Good Odds Cash delivers as NSW greyhounds sweep Nationals

NSW trainer Frank Hurst
Sydney trainer celebrates Good Odds Cash's thrilling victory in the Final at Wentworth Park.

Despite being a wildcard entry, Frank Hurst's consistent two-year-old bitch Good Odds Cash prevailed in a thrilling National Sprint Championship Final at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

The veteran Sydney trainer's $3.80 chance edged out ' $2.60 favourite, , on the line after both traded the first two positions on the straight.

And even though she finished fourth in the NSW Sprint Final on August 11, with Simply Limelight winning that event, Hurst never lost faith.

“She's going as good as ever … She's in great shape,” he told Australian Racing Greyhound in the days leading up to the Nationals final over 520m.

Hurst also said before the race that if Good Odds Cash could find the front early, she could go on to win because she could run a good time from there.

She did just that from box three, saluting in a respectable 29.79 seconds.

The good start was invaluable because Good Odds Cash beat Simply Limelight to the line in her last bound.

“Simply Limelight headed Good Odds Cash on the home turn, but our bitch would not give in,” winning owner Tracey Hurst said.

“Good Odds Cash was sandwiched between McInerney and Simply Limelight down the back straight, so it was a tough win.”

Hot favourite Super Estrella also jumped very well for in the Championship Final, enabling her to salute in 41.59 seconds.

The three-year-old bitch comfortably prevailed from box four by 2.5 lengths over Tsar Bell for , giving Smith his first Group race victory.

“I think I've had seven Group finalists including Group 1 placegetters, so it's great to finally break through,” Smith said.

“Super Estrella jumped well but maybe not as fast as she did when she won the NSW Distance Championship at Wenty on August 11.

“Although from behind the boxes it's hard to see the actual start.

“But I was relieved when I saw my bitch dash clear around the first turn.”

Mr America and connections
Mr America and connections.
New South Wales trainers took out all Nationals finals, with Mr America winning the first one – the Straight Track Championship decider – for up the Richmond straight.

The three-year-old now has a stunning record of 14 wins from 18 starts at the venue.

And he saluted in style, with his time of 17.41 seconds just 0.01s outside his personal best, and 0.09s outside the track record.

Queensland trainer Tony Brett oversaw finish runner-up, two lengths behind at the finishing post.

It was Mr America who also won the Straight Of Origin Series at Capalaba last month.

For owner George Kairouz, the national straight track championship triumph came 41 years after his mother-in-law Sylvia and late father-in-law John Attard took out the title.

“This is a special win for the family,” Kairouz said.

“John Attard, my father-in-law – God rest his soul, he passed away 20 years ago.

“He won the straight championship at Capalaba with a dog called Sharp Bianca 41 years ago. It broke the track record in the heats and broke the record again in the final.

“I have to give credit to Darren. He's a nice, quiet young man – you can't get too many words out of his mouth. But he's a gentleman and he's done a great job with this dog.”

Mr America has had tongues wagging regarding his ability ever since the now three-year-old – with 25 total wins from 43 career starts – was a pup.

“The dog loves it up the straight. I remember when Jason Thompson had him and when he was a pup and he was running against dogs like … that's the opinion Jason Thompson had of him,” Kairouz said.

“Then he did his Achilles and every time he put him around the circle he used to break down. 

“He said ‘if you can keep him up the straight he will be OK'.

“So I said ‘look, Darren Sultana breaks all my dogs in, he's a good young trainer – if I ask him to keep him up the straight he will'. 

“And what a great job Darren has done. He's won 16 out of 20 up the straight, and up the straight doesn't hurt his Achilles.”

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