If there’s one certainty in greyhound racing; always expect unpredictability.
This is exactly what transpired on Wednesday night during the running of the $75,000 Group Two Warrnambool Classic final, where Jason Thompson’s Proven Nitro looked set to dominate from a favourable box two draw, with punters agreeing as the Group One Vic Peters hero started at just $1.50. After falling out of the boxes, the reigning Sandown Shootout winner took a heavy tumble and pulled up with several injuries that hopefully won’t hamper his career from continuing.
From Thompson’s misfortune to elation arose when Premier Event for Anakie trainer Angela Langton produced a stunning performance from the seven alley, to give his trainer her third Warrnambool Classic, with her two previous victories in 2008 (Lynlea’s King) and 2006 (Auf Wiedersehen). Beginning beautifully at box rise, the son of Premier Fantasy and Sionara Baby was never troubled, scoring by 2 lengths in a smart time of 25.21.
A greatly underestimated chaser, Premier Event started in Wednesday’s final as a rank outsider at $13.50. Having just turned two years of age, the youngster’s win took his career statistics to six wins and five minor placings from just eighteen career starts that includes a sizzling personal best of 29.49 over the 515m at Sandown Park. Premier Event’s prize money total now exceeds $110,000, with a repeat of Wednesday’s performance, surely to add more dollars to the kitty in the near future.
Despite the hardship that occurred in the first final, Thompson’s luck returned during the running of the Group Two $40,000 Warrnambool Cup where his superstar chaser Ronan Izmir, recorded his eighth consecutive win with another all the way display from box six.
The Ballarat track record holder was brilliant once again clocking a sensation 25.01 and with his triumph, took his prizemoney total past the $100,000 dollar mark after just thirty starts. Kel Greenough’s Paw Licking was gallant in defeat, sticking with the leader the entire way, whilst Thompson’s other charge Ima Geisha Girl put in a valiant performance to secure third place.
Ronan Izmir has become the newest sensation in greyhound racing, dominating both the one and two turn circuits with some outstanding personal bests that include; 25.43 (Geelong 460m), 24.97 (Ballarat 450m), 23.62 (Bendigo 425m), 24.70 (Sale 440m) and 25.85 (Warragul 460m). With Wednesday’s victory, son of Elite State and Adhara Izmir racked up his seventeenth win from just thirty starts that also includes eight minor placings.
Ronan Izmir is owned by first time Victorian greyhound owner Sally Burns. Sally bought the greyhound one week before the birth of her son Oliver late last year, on the advice of her father-in-law who has been involved in greyhounds previously. The purchase coming as a result of Sally’s desire to take a more active role in the sport which she had grown to love.
With Ronan Izmir’s in such stellar form, the future looks extremely bright for the star chaser and a continued run of future success seems almost certain for Sally, Oliver and family at their first experience of greyhound ownership.