VICTORIAN greyhound Chasin’ Crackers (Fabregas x Lady Arko Aug ’15) stamped himself as the greyhound to beat in this year’s Group 1 Vic Peters Classic (520m) after an emphatic win in his heat of the series at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Drawn ideally in box two, the black dog speared the lids and raced straight to the front of the pack. Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins as he stretched out to defeat a gallant Bogan Doonie (Spring Gun x Agni Jul ’15) by three and three quarter lengths in a blistering 29.62.
Rounds said he was quietly confident his greyhound could put in a bold performance on Saturday night and noted he was not surprised to see Chasin’ Crackers win so convincingly.
“I was very pleased with his run,” Rounds told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I thought he was drawn well – the inside is the place to be at Wentworth Park because if you miss it you get pushed wide around the first corner.
“I wasn’t surprised at all to see him win so well – he has always been a nice dog and he has been racing very well lately.”
Rounds believes his recent racing over the middle distance may have assisted his greyhound’s attitude going into the race.
“I think the 600 racing helped him a lot heading into the heats – he got a lot of confidence from those runs as he was able to find the front easily and stay out of trouble,” he said.
“He had been screaming out for 600 and while he was racing very well over the middle distance and beginning well, when I saw the Vic Peters coming up I decided to have a crack at it because it is an age restricted series and you only get one go.”
Chasin’ Crackers has now won 12 races from 30 starts with 12 minor placings, his prize money earnings now closing in on $70,000.
The 33-kilogram powerhouse was bred in NSW by Luke Miller and is owned by David and Mick Carroll, the latter also racing his mother Lady Arko which was a former top-class stayer.
Rounds says with another good box draw Chasin’ Crackers will be hard to beat in his semi-final next week, with the prominent conditioner of the belief he is improving each time he races.
“Lately he has really been starting to find his best and develop into a very nice dog – although with that being said he has never really put in a bad run throughout his career,” he said.
“He came out super on Saturday night – hopefully he can get another good draw in the semi-finals – box one, two or three would be perfect.
“If he can repeat what he did in his heat he is going to be right in it.”
Rounds said another middle distance campaign will happen down the track, however he is unsure whether he will get any further and says Chasin’ Crackers won’t be pushed too far, too soon.
“I do want to have another go with him over more distance – although while he is racing well over the sprints we’ll probably keep him over it,” he said.
“I’d say sometime after Christmas we’ll step him up – but I am not in a huge rush as I am aware that once I do step him up over more ground there is no coming back.”
Six heats of the Group 1 Vic Peters Classic were run and won on Saturday night. The first qualifier went to Seona Thompson’s Manila Kampyon (Fernando Bale x Solar Pak Nov ’15) which debuted at Wentworth Park with a fast 29.94 win.
The second heat went to local star Mr Pupparazzi (Djays Octane x Pie Thief Sep ’15) which made it four in a row when saluting in 29.66 for Jason Magri.
Heat four went the way of Group 1 National Sprint Championship finalist Bekin Street (Bekim Bale x Serisier Street Sep ’15) in 29.99, whilst Chris Carl collected a double with litter mates Fast Car Driving (Kc And All x Subway To Venus Dec ’15) and Rostered On in 30.14 and 30.00 respectively.
The box draw for the four semi-finals will be released on Tuesday, with the first two from each race progressing through to the $75,000 to the winner final on November 4.