MITCHARLIE Mia will be aiming to become the first Golden Easter Egg winner produced by a former Egg winner when she contests the $250,000 to the winner feature at Wentworth Park from box eight this Saturday night.
Trained by Mitch Northfield, Mitcharlie Mia is a daughter of 2012 Golden Easter Egg winner Don’t Knocka Him out of the handy country bitch Proper Lucy (Regal Brett x Proper Jessica).
The black bitch qualified for the final with a tenacious second behind the Andrea Dailly-trained Dawkins Bale in her semi-final last Saturday and comes into the decider having won six of her past seven, including the Group 2 Richmond Oaks, earlier this month.
It has been 10 years since Northfield last had a runner in the series, with his greyhound, Go Wild Bean, finishing third behind Edie Beauchamp back in 2006.
This year he is hoping for a change of luck, with Mitcharlie Mia, $11 with Sportsbet, coming up with box eight, the same draw which won the Egg when Northfield’s greyhound filled the trifecta a decade ago.
“Pretty happy with (box eight), it gives her a chance,” Northfield told Sky Sports Radio.
“She went well out of the eight last week, even though she got beat.
“She went nice and straight to the corner.
“You have just got to hope for a bit of luck and that they leave her alone to see if she is good enough or not.”
Northfield is hoping his bonny bitch will get a run into the race early, with the main speed dogs drawn on her inside.
“With fast beginners in boxes four and five, mainly Knight Sprite (box five), he might run a bit of good cover for her – he’ll come out and go to the left I think.
“If he can move across a couple of the others hopefully we are there and not too far off him as he is also a very good dog.”
Incidentally, the trainer who prepared Mitcharlie Mia’s sire Don’t Knocka Him to win the Egg four years ago was none other than Jason Thompson who trains this year’s favourite Moreira ($3 with Sportsbet).
The son of Kinloch Brae and Donna Ricca will start from box one, the same box Don’t Knocka Him used to salute in NSW flagship feature.
Thompson will be aiming to ensure the trophy heads back down to Victoria for the seventh consecutive time, with the last locally-trained greyhound to win the Egg being Dana Beatrice back in 2009.
Interestingly, Dana Beatrice was also the last female greyhound to win the race, with Mitcharlie Mia the sole bitch in the 2016 running. The race has typically been a male dominated event, with dogs taking out 17 of the 26 runnings.
More on stats and Dawkins Bale, the $3.20 second elect with Crownbet, will be aiming to give leviathan owner-breeder Paul Wheeler his fourth Easter from the last six editions when he jumps from box four on Saturday night.
Radley Bale won the race in 2011, Grigorieva Bale took out the 2013 running, while the mighty Fernando Bale took out the 2015 final.
Incidentally, Tonk, which won the race in 2014, is by Bartrim Bale, yet another Wheeler-owned superstar.
Andrea Dailly, the Wheeler family’s number one trainer, will be searching for her third Egg from the last four years, having prepared both Grigorieva Bale and Fernando Bale throughout their careers.
Dawkins Bale also has a slice of history on his side, with box four being the most successful box in the history of the race, producing five winners thus far.
Knight Sprite, trained by Hunter Valley conditioner Gayle Masterson, will be looking to complete the Richmond Derby – Golden Easter Egg double when he jumps from box five. The only two greyhounds to achieve the feat in the past being Stately Bird (2000) and Cyrus The Virus (2003) and, interestingly enough, Stately Bird won his Egg from box five too.
Knight Sprite is given a rough chance with bookies and is currently $9 with Sportsbet.