RATHER Dapper stamped himself as the one to beat in next Saturday’s Group 2 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) at Ipswich after a dominant win in his semi-final of the series on the weekend.
Jumping from box eight in the first qualifier, the John Mccarthy-trained greyhound showed brilliant speed at box rise, crossing over at the first turn and dashing away by five lengths heading down the back.
Despite using the track for most of the event, Rather Dapper was in no danger at any point throughout the race, crossing the line eight lengths clear of Scipio Africanus (box seven) in a blistering 30.26.
It was Rather Dapper’s second win from as many starts, having made his track debut in last week’s heats when clocking a slick 30.54.
Opal Nera (box eight) started the punter’s elect in the second semi following on from his fast heat win the week before and when the lids flew open the black dog went straight to the front of the pack.
Right on the leaders heels through the first turn was Fire To Rain (box five) which stuck with the lamplighter throughout the run despite being sent to the boxes as a $21 chance.
Turning for home, Fire To Rain wasn’t going away and was able to rail underneath Opal Nera, dashing straight past him and surging clear to record a 30.50 win by two-and-one-quarter-lengths.
Semi-final three was an open race, however Barry Dull’s Snug (box one) made it a one act affair after a nippy beginning from the inside.
At start four the son of Fabregas and Befitting made every post a winner, claiming the win over Roll So Deep (box six) in a fast 30.44.
Darren Russell, who had a great 2016 with his star sprinter Tripum, looks to have another exciting youngster on his hands in Lockety Brin which won the fourth and final semi on Saturday night.
Using box one to perfection, Lockety Brin was able to push up along the fence in the early stages and was too good in the run to the line, clocking a quick 30.79 over Fabrique (box seven).
Lockety Brin has now won both of his starts, having also won his heat the week prior in 30.62.
The final of the Group 2 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden will be run at Ipswich next Saturday night and is worth $40,000 to the winner.
Vince Curry Memorial Maiden – box draw
1 – Fire To Rain
2 – Fabrique
3 – Opal Nera
4 – Snug
5 – Lockety Brin
6 – Scipio Africanus
7 – Roll So Deep
8 – Rather Dapper
9 – Jalapeno
10 – Codrington Kid