With the 2011 Golden Easter Egg fast approaching, the return of Group One star Smooth Fancy could provide one of Australia's most successful and popular trainers Anthony Azzopardi with a present better than what the easter bunny could come up with.
In 2010, Smooth Fancy was the dog that captured the hearts of greyhound racing enthusiasts with an amazing come from behind victory in Adelaide last year to claim the 2010 National Sprint Championship over Shootout hero Cosmic Chief and now to the excitement of all his fans, Smooth Fancy is coming out of retirement in an attempt to capture Australia's richest greyhound race the 2011 Golden Easter Egg final which will be held at Wentworth Park on April 23 carrying a winner's purse of $250,000.
Having recorded the second fast run of all time in 29.48 at Wentworth Park during the Paws of Thunder series last year, there is no doubt he will be one of the early favourites when the box draw is completed at Greyhound Racing NSW headquarters on April 4.
His trademark run home strength will be crucial if he faces the added difficulty of a tough box draw, but if last year's winner Cosmic Rumble's performance is anything to go by, getting away to a brilliant start was definitely not a key factor when he began moderately and motored home to take out the inaugural race, the first time it was worth the record breaking $250,000 prizemoney.
A decision was made by Azzopardi to retire the son of Collision and Flash Fancy late last year to begin his stud career which to no surprise is going great with his first litter born last Thursday, however Azzopardi admitted his star performer is still looking as good as ever and he has no doubt with some good luck, the black dog can make his return to the track a successful one.
“His trials have been impressive which shows his still as good as he was. His been in work for eight weeks but we will have to wait and see how he performs in a race field before we can see how good he is really going”.
The 2011 Easter Egg series will be an exciting time for Azzopardi with Smooth Fancy not his only star to contest the series with plans to include consistent improver Adam Meway who has won ten races from fifteen starts including two minor placings. Included in those wins was an impressive 29.56 victory at The Gardens over the 515m as well as 29.56 which he recorded recently also over the 515m at Sandown Park. He is certainly a promising up and comer who could sneak under the radar with a good box draw.
Sydney greyhound fans are definitely getting spoilt with this year's series to with not only the return of Smooth Fancy but the possible inclusions of; High Earner, the highest prizemoney winning greyhound of all time and current superstar El Grand Senor who in his short career has already notched up four Group race wins including three Group Ones.
Also to be decided on final night will be; Megastar Maiden worth $25,000, the Easter Chase over the 720m also worth $25,000 and the inaugural ‘Ambrosoli' consolation race for those who contested the Egg series worth a respectable $15,000.
The countdown has begun for the 2011 Golden Easter Egg carnival with nominations closing April 1, followed by the heats commencing on April 9, Semi Finals conducted on April 16 and the all-important final night held on April 23rd.