THE 2015 Group 3 New Sensation final is shaping up as arguably the best edition of the race in its short history after three thrilling semi-finals were held at Wentworth Park on Friday night.
The first heat saw the Brad Canty- trained No Donuts start as the dominant favourite ($2.10) from box six following on from his tenacious victory in last Friday’s heats. The black greyhound cut across sharply soon after box rise, creating a beautiful run for Lord Gee (box seven) to burn across from the outside and claim the lead around the first turn. Despite being headed, the punter’s pick knuckled down to the task at hand, levelling up with the leader around the home turn before clearing out to score by two-and-one-quarter lengths in an airborne 29.59. Lord Gee stuck on well for second with Irish Whip filling the trifecta from box one.
No Donuts, a son of boom sire Fabregas and Chevy Princess, has now won six of his nine starts with three minor placings.
Topper Road (box one) started the odds-on favourite for Anthony Azzopardi in the second semi-final, but missed the kick from the inside and was never in contention from that point in time. On the other hand, Estranged (box eight) shanghaied out of the boxes with an early split of 5.22 for Luke Azzopardi, leading clearly around the first turn. The Shaun Evans-prepared Aphorism (box six) got a beautiful sit behind the lamplighter racing through the catching pen and into the back straight and was the only danger as Estranged started to paddle turning for home. The black dog invested everything he had into the chase and came out on top, winning by half-a-length over Estranged which ran a gutsy race out in front.
Evans went into the third and final semi-final with the favourite from the cherry in the talented youngster Star Torana. In a mix-up affair, second-reserve Iona Champion (box three) bounded to an early lead ahead of No Jockey Needed (box five), with the latter galloping all over the leader’s heels running through the first turn. Star Torana and Still Searchin’ (box two) both started their moves down the back, with those four racing tightly turning for home before No Jockey needed got checked, losing significant ground. With the trouble on his inside, Star Torana zipped around the outside to claim the lead, with Iona Champion rallying back on the fence in the run to the line. Stride for stride, it was Star Torana which got her head down on the line, clocking a handy 30.13.
Both greyhounds will get a start in next week’s $25,000-to-the-winner final, with Star Torana now a winner of seven races with three minor placings from just 10 career starts.
2015 Group 3 New Sensation Box Draw
Box One – Irish Whip – Jason Platts
Box Two – Iona Champion – Troy Donaldson
Box Three – Still Searchin’ – Melinda Finn
Box Four – Star Torana – Shaun Evans
Box Five – Aphorism – Shaun Evans
Box Six – Lord Gee – Christine Proctor
Box Seven – Estranged – Luke Azzopardi
Box Eight – No Donuts – Brad Canty
1st Res – Tiggerlong Katut – John Cusack
2nd Res – Country Fox – Neil Staines