National Distance Championship Preview

As soon as Miagi returned to the somewhere near his best form in winning a heat of the NSW Rapidvite National Distance Championship, the stage was set for the him to claim the title of Australia’s best stayer. What wasn’t expected was the quality of the field that he’ll race against to claim that title. Australian Racing Greyhound takes an indepth look at each runner in tomorrow nights Group 1 Rapidvite National Distance Championship Final.

Risk It (NSW)

  • Breeding : Most Awesome ~ Eureka Disco
  • Whelped : May 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Brindle
  • Owner/s : A Holiday & Partners
  • Trainer : Troy Murray
  • Race Record : 18 Starts – 9 wins – 2 seconds – 4 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $15,530
  • Wentworth Park Record : 4 Starts – 2 wins – 1 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.79
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.81

Comment : Former Sydney stayer that transferred to South Australia, but had to qualify in New South Wales due to the residential clause. Will be well back early but is a hard finishing type who made a good run late to chase home Miagi in the state final last week. Hard to see him finishing over the top of several of these but if there is any trouble and he settles up close then from this box 1 draw, he’ll be right in the race.

Token Ned (SA)

  • Breeding : Bitability Bale ~ Gleaming Sarah
  • Whelped : December 2004
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Peter Sterglopoulos
  • Trainer : Paul Barry
  • Race Record : 80 Starts – 24 wins – 22 seconds – 12 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $56,335
  • Wentworth Park Record : 2 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 43.03
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 43.48

Comment : Former Queenslander that came from off the speed to win the state final in South Australia. Was easily beaten by Money Magnet in a Wentworth Park mixed 4/5th grade race running 43.48, finishing fifth, some twelve lengths from the winner. Only two starts here have both been unplaced and it is hard to see that changing against this company. Oldest dog in the race and has done connections proud just to make such a good quality final.

Mantra Lad (Vic)

  • Breeding : Pure Octane ~ Al Fresco
  • Whelped : July 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Red Fawn
  • Owner/s : Martin & Fiona Hallinan
  • Trainer : Graeme Jose
  • Race Record : 16 Starts – 7 wins – 3 seconds – 1 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $30,040
  • Wentworth Park Record : 1 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : No 720 metre starts
  • Last Time (720 metres) : No 720 metre starts

Comment : Boom Victorian stayer who is easily the youngest in the field at only 25 months of age. Equalled The Meadows 725 metre track record, running 42.28 in winning the Victorian Final at only his sixth run over 700 metres or longer. Beautifully bred to stay, he has raced forward in all his staying wins thus far and should get the chance to do the same again. No doubt a class runner, his inexperience will be against him and confidence may be an issue as connections elected not to trial on the track and his only other start at Wentworth Park was at his first ever race start and resulted in a bad fall. Doubt he will be able to withstand the pressure that will be applied to him mid race but if there is any trouble behind him, Mantra Lad has the class to lead all the way.

Tayza (WA)

  • Breeding : Stately Bird ~ Crazy Habit
  • Whelped : October 2005
  • Sex : Bitch
  • Colour : Brindle
  • Owner/s : Greg Dwyer
  • Trainer : Pete Sayer
  • Race Record : 34 Starts – 12 wins – 3 seconds – 2 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $50,945
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.76 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.76 (Solo Trial)

Comment : A former Victorian she has been racing very well in West Australia and was impressive winning the West Australian State Final. She has four times bettered the 42 second mark at Cannington and won 11 of her 24 distance starts. Although she generally races forward she showed her adaptability winning her West Australian heat from last, coming from about 12 lengths behind to claim victory that night. This will be her second Group 1 distance final for the year after finishing unplaced earlier in April in the Group 1 Sky Channel Galaxy Final at Cannington. Doubt she can run home as well as Miagi or Risk It, so she’ll need to race Mantra Lad early for the lead to have her best chance. Place hopes would be best but luck in running will be a major key for Tayza.

Rebel Angel (Vic)

  • Breeding : Hallucinate ~ Dallas Angel
  • Whelped : April 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Matthew Howe
  • Trainer : Elsie King
  • Race Record : 41 Starts – 10 wins – 15 seconds – 4 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $53,885
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : No 720 metre starts
  • Last Time (720 metres) : No 720 metre starts

Comment : Set the NSW greyhound followers on tilt last Saturday night with a super impressive 30.01 solo trial around the Wentworth Park track between races. Very consistent Victorian stayer that has made now four Group Finals this, finishing unplaced in the Group 3 Lizrene Classic Final, the Group 1 Sandown Cup Final, the Group 2 AWM Distance Tropy Final and was first reserve for the Group 2 McKenna Memorial Final. Just seems to that little extra class needed to win the big races, but has had much luck either. If Rebel Angel can carry forward the speed shown in last week’s trial he would be a serious contender but is more than likely to be thereabouts again for mine from this awkward box 5 draw.

Fallen Zorro (Tas)

  • Breeding : Lilli Pilli Lad ~ Chinatown Babe
  • Whelped : December 2005
  • Sex : Bitch
  • Colour : Blue Fawn
  • Owner/s : T Hasler & C Garity
  • Trainer : Shane Whitney
  • Race Record : 32 Starts – 14 wins – 7 seconds – 3 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $96,315
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.67 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.67 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Outstanding stayer who has been in everything and performed admirably thoughout the year. Has had to live in her kennelmate and littermate’s shadow somewhat but turned the tables on litter brother Chinatown Lad to win the Tasmanian Final in a track record breaking run at Launceston. Group 2 McKenna Memorial winner back in June, she also finished second in the Group 2 Sandown Cup Final, second in the Group 1 Brisbane Gold Cup Final and second in the Group 2 AWM Distance Trophy Final. Another who generally races close to the lead, her 42.67 solo trail compared favourably with Miagi’s 42.54 winning time and will no doubt improve on her first look at the Wentworth Park circuit. Won’t find it easy leading those inside her but will be very hard to beat is she can and did win well from behind in a heat of the Brisbane Gold Cup at Albion Park earlier this year. Will definitely finish in the placings and a win would be well deserved.

Nicely Done (Qld)

  • Breeding : Surf Lorian ~ Nice Portrait
  • Whelped : November 2005
  • Sex : Bitch
  • Colour : Brindle
  • Owner/s : Bob Giltinan
  • Trainer : Bob Giltinan
  • Race Record : 38 Starts – 15 wins – 7 seconds – 8 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $53,400
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.99 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.99 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Had her accomplished Owner/Trainer searching for excuses after a very average 42.99 solo trial last week. A very handy stayer in Queensland, Nicley Done won the Presidents Cup Final at Albion Park back in July before finishing third in the Group 1 Brisbane Gold Cup Final behind Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro at the same track. Her only interstate distance run this year was a dissapointing last in a heat of the McKenna Memorial Trophy at Sandown in June. Despite the vast experience her trainer brings, it is difficult to see her playing a role in the finish and she maybe an Albion Park specialist who strugles to translate that form away to other tracks.

Miagi (NSW)

  • Breeding : Hallucinate ~ Deloris
  • Whelped : July 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Mark Sheppeard
  • Trainer : Warren Harper
  • Race Record :
  • Prizemoney : $162,325
  • Wentworth Park Record : 13 Starts – 11 wins – 0 seconds – 2 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.03 (Track Recordl)
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.54

Comment : The undisputed distance king of Wentworth Park. Looked like he would definitely be the only greyhound to better the 42 second mark for the 720 metre journey at Wentworth Park after running a slashing 42.03 track record to win the 2007 Group 2 Sydney Cup back in October. But after a winning the Group 2 Winning Edge Gold Cup in February 2008 and a dissapointing run in a heat of the Group 1 Gleeson and Tonta one week later, the superstar had to be scratched from the final and then didn’t return to the track for a further 5 months. It was the second big final Miagi had missed through injury, having been scratched from the 2007 Group 3 Chairmans Cup Final as well. Miagi is also the winner of the 2007 Group 3 Newcastle Cup at The Gardens and the Group 1 Association Cup at Wentworth Park. Warren Harper looks to have Miagi’s injury woes well managed this time in and last weeks run at just his third start from a five month spell was almost effortless. Whilst there may be still some query on his true ability to win Group races interstate, Miagi is a champion stayer at Wentworth Park and easily the best of the modern era. Should win.

Lyn’s Daisy (NSW)

  • Breeding : Token Prince ~ Lynden Verban
  • Whelped : April 2005
  • Sex : Bitch
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Tom Astbury
  • Trainer : Charlie Dimech
  • Race Record :
  • Prizemoney : $70,760
  • Wentworth Park Record : 27 Starts – 8 wins – 2 seconds – 7 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.33
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.86

Comment : Unlikely starter.

My Son Rules (NSW)

  • Breeding : Just The Best ~ Agreement
  • Whelped : January 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Red Fawn
  • Owner/s : Terence Bourke
  • Trainer : Terence Bourke
  • Race Record :
  • Prizemoney : $25,775
  • Wentworth Park Record : 14 Starts – 4 wins – 1 seconds – 3 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 42.66
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 42.98

Comment : Unlikely starter.

Selections : Miagi – Mantra Lad – Fallen Zorro