Elite Machine gearing up for biggest test yet in Sandgroper
Perth Cup-winning trainer Jamie Marsh is hoping Elite Machine can match motors with some of the best dogs in the country when he steps out in the inaugural running of The Sandgroper at Cannington on April 14.
With $500,000 on the line, the slot-based race will have the largest prize purse on offer in Western Australian greyhound racing history.
It will also feature champion chasers Wow She's Fast and She's A Pearl, who have won over $4 million between them.
Another star attraction will be Australian Cup winner Fernando Mick for veteran conditioner David Geall.
Marsh could not contain his excitement when talking about the event, after his star young chaser finished 6 ¼ lengths ahead of fellow Sandgroper hope Electrified in the Perth Cup on Saturday night.
“Not that we'll be outclassed, but it shapes up to be probably the greatest race in WA,” he told Australian Racing Greyhound, with Elite Machine to run for RAM Racing.
“With those three, we're probably a small fish in a big pond.
“We don't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as those dogs.”
2023 Perth Cup Final – Elite Machine (1st)
Joining them will be this year's National Derby Final winner, Victa Damian.
Despite Marsh's respect for his Sandgroper rivals, he is quietly confident Elite Machine – now with 14 wins from 27 starts – can live up to his name in top-tier company.
“He's just a dog who loves Cannington. He's a different dog there probably compared to anywhere else,” he said.
“He's a dead-set gun chaser. He's just all business. He knows what's going on.”
Along with relishing his racing in the WA capital, Marsh said Elite Machine – by Aussie Infrared and out of Pat's Lass – also had an ideal calm nature, but with a high work ethic.
“We're lucky because he's one of those dogs who loves his work and loves racing,” he said.
“But when you put him in his kennels with his kennel mat and with his lead and muzzle off he just goes to sleep.
“He's just a professional. They don't come along often.”
To back up his raw talent, Elite Machine showed racing nous beyond his years to win the Perth Cup from the coveted one box.
Among some early carnage at the first turn, he held his line with the bigger Electrified on his outside, before passing Rumblin' Moment on the back straight.
He wasn't headed from there, giving Marsh every reason to dare to dream he can replicate that performance in The Sandgroper next month.
“He's a complete dog – he can win from any box,” Marsh said.
“Don't get me wrong – he's a long way off She's A Pearl and Wow She's Fast.
“I'm not putting him in the same bracket as them, but for his effort (on Saturday) night we couldn't have asked for any more.
“He punched up and pushed through, and just went away with it.”