National Sprint Championship Preview

A refurbished Wentworth Park will host the Grand Final of the Rapidvite National Sprint Championship on Saturday night and an outsanding field has been assembled. We take an indepth look at each runner in tomorrow nights Group 1 Rapidvite National Sprint Championship Final and assess their chances.

Light Ice lad (Tas)

  • Breeding : Lilli Pilli Lad ~ Copper Delight
  • Whelped : April 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Light Brindle
  • Owner/s : Butch Deverell
  • Trainer : Butch Deverell
  • Race Record : 93 Starts – 43 wins – 17 seconds – 13 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $70,640
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 30.89 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.89 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Trained by Butch Deverell one of Tasmania’s leading trainers, Light Ice Lad was third pick over Deverell’s two more fancied and much younger kennel mates that included Big Moose and his litter brother Akka Boy in the Rapidvite National Sprint Championship Tasmanian Final. Light Ice Lad made full use his inside box draw in the final to hold off the more fancied and desperately unlucky Big Moose by a length. Blessed with good early pace Light Ice Lad has been very consistent while never venturing off the Apple Isle, and has won 18 of his 33 starts this year. On two seperate occasions he has strung 5 wins end on end, which is no mean feat no matter where you race. Light Ice Lad will be Deverell’s first National Sprint Championship finalist having had several National Distance Championship finalist’s, the most recent being World Crusher who finished 7th in the 2002 National Distance Championship at Albion Park.

Snozz (NSW)

  • Breeding : Bombastic Shiraz ~ Special Osti
  • Whelped : September 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Red Fawn
  • Owner/s : Ian Mackay & Barry Gibbons
  • Trainer : Jason Mackay
  • Race Record : 17 Starts – 10wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $31,735
  • Wentworth Park Record : 10 Starts – 5 wins – 2 seconds – 1 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 29.96
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.12

Comment : Smart young dog that had a bit luck in the state final nice draw in two and trainer knows how to prepare one for a National final. Mackay has a record second to none at The Nationals, winning three successive titles – Classy Customer in the 2004 National Distance Championship Final in Perth, Texas Gold’s 2005 record breaking performance in the National Distance Championship Final on his home track, Wentworth Park and his breakthrough Group 1 sprint victory, a win in the Tasmanian hosted 2006 National Sprint Championship series with Immortal Love. Might lack some experience in this company but won’t surprise to see him cause an upset one of the chances in an open race.

Hendrix (NSW)

  • Breeding : Hallucinate ~ Thai Again
  • Whelped : June 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Eternal Optimists Syndicate
  • Trainer : Richard Dean
  • Race Record : 24 Starts – 8 wins – 7 seconds – 3 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $22,620
  • Wentworth Park Record : 20 Starts – 5 wins – 7 seconds – 3 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 30.01
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.30

Comment : Up and coming sprinter that gains a start from box three due to the scartching of Mogambo. Richard Dean and his wife Patricia took out the 1999 National Sprint Final at Wentworth Park with Harry Hand and will be looking for history to repeat itself here. Hendrix is not out of place in this field as he has won all but two of his wight wins at Wentworth Park for total earnings of $22,620 and has a quickest time on the track of 30.01, which should see him highly competitive in the race. Hendrix could get the gun run in behind Snozz if that runner is able to lead and that would see hendrix finishing in the money.

All Caution (Vic)

  • Breeding : Collision ~ All Ages
  • Whelped : September 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Rob Camilleri
  • Trainer : Darren McDonald
  • Race Record : 41 Starts – 18 wins – 7 seconds – 4 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $100,075
  • Wentworth Park Record : 20 Starts – 8 wins – 3 seconds – 3 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 29.97)
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 31.343

Comment : Trained by leading trainer Darren McDonald and impressive winner of the Victorian Final at Sandown. All Caution has previously competed in 5 Group race finals, his best finishes have been a third to kennelmate Shanlyn Prince in the 2007 G1 Melbourne Cup and a fifth and seventh respectively in the 2008 G1 Silver Chief and 2008 G1 National Derby. He was also third in the 2007 G2 Young Star Classic and 2008 G3 Golden Easter Egg Consolation. McDonald has previously won the National Sprint Championship with Pure Octane in 2005, also held at Wentworth Park. Trialled quickly at Ballarat last week but is drawn awkwardly. Has the class to win this race but hasn’t raced well at his past few starts at Wentworth Park.

Knocka Norris (Qld)

  • Breeding : Elite State ~ Oriental Angel
  • Whelped : February 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Blue Brindle
  • Owner/s : Reg Kay
  • Trainer : Reg Kay
  • Race Record : 29 Starts – 19 wins – 2 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $36,285
  • Wentworth Park Record : 1 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 29.82 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 29.82 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Trainer by leading Queensland trainer Reg Kay, Knocka Norris made a one act affair of the Rapidvite National Sprint Championship Queensland Final when he led form the boxes, running a sensational 29.70 best of night. Recently been trained by Jason Thompson in Victoria but returning to Kay’s kennels back in May, Knocka Norris had previously made a habit of running sensationally in heats of big races and then “going missing” the following week in the final; but under Kay’s astute training the enigmatic powerhouse produced his undoubted champion abilities when it counted and has now won 5 of his last 6 starts all in the best of the night times. Knocka Norris will be Reg Kay’s second National Sprint Championship Finalist, previously starting Elite State in the 2003 National Sprint Championship Final at Angle Park, which he duly won. An absolute failure at his only other Wentworth Park start in the Golden Easter Egg Heats in March his year, Knocka Norris will start favourite on the back of his emphatic 29.82 trial last week. If he leads from the boxes he will win but their is plenty of speed inside him from All Caution and Snozz, so a moderate get away will cause concern.

Mountain Of Love (NSW)

  • Breeding : Token Prince ~ Magic Coin
  • Whelped : February 2005
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Harry Markou
  • Trainer : Ruth Matic
  • Race Record : 63 Starts – 25 wins – 16 seconds – 8 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $94,515
  • Wentworth Park Record : 28 Starts – 10 wins – 8 seconds – 5 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 29.85
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.22

Comment : Grand old campaigner who will start the oldest of the field. Scored a brilliant win in the $20,000 GRNSW Country Challenge Showdown at Wentworth Park earlier this year and is the current Nowra 520 metre track record holder. The 2007 Group 3 Nowra Puppy Classic winner has a heap of experience on the track with 28 starts for 10 wins and a best of 28.85 from this box, but is probably closer the end of his career than the start. Mountain Of Love is very big dog at 38 kgs and did a good job to win his heat and chase home Snozz in the state final but will need plenty of luck to win this. Place chances are not out of the question though and his trainer is going for back to back National Sprint Championship titles wins after scoring with Bit Chilli at Sandown last year.

Drink Driver (SA)

  • Breeding : Collide ~ Camden Shiraz
  • Whelped : January 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Robert Sims
  • Trainer : Rob Harnas
  • Race Record : 22 Starts – 10 wins – 3 seconds – 2 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $14,215
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 30.39 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.39 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Trainer by National Sprint Championship first timer Rob Harnas, Drink Driver was an impressive 30.12 winner of the Rapidvite National Sprint Championship South Australian Final running down early leader Camden Wishes in the home straight on a slowish track from a favourable box 1 draw. Drink Driver was previously a good 2nd to Cool Keepsake in his heat. Harnas has obviously always had a good opinion of the dog as Drink Driver was a scratching from a Silver Chief Heat after only 5 starts, prior to running an unlucky 3rd to subsequent DDC Launching Pad winner, Teaman Titch at Sandown back in February 2008. Harnas has quietly guided the dog through the grades at Angle Park with 7 wins and only 3 unplaced runs from 15 starts, since that Sandown run. Ran an even 30.39 solo trail last week and is not the worst in this field or though box seven is likely to be this youngsters biggest hurdle.

West On Paris

  • Breeding : Bond ~ Magic Maisy
  • Whelped : March 2006
  • Sex : Bitch
  • Colour : Brindle
  • Owner/s : Gary Weston & Craig Weston
  • Trainer : Linda Britton
  • Race Record : 33 Starts – 15 wins – 10 seconds – 5 thirds
  • Prizemoney : $54,850
  • Wentworth Park Record : 0 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 30.61 (Solo Trial)
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.61 (Solo Trial)

Comment : Trained by West Australia’s premier trainer Linda Britton, West On Paris was an impressive 30.55 Rapidvite National Sprint Championship West Australian Final winner beating the highly credentialed Octanol by 1.75 lengths. Starting one of the ousiders in the final at $14.70 and the roughest of Britton’s two chances in the final, West On Paris began brilliantly from her box 5 draw and gave nothing else a chance, leading all the way to win. West On Paris was a determined winner of a Heat of the Schweppes WA Oaks back in April 2008, before finishing 3rd to Miss Slick in the Group 3 Final. Under Linda Britton’s guidance West On Paris has been a model of consistency since that effort, winning 7 of 13 starts and only finishing unplaced on two of those occassions. Brittons biggest success at the Nationals has been a 1998 National Distance Championship win with Paradise Street. Britton has also started Jennev for a 6th in the 2002 National Distance Championship, Reggemite for a 4th in the 1998 National Sprint Championship, Big Bad Katherine (4th 2003 National Sprint Championship) and Als Place who finshed last in the 2004 National Sprint Championship. No chance from box eight in this field.

Branded (NSW)

  • Breeding : Over Flo ~ Dos Santos
  • Whelped : May 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : White & Black
  • Owner/s : James Coyle
  • Trainer : James Coyle
  • Race Record :
  • Prizemoney : $28,610
  • Wentworth Park Record : 17 Starts – 4 wins – 6 seconds – 1 thirds
  • Best Time (520 metres) : 30.00
  • Last Time (520 metres) : 30.37

Comment : Unlikely starter.

Mogambo (Vic)

  • Breeding : Where’s Pedro ~ Zarbo
  • Whelped : January 2006
  • Sex : Dog
  • Colour : Black
  • Owner/s : Seamus Sutcliffe
  • Trainer : Jamie Ennis
  • Race Record :
  • Prizemoney : $36,075
  • Wentworth Park Record : 1 Starts – 0 wins – 0 seconds – 0 thirds
  • Best Time (720 metres) : 30.03
  • Last Time (720 metres) : 30.03

Comment : Scratched.

Selections : Knocka Norris – Snozz – Mountain Of Love