It’s inevitably every greyhound trainers dream to have a runner engaged in a Golden Easter Egg final, therefore you could imagine the elation for Cranebrook duo John and Melinda Finn who will lead out two of their charges in this Saturday nights $250,000 to the winner Group One event.
2013 Group One Paws of Thunder hero Sheikha, part owned by journalists Peter Davis and Gerard Guthrie along with Guthrie’s good friend Anthony Lyons; returned to her brilliant best in last week’s semi final, finishing a gallant second behind in form sprinter Cracker Jack Lil in a flying 29.72.
After somewhat of a lull in form, co-trainer Minnie Finn explained the situation; “She hit her head on the boxes in the Temlee final and it spooked her for a bit that’s why she has been down on form.”
“She went really well last week but tends to get a bit lost in a field and doesn’t know whether to go inside or out but she can win it” said Finn.
Despite coming up with an unfavourable box eight in this week’s final, Finn remains confident that luck will be a crucial element for both her runners.
“I would have preferred the inside but if Sometimes Speedy goes left and gives her some room she can win it. I don’t care which one of my dogs wins as long as one of them does” stated Finn who despite solely owning Winsome Charlee displayed true class in asserting that she will be cheering just as hard for both her chasers.
The beautifully bred daughter of Collision and I’m Exceptional took the recent Paws of Thunder series by storm. Labeled as an outsider from the start, Sheikha snuck under the radar before blowing her rivals away from box two in the $100,000 final, clocking a fast 29.84 and sending the Finn camp into scenes of jubilation behind the boxes.
“People said I nearly hit the roof when she won that race and her owners (Davis, Guthrie and Lyons) were just as excited, it was great to see. It’s what you’re in the sport for to celebrate the big occasions. I think if I win this week I will go through the roof!” a chuckling Finn exclaimed.
Coming up with box five this week, Winsome Charlee has certainly been a surprise packet throughout the series after a solid third in her heat, followed by a stunning come from behind victory in last weeks semi final clocking a sizzling 29.77. Exiting slowly from box one the daughter of Where’s Pedro and Ramblin’ Ruby navigated her way through to the field to score by half a length over Western Australia chaser Hot Irish.
No one was more elated than Finn who could be seen behind the boxes, overwhelmed with excitement. “We just put her in the series to see if she could get some luck and get through. She doesn’t have much early pace but only needs a little bit of room to wind up… she does have a decent motor.”
“The box is a worry but if a mix up can happen and she gets through it could be her night”.
Even with the obvious threat of marvel trainer Jason Mackay’s two superstars; Punch One Out (New Wentworth Park track record holder) and Sometimes Speedy, Finn assures that the all important box draw will play its part in Saturday nights unfolding of events;
“I personally believe the one (Cracker Jack Lil) is the big danger. Box draws are so important in these types of races so I’m expecting her to lead and hopefully we get some luck and can chase her down. I would just like to see a New South Wales trainer win so the trophy stays here”.
John and Melinda Finn are two of the most well known and respected trainers in the history of Australian greyhound racing with consistent winners across numerous tracks on a weekly basis. Having two greyhounds make NSW’s most prestigious group 1 final is a fitting reward that reflects the knowledge, skill and effort that no doubt goes into the preparation of their greyhounds.
All eyes will be on Saturday night’s Golden Easter Egg final with intent, to see if the highly successful Finn combination can snare their second Group One victory already for 2013.