Stuart, who made the journey to Adelaide last year, will again travel with his star sprinter, Pedrosa, while Britton will attack the distance title for the seventh time with strong stayer, Pickle Mickle.
Pedrosa, who started $1.70 favourite for the W.A Sprint Championship had to come from behind to win; a position he is certainly not used to. Once Bomber Command ($11.80) began brilliantly from the inside alley, an upset seemed possible, but that changed once the race entered the back straight.
With Pedrosa sitting in second position, and Vocal Enforcer ($3.60) sweating on a run, all eyes were watching to see if the champ could find enough in the run home. With Bomber Command tiring, Pedrosa took the lead while Vocal Enforcer couldn’t make up the margin in the wet ground.
Running a time 30.42, Pedrosa secured his spot in the $75,000 to-the-winner Grand Final. Providing the dog can travel safely, Paul Stuart, who also owns the chaser, should have a great chance of improving on his fourth placing from the 2010 event. With favourites getting beaten in the S.A, Victorian and NSW finals, it should be a slightly easier engagement than last year’s stellar field that was won by NSW’s Smooth Fancy over the Victorian Cosmic Chief.
It will be a different story in the National Distance Final however, with favourites already qualifying in Tasmania, New South Wales and now, Western Australia. Pickle Mickle will make the long haul across to Brisbane courtesy of a crushing 42.04 win, starting the $2.10 popular elect.
After beginning fairly, Pickle Mickle was able to rail up around the first two bends, finding himself second at the half way point. Early leader Scuttlebut ($7.00) had dropped off, leaving Kalden Athena ($2.60) to set the pace. Knowing Pickle Mickle has a mean finish to his races, it was expected that the favourite would be too strong, but to see him run away by nine lengths was something out of the box.
The field was helpless to stop Pickle Mickle in the end, who is owned by Queenslander Helen Ivers. Despite it being the dogs’ first trip outside of W.A since arriving from NSW in January 2010, he should do the state proud with the long straights at Albion Park suiting the Flying Penske-Classy Creek dogs’ racing style.
Somewhat overshadowing the State Finals however, is the amazing career of superstar youngster Miata, who again broke the Cannington track record last Wednesday. Having only rewritten the record books a week earlier, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Winsome Bluebird ran the 530m trip in an unheard of time of 29.84.
Copping a slight check just after the start, the fawn flying machine took over immediately and raced away by eleven lengths. The win makes it four out of four in what could currently be Australia’s most exciting greyhound career.
Greyhounds W.A promised to donate $10,000 to charity if the dog broke its own record last week, and the generosity will continue this Wednesday as Miata is nominated again. $500 for every length in the winning margin is the deal this time around, and considering the average margin in the four starts so far is over ten lengths, there should be a lot of happy people at the Centre for Cerebral Palsy come Wednesday afternoon.