After five terrific heats last Tuesday the $14,350 Daish Irrigation & Fodder Strathalbyn Cup final on Sunday night gave trainer Tony Rasmussen his first win in the event after more than 20 years trying when Shima Breeze scored in the final meeting every to be run at the Southern Greyhound Raceway.
In front of a huge crowd for the final meeting and with warm conditions the daughter of Fernando Bale and Simaquni was heavily supported prior to the event with up to $18 bet when markets opened however when the boxes flew open she started at $5. She began brilliantly form box 6 with kennel mate Shimando beginning just as fast from box 5 giving her a great run across the field with both leading easily to the first turn.
Race favourite Spring Bridge for Greg Board began well from box 8 and was able to slot in midfield early while kennel mate and last years winner Spring Bloom began ordinary and found herself back in the pack.
Reiko Rocketta for Troy Murray also slotted in well to be just off the pace early. Down the back straight and Shima Breeze ran to the lead and looked all over a winner with Spring Bridge running into second and giving chase while Reiko Rocketta ran to third.
As heads turned for home Shima Breeze had a big enough break to hang on and win an emotional victory for connections in a slick 31.07. She won by 1 ¾ lengths from Spring Bridge which again had no luck in a feature race finishing second while Reiko Rocketta continued her excellent form finishing third a further ½ length away.
Shima Breeze is owned by Tim Aloisi and Matt Lehmann and with the $10,000 first prize she amassed prizemoney of almost $30,000 in 19 starts which include 7 wins and 8 placings.
The other feature on the night was the Strathalbyn Cup consolation which was taken out by Silver Timothy for trainer Lauren Harris.
For trivia fans, the last ever Strathalbyn greyhound race winner was Zoometrical trained by John Sargent.