Drawn awkwardly in box four, the NSW sprinting star clocked a mind-boggling 29.49s to enhance her prospects in the richest free entry race in the world carrying a $250,000 first prize.
Trainer Frank Hurst was stunned by the time, which was just 0.05s outside of Queen Lauryn’s track record, and doubted whether Fancy Mandy could go faster in next week’s semi-finals.
“She can’t go much better can she?” Hurst said. “You wouldn’t think she could, but dogs make fools of you.
“Dogs are getting faster and we thought she could do it. She ran 26.6 in a qualifying trial here six months ago when she was a baby.
“She’s a bit more mature now and this is the result.”
Hurst said the lure of the prizemoney in Australia’s richest ever greyhound race was a major tempter for trainers from all across the country – and internationally – in the future.
“Who wouldn’t be thinking about it (the prizemoney)?” Hurst said. “It’s a free entry race so we’ve just got to start winning some of them before they start bringing the Irish and American dogs into it.
“Next time it will be $300,000 the way things are going.”
Recently announced 2009 Australian Greyhound of the Year Cindeen Shelby showed her class from a short let-up with a slick all-the-way 29.77s victory.
“Just happy to win mate to be honest,” trainer Kel Greenough said. “I was just hoping to get through, we were a bit underdone. We can come back next week and be better for it.”
Greenough admitted he would rather take home a Group race than any Australian Greyhound of the Year award.
“To be honest I’d rather win a Group race than that sort of highlight,” he said.
Cindeen Shelby continued a trend of interstate greyhounds pinching heat victories, a group including Queensland’s Regent Diamond and Ruff It as well as Victoria’s Matching Outcome and Cosmic Rumble.
There were a number of big name casualties including Goodesy, Fedex and Joanne Monelli.
Defending champion Dana Beatrice, trying to become the first greyhound to win two Golden Easter Egg crowns, also flew the NSW flag with a convincing heat win albeit in a slower 30.14s.
Jason Mackay’s old stager Snozz was the other heat winner based in NSW.