DUNDEE Calypso will be aimed at the heats of the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m) next week after scoring a determined victory in the Group 3 Lizrene (715m) at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
Trained by Geoff Scott-Smith, Dundee Calypso stalked the early leader Teddy Monelli (box one) before finding the lead around the home turn and charging clear to defeat the fast finishing Trip To Eden (box two) in 42.06.
“I thought she could come out and be running second behind the one and then finish off strongly and as it turns out that’s exactly what happened,” an elated Scott-Smith told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I was a bit worried about the two [Trip To Eden] running us down, but it worked out beautifully on the night and she got the job done.”
The daughter of Barcia Bale and Crown Poker has now won her past four starts, all over the testing ‘half-mile’ at Sandown.
Her career record now stands at 11 wins and 15 minor placings from 41 starts, with her prize money earnings just under the $90,000 mark.
Scott-Smith says his talented stayer had always shown potential, but concedes her dazzling recent form has taken him by surprise.
“A few months ago when she was racing at The Meadows she was just finishing her season so she probably wasn’t at her best back then, but I didn’t think she would ever get up to this level,” he said.
“Early on I thought she might have only been a 600m bitch, but she has kept getting stronger and I think she knows where the line is now too.
“She has just kept improving with each run – she has matured and gotten a little bit stronger – she has proven now she is up to this level because she has beaten some good dogs at each of her past four starts.
“She hasn’t fluked any of the wins either – the good dogs have had every chance to beat her but she has just been too good on the night.”
Dundee Calypso will now contest the heats of the Group 1 Sandown Cup next Thursday night, with the final on May 25 worth a massive $175,000 to the winner.
Scott-Smith says his bonny bitch can mix it with the best of them if she brings her most recent form to the lucrative series.
“A lot of it will depend on the box draw and what happens early – she is getting stronger and she can come from behind but that depends on what time they are running out in front.
“If she can get up on the speed and be thereabouts in the early stages then she is going to be a chance in any race she contests.”
Also heading towards the Sandown Cup heats is kennel mate Dundee Osprey, a three-time group 1 winner.
The son of Fabregas and Dundee Rose was unplaced in the Group 3 Racecallers (595m) on Thursday night and will step back up over the trip where he boasts a 41.90 personal best.