Despite the threat of a small team of interstate raiders, the heats of Saturday nights’ Paradise Street trophy over the 642m were mainly dominated by local chasers. In a race that honours the 1998 National Distance Champion, strength over the middle trip will be a major factor in determining the eventual winner.
Linda Britton’s Bad Company was the first chaser to win a heat, after holding off a determined run from Pedro’s Finest by just over a length. Beginning from box six as a $7.00 fourth elect, the son of Collision and Casey’s Angel begun well enough to settle behind speedy Victorian Proven Mead.
Once Proven Mead started to find the going a bit too tough, Bad Company took control with Pedro’s Finest from the John Iwanyk camp being the main danger. However, the margin barely changed over the last part of the race, securing final berths for both chasers in a race time of 37.64. It was Bad Company’s first win in the West since being transferred from Victoria in February, and 9th win overall.
Dollstan Cruise booked its place shortly afterwards, once it had completed an entertaining second heat duel with Surf a Coin. With very little early speed from the chasers positioned out wide, the two race favourites were allowed to find the rail and settle on the heels of the early leaders.
Loose Bolts wearing the cherry vest looked to try and lead all the way, but Surf a Coin soon took over off the back. Dollstan Cruise joined the party not long after after, but couldn’t find a way through to the front until the home straight. Loose Bolts stuck on to make it interesting, but the two fancied runners held on to run the quinella, with Dollstan Cruise winning its third consecutive race by half a length ahead of Surf a Coin, recording 37.87.
Local runners continued the success with Victorian visitor and odds-on favourite, No Justice, failing to run a place in the seven dog field. Instead, it was Travel Bug Miss for Eric Campana who led all the way in 37.76. Two members of the highly successful Abbadale Gold litter filled the placings, with Bramley finishing better, some 1.25 lengths behind the winner, and ahead of South Aussie chaser Kalden Petroni. No Justice did not begin with his usual pep, and struggled back in the pack for the duration for the event, winding up in fourth place.
In what is quickly becoming an expectation, the Wheeler family have a feature finalist, this time with Darya Bale. In what turned out to be a grand battle, the inside-drawn runners of McQueen and Darya Bale had the race in their keeping almost immediately after boxrise, with the former taking control in the opening stages. However, with the Paul Stuart runner on its heels, the lead disappeared for McQueen when it ran wide around the home bend, and Darya Bale took the opportunity to steal the race.
It brings up Darya Bale’s 18th career victory and fourth since coming over from Victoria. The 37.44 winning time was the fastest of the five heats, and both it and McQueen should be live chances to win the series with any luck in running.
Rounding out the five heats of the Paradise Street Trophy was an excellent front running display by the John Carmody-trained Spring Legacy. Starting from box three the long striding black dog by Bit Chili was far too good and was never challenged in 37.55. Short Haul held second spot for the whole way around and will give his sire, Clappin Thunder, a chance of a rare feature win. Star South Aussie greyhound Kalden Mayhem was brought across by Troy Murray, but after starting slowly, Kalden Mayhem got too far back and battle on for third, beaten almost 8 lengths on the line.
Box Draw for the Paradise Street Trophy was drawn on course once the heats were completed, and the runners will line up next Saturday night as follows:
Paradise Trophy Final Box Draw
1) McQueen – John Iwanyk
2) Short Haul – Greg Martin
3) Spring Legacy – John Carmody
4) Pedro’s Finest – John Iwanyk
5) Darya Bale – Paul Stuart
6) Dollstan Cruise – Stephen Richards
7) Bad Company – Linda Britton
8) Travel Bug Miss – Eric Campana
9) Bramley – Dan Biddle
10) Surf a Coin – John Crossley