Killarney greyhound trainer Kevin Mugavin jnr was one of the few pundits at Wannon Park not surprised when $24 outsider Reward Express scored an upset win in the $10,000 final of the VicBreeders maiden series (450m) last night.
Mugavin led out favourite Uno Hazard, which ran the fastest time in the heats and exited from box one in the final. But the black speedster missed the start and almost fell in traffic going through the first turn.
Litter brother Reward Express overcame a slight check on the first turn as he slid under the leaders Nuts Fawn Suit and Remo Arctic, before pushing through to set up a winning break approaching the home bend.
Reward Express held off a spirited challenge from Breakwater sprinter Drillers Own to win by a length with North Croydon’s Koko Black another 5.5 lengths away third in 25.62 seconds.
Mugavin said the first time he put Reward Express and Uno Hazard out of the boxes around the Warrnambool 450 metre distance, Reward Express ran just over three lengths faster than his Primo Uno-Killarney Magic litter brother.
On that form it was probably surprising that Reward Express paid $24.80 for a win on the TAB while Uno Hazard started a $3 favourite.
The Killarney trainer said the win showed the value of having two greyhounds in any final.
“I’m just glad one of them won,” Mugavin said.
“I suppose that’s the value of having two in the final.
“I don’t really know how good they are going to be. They’re still learning every time they go around.
“Reward Express was three or four lengths quicker first time around the 450m but Uno Hazard had put the score on the board before tonight.”
Mugavin said he thought both young greyhounds would be better suited over 500m around the Melbourne city tracks.
“Their dam Killarney Magic was only just a race bitch but she was by sire Hotshot and they have proved to be outstanding brood bitches,” he said.
“It’s great to have a couple of pups in the kennel that can run a bit.
“Everyone involved in greyhound racing puts in a lot of time and effort so it’s nice to get a reward now and then.”
Mugavin said just about everything that could go wrong did so for Uno Hazard.
“I’m sure he’ll be able to pick up a few other races,” he said.
Of the beaten brigade, Drillers Own again showed plenty of track sense and stormed home. She will be more suited to the 500m journey around city tracks.
Lara trainer Darren Brown continued his outstanding run of success at Wannon Park with the well fancied Classic Diva narrowly holding on to win the Flying Star final (390m) by just a nose from the Heathcote-trained Son Of Senna.
Brown also won the grade four final with Victory Time while the fast finishing Reservoir greyhound Menado won the Warrnambool Satyers Cup (650m).