EL Magnifico (El Grand Senor x Little Grey Mar ’14) will take his place in this Saturday’s NSW Sprint Championship (520m) at Wentworth Park despite initial injury concerns following his brilliant heat win on the weekend.
Co-trainer Bruce Fletcher had been initially concerned about a pin muscle injury, but confirmed to Australian Racing Greyhound on Monday morning that the muscle was only slightly strained which will not effect him from taking his place in the final this weekend.
“I would prefer to err on the side of caution so I am glad I got it checked out because it gives you that peace of mind,” Fletcher told Australian Racing Greyhound.
Fletcher said it is now all systems go towards the state decider, with the winner set to qualify for the Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Albion Park on August 25.
El Magnifico has drawn box three for the final against a cracking field including Bekin Street (Bekim Bale x Serisier Street Sep ’15) in box one, Mister Twister (Collision x Double Twist Jan ’15) in box five, Prevail (Collision x Provoked Feb ’14) in box six and Cosmic Bonus (Cosmic Rumble x Dark And Stormy Dec ’14).
Fletcher said he is happy with the box draw, but concedes El Magnifico will still need things to go his way.
“The closer to the rails he is the better,” he said.
“There is a stack of early speed in the race including the two [Effective Comet] which is a wide runner.
“I am hoping the two can begin better than him and he can drop back to the fence. If that happens he should be able to find himself in a nice spot and I think he is stronger than most of the others.”
A winner of 16 of his 39 starts with $59,660 in career earnings, Fletcher says El Magnifico deserves a spot in the group 1 final to match it against Australia’s best greyhounds.
“He is well overdue for a group win – he has been in a lot of finals without having much luck,” he said.
“It would be nice to get up to Albion Park – I really think the track would suit him as it seems that back markers still get a chance there – a lot of dogs seem to come from behind and win.
“If he is able to make the final and gets an inside box I think he will be a great chance – he has the ability to serve it up to whatever they put up against him.”
The NSW Sprint Championship will be held at Wentworth Park this Saturday night.