Stepping from box seven, Victa Louise showed tremendous acceleration, clocking an airborne 4.39 to the first mark. Out on the bunny the black bitch never looked in doubt, cruising to the line to defeat Zellman (Black Magic Opal x Sal Talk Oct ’15) by four and three quarter lengths in 29.93.
It was her fifth straight success and third over the 515m journey. The Robyn Mackellar-trained youngster has now faced the starter 10 times for seven wins and one second.
Mackellar said she couldn’t be happier with her 28.4-kilogram speedster heading into the final.
“She is coming up to the 500m quite nicely and she is doing everything I ask,” Mackellar told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She has been sitting on the 4.45 mark early, but she got plenty of room to move the other night and she absolutely flew early.
“She still hasn’t completely figured out her racing style. She ran home in 12.84 in her heat, then in her semi she only ran home in 13.09 but her first two sections were flying.
“I think she’ll even out a bit more, but right now I couldn’t ask anything more from her.”
Victa Louise will start from box six in the final, her main threats appearing to be Long Gully Gus (Kc And All x Long Gully Libby Aug ’15) and Emerley Nolen (Nolen x Emerley Charmer Dec ’15) which will jump from boxes eight and two respectively.
Mackellar says she isn’t put off about the awkward draw, believing her star performer is able to overcome box six with a clean beginning.
“I’m not too fussed what box she gets. She isn’t a mad railer so she doesn’t need the inside – she is quite happy to sit a couple off the fence and then she’ll cut back down around the turns.
“But she does need room to move the first five metres because she isn’t a lid pinger. She comes out with them and she musters quick so if she can get clear room she should be able to find the front.”
Mackellar said a win in the final would be a massive thrill for herself and Ron and Joan Schadow who bred and own Victa Louise.
“Her owners are very humble – they get the same buzz winning these feature races as they do winning a maiden on a Wednesday afternoon.
“But they are over the moon with how she is going – they are great people to train for. We are all thrilled she made it through – she was the youngest in the series and she is coming up against some dogs with a lot more experience, but fingers crossed she can get the job done in the final.”
The $9,290 SA St Leger final will be run and won at Angle Park this Thursday night.
2018 SA St Leger – box draw
1 – Madam Onyx
2 – Emerley Nolen
3 – Fabwik
4 – Zellman
5 – Dakota Dawn
6 – Victa Louise
7 – Nirimba Pirate
8 – Long Gully Gus
9 – Emerley Storm
10 – Darcy Brown