Tasmanian-trained chaser St. Pierre caused a huge boilover to claim the Group 1 MTD Australian Cup at The Meadows on Saturday night.
The son of Surf Lorian and Paris St Germain jumped very well from box two, but was immediately under siege, with favourite High Earner ranging up ominously on the first turn. But the blue-brindle chaser showed his mettle, holding the fence and kicking clear as he reached the second section in 17.75.
With High Earner and Mid Levels bumping as they neared the home turn, St. Pierre set up a race-winning lead, eventually upsetting his more fancied rivals to win one of Australia’s premier races in 29.90, at a quote of $16.80.
Australian prizemoney record holder High Earner – who has now cracked the $600,000 mark – finished two and half lengths away in second, while the speedy Mid Levels was six lengths further back in third.
Trainer Debbie Cannan was thrilled with St. Pierre’s win – capturing his second Group victory after taking out the Devonport Cup in January – paying tribute to fellow greyhound conditioner Graeme Bate (trainer of Salvador Bale), who helped house St. Pierre during his stay in Victoria.
“This is an amazing result. I need to send out a big thank you to Graeme Bate, whose generosity meant that the dog didn’t have to travel during the week. I’d also like to thank owner Christopher Nutt for giving me an opportunity to train this greyhound. I still can’t believe it.”
MGRA Chairman Eddie Caruana also announced that next year’s Group 1 MTD Australian Cup final will be worth $175,000 to the winner, while the 2012 Group 1 Macro Meats Superstayers will give lucky connections a $75,000 winner’s cheque.