BOOM youngster Fantastic Dotty will be aimed at the Group 1 Dapto Megastar following on from her tenacious victory in Thursday night's Group 3 Dapto Maiden.
The daughter of Goodesy and Light Fantastic is one of five invitees for the $75,000-to-the-winner feature alongside Group 1 winners Bessy Boo, Flash Reality, Keybow and Rue De Kahn.
While it will be a massive step up in class, trainer Jason Fletcher believes his chaser is up to the challenge.
“It would be nice to draw a good box because she will be up against some super dogs who I have the utmost respect for,” Fletcher said.
“They have all been proven at the top level for well over a year and they will be very hard to beat – but if Dotty draws well and gets a clear run I am sure that they'll know she's in the race.”
The black bitch has faced the starter on just three occasion for three victories throughout the Dapto Maiden series, including two track record performances in her heat (29.43) and semi-final (29.34), followed by a gritty last stride win in last Thursday's decider.
While only cocking 29.85 over the 520 metre trip, Fletcher said it was her most impressive triumph to date.
“The time wasn't there, but I rate it higher than her first two wins.
”In her first two runs she just showed her natural ability, but the other night she showed that she has got a lot of heart too – to know that she can come from behind like that really adds another string to her bow.”
Fletcher said his star youngster will have an easy few weeks leading up to the final which is set to be run on September 11, 2015, with the Prelude being held the week prior.
Uno Suzie takes out 2015 Black Top
The Anthony Azzopardi-trained Uno Suzie upstaged some of her more fancied rivals on Friday night when taking out the Group 2 Black Top at The Gardens.
Starting at $9.20, the regally-bred daughter of Cosmic Chief and Uno Witch exploded from box six, crossing to the fence in the run to the first turn and shooting clear to score by three-quarters-of-a-length over Opus Forte in a quick 29.46.
“She went really well – she did what we wanted her to do by timing the start perfectly and then off she went,” Azzopardi said.
“We were quietly confident going into the race – she was drawn well as she likes to be in the middle of the track rather than on the fence or out wide – so we were expecting her to go well.”
Now a winner of 18 from 49, Azzopardi said he will avoid the Group 1 Dapto Megastar series in favour of the upcoming Group 3 Canberra Cup, the heats of which commence on Sunday, September 6.
“We are going to head towards the Canberra Cup – she started off in the area and it is her home track so it is the better option for her.”
A Blazin' Cranbourne Puppy Classic triumph
Darren Pattinson's Blazin' Bomber stamped himself as one of the hottest pups racing in Victora at present with a gutsy performance to take out Friday night's Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic.
Beginning fairly from box seven, the black greyhound mustered pace and found himself racing three wide around Kayda Shae (box two) and Dyna Double One (box five) around the first turn, with that trio chasing early leader Lektra Utopia (box one).
Running off the back and Lektra Utopia began to fade, disadvantaging Dyna Double One, with Kayda Shae taking the lead swinging for home before Blazin' Bomber unleashed a powerful finishing burst, assuming the lead in the run to the line to score by just under three-quarters-of-a-length in 30.13.
Blazin' Bomber, a son of Kinloch Brae and Absolute Stunna, has now won 10 races from just 13 starts with two minor placings.
In the stewards room
Former leading Victorian trainer Jenny Hunt will not be able to apply for a licence within the greyhound racing industry until the year 2020 after she was found guilty of failing to present two of her greyhounds free of prohibited substances by the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB).
Hunt was handed down two four year disqualifications, to be served concurrently, after urine samples taken from the greyhounds Cadence Bale and Enrica Bale at The Meadows on March 28 and April 1, 2015, showed the presence of Amphetamine and 4-hydroxyamphetamine.
The latest disqualifications come on top of an 18 month ban which she is currently serving for a similar offence, with the new disqualifications set to commence after her current penalty concludes on November 4, 2016.
GRV Bernie Carolan said that there is no place in the greyhound racing industry for prohibited substances.
“I reiterate previous statements from the GRV Board that there is categorically no place in this sport for prohibited substances and particularly substances as insidious as Amphetamines,” he said
“These substances are a scourge on society in general and we will continue to have a high level of concern and a zero-tolerance approach to their use in our sport.”
“We acknowledge the four-year disqualification period handed down by the independent RADB which is significant and guided by precedent. We would like to continue seeing those that wish to use prohibited substances and put the health of their greyhounds at risk banned from participating in greyhound racing.”
“It needs to be understood that it doesn't matter who you are if you wish to use prohibited substances you will be caught. Our capabilities are continually evolving to remain contemporary in order to provide a level playing field for all.”
Laurence Cunningham disqualified
Laurence Cunningham has been disqualified from participating within the racing industry for life after he was found guilty of live baiting. Cunningham was charged with a combined total of 18 breaches of Local Racing Rule 18.5 and Greyhounds Australasia Rule 86(af), relating to his actions on December 23, 2014 and January 15, 2015 where he used live rabbits to bait a number of greyhounds at the Tooradin Trial track.
Stewards withdrew one charge and did not seek a penalty on a further two, with the RADB finding Cunningham guilty on the remainder of the charges and imposing a life disqualification.
Fancy Liza loses Association Cup title
Former top stayer Fancy Liza has lost her 2013 Group 1 Association Cup title after an inquiry into the finding of the prohibited substance 5b-androstane-2a, 17b-diol above the 10ng/ml threshold within a urine sample taken after the race was finalised last week.
Despite pleading not guilty, Fancy Liza's trainer Chris Spratt was found guilty of a breach of GAR 83 (2) (a) in that he failed to present his greyhound to race in a state which was free of a prohibited substance. He was subsequently fined $2,500 by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) Stewards, with Fancy Liza disqualified from the event.
Fancy Liza's disqualification means that Tassie stayer Bell Haven will now be regarded as the winner of the 2013 Group 1 Association Cup.
Glenn Graham disqualified
Western Australian Trainer Glenn Graham appeared before an inquiry held by Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Stewards last week, charged with a breach of GAR 86 (o) and GAR 86 (d), relating to his conduct at a trials session at Mandurah on July 20, 2015.
The specifics of the charges were that Graham failed to give full attention and priority to obtaining veterinary treatment for one of his greyhounds, Oldmate Hooch, after it sustained a serious injury by proceeding to trial another greyhound while it waited in the kennel block. He was also charged with making a misleading a statement to Stewards, denying he had trialled another greyhound after Oldmate Hooch sustained the serious injury.
Graham pleaded guilty to both charges and was disqualified for four months for each offence, to be served concurrently.
Peter Ruestschi fined
Queensland trainer Peter Ruetschi appeared before Racing Queensland (RQ) Stewards charged with a breach of GAR 83 (2) after his greyhound Hougenie returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substance Levamisole after running second in a heat of the Gold Cup at Albion Park on June 4, 2015.
Ruetschi pleaded guilty and was given a fine of $4,000, while Hougenie was also disqualified from the event in question.
Allison Walker appeals disqualification
Tasmanian trainer Allison Walker has appealed a decision made by the Office of Racing Integrity to disqualify her for one year after she was found guilty of a breach of GAR 86A. The specifics of the charge being that an unapproved lure containing a horse tail and kangaroo skin was found on her property during an inspection on July 24, 2015.
Walker was also fined a combined total of $1,250, $750 of which was wholly suspended for 24 months pending no further breaches, after she was found guilty of breaches GAR 86 (ag) and GAR 86B(1)(d). The charges related to failing to provide fresh water to her greyhounds at all times and for failing to minimise the risk of a greyhound at her property having access to attack any animal.
Run of the week
Boom pup Hay Fergus returned to the track after five weeks on the sidelines with a dashing victory over 472 metres at Bulli on Friday night.
Despite stepping poorly from box one, the Brett May-trained chaser was able to rail through and take the lead, scoring by four-and-one-quarter-lengths in 26.21.
Hay Fergus has now won two races from as many starts, his initial win being a near record 22.22 run at Bulli in July.
Watch Hey Fergus' win from box one below.