Maja Mahi Mahi set to improve heading into Sapphire Crown heat

Victorian greyhound racing

MAJA MAHI MAHI will be out to break through for her first win at Sandown Park this Thursday night when she contests a heat of the Group 1 Sapphire Crown (515m).

The black bitch will jump from box five in the opening heat of the night at what will be her fourth start since joining the Cranbourne kennels of Ashlee Terry earlier this year.

Since making the permanent move to Victoria, the daughter of Spring Gun and April’s Legacy has recorded two slick victories at Healesville (19.11) and Warrnambool (21.88) prior to finding trouble at her most recent start at Shepparton on May 8.

Terry said the former NSW sprinter has taken her by surprise, but admits she will be facing a challenge on Thursday night.

The three and a half year old will meet a cracking field including Pepper Fire (box one), Oronsay (box two) and Arugula (box seven).

“To be honest when we got her we didn’t think she was as quick as what she is,” Terry told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“We have a very big opinion of her and despite her age she seems to be going as good as she possibly can.

“Until we got her and looked at her form we didn’t really know how fast some of her times were up in NSW – but now we are starting to realise how fast she actually is.

“Remarkably we think she has got more to show than what we’ve seen so far – she has missed the start a couple of times but she can nail the beginning and if she does that I think we will all see how fast she really is.”

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A winner of 11 from 37 with 11 minor placings, Maja Mahi Mahi has recorded some scintillating times throughout her career – notably at Maitland (24.99), The Gardens (29.39), Lismore (29.61) and Wentworth Park (29.88).

However, due to a short preparation leading into the Sapphire Crown as a result of a seasonal and injury spell, Terry said her charge will improve off whatever she does this Thursday night.

“She hasn’t had a lot of work going into the race – at least not as much as we would like heading into a group series – but I think she can still run well,” she said.

“She will probably need a bit of trouble behind her to hold them out – but with that being said we haven’t had her over 500 yet so if she gets out in front we aren’t entirely sure what she’ll do.

“We realise that she is a little bit underdone going into the heats, but if she can lead we are hoping she can run it out enough to hold on and get a place in the final.

“You have got to have a bit of luck – we have drawn a pretty hard heat with an ordinary box so we will have to wait and see.”

All up, four heats of the Group 1 Sapphire Crown will be held this Thursday night, with the top two progressing through to the $100,000 final on May 25.

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