Jumping from box three, the black bitch got room to move in the early stages and was able to take the lead in the early stages, sprinting clear of Lagoon Jazzy (box one) to score in 29.64.
Co-trainer Kelly Bravo says the daughter of Kc And All and Pretty Fancy has the ability to win, but says she needs to nail the start to be in with a chance.
“She is going to have to begin very well in the final to give herself any chance of getting across,” Bravo told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“We have been doing a lot of work with her because she was sitting down in the boxes and it got to the stage where the lids would go up and she’d still be sitting down.
“I think the lower grills on the boxes at Wentworth Park helps her – they encourage her to get down although I don’t think she really began all that well on Saturday night, but she was able to muster quickly.”
The favourite for the biggest race on the NSW greyhound calendar is Up Hill Jill at $2.90, ahead of Mack Tux ($4.80), Lucky Chap ($6) and Big Flood ($7) which have drawn boxes one, three and four respectively.
With her charge a winner of 12 from 19 including the Group 1 National Futurity, Bravo says box seven may be a suitable draw for Striker Light based on where the early speed is drawn in the race.
“The way the box draw has worked out the seven probably isn’t too bad for her – if she had drawn the inside amongst all that pace she couldn’t afford to do anything wrong early.
“Hopefully the dogs on the inside can interfere with each other and from box seven she can stay out of trouble and get a nice run into the race.”
A win in the decider would take Striker Light’s career earnings above the $380,000 mark – with Bravo the first to admit she has been pleasantly surprised by the 29-kilogram speedster.
“To start with we weren’t sure if she’d even get the 500, but she broke in really well and she has just continued to improve.
“She has definitely exceeded our expectations.”