West Australian News By JAMES BROADHURST
RISING star chaser Destruction gave Steve and Krystal Shinners their second Mandurah Cup win with his victory in the Group 3 feature at the start of October, but it was the first time they had experienced the triumph in person.
The Shinners won the Cup in 2015 with Crashing Packs but weren’t at the track because they were on their honeymoon in Bali. They watched the race via a sputtery internet connection later that night.
On this occasion they had front-row seats to one of the most electrifying performances ever seen in the race.
Destruction blew his opposition away at the start with a blistering launch from box four.
The classy light fawn charged to an eight-length lead down the back straight before rolling on to score comfortably in 27.22 ahead of the Paul Stuart-trained pair Quartararo and Serong.
“It was nice to be there for it this time,” said Steve, who is the kennel foreman for his trainer wife.
“It was great run and a big thrill.
“I was a little surprised with the way he went but he’s the sort of dog that when he steps up he can really fire early.”
The opportunity in the trophy decider almost didn’t happen as Destruction had to fight his way through a quality-stacked heat.
Jumping from a wide draw Destruction worked hard to recover from a poor start and was just able to scrape into the final by clinging on to second place behind Serong.
“There was pressure everywhere in that race,” Steve Shinners said.
“It’s a miracle he even got through … but he did and here we are.”
Destruction joined the Shinners’ kennel midway through the year after showing plenty of talent in the early part of career racing in Victoria, although his form had tapered off in the month or so before his move west.
“He arrived with an injury to his left thigh which has taken some time and management but he’s come good,” Shinners said.
He made his WA debut in mid-August and immediately gained attention with a couple of quicks wins over the 405m journey.
“He’s a really nice little dog,” Shinners said.
“He’s only got one small glitch: he doesn’t like to be drawn wide but we’ll take what he’s given us so far.”
Shinners hopes the Mandurah Cup is a stepping stone to bigger things for Destruction as the greyhound looks to establish himself at Cannington.
“We’ve kept him pretty fresh and it’s been a bit of a balancing act between putting the work into him and getting him through the injury,” he said.
“We probably haven’t seen the best of him yet.
“With natural improvement and increased fitness he should continue to get better.”
Destruction is the leading light for the Shinners, who are steadily building a reputation as one of the premier mid-sized kennels in the state.
Since they moved to their kennels from the suburbs and on to a larger property in Jarrahdale, a rural area an hour south-east of the Perth CBD, the Shinners have been able to expand their operation and ambitions.
They have assembled a quality team of dogs which includes a mix of highly promising youngsters and proven performers.
In September the kennel produced 21 wins and you can expect to hear more about chasers such as Amplified, Yarrinup Flyer, Rhonda Lily and Magic McGowan.
They’ve also started a breeding program and the plan is to produce at least a litter a year.
“It’s an exciting time,” Shinners said.
“We’ve got some nice dogs in the kennel now and hopefully a few more coming up.”