Race six was the cream of the finals crop, with the three-week GRV VBIS Maiden Series coming to a climax with a $7500 winners cheque attached. While Darren Irby’s Watta Good Dee was to start favourite from box seven, it was the White and Brindle runner from box five that made it a one act affair. Miss Minta for local trainer Tricia Curtain was able to lead from Go-to-Whoa, never giving anything else a chance in a very impressive 30.64 performance.
Paying a handy $12.70 on the local TAB, the daughter of Pure Octane and Sound The Lee wasn’t expected to put on such a bold showing after keeping her maiden status for the first 16 starts in her career. But in a case of peaking when it counts, Miss Minta put in her best effort at the best time, and after ten minor placings it was fitting that she found the top step of the podium.
Second in the race was another outsider in Dewana Cheque, who started the race as the $27.40 outsider. Similar to the winner, Matthew Dewan’s runner was also looking to break the duck in the final and considering it had never missed a place before, perhaps represented generous odds.
It was a rough race however, and several runners found trouble behind the speed. The margins in the race were inflated by the interference and those dogs with early pace were able to avoid any late charges.
Steven Clarke’s duo of Hot Chilli Lankan and Jacko Lankan were both one of those hampered during the run, while Watta Good Dee was also never out of trouble and was towards the tail of the field all the way around.
On the contrary to the Maiden feature, the Awesome Lodge Restricted win final was a smoothly run affair. Carrying $2500 first prize with a $1000 GOBIS bonus, the field was made up of the very young and the far more experienced, which is often the appeal with this kind of race.
It was one of the younger runners who cut the tape on Wednesday night though, when race favourite Altolite lead all the way in 30.55. After returning from some metropolitan runs, Altolite obviously appreciated the drop in class and was the dominant greyhound for both the heat and the final.
Trained by John Coburn at Woodstock, this Mantra Lad pup now brings up her fifth win from twelve starts, and has already shown an affinity for the outside boxes, with wins from box six and seven over the past fortnight.
Galloping Rocky made the formline stack up by converting a second behind Altolite in the heat to a runners-up cheque a week later. Drawn the opposite side of the track in two, he had to endure a few knocks and bumps in the opening stages, but turned in an eye-catching run to finish two and a half lengths behind the winner.
Earlier in the night, two maiden qualifying finals opening up the meeting, with both winners coming from the Diamond Creek kennel of Raymond Shiells. Twisted Kaos was the first of those to salute, starting its career in a blaze of glory with a one-length win in 17.94. The son of Pure Octane and Twisted Teddy has taken a little time to get to an official race start, having already turned two in March.
Twenty mintues later and Sheills had made it two from two when Sports Novel won by a similar margin in 18.07. A littermate to Twisted Kaos, it too was having its first official race start, and a testament to owner Nicole Moresco who has been rewarded for her patience.
With only four dogs currently in work, it is a decent training performance to walk away with two winners from the Cranbourne meeting, while Raymond’s other two chasers Justin’s Dream and Oenjay Dancer have been very successful in metropolitan company.