WA News by JAMES BROADHURST
Buster The Brute produced a strong finish to take out the Lew Dorsa Memorial (520m) at Cannington on March 28.
The Krystal Shinners-trained chaser, a placegetter in the Perth Cup earlier in the month, ran third during his heat but brought his A-game into the trophy decider.
From box one, Buster The Brute began well but was beaten to the lead by the quick-launching Mermaid Monelli, as that greyhound screamed across from ‘the lemon’ to seize the early advantage.
Buster The Brute positioned up behind Mermaid Monelli and gave close pursuit along the rail.
As they approached the final turn Buster The Brute powered past Mermaid Monelli and then edged away in the home straight to score by a length in 29.91.
Mermaid Monelli held on to grab the runner-up position with fellow David Hobby-trained kennelmates Rolo Monelli and Werewolf Monelli running third and fourth respectively.
The result gave Buster The Brute his fifth win and he’d only missed a top three finish once from his first 13 starts.
QUICK-jumping stayer Flake Monelli may have failed to launch in the Group 1 Galaxy but she showed her class when she set a new track record over the 600m journey at headquarters.
On the same night that Buster The Brute captured the Lew Dorsa silverware Flake Monelli led all-the-way in a Free To All to clock a blistering 34.32.
The time erased the old mark of 34.49 set by another David Hobby-trained greyhound, Petunia Monelli, in October 2017.
The classy red brindle followed up a fortnight later with a super slick run of 41.57 in a 715m race.
Only Tornado Tears has run a quicker time over the ‘700’ at Cannington.
AT time of writing Tommy Shelby’s trainer Steven Withers was hopeful that the rising star chaser would be ready to compete in the Mandurah Derby series, but had more or less conceded that the Group 2 WA Derby, which is scheduled to commence a few weeks later on May 16, was a more realistic target.
The classy youngster has been sidelined since his victory in the Group 3 Perth Cup Consolation in the middle of March with split webbing in his paw.
Up until then Tommy Shelby had developed a reputation as one of the most exciting racedogs in the state with nine wins and two minor placings from 11 career starts.
Withers admits having his star performer not being able to strut his stuff on the track has been frustrating, but he’s happy to wait until the greyhound is 100% right before he brings him back.
“If everything goes to plan we’ll contest the Mandurah series but most likely we are aiming for Cannington (the WA Derby) a little later on,” Withers said.
“We’re looking forward to racing him again when the time comes.
“He’s been keeping his fitness up by swimming in the pool with the kids and on the walking machine.
“His ability hasn’t gone anywhere. He’ll be ready to fire when you do see him again.”