Trophy Time For Stephen Richards

In an era where super-size kennels travel the land and produce star after star, it is always nice to see a different face on top of the presentation dias. This is exactly the case for trainer Stephen Richards who took out the Paradise Street trophy over 642m at Cannington Saturday night.

With his lone charger, Dollstan Cruise, starting at nearly 20/1 from box six, it maybe wasn’t a result most expected, but a pleasant one nonetheless.

After the odds-on favourite, McQueen, speared out from box one, the field jammed and the lead quickly blew out. With a lap to go, many watching the race would be thinking the interest was in the minor placings, however in reality the race was far from over.

Spotting the leader six lengths down the back, the determination of Dollstan Cruise was becoming evident, as stride by stride the margin was being cut. Straightening for the judge and McQueen was clinging on but the swoopers were coming fast; Dollstan Cruise railed strongly to take the lead, but the job was not done as Pedro’s Finest for John Iwanyk was flashing home as expected. The post quickly loomed, and while it was a blanket finish, the upset runner had half a length to spare to complete the boilover.

The $12,000 winners’ cheque that Dollstan Cruise collected in his gritty 34.67 come-from-behind win is certainly something that a trainer with three dogs in work would not see too often. However, Stephen might have to be prepared for more glory if the son of Bombastic Shiraz and Frosty Fruits continues in this fashion.

With a new bank total of over $40,000, and four consecutive victories, the title of ‘kennel star’ is certainly to be applied.

Dollstan Five and littermate Brat It make up the rest of the Stephens Richards racing squad, with the trio being competitive enough to produce a win in approximately every four starts; a number that many of his rivals would envy.

While the Paradise Street Trophy winner has been a consistent city-class performer for the previous nine months, whether he can emulate the feats of his littermates remains to be seen. Both the National Derby Finalist, Flavours, and Sandown Cup hard-luck story, Vintage Blend emerged from the same November 2009 Bombastic Shiraz litter.

Dollstan Dream, also trained by Stephen, was part of the previous litter (by Collision) of which Goodsey and Pulp were a part. It builds a case that Frosty Fruits may be one of the more underrated brood bitches of her time.

While on the topic of star broods, Winsome Bluebird just continues to impress, as Starlight Delly made it win number 10 on the same program in a quick 37.55. This makes it a staggering 89 victories for the Bombastic Shiraz wonder litter.

With the headline act being Miata (25 wins), the support crew consists of Sure As (16), Deville (11), Bautista (8), Oenophiliac (8), King Mick (5), West On Bluebird (5) and Queen Bluebird (1). With nine separate greyhounds sharing the load, it will surely only be a matter of time before the century of wins is reached.

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