Owner Seona Hood and champion Victorian sprinter El Galo had to overcome traffic before emphatically winning their heat of the $150,000 to the winner Group 1 Golden Easter Egg on Saturday night.
But the traffic wasn’t on the greyhound track as El Galo exploded from box 8 to run the same first sectional split as New South Wales glamour girl Miss Elly Mint, to lead untouched.
Running a quick 5.37 best of night first section, El Galo cruised to the second mark in the best of the night running 13.74 (Miss Elly Mint 13.83) and the ran home in a very respectable 16.09 for a best of night 29.83. Miss Elly Mint managed a 30.14 run leading through out.
But El Galo’s trip wasn’t without its problems as Seona Hood, who is Thompson’s partner, said El Galo nearly didn’t make it to Sydney as some of their racing team were scouring – including kennelmates Fedex and Mandingo who were subsequently scratched from the heats.
“We were up at 3am on Saturday, and the initial plan was to drive to Sydney,” Hood said.
“El Galo appeared okay, so we booked a flight rather than risk a long road trip. But I became stuck in traffic and almost missed the plane.”
Hood and her son Ben, 12, then hired a car from Sydney Airport and went to a quiet suburban street near a park for a couple of hours prior to race kennelling.
“El Galo hadn’t had a lot of rest, and he means so much to me, so I put on the car’s air-conditioner and laid-down with him,” Hood said.
“Considering what he went through, his win showed me he’s a freak”
And with the box draw now completed for the Group 1 2009 Golden Easter Egg Semi Finals, it looks a mere formality for El Galo to qualify for the rich Group 1 Final a week later having drawn box 1 in the first of the semi finals, with nothing in his semi final other than True Kihael (box 5) able to go with him early.
The semi finals have set up a tantalising clash in the Golden Eater Egg Final, with Miss Elly Mint drawing box 8 in Semi Final 3 and looking the best of good things to cross the field and join El Galo in the final.
In the $150,000 Golden Easter Egg Final El Galo will be striving to add to his imposing tally of group wins but almost more importantly, he is currently sitting third on the all time stakes list with $467,590 prizemoney, even after the $100,000 from the Group 1 2008 Topgun disqualification is deducted.
Only Rapid Journey with $530,995 and Bogie Leigh with $488,335 stand above him.
A win in the Group 1 2009 Golden Easter Egg will see him comfortably placed as Australia’s all time stakes winning greyhound, a record that will not be matched for quite some time.