DAVID Agius will have his first group runner this Saturday night when Good Girl Sandy (Magic Sprite x Jebrynah Glory Feb ’15) lines up to contest the Group 2 Shepparton Cup final (450m).
The black bitch produced a top run in her heat on Monday night, bouncing straight to the front of the pack to defeat Anthony Azzopardi’s Nangar Rock by 2.87 lengths in 25.38.
Agius was cautiously optimistic his kennel star could handle the rise in class to group company.
“I was a bit worried about whether I was asking too much of her by putting her in the series, but she is a good little bitch and she has early speed – plus I figured we’d never know unless we had a go,” Agius told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She had been run down a couple of times prior to the heats, but I had a feeling she was going to go alright.
“She has good early pace and when she jumped to the front and led them by four lengths I knew then that she was good enough to hold on.”
— Greyhound Racing Vic (@GRV_News) July 24, 2017
The victory took her career record to 13 wins and three minor placings from 21 starts, with career earnings now above $27,000 for Agius and her owners, the Wooden Spoon Syndicate.
Good Girl Sandy will jump from box six in the $47,000 to the winner final and has been installed as a $10 chance with Bet365.
Strangely enough, Agius says he is pleased to be drawn in box six.
“I am happy with box six – I’d rather her drawn there than on the inside. She tends to get a bit excited when she draws box one and she can miss the kick, so she is better off being in the six where there probably won’t be as much pressure on her outside.”
Having been training for 20 years, Agius, who has nine greyhounds in work at his Rosedale property, says his charge is not without a chance.
“She needs to begin this week to have a chance, but she normally does begin so if she can find the front and if they jam up a bit behind her she could pinch it,” he said.
“She has surprised me a few times, hopefully she can do the same again this Saturday night.”
The fastest qualifier for the final was Anthony Azzzopardi’s Lucky Chap (Brett Lee x Cawbourne Whip Mar ’15) which took out the last heat in 25.16. Azzopardi will be represented by three greyhounds in the final, also winning heats with Annabelle’s Boy (Magic Sprite x Jebrynah Glory Feb ’15) and Ando’s Mac (El Grand Senor x Brook’s Doll Jun ’14) in 25.36 and 25.37 respectively.
The first heat was taken out by double figure runner Rockin’ Rico (Nolen x Punk Rock Lass May ’14) in 25.24, the second heat saw odds-on pop Up Hill Jill defeated by Alpha Lucky (Barcia Bale x Queen Of Cyprus Dec ’14) in 25.35, with the remaining heat won by Seona Thompson’s Bewildering (Black Magic Opal x Outlandish Feb ’15 in 25.22).
The $47,000 to the winner Shepparton Cup final will be held this Saturday night.