $1.80 from box 8 at Bulli over the 472m on Friday evening. The September 2014 dog found itself third early and looked like it may have got caught behind the two leaders entering the turn, but managed to show some track sense and push through for the rails run. After running wide into the home straight, the clock stopped at a respectable 26.52. Being not yet 20 months and in very capable hands there is capacity for sizable improvement over the coming months.
Leading trainer Robert Britton presented Leo's Gift for his debut at Sandown on Sunday. On a wet track, the son of Ruby Jet (x Spring Gun) jumped from the white and pushed forward to eyeball the leader early and sit wide for most of the trip. It took until half way down the back straight for him to claim the lead but was never really in doubt, recording a convincing 29.78 win.
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