ZARA’S Entity (Mogambo x Girl Aloud Apr ’15) justified her favouritism when landing an emphatic win in Saturday night’s Group 3 Cranbourne Classic (520m).
Owned and bred by Mick and Maureen Barry and trained by Kel Greenough, the black bitch ran second in her heat, but was flawless in the final, pinging the lids and sprinting clear to register an all-the-way success in a slick 29.90.
Perceptive (Barcia Bale x Veetee Express Mar ’15) took advantage of box one to finish second, with Noaki Colour (Barcia Bale x Pepe’s Colour Apr ’15) rounding out the trifecta back in third.
Greenough said he knew his charge was capable of landing the $25,000 to the winner final, but said Zara’s Entity had to do everything right.
“Box four is never great, but the way the field was drawn it wasn’t too bad for her – she just needed a bit of luck going into the first corner,” Greenough told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It all hinged on her beginning well and getting to the front which fortunately she did.”
Zara’s Entity has now won six of her 10 starts with three seconds, her career earnings now in excess of $42,000.
Remarkably, it was the first group race win for Mick and Maureen Barry, who have bred some phenomenal chasers from their top-line producer Girl Aloud (Spiral Nikita x Crystal’s Entity Jan ’07).
Some of her best progeny include Group 1 Sapphire Crown finalist Evie’s Entity (Mogambo x Girl Aloud Dec ’10), group 3 runner-up Gambo Girl (Mogambo x Girl Aloud Dec ’10), Group 1 National Sprint finalist Alex’s Entity (Vee Man Vane x Girl Aloud May ’12), and Geelong Cup runner-up Cut Loose Max (El Galo x Girl Aloud Mar ’13).
The victory also ended the drought for Greenough, who is no stranger to winning group races, with the Pearcedale conditioner’s last feature success being in the 2016 Group 3 SA Derby with Weekend Binge (El Grand Senor x Kingsbrae Di Jun ’14).
“We’ve had a pretty steady past 12 months, so it is nice to get a bitch like her in the kennels,” Greenough said.
“Mick and Maureen Barry have bred some outstanding dogs, they breed and rear and they do an exceptionally good job which makes my job a lot easier.
“They sell a few and most of the time they have missed out on the success themselves so they were over the moon to finally win a group race.
“Zara’s Entity broke in well and they decided to hold onto her and she has delivered for them – hopefully she will deliver a few more.”
Greenough, who trained former four-time group winner Paw Licking (Elite State x Kingsbrae Di Mar ’11), said it is still early days with Zara’s Entity, but said so far the signs are promising for his latest proposition.
“There is a lot of pressure in these types of races – some dogs can handle it and others can’t so it is a good sign that she has been able to do so at an early age.
“I think we will find out just how good she is in the near future. When you step up and tackle open aged group races it is another huge step up in grade and she is going to have to do that shortly.
“We’ll see how she goes and judge it from there, but she is doing everything right at this stage.”
Greenough said Zara’s Entity will be aimed at the upcoming Speed Star series at Sandown Park on September 10.
The event is open to the eight fastest greyhounds nominated and comprises of four two-dog match races, with each winner pocketing $5,000 and the fastest overall winner collecting an additional $20,000 and the Speed Star crown.
Zara’s Entity is currently second on the Speed Star rankings, with a personal best of 29.27 over the 515m sprint.
Greenough said whilst Zara’s Entity probably isn’t suited to the format, he will have a crack with his talented racer.
“The Speed Star series isn’t the ideal style of race for her – it is probably more suited to dogs which aren’t as quick early as her and are strong at the end, but with that being said she is strong at the end as well.
“But we’ll give it a go. She has got the times to be there so it will be interesting to see how she goes in a race like it.”