The John and Melinda Finn trainer Zipping Kyrgios has won the world’s richest middle distance greyhound race carrying the weight of expectation in front of a huge crowd which lined the fence trackside at Dubbo greyhounds.
He was the talk of the town at Dubbo heading into last night’s Country Classic Final for the inaugural running of the $125,000 to the winner event over the 605m, and did not disappoint punters who sent him out the $2.40 favourite with greyhound bookmakers.
Exiting from box one, the son of Aussie Infrared and Zipping Lilly positioned himself in third spot past the winning post the first time behind Jason Mackay’s Fantastic Raven who stepped beautifully from box four and led throughout the early stages.
The 30kg pocket rocket took the lead turning for home and sprinted away to score by two lengths at the finish in 34.49. While the running of the event was all it lived up to be, the post-race celebrations captured social media and television viewers alike, as an emotional co-trainer Melinda Finn described her feelings.
“It was a lot of pressure drawing the one, but he stood up tonight,” she told.
“I wouldn’t swap him for any other dog, he’s got that much ability, he just drew bad boxes in big races.”
Finn added she “was happy with his start and could see him pushing up and when he was in the position he was in the back straight he would be hard to hold out.”
Finn was “spot-on” in that assessment and started riding him home as he went past the 605m boxes on his way to record his 27th career win from start 56 and having now amassed $399,765 in prizemoney.
Owner representative Cameron Hallinan and friends were trackside with the pair reuniting as Finn made her way down the home straight post-race, with tears also flowing from close-friend and supporter Amanda Ginn.
Not only did connections enjoy the spoils of victory, but also managed to secure 3rd placing with Zipping Alabama who flew home late from the outside alley, with a brave early leader Fantastic Raven finishing 2nd.
In what was a seemingly resounding success for the club and greyhound racing in general, the countdown is now on for next year’s Country Classic series, which was aided by a strong supporting program and off-track entertainment from the likes of Shannon Noll.