Greyhound phenom Fabregas maintained his perfect record at Sandown Park tonight in qualifying for the Victorian final of the National Sprint Championship.
Owned by leading breeder Paul Westerveld and trained in Cranbourne by David Hirst, the son of Bombastic Shiraz and Wicked Witch sprung straight to the front from box 8 and was never threatened, winning by 4.75 lengths in a slick 29.45 seconds.
“He just loves Sandown Park,” said Westerveld following his charge’s seventh win from as many starts at the Lightwood Road circuit.
“He’s only 21 months old, but from the first time I trialled him here he loved it and just gets better with every start.”
Trainer David Hirst couldn’t have been happier with the win, the tenth of his 11 race career and fifth consecutive victory.
“I was really happy with him. He jumped really well, found the front and I don’t think they were ever going to catch him from then on.”
However the connection’s celebrations were tempered following the box draw for next Thursday night’s final, with their young star drawing the dreaded box five for the $17,250 event.
“It (box 5) would have been my eighth choice,” said Hirst with a laugh.
“If he can repeat what he did tonight (running 5.05 seconds for the first split) he’s going to be right on their hammer – if not leading it – so we’ll be doing our best to have him right so he can do his best on the night.”
The fastest heat win went to Golden Easter Egg winner Don’t Knocka Him, the Jason Thompson trained star breaking his Sandown Park duck in a slick 29.30 seconds. His win made it a double for the powerful Pearcedale kennel following Group 2 Warrnambool Classic winner El Brooklyn all the way win in 29.55 seconds.
It was a fantastic effort by the striking white daughter of 2008 Greyhound of the Year and former kennel star El Galo, who was having her first start at Sandown Park since falling in the final of the Group 1 Sapphire Crown in May.
Leading Anakie trainer Jeff Britton will prepare three finalists following Getting Slizzard and Jordy Pordy’s wins in 29.66 seconds and 29.65 seconds respectively. Britton’s third finalist, Mepunga Geordie, qualified as fastest runner up after finishing 3.25 lengths behind Don’t Knocka Him.
Andrea Dailly, Sandown’s leading trainer in 2012, will be represented by Dyna Morris which scored a thrilling last stride win in the night’s final heat in 29.87 seconds. A three time Group finalist, Dyan Morris is a member of the outstanding Collision x Gold Rush Bale litter which has won well in excess of $1million.
The Victorian final of the National Sprint Championship will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday 9 August. The winner will go on to represent the state in the $75,000 to the winner Group 1 Grand Final, to be run in Hobart on Saturday 25 August.
It was also big night off the track for the club, with massive $75,000 jackpot seeing the total quaddie pool exceed $300,000. The quaddie returned a dividend of $524 for the correct combination of 8, 2, 4 and 8.
National Sprint Championship - Victorian Final (515m)
Box 1 - Jordy Pordy - Jeff Britton - 29.65
Box 2 - Sapporo - Tina Womann - 29.67
Box 3 - Mepunga Geordie - Jeff Britton - 29.51
Box 4 - Don't Knocka Him - Jason Thompson - 29.30
Box 5 - Fabregas - David Hirst - 29.45
Box 6 - El Brooklyn - Jason Thompson - 29.55
Box 7 - Dyna Morris - Andrea Dailly - 29.87
Box 8 - Gettin Slizzard - Jeff Britton - 29.66
1st Res 9 - Carol Allen - Graeme Bate
2nd Res 10 - Ima Geisha Girl - Jason Thompson