WHILE Queensland raider Thirty Talks commanded much of the attention heading into the heats of the Group 2 Richmond Riches (535m) on Saturday night, it was local chaser Ritza Lenny (pictured) which stole the spotlight when recording best of night figures.
Stepping from box three in the fourth heat of the night, the blue dog was fairly away but was afforded clear galloping room in the early stages and was able to barge his way to the front. Heading into the back straight and the son of Barcia Bale and Lagoon Lowanna was high balling out in front, charging further ahead in the home straight to score by four and a half lengths in a scorching 30.32 for Thirlmere conditioner Mark Gatt.
Kristy Sultana’s Struggle Street ran on well to grab second after being posted wide through the first turn, with Balistic Prince and Brietta also qualifying for the semi-finals by running third and fourth respectively.
It was the ninth win for Ritza Lenny at just his 16th start, with the class performer having already taken on some of the best greyhounds in the state, having competed in the finals of both the Group 2 Cyril Rowe Cup and the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup throughout his short career to date.
Boom chaser Thirty Talks was also impressive in his heat, overcoming a poor getaway from box two to muster pace and hit the lead in the run to the line on the first occasion. Heading around the first turn and the only threat to him was Steve White’s Paua To Avoid which had carved across the field to slip into second spot, but the brindle dog slipped into another gear down the back and quickly gapped his rivals, swinging for home well clear to score by a widening five and three quarter lengths in 30.47.
Paua To Avoid stuck on to finish second, with Mary’s Shadow filling the trifecta back in third spot.
White qualified three for the semis, with two of Paua To Avoid’s litter mates saluting in their respective heats.
Paua To Engage used box one to perfection in the fifth heat of the night, leading all the way after posting a slick 5.21 first section to register a 30.75 victory. Queensland Futurity finalist Vidi Vici ran an honest race to finish second, with Cosmic Feature (3rd) and Lagoon Jazzy (4th) also progressing to the next round of the series.
Another member of the highly promising Barcia Bale x Paua To Terrify litter is Paua To Rush which took out the final event of the night. Starting from box four, the 35.5 kilogram heavyweight showed terrific acceleration to find the front early, leading all the way to record his fourth win at start eight in 30.91. Chiming in with an eye catching performance from the back of the pack was Tommy The Weapon which flashed home to snare second, albeit just over five lengths off the winner.
Another leading series contender appears to be Battle Station which was a commanding winner of the opening heat. Trained by Neville Brown, the son of Swift Fancy and Joy The Weapon came into the Richmond Riches series on the back of two impressive performances at Dapto in which he had clocked 29.76 and 29.61 respectively.
Starting from box two on Saturday night, the blue dog was poorly away but stuck to the fence around the first turn and was able to rail through and assume the front spot when the leaders jammed up. Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins, with Battle Station charging clear around the home turn to score by five and one quarter lengths ahead of Kay Dee Em in a respectable 30.94.
Lowanna’s Son, a litter brother to Ritza Lenny and Lagoon Jazzy, grabbed third and will progress through to the semi-finals, as will race favourite Megaladon which found nothing but trouble throughout the run, finishing fourth.