WEST On Augie (Fernando Bale x Te Amo Feb ’16) will be the greyhound to beat in this week’s The Sandgroper (490m) after equalling the track record in his heat at Mandurah on Friday night.
Owned by Craig and Gary Weston, Linda Britton and Chris Halse, West On Augie began well off box two, punching up along the fence to hold out his rivals in the early stages.
Once he found clear galloping room the red fawn dog hit top gear, stretching out to defeat the classy Poppy Monelli (Fabregas x Jackie Bale Feb ’16) by almost 11 lengths in 27.08.
Trained by Halse and Britton, it was the youngster’s seventh win at start 11 and his fourth in a row, having clocked a phenomenal 29.54 at Cannington six days prior to Friday’s race.
Gary Weston spoke to Australian Racing Greyhound and said he couldn’t be prouder of his speedster.
“His last two runs have been fantastic, I just hope he can keep going,” Weston said.
“He is only very young and he hasn’t had many starts, but he is maturing into a nice dog and he seems to be able to do it at both ends.”
Weston said Halse and Britton always rated West On Augie a promising pup, the Michelle Romer-bred powerhouse being out of the consistent dual group winner Te Amo (Cosmic Rumble x Osti’s Bride May ’11) which the duo also trained.
“Chris said to me a while back that he was showing some promise and then Linda indicated to me that he might be something a little bit special.
“So for the past three months I thought we had a handy dog – after the past two weeks I think we have a dog which is a bit more than handy!”
Following the win West On Augie was labelled the next Reggemite by race caller Ryan Levitzke – the white and red brindle flyer, which was also owned by the Weston family, a star of WA racing in the late 1990s.
Weston said West On Augie has a long way to go to emulate the feats of the former Cannington track record holder – the first ‘real good dog’ Weston raced with Britton and Halse.
“We had a different trainer but they decided to give the game away,” Weston explained.
“I think Linda and Chris felt sorry for us because we weren’t getting many winners – but one of the first greyhounds my son and I had with them was Reggemite.
“Since then we’ve had a lot of success together, but it’s more than that – Chris and Linda are really good friends and we have a lot of fun racing the dogs together.
“It’s early days still but if this bloke can be anywhere near as good as Reggie then we are going to have a lot of fun. He was very special to us and he brought us a lot of excitement on the race track.”
West On Augie will take on a talented field in The Sandgroper final including multiple group finalist Black Bombshell (Barcia Bale x Tearsabout Tears Aug ’15) and a quartet of Dave Hobby-trained runners – Benny Monelli (Fernando Bale x Bingle Monelli Nov ’15), Zinnia Monelli (Fabregas x Jackie Bale Feb ’15), Lhtose Monelli (Fabregas x Sveta Monelli Dec ’15) and Poppy Monelli.
The Sandgroper final will be run and won at Mandurah this Friday night.
2018 The Sandgroper box draw
1 – Benny Monelli
2 – Lilly’s Spirit
3 – Zinnia Monelli
4 – Patchy Cat
5 – Lhtose Monelli
6 – Black Bombshell
7 – West On Augie
8 – Poppy Monelli
9 – Waterloo Monelli
10 – Petria Monelli