ENZO Crudeli took out consecutive editions of the Group 2 WA Derby (520m) at Cannington on Saturday night when Sassy Ginger recorded an all the way victory from box five.
The red brindle dog was quick to leave the traps and was able to muster pace in the early stages, holding out a challenge from Max Profit (box seven) in the charge around the first turn.
From there the son of Kinloch Brae and Sassy Guess kicked on strongly, stretching out to score by two and one quarter lengths over Honcho Monelli in 30.22.
Crudeli also took out the 2016 running of the race with his talented chaser Shell Shocked.
Despite going into the race as an $8.80 chance, Crudeli told Australian Racing Greyhound he rated Sassy Ginger highly on Saturday night.
“He was the most experienced dog in the race so I gave him a very good chance,” he said.
“Box five wasn’t a worry because he goes straight to the corner – it was just a matter of beating the other dogs out and finding the front.
“Drawing inside Max Profit was perfect – he got half a length in front but my dog kicked up along the inside really well and kept him out.
“Around the first turn he gave him a little bump and away he went.
“It was a heavy track which made it an even better run – we were very pleased.”
The final was arguably one of the best editions of the race to have assembled in recent years – featuring eight of the state’s fastest young males including track record holder Quick Jagger.
However, Group 1 Perth Cup placegetter Sassy Ginger proved experience plays a massive part in group race success – with Saturday’s win his 17th career victory at start 37.
Crudeli said the triumph showed the dog had plenty of class, with the current crop of greyhounds racing in the west being nothing short of outstanding.
“At the moment the class of dogs in WA is very strong – you only have to look at Sandown Park last week where Teddy Monelli and Pepper Fire won their heats [of the Sandown Cup and Sapphire Crown].
“We have got some very classy dogs over here at the moment so full credit to the dog for matching it with them and getting the job done on Saturday night.”
Despite boasting a superb record in his home state, Crudeli said there are no immediate plans to head east in search of further feature riches.
“He’ll just go through the grades here and stick to the FFAs and other feature races at the moment.
“From there on we will have to wait and see what happens.”
Also run on Saturday night were four heats of the Group 2 WA Oaks. The fastest qualifier for the $40,000 feature was West On Maisie which clocked 30.01.
The final of the WA Oaks will be run and won on May 27.