GAYLE Masterson is hoping her ultra-consistent campaigner Knight Sprite can continue his hot run of form in Thursday night’s Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) heat at Albion Park.
The NSW greyhound has been racing extremely well of late, having won two of his past four starts in 29.86 at Wentworth Park, with the dual group 2-winner contesting the third of four Winter Cup heats this week from box four.
Masterson, who is based in the Hunter Valley, made the trip to the Sunshine State over the weekend in order to trial her prized greyhound prior to Thursday’s heats and give him time to settle into his new surroundings.
“It was an eight and a half hour drive to get here, but luckily he travels really well,” Masterson told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He trialled at Albion Park on Monday night, he got a little bit tired in his run home, but I thought that might happen after the long trip the day before.
“I really wanted to give him another look at the track before Thursday night, he has had one start there before but he got into trouble so the aim was to give him a good look at the track on his own.
“He needed the run too as he hadn’t had a run in 10 days prior to Monday night.
“His last start was at Wentworth Park (June 18) and he slipped off the mat coming out of box one and he hurt his lower back so I couldn’t run him until Monday night.”
The son of Magic Sprite and Jaydo’s Neglect trialled exceptionally on Monday and has pulled up well in preparation for his assignment this week, with Masterson not concerned about box four against a quality line-up including Master Jackpot (box two) and Outside Pass (box seven).
“His first section on Monday night was brilliant so I expect him to go a lot better than his only start at Albion Park.
“There is a vacant box in the five and they also have a bit of a gap between boxes four and five so it is like he has two vacant boxes on his outside.
“I knew what box he had before he trialled so I put him out of the four and his first two sections were outstanding…even though he got tired nothing went faster than him on Monday night.”
Knight Sprite, a winner of 26 of his 57 starts, won this year’s Group 2 Richmond Derby and Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup, with the black dog a winner of $186,917 in prize money earnings.
Masterson said ‘Ollie’ has taken her on a wonderful ride throughout his career and hopes there’s no stopping in the immediate future.
“He has won two group races since January this year and it just seems that every time I ask him to step up he is able to do it.
“It would be lovely to come home with a group 1, but no matter what happens this week I will still be proud of him and love him all the same.”
2016 Group 1 Winter Cup – all-in market
Zambora Brockie – $4
Thirty Talks – $4
Outside Pass – $4.50
Blazin’ Bomber – $5
Master Jackpot – $6
Cyndie’s Magic – $14
Norm The Storm – $14
Knight Sprite – $17 with Bet365
Fabulous Bill – $17
Dyna Keitaro – $21
Split Image – $21
Zabdon Ferrari – $26
Old Spice – $34
Tobias Rumble – $67
Tripum – $67
Tilly’s Boy – $67
Lauryn’s Best – $101
Hope’s Magic – $201
Swap Ya – $201
Vegas Bound – $201
Lady Abigail – $201
Taser Shock – $301
Whirly Wind – $501
Cheeky Chance – $501
Abby’s Magic – $501
Elusive Desire – $501
Flying Circus – $501
Inspector Cloud – $501