Greyhounds WA Cannington held five small sized heats in preparation for next weeks $40,000 Derby. The biggest shock of the night was the scratching of Darren McDonald’s series favorite and reigning Perth Cup champion Keybow with a split webbing. With the scratching of the exciting chaser, it paved the way for underdog Deputy Chief to steal the spotlight in the heats. The Max Julien prepared chaser shocked everyone, especially the punters, when he ran over the top of Jabba Da Pup and Mr Shilling in the last heat of the night paying $33.00 for the win.
“I didn’t expect it at all, if he had drawn inside I would have given him a silly chance, but with box seven I didn’t expect to much from him.” Trainer Max Julien explained.
“I was extremely pleased with his win, and that run showed what he can do, so now there is an expectation that he can do it again.”
The first heat of the night went to David Hobby’s Prang Monelli, who jumped as favorite paying $2.20 for the win from box six. It was Ambitious Gem for Jamie Marsh who led the field out of box one. Despite the space created from the two vacant outside boxes, Prang Monelli bumped with Little Bit Nifty and Topline Cyclone until the first bend. As the field passed the 715 boxes Prang Monelli began to make his run, rounding up Ambitious Gem and Romeo Keeping with ease. Prang Monelli won by 1.50 lengths in 30.66, with Ambitious Gem holding onto second place.
David Monelli also took out the second heat of the night with $8.50 winner Pantha Monelli jumping from box two. Tim Mullany’s chaser Will Mend caused all sorts of trouble out of the boxes after cutting to the rails from box five. Pantha Monelli was lucky to miss the check after he camped on the rails with Steve Withers’ Hard Merchandise (box eight) putting the pressure on early from the outside of the track. Pantha Monelli was too strong winning the race by 5.25 lengths in 30.77 over strong finishing Stangafied (box three), who couldn’t get into the race until late after receiving a bump out of the boxes.
The third heat of the night saw Ben Abercrombie’s Full Of Beans cross to the rails in front of the field from box eight, with Major Heartache sitting second. The leading duo missed trouble with Marnoo (box three) falling, taking with it race favorite Battler’s Boy (box four). With the field spread across the track Major Heartache began to make ground on a weakening Full Of Beans, who held on to to win the race by a neck in 30.84.
Victorian Tiggerlong Amigo (box three) lead from start to finish in the fourth heat of night after mustering together a number of quick steps out of the boxes. Linda Britton’s Burundi (box one) stuck with Darren McDonald’s leading chaser until the 600 metre boxes, which was when he began to extend his lead by nine lengths. The visitor clocked the fastest qualifying time of 30.31, and will likely head into next weeks final as favorite.
In the last heat of the night Nobu King (box five) expectantly flew out of boxes and landed in front. $2.00 favorite Jabba Da Pup (box two) stuck to the rails on debut at Cannington to sit third with Andrew McLaren’s Mr Shilling (box six) holding onto second place via the outside of the track. As Nubo King and Jabba Da Pup began to tire, the Max Julien prepared Deputy Chief (box seven) started to gain momentum, thundering home to snatch the victory and a rug in next weeks final. Although winning in the slowest qualifying time of 30.86, the $33.60 winner more then earned his place in $40,000 Derby.
With the box draw out Julien believes that his dog has a genuine chance of taking out the race.
“He hasn’t had the best of box draws so he has had to adapt, hopefully he can do something similar to what he did last week, but Darren McDonald’s dog is going to be hard to beat.”
Now the week long preparation begins for the eight chasers who made it into the 2014 WA Derby.