The best greyhound in Bathurst, Rockstar Image, will aim for his biggest pay day so far when he lines up in the Greyhound Racing NSW Country Challenge final in Lithgow on Saturday after demolishing the field in his heat last weekend.
In a quality field, the explosive dog was in no trouble whatsoever as it flew from box five and streeted his opponents by an incredible 11-and-three-quarter lengths.
On what was a slow track, his time of 29.81 seconds was still noticeably slicker than anything else which ran last Saturday, and was 0.28 seconds quicker than that of Top Drop who won the second heat.
It was Rockstar Image's ninth win from 14 starts and two of the five races he did not win were contested against high-class fields at Wentworth Park where he ran a fourth and a second.
“I couldn't believe how easily he won on Saturday, he almost won it too easily,” trainer Nick Healey said this week.
“He has run 29.46 there before and when he won by that far I thought he must have broken that time so I was actually quite surprised by the time given how far in front he was but I've been told that the track wasn't particularly fast.
“We got him checked out this week and he's raring to go.”
Rockstar Image has drawn box five for the final but Healey is not worried in the slightest after winning from the same box on Saturday, “He has now won from all eight boxes and proven that his blistering speed can take him to the front regardless of where he jumps from”.
“He's nine from 14 now, he lost those two in Sydney but still ran well and has won two in a row again now,” Healey said.
“We will ease him through his next few races and of course take it a race at a time and then look to the future.
“He has won about $8,000 since he broke that track record in Bathurst in July so for the moment I'll be happy for him to keep winning $2,000 a month.”
Healey said the only dog which could potentially serve it up to his star runner is Black Warhorse who ran second at Lithgow in what Healey described as a reasonably impressive performance, but at the end of the day, he is only concerned about one thing.
“Realistically I think that old dog called bad luck is probably the only thing that could beat him this weekend,” he said.
A total of $5,000 will be on offer for this Saturday's final of the GRNSW Country Challenge.
Courtesy : Sam Debeham