BLUE Sky Riot (Barcia Bale x Ready To Riot Feb ’16) stamped herself as one of the best bitches in the country with a dominant win in Friday’s Group 2 Richmond Oaks (535m).
Trained in Victoria by Anthony Azzopardi, Blue Sky Riot started as the second favourite off box eight and when the lids flew open she made the race her own, carving across to take the lead around the first turn.
Group 1 Topgun winner Up Hill Jill (Premier Fantasy x Where’s Demonica Feb ’15) and Bathurst Cup winner Miss Splendamiro (Barcia Bale x Splendourous Sep ’15) quickly slipped into second and third and set off in pursuit of the leader, but Blue Sky Riot was far too strong, winning by two and one quarter lengths in 30.44.
Blue Sky Riot has now won five in a row including the Group 1 National Futurity at Wentworth Park last month. Azzopardi said his bonny bitch has taken a massive step forward in recent weeks.
“She is a different dog since winning the Futurity. After that trip to Sydney she came home and beat Striker Light at The Meadows and ran best of the night at Sandown Park,” Azzopardi told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She seemed to mature a lot with that trip away and she has surprised me a little bit by just how much she has come on since then.
“It was a massive run in her [Richmond Oaks] heat and she backed it up again in the final – to do what she has done is the sign of a good dog.”
Owned and bred by Sandra Camden-Bermingham, Blue Sky Riot has now won nine races from 16 starts with a further four placings and just over $140,000 in prize money.
She will be on the road again from next week, with her next goal being the $250,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (520m) at Wentworth Park.
“She has taken the next step, so it’s onto the Easter Egg for her now,” Azzopardi said.
“She took a bit of time to get used to Wentworth Park, but she has won a group 1 there now so you’d have to give her a chance going back there.
“She’ll be going there full of confidence – as long as she keeps beginning well she will be a big threat.”
Azzopardi will be taking a team of greyhounds to Wentworth Park for the Golden Easter Egg including Group 1 Vic Peters Classic winner Crash Bandicoot (Collision x J’s Robin Jul ’15) and city winner Pants On Fire (Bralyn County x Erin Norris Jun ’15).
Also making the trip to the Harbour City will be Azzopardi’s dual group 1 winner Raw Ability (Barcia Bale x Bugatti Flyer Mar ’15) which will be having his first start since finishing down the track in the Group 1 Australian Cup final.
“He had no luck in the Australian Cup and he pulled up a bit sore,” Azzopardi explained.
“We are on top of that now and he will have a gallop [on Sunday]. All going to plan he should be ready to go for the Egg heats.”
The heats of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg will be held at Wentworth Park on March 17.
2018 Group 2 Richmond Oaks results
1st – Blue Sky Riot (8) – Anthony Azzopardi – $4.30
2nd – Up Hill Jill (3) – David Geall – $2.20
3rd – Miss Splendamiro (7) – Hank Vanderburg – $4.60
4th – My Country (5) – Neil Staines – $36.20
5th – Chase The Cash (6) – Craig Watts – $45.50
6th – Poco Dorado (1) – John Finn – $6.10
7th – Little Nangar (4) – Dennis Barnes – $24.90
8th – Sheez My Chicki (2) – Christine Proctor – $35
Margins: 2.25 x nose
First section: 5.23 (8)
Second section: 15.24 (8)
Run home: 15.20 (8)