Plenty of hype surrounded the clash between litter brothers Phil’s Mate ($2.00Fav) and Which Wabbit ($2.40) in last Friday night’s inaugural VBIS Distance Final (700 metres) at Geelong.
Multiple city winner Phil’s Mate ran a track record 40.53sec in his heat, overcoming interference to storm home with incredible speed reminiscent of legendary stayer of the late eighties, Bold Trease.
Trained by Phil Dickson at Anakie, Phil’s Mate entered the final with a record of six wins and 11 placings from 27 starts.
Which Wabbit, clearly the main danger to Phil’s Mate in the final, was far less experienced having had four starts for four wins.
And with the great success Robert Britton has had with stayers in recent times such as Gunnadoo Magic and Kulu Spirit, there were many punters willing to takethe $2.40 on offer for his unbeaten charge Which Wabbit.
Which Wabbit made the early going and led by as 3-4 lengths, however Phil’s Mate took over on the home bend before storming to an easy win by 8.25 lengths to Which Wabbit, with a further 9 lengths to the third placed Classic Panther.
Phil’s Mate was so impressive that he lowered his own track record by a further .02 sec when stopping the clock at 40.51sec.
Despite the ease of Phil’s Mate’s win, it was a terrific build up to the first of the Victorian Breeders Incentive Scheme (VBIS) Distance Finals, which all carry a first prize of $5,000.
“This is the biggest thrill in greyhound racing so far. We’ve only been training greyhounds for a couple of years, so it was a special win”, said Kerri Dickson, wife of Phil.
“I work at the Anakie Football Club and a number of the players came down to watch the race, so he had a few fans at the track cheering him on”.
Open to Victorian bred greyhounds who have won less than $20,000 in prize money, the VBIS Distance series now moves to Warragul over 699 metres (Heats August 19th, Final August 26th) and then Shepparton over 650 metres (Heats September 8th, Final September 15th).
In all 10 Victorian provincial tracks will host a version of the VBIS Distance series, with more than$80,000 in prize money spread among these events.
Phil’s Mate, who comes from an outstanding litter that includes not only Which Wabbit, but also the super talented Teaman Titch; will next compete against the states best stayers in Heat 1 of the Victorian leg of the Rapidvite National Distance Championships at The Meadows tomorrow night in race 6.