After a week of tension leading up to the Showdown final, Ruth Matic was rewarded when her talented
chaser Mountain Of Love scored a brilliant win in the $20,000 Greyhound Racing NSW Country Challenge Showdown at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
In a race featuring the best available greyhounds from the Country Challenge series, Mountain of Love went in as odds on favourite and after a slow start didn’t let the excited crowd down, including trainer Ruth Matic.
“Relieved, to be perfectly honest,” Matic said when asked of her emotions once the 37 kilogram giant crossed the line first.
“Everyone was walking around saying he can’t be beaten, he is a good thing, yet I know what can happen in racing.”
Mountain Of Love had just under a length to spare on the line from rival Majestic Puzzle who was closing rapidly but couldn’t catch the winner. The Greg Board trained Varvatos grabbed third and the veteran Token Mulwee finished fourth in his final ever race to the delight of his trainer Joanne Russell.
Even though Mountain of Love grabbed three Country Challenge leg victories and was always the greyhound to beat in the final, Ruth Matic was concerned that another runner would come out of the pack and upstage them on the night.
Particularly, Matic was all too aware of Majestic Puzzle’s capabilities.
“He is trained locally so I know what he is capable of and he has undoubted ability,” Matic said.
In the end Matic walked away with the $10,000 winners prize and the Inaugural GRNSW Country Challenge Showdown trophy.
While the short term focus for Mountain of Love now switches to a Blue Paws event at Wentworth Park, the long term plan is firmly on the National Sprint Championship to be held in late August on home soil.
“The National Championships are the big goal for us,” Matic confirmed, and with his recent form, it would take a brave expert to back against anything but a winning performance at the National Championship Finals that will be held at Wentworth Park on August 30.
The 2008/09 Country Challenge series will commence at Muswellbrook on Saturday 21 September 2008 with heats and the final on the 28th.