BUNDAMBA conditioner Peter Wilson is hoping the talented Velocity Shirl can give him his first Group victory in over 30 years as a trainer when she lines up in Thursday night’s Group 3 Queensland Cup (600 metres) at Albion Park.
A regally-bred daughter of Collision and former top NSW stayer Velocity Cloud, Velocity Shirl qualified for the $25,000-to-the-winner event courtesy of a sensational 34.75 heat victory last week.
Jumping well from box eight, the black bitch was able to slot into a midfield spot on the fence around the first turn before railing into to second spot through the catching pen. Down the back, Velocity Shirl had to work hard to circle the lamplighter, Darcy’s Curse, before slipping into another gear, stretching out to score by one-and-one-quarter lengths over the fast finishing Cyndie’s Magic.
Wilson said he was very impressed with the victory at what was only her fourth attempt over the middle distance.
“We thought she would go well in her heat and she ran a good race,” Wilson told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She is a very athletic bitch which has been slowed down by a few injuries along the way, but she seems to be over them now and she is racing well.”
Velocity Shirl has raced 33 times for eight wins and 14 minor placings, with Wilson remarking that she has always shown ability.
“From the first time we galloped her we knew she had something there and since then she has gone on to break 30 seconds at Albion Park.
“Unfortunately she sustained a very bad hip injury last year which put her on the sidelines for over four months, but with the right amount of time of it has healed nicely and she is going well now.”
Thursday’s feature is set to be an exiting clash between Fantastic Shirl and the fastest qualifier Norm The Storm, with just two one hundredths of a second splitting the airborne pair.
Norm The Storm will jump from box six in the final, with Velocity Shirl set to exit box seven, a draw from which her trainer says she will need a bit of luck.
“I didn’t know how she was going to go from box eight last week – I knew she was capable of running the time but the wide draw was a query.
“I suppose you have got to take the cards you have dealt and in the end she handled it well.
“I guess this week is much the same – you have just got to go into the race, say a prayer and hope that she has a bit of luck.”
Velocity Shirl owns a commanding 34.69 personal best over the 600 metre trip at Albion Park – just 0.14 off the track record set by Mulloway in March last year.
Wilson is hoping that the 26 kilogram pocket rocket can continue to improve over her next few starts to be competitive in future feature races over the middle and potentially staying distances.
“She has got a big motor, she is a very good little girl and we are just hoping that she has fully got over that hip injury and she can continue to improve with more racing as there are some very nice races coming up for her,” he said.
“I am hoping that she can put herself into the race and be competitive, but as long as she makes it around safe without injuries we will be happy.
“Luck in running is a big part of it – what the other seven runners do will determine what happens – but she is in the race so she has a chance.”
2016 Group 3 Queensland Cup – 600 metres
Box One – Smashniak Gold
Box Two – Parchment
Box Three – Cyndie’s Magic
Box Four – Golfing Amy
Box Five – Marluca
Box Six – Norm The Storm
Box Seven – Velocity Shirl
Box Eight – Darcy’s Curse
1st Reserve – Sarajevo Girl
2nd Reserve – Minnie Impact
Check out Velocity Shirl (8) scoring a determined heat win.