On a night when we were supposed to crown Australia’s National Distance Champion as Australia’s best stayer; Chinatown Lad stole the limelight and Mantra Lad’s thunder in a devastating record breaking performance in the very first race of the night.
Starting from box eight in a 720 metre Free For All event that included both the Rapidvite National Distance Championship reserves, Chinatown Lad relished the draw and raced to the lead past the winning post the first time.
The week prior Chinatown Lad, who had been brought to Sydney by trainer Shane Whitney as a travelling partner for kennelmate and Rapidvite National Distance Championship starter Fallen Zorro, had trialled 42.87 at his first look at Wentwort Park in a solo trial.
Chinatown Lad showed the benefit of that trial and raced confidently around the field from the start to take command of the race and put on a spine tingling display from there. With likeable owners Katrina Gregory and family and budding media star Braydon watching from the fence; Chinatown Lad sensed the occassion and opened his stride down the back straight under Braydon’s hard riding and vocal encouragement.
The brindle dog gapped the field and strode out to a 8 length lead which only extended inn the run to line.
Setting up sectional splits just outside the existing track record splits, Chinatown Lad; ran 16.18 (record 16.10) and 25.08 (record 25.03) before finishing powerfully to become the first greyhound ever to smash the magical 42 second barrier for the 720 metre journey.
Chinatown Lad’s 41.93 track record run was almost 1.5 lengths quicker than Miagi’s previous track record set back in October 2007 and while many were speculating when or if Miagi could break the magical 42 second barrier back then; it was Chinatown Lad, the form stayer in the country that showed the NSW greyhound public his class.
Chinatown Lad was expected to beat his littermate and kennelmate, Fallen Zorro in the Tasmanian State National Distance Championship Final for the right to race in the Race 6 last Saturday night, The 2008 Rapidvite National Distance Championship Final. But Chinatown Lad narrowly failed on the tight Launceston circuit finishing second to Fallen Zorro, who secured the right to run in the final.
Despite trainer Shane Whitney’s sssertions that “there is little between them”, Chinatown Lad has pretty much had the wood on Fallen Zorro throughout this years Group Greyhound Racing calendar, winning the Group 1 Sandown Cup and the Group 1 Brisbane Gold Cup, with Fallen Zorro second on both occassions.
Chinatown Lad’s new Wentworth Park track record adds to his Cannington 715 metre track record 41.42 second run, set when he won the Group 3 Swan Draught Staying Challenge back in March.
Both Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro are likely to next contest the Group 3 Chairmans Cup heats to be held this coming Saturday night at Wentworth Park.