Londonderry trainer Tracey Hurst took the honours qualifying two out of her three semi finalists, winning the first and last semis with Fancy Mandy (fastest heats winner 29.63) and last semi with Dancing Surf and going forward into the $50,000 Group 1 final.
While Fancy Mandy’s semi time of 30.23 didn’t come close to the heat time the greyhound was impressive showing great tenacity to push through between runners early to surge clear in the back for a decisive 3 ½ lengths win. Dancing Surf led all the way to stop the clock in 30.13.
Fancy Mandy was expected to win and went out at 10/9 in the betting while Dancing Surf was the second longest priced runner in his race at 14/1 behind Brendan Wheeler’s Zambola Bale (13/8) which ran seventh after getting into strife early and the run should be forgotten.
Keith Pedrana was delighted to get a run in the semis with first reserve Freaky Lee and even happier when his Bret Lee x Tiny Rascal dog put in a big finish for second behind Dancing Surf. Brendan qualified Tyler Bale for the final when it ran second to Fancy Mandy.
Boston Blackie owned and trained by Mario Pavlin was the quickest semi winner recording 30.11 as 2/1 favourite in the second semi defeating Puddy Muddles owned and trained by Allan Manwaring.
A delighted Elle Manwaring is pictured below with daughter Bella who did what was required by selecting the greyhound statuette with box 1 underneath at the on track box draw after race nine on the program.
Strange name, “Puddy Muddles”, you may ask. Well, Elle tells us about the time Allan‟s four year old son loved playing in muddy puddles and one day Allan quipped “stop playing in those “puddy muddles” – a good name for a greyhound someone said.
Another first reserve to get a run in the semis and go through was Pedrosa which won semi three for owner Paul Stuart in 30.32 after working to the lead early for a decisive win from box 1 as 2/1 favourite. Rock Muncher trained by Reg Gardoll got into the final after chasing the winner home most of the way.