Theterm“freak” is bandied around a little too loosely when it comes to racing animals in the modern era. But when it comes to greyhounds, Zoom Top is the very definition of the word.
The “fawn flash” was arguably the most versatile greyhound of all time. From the Richmond Oaks over 292 metres up the straight, to the 795 metre Beenleigh Cup, she could do it all, often in the same week.
In all, the flying fawn bitch known as Sweetie, raced 136 times between 1967 and 1969 for 68 wins, 25 seconds and 14 thirds and she amassed over $59,000 in prize-money.
It is only fitting that one of Australia’s top staying events is named in honour of the famous daughter of Black Top and Busy Beaver, who was prepared by the legendary Hec Watt.
This Saturday night the Zoom Top will take place at The Meadows, when eight of the best stayers in the country will contest the Group One= over 725 metres. The invitation-only race is worth $75,000 and has attracted a stellar field in 2014, who have won 136 career races and earned over $1.4 million in prize-money between them.
The race will take place at 8:40pm amid a card of absolutely top-shelf racing.
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative) – “It was a great run last week in Perth and she has the box this week, hopefully we can go one better. There’s going to be a lot of pace in the race, but hopefully she can just sit right behind them and make the right decisions. “
Comments: Michael Chilcott (Trainer) – “She is going as good as she has ever gone. We drew a tough heat in Perth but you get that. She’s competed in three group-finals at the Meadows as well as the National Distance Final and had the pink box every time, so getting near the fence gives her half a chance. If she can go somewhere near her best sectional early and find the fence, all we will need is a bit of luck around that first corner to be a chance.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Cheetah Zorro put in an average run at The Meadows after her win in the Bold Trease at Sandown, then we struggled to get a race for a while because she is grade three at both city tracks. So we missed a number of opportunities at running over 700 and I do think that has played on her a bit. But I’ve been working hard on her to get her back. In Perth she didn’t have a lot of luck but again I was a little bit disappointed, but I don’t think she’d had enough runs over the 700 over the last month. I’ve stepped her work-rate up and she’s trialled quite well, so I think we are back on track.”
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “You’re always a rough chance when you are a front runner but we will see what happens. He might not quite yet be a group class stayer, ability-wise it’s just a little bit too far for him at the top level. We nommed for the Rookie Rebel, if it was picked a couple of days later he would have been in after winning the Big Dog final. But when he didn’t make it I was more than happy to have a go at the Zoom Top. He does run the 720 but if those really good stayers get near him, e just can’t hold them out.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Lucy Wires had a minor fibula injury after the Summer Distance Plate in Sydney. It was a three-week injury and she’s trialled well. She will go into the race fresh and whatever she does I think she will improve on the following week. Still, she is a naturally strong dog and I’d say that running the distance isn’t a problem for her like it might be with others.”
Comments: Norm Rinaldi (Trainer) – “There is plenty of pace but he’s drawn out wide and he does like it out there on the track. A few of them might stumble out a bit and get tangled up, you never know, fingers crossed we have a bit of luck. We will be in there trying, don’t worry about that. He’s still capable, in Sydney (Summer Distance Plate) they gave him no hope but he lost by a nostril to Dyna Willow. That little bitch Dyna Willow, she is a tough campaigner, she’s a real up-and-comer.”
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – For all of Tom Dailly’s expert comments, check out his podcast on the ARG website in which he discusses his chances and more. Dyna Kayla is one of the most promising stayers in the land and should land close to the speed from the favourable draw. She could go very close to taking this out.
Comments: Veteran bitch who has been consistent without winning of late. Led last weekend’s Group One Galaxy before finishing third. Could definitely give some cheek should she get a start.
Best The Meadows Times
The bookends, Dyna Willow (1) and Dyna Kayla (8) look to hold plenty of keys in this race. Dyna Willow looks drawn to perfection and could well find herself with the perfect sit on Benarkin (4), who is the likely early leader. Youngster Dyna Kayla has to contend with the outside draw but has her share of early zip, it will be a good test of the up-and-comer.
Lucy Wires (5) has been given very little luck in the way of the box draw, but she is fresh. If she lands anywhere near the front, expect her to power home.
Born Ali (7) was terrific when she took out last week’s Perth Galaxy but will need luck from the wide draw, while Maddison Dee (2) may be well suited by the inside.
With so many genuine chances this shapes up as a superb Group One final, befitting of the Zoom Top insignia.