A GUT feeling has paid off big time for owner Craig Beadman after his ultra-consistent bitch Star Torana landed Thursday night’s Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park.
Sent to the boxes as the $28 outsider, the Shaun Evans-trained bitch was able to carve across to take the early lead from box six, holding off a late challenge from Group 1 Topgun winner Dundee Osprey to score by a head in 34.51.
It was a relief for Beadman to see his star performer finally land a feature success, with Thursday’s event being the seventh group final she had contested throughout her career.
“She really deserved to finally get a group win,” Beadman told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She had to do it the hard way to win a group 3 – she had to beat two group 1 winners to do it.
“She was a bit rough in the market, but she wasn’t too badly boxed in the six because she does like to race a little bit wide.
“I thought she had a good chance – I was hoping that they would jam up on the inside and she’d get around them.
“I thought if she got to the lead she’d be pretty hard to beat, but when Dundee Osprey got behind her I was worried.
“To her credit she is a really hard chasing bitch – very determined – and she is hard to get past when she is out in front.”
Star Torana is the fifth greyhound Beadman has owned and took her career record to 19 wins and 19 minor placings from 51 starts, while her career earnings are now in excess of $124,000.
A well-bred daughter of Collision and Redskin (Kiowa Sweet Trey x She’s Hot), Beadman said he almost didn’t buy the black powerhouse after originally planning to buy her sister.
“There were only two pups in the litter left for sale when I went to look at them and I had said to Michael Hodges (breeder) before I got there that if I did take one it would be the brindle pup.
“When I actually got there the [brindle] pup was very forward and playful and she was very shy and standoffish.
“To be honest I didn’t particularly like her – but something was telling me to pick her – it was a pretty strong gut feeling – so I changed my mind and took her instead of the brindle one.
“She is a really great dog now – she has got a beautiful nature and is just the ideal dog.
“It was a gut feeling which paid off.”
At three-and-a-half years of age, Beadman says he is excited about breeding with Star Torana in the future, but says he hopes to tackle next year’s Group 2 Richmond Oaks before she heads to the breeding barn.
“She has run second in the Oaks two years in a row – so I would like to have one last crack at winning it before we retire her.”
The Group 3 Sir John Dillon was the second consecutive feature at Sandown Park to go to a NSW-trained greyhound, with last month’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup heading north when won by Jason Mackay’s Ando’s Mac.