THE countdown is on for the 2015 Group 1 National Sprint and Distance Championships with both features set to fly this Saturday night at Wentworth Park.
The Sprint Championship looks to be one of the most exciting in recent years, with champion speedster Fernando Bale (box five) taking on a superb field including the ultra consistent Keybow (box two) and Horsham Cup winner Margins (box eight).
Representing the home state are Bessy Boo and Jack Kade which qualified by running first and second respectively in the NSW decider last Saturday.
Bessy Boo, a son of Bekim Bale and My Black Bess, clocked a quick 29.81 and will be contesting his second consecutive National Sprint Championship, having run fourth in last year’s decider at Cannington, and will jump from box two in Saturday’s $75,000-to-the-winner decider.
The National Distance Championship also looks an enthralling affair, with superstar bitch Sweet It Is going for back to back victories. A win would take the daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer’s career earnings to just under $980,000, while she would be just the second chaser after Boronia Blossom to win two National Distance Championship titles.
Sweet It Is has drawn box three and will face a field including the likes of Lady Toy, Lillycette, Deadly Boy and Magic Earner.
The full box draws for each final are as follows:
National Sprint Championship – 520 metres
Box One – Jake Kade – Anthony Azzopardi
Box Two – Bessy Boo – Christine Proctor
Box Three – Keybow – Tony Brett
Box Four – Nero Bolt – Nick Minutillo
Box Five – Fernando Bale – Andrea Dailly
Box Six – Breaker’s Tip – Gary Fahey
Box Seven – Alex’s Entity – Ben Rawlings
Box Eight – Margins – Brooke Ennis
1st Reserve – Tap Out Rose – Rodney Metselaar
2nd Reserve – La Grand Logie – Jeff Eaton
National Distance Championship – 720 metres
Box One – Lillycette – Ted Medhurst
Box Two – Lord Golec – Michael Eberand
Box Three – Sweet It Is – Braden Finn
Box Four – Psychotic Gold – Petar Jovanovic
Box Five – Magic Earner – Anthony Azzopardi
Box Six – Mullaway – Joanne Price
Box Seven – Deadly Boy – John Carmody
Box Eight – Lady Toy – Brooke Ennis
1st Reserve – Ada Mary – Sharon Grey
2nd Reserve – Smooth Number – Allen Hansen
In the stewards room
Leading Queensland trainer Tony Brett faced Racing Queensland Stewards on Monday after his greyhound Whata Nice Size returned a positive sample to the prohibited substance Flunixin after winning the Rockhampton Cup on May 6, 2015.
Brett was charged with a breach of 83 (2) 9(a) in that he presented the greyhound in a state not free of a prohibited substance. Despite entering a not guilty plea, stewards found Brett guilty as charged and imposed a $5,000 fine, while Whata Nice Size was also disqualified from the event in question.
The placings were amended accordingly, with Bill’s Fantasy now the official winner.
Mitchell granted a stay of proceedings
Trainer Geoffrey Mitchell has been granted a stay of proceedings by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after he was found guilty last week of failing present his greyhound, Liam, free of any prohibited substance.
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) had disqualified Mitchell for 18 months, with nine months suspended for 18 months pending no further breaches, after a urine sample taken from the greyhound at Ballarat on March 25 showed the presence of amphetamine.
Run of the week – Fantastic Dotty’s breathtaking debut
Jason Fletcher appears to have unearthed another star chaser, with Fantastic Dotty breaking the 520 metre track record in a heat of last Thursday’s Group 3 Dapto Maiden.
Stepping from box one on debut, the beautifully bred daughter of Goodesy and Light Fantastic quickly went to the lead and never looked in doubt, crossing the line fifteen-and-a-half-lengths clear in a blistering 29.43 – two one hundredths quicker than freakish sprinter Double Twist’s former top mark.
Fantastic Dotty will jump from box three in the first semi-final (race two) this Thursday against fellow heat winners Sky Book and Billy Emgrand, a son of champion stayer Miata. Check out Fantastic Dotty’s heat win below.