Fletcher Knocking On The Door of A Group One Victory

Appin trainer Jason Fletcher is closer than ever to his dream of winning a Group One final, with talented sprinter Xtreme Knocka the fastest qualifier for Saturday night’s Vic Peters Classic.

Exiting from box two last week, the son of Knocka Norris and Misty Fields began moderately before mustering good pace to lead into the first turn, saluting by three and a half lengths in a flying time of 29.56.

“It was a terrific run last week. He got some room to move and everything worked out well,” said Fletcher.

Fletcher isn’t as optimistic about Xtreme Knocka’s chances this Saturday night, after coming up with a difficult box eight draw.

“Box three and box eight were left when it came to our turn to pick and unfortunately we got eight. I’d love him to be stepping out in a different coloured rug on Saturday, but I’m just hoping the dogs on his inside help him get across.”

Despite the obstacle of overcoming box eight in the final, Xtreme Knocka recorded a speedy run home of 11.69 on Saturday night and can figure at the finish, if he’s close enough.

“I was very pleased with his run home and if he’s chasing a dog that’s not so strong, I’d be confident of his chances. John Finn’s dog (Anything Less) is very strong and if he gets a chance I don’t think anything will run him down.”

Xtreme Knocka has been one of the surprise packets of this series, coming into the heats two weeks ago with eight career wins under his belt, including a speedy 28.73 performance at Bulli over 515 metres.

“After he won at Wentworth Park in 29.82, I decided to take him away from the track and he won a couple at Bulli and ran a very good second to Evil Punk over the 600m at Dapto.”

“He’s always had plenty of ability, but just had to learn to run with seven other dogs.

Finishing second in his heat behind Cosmic Angel in 29.88, Fletcher was confident in his greyhounds’ ability to get the job done in the semi final from a favourable box draw.

“It definitely did surprise me how well he went last week. I was very happy with his run home, but there’s a lot of strong dogs in the final this week and he will need to do everything right to have a chance.”

“He really enjoys racing at Wentworth Park and has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few weeks.”

After a flying 26.13 performance trial at Bulli over the 472 metres back in March, Xtreme Knocka headed to Jason Thompson’s kennels in Victoria and notched up a handy maiden victory at Sandown Park over the 515 metres in a time of 29.85.

In July Xtreme Knocka transferred to Fletcher’s Appin kennels and has blossomed since, wining six of thirteen starts, with an overall career record of nine wins from twenty three attempts.