Caption: Damien Crudeli (centre) with connections and West on Sadie.
Western Australia news with JAMES BROADHURST
Damien Crudeli engineered a surprise victory in the Mandurah Oaks (490m) when West On Sadie captured the trophy in early May.
West On Sadie came into the race having won only twice from her previous 23 starts and she went to the boxes at long odds but stunned her rivals with a powerful performance.
Jumping from box two, West On Sadie landed mid-pack at box rise before the field stretched as Danni’s Gem forged ahead to a significant break.
West On Sadie brushed off a check and pushed up along the rail behind Alaska’s Girl, as that greyhound positioned up behind the leader.
Both Alaska’s Girl and West On Sadie took ground off Danni’s Gem in the mid stages and then swallowed up the leader in the home straight.
The pair then battled it out for supremacy over the final few strides and it was West On Sadie that proved to be better as she crossed the line a length ahead in a personal best time of 27.66.
While punters were caught off guard by West On Sadie’s win the result was less of a shock to Crudeli.
West On Sadie had given some indication of improvement in the weeks before the race.
“Leading into the series she was starting to show good form,” Crudeli explained.
“She led and won a Novice a few weeks out and after that I thought we’d have a chance.
“I gave her a ten-day break leading up to the heats to freshen her up and put a lot of ‘headwork’ and box work into her.
“In the final she was drawn to perfection next to an explosive beginner like Danni’s Gem, which gave her some room early and allowed her to use her strength.”
Crudeli admitted that a lot of behind-the-scenes effort had gone into the win.
“When she first came into the kennel, I thought ‘geez we’ve got a bit of work to do’,” Crudeli said.
“She had talent and she was strong, but she wasn’t putting anything together on the track.
“We focused on her box manners, improving those, so that she could put herself in a position where she could have a crack rather than rely on luck in her races.
“It took some time but eventually she started to grow in confidence and she matured as racedog.
“So, to win a race like the Mandurah Oaks was very satisfying.”
At time of writing West On Sadie was scheduled to contest a heat of the WA Oaks at Cannington.