Wellington trainer Jan Steel admitted she had stumbled upon the right distance for fawn bitch Assassin Journey after she sizzled in winning the $2,500 Noel O’Malveney Memorial (453 metres) at Cowra on Monday.
Untried over the 453 metres in her short career, the 31-month-old chaser tripled her career prize money earnings with a spirited run from the extreme outside alley in eight in the highlight of the local greyhound club’s calendar.
Assassin Journey had previously raced over the 327 metres at Cowra and in more recent times the 400 metres at Dubbo’s Dawson Park, but seemed to appreciate the extra distance over the long weekend.
She was an impressive heat winner on Saturday and then lowered her effort two days later to finish a 2¼ length winner in 26.25 – only 0.24 of a second outside of the track record.
“It’s only the second time she has been over the longer distance so I would say it’s the distance, she’s going to like the distance,” Steel said post race.
“She has only been running over the 300 and 400 but I think she is going to be liking the longer distances.”
Assassin Journey showed all of the qualities of a seasoned sprinter when she blasted out of the boxes.
Locked in an early tussle with Londonderry-based pup Hyper Express, Assassin Journey managed to cross the field just in time to assume the running around the back straight.
Fancied chances including favourite Rip Van Rip (Paul Braddon), Spring Sapphire (Greg Board) and winner of four straight Youtar Daggy (Geoff Curtale) all struggled in the early going.
Youtar Daggy was shoved into last early on after drawing horribly in box five.
Hyper Express closed to within two lengths of Assassin Journey rounding for home but Steel’s impressive six-race winner was too strong, scooping the biggest payday of her career.
“She seems like she likes box eight so we were happy to draw box eight again (after the heat win from eight),” Steel said.
“She comes from the city originally so she’ll be going back to the city to run.”
Steel also said her Whisky Assassin x Rich Journey flyer is noted for a fast beginning which helped her clear away on Monday.
“She is (a fast starter). We’ve only had 11 starts together and some she does and some she doesn’t, but today was the good one.”
Courtesy : Cowra Guardian