When Cowra came under the gaze of the Greyhound Racing NSW Country Challenge Series, most of the attention was shifted to fastest qualifier and pre-race favourite for the final Irinka Dennis.
The majority of handlers declared Raymond Smith’s speedster a worthy favourite, and he didn’t disappoint clearing out to an all-the-way win in the $5,000-to-the-winner final.
The Hallucinate pup had never won from the two alley in a thriving 17-race career until Saturday, but made a mockery of that statistic when spearing out of the boxes with $3 chance Iigloo Osti.
The two bumped when heading for the first turn and it was the significantly bigger Irinka Dennis which held off the Wallendbeen-based Iigloo Osti for a lead he never looked like surrendering.
Irinka Dennis – the 520m track record holder at Bathurst – eventually scampered home in 30.42 over the 524m trip with 2½ lengths to spare from Iigloo Osti.
His time was a little slower than his scorching heat run of 30.33.
So how important was the box draw to the final result considering Iigloo Osti jumped from eight?
“Very,” Smith replied. “Maybe I wouldn’t have got across Iigloo Osti (if Irinka Dennis was out wide).”
Smith said he expected Irinka Dennis’ time to be around the mark he eventually ran.
The Hallucinate chaser will now tackle the Bull ‘N’ Barley heats in Dubbo this weekend, before taking aim at other local legs of the statewide series.
“We’ll probably go to the local ones, probably not travelling too far away,” Smith said.
Irinka Dennis has now improved his strike rate to 50 per cent with nine wins.
Rod McDonald’s Busta Muggleton provided local followers with a few reasons to smile when the 90-race veteran scurried into third behind the fancied quinella. Black Warhorse was the big disappointment of the final finishing in seventh.
“The crowd started as a small crowd but swelled to a very healthy gathering once the time of the Country Challenge final came around,” he said.
Meanwhile, even though Busta Muggleton’s effort in the Cowra Cup would have pleased Rod McDonald, he would have been even more thrilled with Dana Beatrice’s run in the Paws ‘N’ Tails Mad Maiden final (453m).
The Collision x Dana Betty speed machine was a little off the track record she set in the heats, but was still too classy having a commanding 4¼ lengths to spare from Jet Black Forest.
It was part of a winning treble for McDonald with Arguing Jake and Dana Tiger also winning.
Courtesy : Cowra Guardian