The large crowd that gathered at the home of Western Australian greyhound racing were there to see one dog, and they certainly got what they came for. The quadruple record-breaking bitch that has captivated a state was always going to be hard to stop after a blitzing 14-length heat win, and was to be sent out the $1.40 favourite as a result. With the likes of Zipping Lad ($5.80), Shimaguni ($7.40) and Kalden Mayhem ($19.30) engaged, it was certainly no forgone conclusion, and the winner was always going to have to work for the $120,000 cheque.
When the lids opened Miata had begun reasonably, and gave the locals a few anxious moments when she navigated traffic to get through to third. Zipping Lad had taken up its usual leading position and with Shimaguni sitting second, the pace was red hot up front.
The stage was set to see if Miata could put it all together when it mattered, and show her class when the opposition was at its best.
The three runners out of Abbadale Gold that had qualified for the final were all poor to begin, and were facing an uphill battle to catch the accomplished trio up ahead.
Along the back stretch, the favourite was making its’ move. Once pressing the button and slipping into overdrive, Miata asked the question of the interstate visitors, and it proved to be one they couldn’t answer. Once on the bunny it was all Miata’s show, as she careered away to belt the quality field and win by almost ten lengths in a dazzling display.
Despite that W.A had found another local Galaxy champion, it was the fact she had equalled her own track record of 41.30, which really made the occasion something to behold.
Shimaguni was certainly not disgraced by running second for Andrea Dailly, while third place went to the $51.90 outsider, Freeway Fame for Keith Harding, who had come home hard to knock the tiring Zipping Lad off the podium.
But in the end, the night belonged to Miata. Paul Stuart’s star performer looks to have an almighty future as a stayer, and continues to build the incredible record of 19 wins from 23 starts after Saturday’s victory. The Bombastic Shiraz-Winsome Bluebird litter, from which Miata is a part, has been a revelation this week, after Sure As took out the Nation Derby at the Gardens one day before the Galaxy final.
Next on the staying calendar is the invitation-only Zoom Top at The Meadows, where many of the Galaxy finalists will most likely clash again. It promises to be a great race, and the Victorians will do their best to make life difficult for Miata once she steps onto foreign ground.