Forbes trainer Raymond Smith has put a lid on any hype Irinka Dennis will smash through the 524m track record when the final of the Cowra leg of the Greyhound NSW Country Challenge Series is run on Saturday.
The 30-month-old speed merchant clocked an impressive 30.34 in Saturday’s heats to be the fastest qualifier for the $5,000-to-the-winner final.
Sandwiched in box five, Irinka Dennis produced an all-the-way performance after jostling for the early lead with the highly-rated Comfortably Numb.
But Smith admitted the state of the track for the final will ultimately decide whether Cradle Mountain’s one-year-old mark of 30.13 will be touched.
“I’d be happy for him to run around 30.3,” Smith said.
“Sometimes these finals don’t go as fast as you expect them. There is extra pressure, even though the dogs don’t know that, but they will all be jumping out.
“It’s a bit different finals like these.”
Irinka Dennis – the current Bathurst track record holder – had 5¾ lengths to spare from Jarmane in the second heat.
Comfortably Numb, after representing NSW in New Zealand’s richest ever greyhound race the week before, was a fading third in his first run on the Cowra loam.
Crack Wallendbeen pup Iigloo Osti was another to catch the eye on Saturday. He has a proven record at Cowra having won the feature 2007 Noel O’Malveney Memorial and will again be hard to beat according to Smith.
“Iigloo Osti and Black Warhorse are the main dangers,” Smith said. “But anything can win in these finals.”
Trainers and owners will be sweating on this afternoon’s box draw, with Smith hoping to avoid the wide alleys.
“Anything from the inside through to the middle would be good,” he said.
“He’s not bothered one way or another, he hasn’t got a favourite box, but I wouldn’t like to see him out wide in seven or eight.”
Rod McDonald’s veteran Busta Muggleton will be the sole local hope in the race, making it two Cowra Cup finals in as many years after a gritty third in the first heat to qualify.
McDonald continued his outstanding run of success recently when Dana Beatrice snapped the 453m track record.
In her first career win, the Collision x Dana Betty speed machine raced home in 26.08, breaking the old mark under the new electronic timing system.
It was the second record in a week for McDonald after Dana Hugo crashed through the 327 metre electronic timing mark last weekend.
Dana Beatrice will almost be an unbackable favourite for the Paws ‘N’ Tails Mad Maiden final after her 12 length win.
McDonald had three winners for the day with Dana Hugo again successful, along with Dana Tee.
In the day’s other major event, Pamela Braddon took home a $1,000 purse after Mr Topaz scored a tight win in the final of the latest Paws ‘N’ Tails Maiden Series.
The red brindle flyer had only ¾ of a length to spare from Indigo Lass when successful in 19.39 over the 327m trip.
Courtesy : Cowra Guardian