MISTER Twister stamped himself as the greyhound to beat in the Listed Richmond Riches Puppy Classic (535m) when posting a fast 30.50 victory in his heat of the series on Friday night.
Jumping from box three in the first heat, Mister Twister showed tremendous acceleration to race straight to the lead. Once out in front, the Jason Mackay-trained greyhound never looked in danger, sprinting to the line to score by a widening six lengths. O’Leary (box eight) which was having his first start around two turns ran a great race to finish second ahead of Dave Irwin’s Harperama (box one).
Mister Twister, by Collision out of former NSW greyhound of the year Double Twist, has now won 10 of his 27 starts with an additional 11 minor placings.
Tony Brett, who won the 2016 Richmond Riches with Thirty Talks, looks a live chance of making it two in a row with a couple of nice chances progressing through to the semi-finals.
Fast Times, a son of Barcia Bale and Clockwise, looks to be the Queensland conditioner’s best contender after posting a slick win in the final qualifier of the night.
Stepping from box three, the black dog was only fairly away from the boxes but got plenty of room to move in the early stages, mustering pace to take the lead in the charge to the post on the first occasion.
Despite the best challenges of his rivals, Fast Times was far too good in the run to the line, defeating Good Odds Ava (box one) by eight lengths in 30.56.
Nowra Summer Puppy Classic finalist Big Black (box six) rounded out the trifecta back in third.
Brett’s other qualifier was Opal Nera (box eight) which ran second in his heat to Beverley Sloan’s Bold Opal (box four). The 25-kilogram pocket rocket showed great early dash to bolt straight to the front of the pack and was never headed, winning by seven lengths in a nippy 30.85.
Heat two was an open race, with all seven greyhounds starting under $16. Christine Oldfield’s Wet Gambler (box two) was sent to the boxes as the favourite and when the lids flew open, the black dog was able to slip into second spot behind the leader Pick It Up (box eight).
Approaching the home turn, Wet Gambler stuck to the fence, railing through to take the lead and kicking clear to record a narrow win in 31.09.
Heat three was another good result for punters, with odds on favourite Victor Charlie (box eight) getting the cash for Sam Sultana. The son of Fabregas and Little Charlie was only fair to begin from out wide, but quickly gathered momentum and slotted into second position.
Through the catching pen, Victor Charlie checked off the heels of the leader, Camden Sky (box four), but balanced up down the back, railing through to take the lead and sprinting clear in 30.89.
Odds on favourites went back to back, with Kong (box eight) getting up at $1.30 in heat four. The 39 kilogram heavyweight was fairly away and managed to carve across the small field to take up the top spot around the first turn.
Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins, with Kong stretching out to beat Bobby Rudd (box two) by three-and-three-quarter lengths in a handy 30.81.
Onto heat five punters once again had cause to celebrate. Despite being last to leave the boxes, odds on favourite Good Odds Shakey (box eight) was able to circle the field to sit in second spot behind Nic’s Fab (box six) around the first turn.
Down the back, the Frank Hurst-trained dog slipped into top gear, racing to the front approaching the home turn and kicking on to hold off a late challenge from Swift Ella (box two) in a moderate 31.49.