Sent out second favourite at $3.30 after NSW TAB announced a $6,000 fixed odds win bet on the greyhound, Wicked Warrior took full advantage of a back straight squeeze up to secure the 2016 Group 3 Magic Maiden and the $25,000 first prize.
Trained by Austral’s Jason Magri, partner of GRNSW Racing Administrator Tess Simmons, Wicked Warrior was always in the firing line from box three and racing with determination, despite having the attention of several competitors at different stages of the race.
The son of Where’s Pedro and Bit Sassy, owned and bred by the Newman Berthally Syndicate of Patrick Newman and Dean Berthaly, was one of only two greyhounds contesting the final who had run under 30 seconds through the series, with the other main hope and favourite Benteke starting from box seven.
When Benteke missed the start and ran in to traffic, Wicked Warrior was able to kick up to hold the rail and inside running through the first corner which allowed him enough time to balance up and hold off brief challenges from Kay Dee Em (box four), Zipping Johnny (box two) and Fabulous Five (box 1); before streaking away to win by a widening margin.
The win takes “The Warriors” record to three wins from five starts with a further second placing, and keeps the black dog unbeaten at NSW greyhound racing’s HQ, Wentworth Park.