National Champ Off To The Shaky Isles
Written By Peter Oliver Tuesday 6th September 2011
Reigning National Sprint Champion, Metz Magic, is one of four greyhounds heading to New Zealand for the final of the Sister Cities Cup. With a AUD$20,000 first prize, and another $14,000 being dedicated for the placings, it is certainly worth the trip for connections.
It was somewhat disappointing however to see only one heat of seven being run for the Queensland leg of the series, after South Australia held two heats on the Monday night prior.
Ron Ballâ€™s newest track star was a clear favourite to take out the single heat, and he didnâ€™t disappoint with another strong performance in 30.02. Again having to come from within the pack, Metz Magicâ€™s winning strike rate is now looking more impressive by the week, and it could be two feature race victories in only ten lifetime starts if he performs at his best in NZ.
Marshall Star will be Queenslandâ€™s second representative, after finishing 3 lengths second. It will be the greyhoundâ€™s first major event final, and an unexpected thrill to be travelling overseas to race.
Sargent Trigga and Aston Thomas will fly the flag for the croweaters, after winning the two respective heats at Angle Park.
Sargent Trigga has been racing in much harder company before Monday night, and was expected to be too strong for his rivals. With young speedster Vanilla Gorilla showing plenty of dash, it wasnâ€™t until the top turn that the favourite put in his run and overpowered the five-dog field in 29.91.
An evergreen sprinter, Sargent Trigga is closer to five years old than four, and began his racing career in NSW where he found success at Dapto, Gosford, Richmond and Wentworth Park. Making the move to South Australia in late 2010, he has now gathered up a total of 25 wins and 36 placings out of exactly 100 career starts for over $45,000 in stakemoney. It would be a great training effort by Lesley Sermon if the veteran was able to win big money overseas.
At the other end of the scale, Troy Murray will head across with Aston Thomas, who lines up with only 18 starts under his belt. Having won seven of those, the Ray Borda owned son of Whereâ€™s Pedro has shown an affinity for the rail, but managed to win from box eight last Monday night.
Led Zeppelin was a short price favourite against Aston Thomas, but unfortunately suffered an injury during the run. In a terrible stroke of luck for the locals, he will join the already sidelined Dark Duo for 28 days, with both of them now in doubt to line up in next monthâ€™s Group 1 Adelaide Cup.
With luck in running, all four Australian representatives should go close to bringing the Sister Cities Cup back home. Auckland will run their heats this Sunday (11th September) with the home city Christchurch leaving it until the following Thursday (15th September) to display their contenders.