DARREN Russell’s unfortunate decision to scratch boom youngster Bago Bye Bye from the semi-finals of the Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) was made slightly more bearable when kennel mate Yeah Okay (My Bro Fabio x Dulcie Dee Feb ’16) won his way through to the $40,250 final.
Stepping fairly from box three the black dog got room to move in the early stages and was able to push his way up to take the lead through the first turn. Once he balanced up there was no looking back for Yeah Okay which stretched out to defeat Beijing Fling (Banjo Boy x Tifi For Me May ’16) by three and a half lengths in 30.79.
It was his first career win at start three, having run a handy third in his heat of the feature behind Hara’s Flame, beaten four and one quarter lengths after an average beginning off box seven.
Russell, whose greyhounds have been racing in a purple patch of form, wasn’t surprised by the stylish win after his charge came up with a suitable box draw over the weekend.
“I was very happy with how he pushed through – it was a nice run,” Russell told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He wasn’t suited by an outside draw in his heat but he ran a pretty good race. Luckily he only had to run in the first four to make it through to the semi-finals and I was pleased when he came up with an inside draw.”
Yeah Okay has drawn well for the final this Saturday night in box two, but meets a talented field headlined by the exciting Fernando Bonus (Fernando Bale x Dark And Story May ’16) which won its semi-final in a fast 30.32.
Although it will be a tough race, Russell is optimistic his greyhound can put himself in contention.
“There are a couple of dogs on his outside which I think will want to run up the track a bit and the red hasn’t shown much speed so far.
“Hopefully if he comes out well this week he can punch up for the lead around the first corner and hold them out.
“I think he has got genuine speed, but he just isn’t beginning quite as good as I’d like him too.
“I plan on doing a bit of box work with him this week to see if I can get him coming out a bit better for the final.”
Meanwhile, kennel mate Bago Bye Bye (Barcia Bale x Keira’s Charm Feb ’16) will remain on the sidelines, but Russell says it shouldn’t be too long before he is back on track.
“He pulled up a bit sore and I didn’t want to risk him – he is a very smart dog.
“I think we are going to see a very good dog with him in the next 12 months and there are plenty of nice races coming up he can go in.”
The Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden will be held at Ipswich this Saturday night.
2018 Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden box draw
1 – Bitter Delight
2 – Yeah Okay
3 – Nikki Nettle
4 – Hara’s Flame
5 – Give It Some
6 – Beijing Bling
7 – Fernando Bonus
8 – Rose Honey