SHELL Shocked stamped himself as one of the best youngsters in the west with a determined victory in Saturday night’s Group 2 WA Derby (520m) at Cannington.
Despite heading into the race as the fastest qualifier, the son of Bekim Bale and Whispering Ling was sent to the boxes at $8.50 after coming up with the seven.
When the lids flew open, the black dog was only fairly away, but managed to muster pace and work his way into third spot around the first turn before unleashing a powerful run down the back, circling the leaders to race away and score by two and one quarter lengths in a fast 30.18.
Trainer Enzo Crudeli was impressed with his 33kg speedster, holding a high opinion of him going into the $40,000 event.
“He is strong and he is also pretty fast,” Crudeli told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He is only young – he just turned 22 months – but he is starting to get a bit of a racing brain and is figuring out what to do when he has other dogs around him.
“He doesn’t mind being out wide and when the inside dogs cut in at the start he was able to use his pace to get up into third and I knew he was strong so I was pretty confident after about 150m.”
Crudeli said it was a big thrill to win the prestigious feature, having bred the greyhound which is owned by his family.
“It is nice to win a Derby and not only that but with such a young dog who we bred and reared ourselves – it was a very good feeling.
“We had his mother Whispering Ling who was a pretty quick short courser during her career and we decided to go to Bekim Bale to try and get a bit more strength into the pups.
“This bloke has shown since he was a young dog that he has a bit of ability so hopefully now he can go on with it.
“What makes it even more special now is he is owned by our family – there are about eight of us – it’s nice to be racing him with my kids and our family.”
Crudeli says he is in no rush with his talented greyhound and plans to race him through his grades before tackling further feature success.
“He is very young so we will just take it day by day and see how he goes – he is still eligible for novice races so that’s where we will head with him.
“He should improve and he has plenty of strength so I think he might make it in some staying races later on, but while he is sprinting good we will keep him over the shorter distances.”