Smithson amazed after Vice Grip secures WA All Stars Sprint

Adam Smithson and Vice Grip win All Stars Sprint final
Adam Smithson (centre) with WA All Stars Sprint winner, Vice Grip. Picture: Greyhounds WA.

It was once again a case of an outside box – no worries for Vice Grip on his way to winning yet another Western Australian Group final.

On this occasion it was the Greyhounds WA All Stars Sprint title decider over 520m at Cannington on Saturday night.

Starting from box eight, the star three-year-old and reigning Perth Cup champion had to do plenty of late work to overtake Electrified, who had box one.

After expending some early energy crossing over from the wide lane, it was inside rival Electrified who led by two lengths heading into the home turn of the Group 2 feature.

But as Vice Grip has done on many occasions in an outstanding career which now sees him with over $510,000 to his name, Adam Smithson’s chaser produced a spectacular late burst on the straight.

It was enough to see this month’s Mandurah Cup winner beat Steve Shinners’ young gun to the line by a length in a race-record time of 29.69 seconds.

And it was a second consecutive All Stars victory for Smithson’s kennel standout, becoming the first chaser to record the feat in the 46th running of the event.

“He just keeps turning up,” Smithson said of the $2.90 pre-race favourite.

It was another dominant finishing display in what is Western Australia’s best open sprint race, aside from the Perth Cup, which he won by 6 ½ lengths in a stunning 29.42 seconds on March 19.

Smithson was almost lost for words when asked about his freakish talent after his triumph on Saturday night.

“He just keeps coming. Box eight was going to be a blessing or a curse,” he said.

“And he got a run through. I still thought he’d struggle to get there down the back, but he dug in late and got the job done.”

Smithson is well aware that all trainers across Australia would love a dog with Vice Grip’s natural talent and genetics in their kennels.

“He’s a freak. Not much more I can really say about him. They’re hard to come across, dogs like this,” he said.

As Shinners told Australian Racing Greyhound before the All Stars Sprint Final, Electrified is certainly one to watch for the future.

Indeed, the building rivalry between him and Vice Grip will make for compelling viewing.

The gifted two-year-old also ran a brilliant race and did nothing wrong, finishing in 29.76 seconds.

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