28-year-old South Sydney trainer Joseph Scerri, is etching ever closer to his dream thanks to his star stayer Gradence, trained by champion mentor Mark Gatt. Gradence put on a dazzling exhibition last Saturday night over the 720m distance at Wentworth Park.
After beginning moderately as expected, Gradence weaved his way through the field to race away at the finish by 5 ½ lengths, clocking a sensational 42.16 and stamping his authority as a genuine contender for this Saturday night’s Group Two Sydney Cup.
Scerri also owns Gradence’s dam, Ding’s Rocket and bred this extremely talented greyhound by Vapour Whirl back in 2010. As expected, Scerri was delighted with his performance on Saturday night.
‘I boxed him and that was a great thrill to watch him win. I was a little worried when they got to the 520m boxes but he has a stack of ability and I knew he could run that sort of time’.
‘I think on his night he could break the 42 seconds over that distance’
‘His quite a clumsy dog and he has been unlucky, however I expect him to be competitive in the Sydney Cup if things go his way’ Scerri added.
Scerri is not just having success as an owner but has unearthed a gifted new star on the racing circuit, Jawlaa, who is making headway over the two turn journeys, recording some sizzling times at Dapto (29.72) and Richmond (30.77) over the past two weeks.
By Swift Fancy out of Kumta Lee, this impressive 28kg bitch has notched up 5 wins and 2 placings from just 11 race starts, with her trainer now raising his expectations towards the Dapto Puppy Classic Final in November, worth a juicy $75,000 to the winner.
‘She’s going great guns at the moment. I wasn’t overly surprised with her time at Dapto because she trialled sensational at Nowra before that and I knew if she jumped clean she could go alright.’
‘I’m really confident in her ability and I think she can go close to winning the Dapto Auction Race if she gets the right run.’
‘I’ll be taking her to Unitbet Gardens over the next week or so to see how she goes because I think she can be competitive there too’.
Bred, reared and trained by Scerri at his Horsley home just minutes from Dapto racetrack, he attributes his short-term success to his family and multiple group-winning trainer Mark Gatt.
‘’I named Jawlaa after my dad’s mother who passed away when he was just 8 years old’
‘Unfortunately my Grandmother, who I lived with passed away three years ago, was a huge part of my life. She was the one who told me to keep going with greyhounds after my Grandfather died when I was 18, and I’m so glad she did because they’re my life now.’
‘All my family are great supporters of me training and Mark Gatt is a champion who is always there to help me out whenever I need it. I definitely look up to him and hope to emulate what his done in the future’.
With Scerri’s small team now starting to fire on the racetrack, evident of his meticulous preparation that goes into training before and after work, demonstrates that passion is the biggest secret to anyone’s success, when it comes to chasing your Group winning dreams.