CLASSY sprinter Dundee Osprey stamped himself as the best greyhound in Australia with a tenacious victory in Saturday’s Group 1 Topgun (525m) at The Meadows.
Taking on a sensational, invitation-only field, Dundee Osprey was fairly into stride off box eight, working his way into third position around the first turn.
Once in the clear, the son of Fabregas and Dundee Rose released his trademark finishing burst, claiming the lead in the run to the line to score by 3.11 lengths in 29.98.
Jason Thompson’s Aston Bolero ran second, whilst Pantera Nera filled the trifecta back in third spot.
Despite taking on the best greyhounds in the country, trainer Geoff Scott-Smith said he was hopeful his star chaser would run a bold race.
“It was hard to know what he would do because it was such a good field,” Scott-Smith told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I was hoping he could get in front of the seven (Unlawful Entry) early and put himself in a good position around the corner. I thought if he could be four or five off the lead going down the back then he would be a big chance and luckily that’s the way it turned out.
“When he got into third spot down the back I think you could have heard me shouting from the moon.
“It was utter disbelief when he won, I kept thinking did that really happen?”
The victory took Dundee Osprey’s career record to 14 wins and eight minor placings from 34 starts, with his prizemoney earnings now in excess of $345,000.
Among his wins are tough triumphs in the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson and the Group 3 Speed Star, whilst he was also a finalist in the Group 1 National Sprint, the Group 2 Launching Pad, the Group 2 QLD Derby and the Group 2 McKenna Memorial.
Despite showing promise since day one, Scott-Smith says his 35-kilogram powerhouse has really matured into a sensational greyhound in recent months.
“He has got something about him. He is an independent sort of dog, he is very quiet, but he has this unbelievable determination.
“The last three or four months he seems to have really developed into a top class race dog – it doesn’t matter where you put him or what box – as long as he gets a clear run to the first turn you know he is going to give you a good effort.”
It has been a whirlwind return to training for Scott-Smith who only got back involved in the greyhounds a few years ago following three decades on the sidelines.
“My mum and dad had dogs back in the 1970 and early 80s and I trained a few then, we had a couple of pretty good dogs, but then I got married and with work commitments I got out of the sport.
“Since I retired about six years ago I started getting back into it – someone gave me a dog and it won me a few races and it has just snowballed from there.
“When I first got back into the dogs I was picking up a few giveaways and $500 dogs and winning a few races with them thinking that was good – but this is just on a completely different level.
“You always sit there watching these really good dogs on the tele wondering if you’ll ever get one good enough to compete with them.
“Even when he was starting out I wondered if he would even be able to mix it against the top class, but he has just kept improving.
“We have formed a very close bond, him and I, and he is the type of dog which feeds off you and takes confidence of you.
“He is very special.”
Also run and won on Saturday night was the Group 2 Topgun Stayers for Australia’s best distance dogs. Odds on favourite Burn One Down toyed with his rivals from box three, weaving his way through the pack from a midfield position to score in 42.28.
Watch Dundee Osprey (8) winning the Group 1 Topgun.