The David Hobby-owned and trained WA greyhound Octanol has settled in and trialled well in his quest to win New Zealand’s richest ever greyhound race – the NZ$250,000 Platinum Paws.
The inaugural running of the Platinum Paws later this month celebrates the centenary of greyhound racing in New Zealand.
Six heats of the series were run at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway last Tuesday with some of the major players qualifying through to the semi-final stage whilst others crashed out.
Unfortunately for the locals, Winsome Ashley (a winner of 21 races from 30 starts) fell on the first corner in her heat and is a notable omission from the semis.
2008 Perth Cup winner Size Can Matter was the fastest qualifier from the heats after running a best of day 30.30 seconds.
Trainer David Hobby reported that Octanol caught the eye of track watchers when he trialled at Addington last Saturday running 30.33 seconds, only half a length slower than Size Can Matter who went around again at the same session.
“Octanol looked a little lost at the first turn at his first look at the track but his run home time was 4 lengths quicker than Size Can Matter,” Hobby said.
“He is bound to improve a few lengths in time for his semi, especially after being a little off-colour after his last start sixth in a Free To All at Cannington behind Miss Slick.”
Octanol will exit from box 3 in his semi and clashes with South Australian representative Jaykayell who has drawn box 5. The race jumps at 12.20pm EDST on Friday afternoon and will be the first of five races scheduled for broadcast into Australia by SKY Channel.
The other Australian automatic entries into the series include – Comfortably Numb (NSW, box 2) and Cosmic Pharoah(Vic, box 6) who clash in the second semi against Size Can Matter; Lucky Alive (Qld, box 5) and Que Sera Sera (Vic, box 7) in the third semi and Akka Boy (Tas, box 2) and Beverage (NSW, box 6) in the last semi.
The top eight qualifiers from the semi-finals will clash in the NZ$250,000 final at Addington on Friday 17 October, with the winner to collect NZ$135,000.