AT just over 22-kilograms, the aptly named Tiny Terror is one of the smallest greyhounds to have ever raced at Maitland.
Despite her small stature, Tiny Terror has proven to be a class animal – with five wins and three minor placings from her 11 starts including a near record 22.06 over the 400m trip last month.
This Thursday the Cheryl Betts-trained bitch will face her acid test when she contests a heat of the Group 2 Maitland Cup (450m).
The daughter of Spring Gun and Pretzel will start from box seven against a quality field including El Grand Amigo (box two), Nangar Thunder (box four) and Pantera Nera (box five).
Betts says she is hopeful her pocket rocket sprinter will put her best paws forward when the lids fly open, with the rise in distance on her most recent starts not likely to be an issue.
“She has never had box seven, but she has won from box eight in the past and I think she liked it out wide,” Betts told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She loves the Maitland track which has surprised a lot of people because she is so small.
“She has had a couple of 450m starts in the past, but they were earlier in her career and I think she is a lot stronger now.
“Her first start was in the Future Stars and after that series she went into her first 450 – she didn’t have much work leading into it and she only got beaten a head.
“I have my fingers crossed for this week but I don’t think the extra distance will be a problem.”
Although she may only be small, Betts says her star greyhound has always shown a heap of potential and is now starting to mature into a racer.
“I bred her myself out of a bitch I had named Pretzel who was only 22 kilos herself so that’s where she gets her small stature from.
“I got her broken in at Glengarrie with the rest of her brothers and sisters and she was always the quickest which took us by surprise.
“She loves going to the track – she used to get very excited and jump up at everyone – but she knows what to do now when she goes to the track and she is going very well.
“She has a huge cheer squad – all the kennel staff love her because she is so cute and small – its nice to see.”
After 10 years as a trainer, Betts says the Maitland Cup series is the biggest feature race she has contested, although as long as Tiny Terror makes it around in one piece, she doesn’t care about the result.
“She has been in heaps of smaller finals already, but the pressure will definitely be on this Thursday,” Betts said.
“I think she is right in the race, but no matter what happens I am already very proud of her.
“I get so nervous every time she races – I can’t sleep the night before because I keep thinking about her.
“It would be fantastic to make the final, but as long as she makes it around safe that’s all that matters.”
Six heats of the Maitland Cup will be run and won this Thursday afternoon, with the winners and two fastest seconds progressing through to the $40,000 feature next week.
Other big names to watch out for in the series include Zipping Inglis (heat one box two), Krugerrand (heat one box three), Ando’s Mac (heat two box four), Outside Pass (heat two box eight), Bubble Guppy (heat three box one), Magic Spring (heat three box four), Your Shout Punk (heat four box one), Falcon’s Fury (heat six box one) and Aussie Infrared (heat six box six).
The first of six Group 2 Maitland Cup heats is race three at Maitland on Thursday afternoon and will jump at 4.37pm.