An added attraction for Saturday week’s NSW Finals of the AGRA Schweppes National Championships will be special appearances by Bit Chili and Miagi. Connections have kindly accepted the NSW GBOTA’s invitation for their greyhounds to lead out the parades of runners for the finals at Wentworth Park.
Bit Chili who will lead out the Sprint finalists is himself the winner of a National title having won the 2007 Rapidvite National Sprint Championship over 515 metres at Sandown in 29.88. Bit Chili is owned by John Tyrrell and was trained by Ruth Matic for the Nationals victory.
Bit Chili now stands at stud at Rocky Ridge Farm and owner John Tyrrell and stud master Sam Cauchi have kindly donated a free service to their stud dog to the winner of the NSW Sprint Final.
Tyrrell is chasing another National title, this time in the distance category, as he has one of the top fancies for the NSW series, Smart Betsy, engaged this Saturday in the second NSW distance heat.
Exciting young stayer Forty Twenty also lines up in this heat and it promises to be a great contest.
The mighty stayer Miagi was the people’s favourite – he was an exciting racer with a devastating finish and it is appropriate that he should lead out the Distance finalists. Miagi represented NSW in last year’s Distance final when NSW hosted the National Championships, finishing unplaced behind Mantra Lad after decisive wins in his heat and the NSW final. Unfortunately Miagi suffered an injury in the race won by Mantra Lad, and was subsequently retired.
Miagi’s owners Mark Sheppeard, Darren Willis and Mark O’Toole, and trainers Jill and Warren Harper were delighted when Miagi’s outstanding career was acknowledged when the greyhound was crowned 2008 NSW Greyhound of the Year.
Miagi is being well looked after by the Harpers in his retirement.
“He is enjoying it immensely and is in great shape,” they told us.
Following the NSW heats this Saturday, details of the on track box draw for the NSW finals the following week will be released.
Winners of the NSW finals will represent the State in the $50,000 to the winners Group 1 AGRA Schweppes National Sprint and Distance Championships over 530 and 715 metres at Cannington
on September 5. In addition to the $10,000 first prize, connections of the winners of the NSW finals will receive an additional $1000 to assist with travelling expenses to contest the finals in Western Australia.