Premier Zed became the first maiden greyhound to make the final of the Warrnambool Classic (Group 2), and while he finished unplaced behind the high-flying Bewildering, his fifth placing was hardly without merit and no doubt his connections, and punters in general, would have been expecting the Premier Fantasy x Cairnlea Ellie black dog to quickly register a win or three.
To recap, Premier Zed finished second in his Warrnambool Classic heat and then second in his semi-final to take his racing record to nine starts for three seconds and two thirds.
Since his fifth in the final Premier Zed had contested seven maiden races for five seconds and two thirds. Of these, five of the starts were at either the Meadows or Sandown.
Finally, on Wednesday, contesting a maiden event over 525 metres at the Meadows, the now 27-month-old Premier Zed exited box four and led most of the way to finally pass the judge in first place. It has taken him 18 starts to break his maiden status, although with eight seconds and four thirds from his first 17 outings it was pretty clear he had the ability to win races.
His record now reads one win and two seconds from just three starts at the Meadows and, from box four, he has now started four times for one win and three seconds.
Premier Zed is certainly not the oldest greyhound to win a maiden. A greyhound called Badness won its maiden, at Albury, on June 1, 1994 when aged four years and three months (51 months). Badness was having its 11th race start.
In November 1993, Pennies Surprise, aged four years and two months, registered its first race win, at Geelong, at start number 21.
Show The Light won at its 11th start, at Bulli on November 24, 1999, after running six seconds and four thirds at its first 10 outings, showing a similar level of consistency to Premier Zed.
While the 18 races must have seemed an eternity for the trainer and connections of Premier Zed, they should spare a thought for the owners of a Western Australian greyhound named Miss Goldie. She took 80, yes eighty, races before finally breaking through.
Miss Goldie had been taken over by Juanita Ashby, and after winning her maiden she went on to score at her next two outings, just to show it was no fluke. Let’s hope Premier Zed can at least emulate the performances of Miss Goldie and go on to score many more victories.