SHELL Shocked will head into next week’s Group 2 WA Derby (520m) as the fastest qualifier after registering a slick 30.11 heat performance at Cannington on Saturday night.
Trained by Enzo Crudeli, Shell Shocked began well from box two and was able to sit on the outside of early leader Blank Space in the run through the first turn before switching to the fence down to back to rail through and assume the lead. Once hitting the top spot there was no looking back for the son of Bekim Bale and Whispering Ling which kicked clear around the home turn to score by five and a half lengths over Blank Space.
It was the fourth win at start nine for Shell Shocked which dramatically improved his personal best at Cannington from 30.60 which was recorded back in April.
The second qualifier was set to be a showdown between classy Victorian My Silver Chisel and local speedster Ramifications which had drawn boxes one and five respectively. When the lids flew open the two greyhounds went stride for stride in the early stages, with the rails runner taking up a slight lead through the first turn.
Coming off the back and Ramifications levelled up on the outside of the interstate raider, with the two black greyhounds once again locked in a tight battle, however this time it was Ramifications which was able to come out on top, drawing away in the closing stages to score by one and a half lengths in 30.26.
Ramifications has now won 11 of his 20 starts, with the Chris Halse-prepared greyhound also having finished fourth in the Group 1 Perth Cup behind local star Ima Wagtail last month.
Heat three saw Queensland Derby victor France Soir, being prepared in the west by leading conditioner Paul Stuart for the series, head to the boxes as a leading chance, however when the field jumped the son of Magic Sprite and Magic Capers was unable to cross from box seven and found himself forced back to midfield in the run to the line on the first occasion.
Left alone out in front was Brian Jacobson’s Eisenhower which took full advantage of a suitable box one draw, kicking clear down the back and never looking in serious danger as he cruised to the finish to score by three lengths in 30.28.
Monaro Monelli ran on well from mid pack to grab second and book his spot in the final for Dave Hobby, with Lochinvar Style running a nice race from box eight before tiring in the latter stages, finishing third.
The fourth and final qualifier saw Chris Halse going for a double in the Derby heats, with the top conditioner lining up the favourite, West One Gaz, from box two.
The 33 kilogram chaser began well from the inside to roll to the early lead over the speedy Miracle which carved across from box five, giving Junk Yard Wolf a nice run into the race off the six.
Down the back and Miracle tried to go for a run along the fence on the inside of the leader, but checked off heels and was put out of play. In the meantime, Junk Yard Wolf began working into the race nicely, switching to the outside of the favourite around the home turn and producing a strong run down the centre of the track to claim the lead.
The son of Dyna Tron and Fruits Monelli recorded a one length win on the line, with the clock stopped in 30.57.
The final will be run next Saturday night at Cannington, with the winner set to pick up $40,000.
Group 2 WA Derby – box draw
Box One – Monaro Monelli
Box Two – Blank Space
Box Three – West On Gaz
Box Four – Eisenhower
Box Five – My Silver Chisel
Box Six – Junk Yard Wolf
Box Seven – Shell Shocked
Box Eight – Ramifications
1st Res – Lochinvar Style
2nd Res – Topology