Queen Lauryn staked her claim to being Australia's best bitch after a comprehensive win in the $72,500 Group 1 Solo Sapphire Crown at Sandown Park tonight.
Queen Lauryn ($3.40F) began moderately from box 2, and despite an early bump from Sweet About Me ($3.50), was able to drive through to take the lead through the first turn.
Uno Kissy ($11.50) began well from box 8 and swept across the front of the field to take up second spot out of the first turn. However Queen Lauryn was off and gone, opening a four length margin down the back and maintaining her lead to the line, winning in 29.79.
Amelia Bale ($23.50) finished strongly to take second, 2.5 lengths ahead of Uno Kissy.
The win capped a memorable week for trainer Tony Brett. Not only did he claim his second Sapphire Crown, but welcomed his first daughter into the world on Tuesday.
Ron Hood handled Queen Lauryn in the absence of trainer Tony Brett and owner Steve Hawkins, and had nothing but praise for the Queensland based bitch.
“She is just sensational, just goes out and does her job. She certainly has plenty of ability,” said Hood.
The $20,000 winner-takes-all Group 3 Shootout is the next event in the Sky Channel Superdogs Series, to be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 13 November before Australia's richest greyhound race, the $250,000 Group 1 Schweppes Melbourne Cup on Thursday 27 November.
Behind the placegetters in last night's Solo Sapphire Crown Final were Violet Crumble 4th, Finlandia 5th, Hot Puzzle 6th, Sweet About Me 7th and Proven Polly finished last after falling midrace.
You can watch a replay of the race here : Queen Lauryn Claims The Crown As Australia's Best Bitch
Queen Lauryn is a black bitch and is a December 2005 whelping by Token Prince out of Cheeky Sprite, owned by the Hawkins Family and trained by Tony Brett. She has now started 25 times for 17 wins and 4 placings.
Last night's Group 1 win takes her total earnings to $127,730 and is her first Group 1 win. Her only previous Group win was the Group 2 Bogie Leigh Queensland Futurity, in March 2008, although she was second in the Group 2 Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park and third in the Group 1 Garrards Horse And Hound Winter carnival Cup at Albion Park.
Queen Lauryn is the current Wentworth Park 520m track record holder with a run of 29.44 seconds set in a heat of the Group 2 Ladies Bracelet back in May 2008.
The Sapphire Classic was first run in 1974 as an age restricted race for dogs and bitches. The event was relaunched in 2002 as the Sapphire Crown Classic bitches only feature. Listed below is the impressive list of past winners.
Sapphire Crown Full Honour Roll
- 1974 Bristol Sue Alec Reid 31.11
- 1975 Dynamic Dean Paul Hogan 30.67
- 1976 Tawny Brad Greg Durham 30.82
- 1977 Overflow Love Pat Haas 31.09
- 1978 Rubin Caine Ted Sallows 30.77
- 1979 Monica's Mist John Hellingman 30.74
- 1980 Worthy Weston Brian Jacobson 30.93
- 1981 Shamrock Flight Kevin McCabe 31.06
- 1982 Wynlee Spirit Alan Roberts 31.17
- 1983 Rocky Pyramid Fred Ladd 30.65
- 1984 Currency Lass Ned Bryant 31.10
- 1985 Rembrant John Hose 31.06
- 1986 Sydney Dingaan Ned Bryant 30.83
- 1987 Rothwell Keith Anderson 30.63
- 1988 Hogan Len Ketelaar 31.02
- 1989 Super Gun Eddie Baumgartner 30.81
- 1989 Dapto Brandi Darren Murray 30.77
- 1990 Ravello Robert Britton 30.82
- 1991 Heza Mullrook Keith Kent 30.42
- 1992 Dashing Eagle Bob Douglas 30.31
- 1993 Magnacarter Bill McNally 30.60
- 1994 Stylish Raider Kevin Byng 30.33
- 1995 Ben's Surprise Len Ketelaar 30.34
- 1996 Sarah's Deano Marion Siakew 30.30
- 1997 Token Prince Michael Abbott 30.31
- 1998 Time Framer Philip Newman 30.12
- 1999 Ashlee Jeannine Peter Giles 29.74
- 2000 Dutchy's Angel Tom Dailly 29.74
- 2001 Let It Be Neil Dicks 29.75
- 2002 Bye For Now Ian Dann 30.00
- 2003 Bogie Leigh Tony Brett 30.07
- 2004 Paua To Burn Steven White 29.85
- 2005 Paua To Burn Steven White 29.82
- 2006 Betty's Angel Paul Bartolo 29.85
- 2007 Que Sera Sera Angela Langton 29.91
- 2008 Queen Lauryn Tony Brett 29.79