SINGLE Sticka will head into this Saturday’s Group 1 Perth Cup (520m) at Cannington as the fastest qualifier after clocking a near-record 29.59 in its heat victory last weekend.
The fawn and white dog is trained in the west by John Carmody and is owned on the NSW Central Coast by Anthony McVicker, who also bred the son of Knocka Norris and She Ain’t Late.
Having turned three years of age in December, McVicker is hoping the best part of Single Sticka’s career is in front of him after being plagued by injury last year.
“He tore his back muscle quite badly and so we flew him back to Melbourne to get him looked at by the top vets down there,” McVicker said.
“He went through treatment including operations and there was only ever a small chance that he would race again – to be honest we weren’t even expecting him to.
“It has all turned out good and he has made his way back to the track which is great to see.
“For him to come back and break 30 at Cannington a couple of times made me very happy, but then to do it again on the weekend and almost break the record was very exciting.”
Despite his injury woes, Single Sticka has put together a formidable record on the racetrack, with 15 victories and six minor placings from 30 starts.
He will face his biggest test to date in the $150,000-to-the-winner showpiece this weekend, drawing box three against a quality field including Pepper Fire (box five), Astrozone (box four) and Times Square (box eight).
McVicker wasn’t overly concerned with what box his star greyhound started from, conceding every dog will need luck in the quality feature.
“I don’t think the box draw is critical to his chances, it’s more to do with the dogs which are drawn around him.
“He definitely has the ability to win based on his times – but you always need luck in these kinds of races.
“As long as every dog makes it around safely that’s all that matters.”
McVicker will be making the flight over with family to watch Single Sticka in this weekend’s big race, with the 32-kilogram powerhouse holding a special place in his heart.
“It would mean a lot to me because he is the very last dog we raced that my mum got to see and he brought her great joy and pride whilst she was battling illness and unfortunately she passed away a few months back.
“I am taking all my family over to WA to watch him race – if he could win it would not only be a dream come true for me as an owner and breeder, it would be very satisfying for my mum as well.”
The Group 1 Perth Cup will be run and won at Cannington this Saturday night.
Group 1 Perth Cup – box draw and market
1 – Equanimity
2 – Kid Kansas
3 – Single Sticka with Bet365
4 – Astrozone
5 – Pepper Fire
6 – Starlight Asha
7 – Sassy Ginger
8 – Times Square
1st Res – Mendoza Monelli
2nd Res – West On Maisie