Trainer Richard Dean is hoping history can repeat itself this year, when he lines up Thai Again in one of four heats of the NSW National Sprint heats this Saturday night. Dean and his wife, Patricia took out the 1999 National Sprint Final at Wentworth Park with Harry Hand, a greyhound which had a similar record to Thai Alert going into the 1999 series.
Thai Alert (heat four box six) has had a boom since the first day he stepped onto a race track and he has rarely disappointed, winning ten from sixteen starts and more importantly eight from thirteen at Wentworth Park, the home of the 2008 Rapidvite Nationals.
The 2008 series is a changing of the guard for the NSW sprinters, with no established group one stars. It does however, have a number of dogs ready to go to the next level, headed up by Thai Alert and recent Young Star Classic winner, Cindeen Shelby (Heat three box eight).
Wentworth Park will also host three heats of the NSW National Distance Championship on Saturday night, where all eyes will be on Miagi (heat three box two), entering the series after only one run back, a 450 metres race at Maitland, following five months away from the race track.
Miagi has also trialled well at Richmond in preparation for Saturday night's heats, but it will be a massive effort by his trainer Warren Harper if he is at or near his best. Miagi was regarded by many as the country's best stayer before the lay-off, and is the Wentworth Park 720 metre track record holder, clocking 42.03, by far the quickest of any dog in the series.
The NSW series starts on Saturday night at Wentworth Park, with the first race at 7.30pm.
The NSW state final will be the following Saturday with the first two placegetters going through to the $50,000 to the winner Grand Finals of the Rapidvite National Sprint and Rapidvite National Distance Championships at Sydney's famous Wentworth Park circuit on Saturday,