By Brennan Ryan
Talented sprinter Siberia affirmed his rising status as one of the hottest prospects in greyhound racing on the Apple Isle with a career best effort to take out the Ladbrokes Tasmanian Sprint Championship (461m) at Ladbrokes Park Hobart on August 13.
Despite his brilliant winning form and a slick 25.93sec victory on the track the previous week, the blue chaser started at the huge odds of $10 from box four, with Amy Cora starting favourite at $3.50 from box eight ahead of Wynburn Lethal, from box seven at $3.80.
In a race full of chances for all eight finalists, Siberia speared out at the start and railed strongly to outpace Wynburn Lethal and Fabulous Baroque through a bumping duel into the first turn.
In a thrilling finish, Fabulous Baroque charged through on the inside to snare a rails run, though Siberia refused to give up as he stretched out in full flight, powering over the top scoring almost a length on the line from Fabulous Baroque to run 25.94 in the process.
Amy Cora flew home late for third, as Siberia, a son of Barcia Bale and Emerald Lee registered his eighth career victory with three minor placings, along with $21,930 in prizemoney, from 13 race starts.
Mangalore trainer Debbie Cannan was elated with Siberia’s performance.
“Absolutely wrapped with his efforts. He’s a young pup that continues to improve,” Cannan said.
“Some dogs take a lot longer to progress through the grades, though since his efforts winning the Breeders Classic here at Hobart really surprised me, the dog just cannot put a foot wrong.”
The win earned connections a golden ticket entry to the semi-finals of the GRNSW Million Dollar Chase on October 9 at Wentworth Park in Sydney. Cannan is remaining mindful that Siberia will need to further his experience if he is to step out in the world’s richest greyhound race.
“You can’t refuse an offer like this to get a crack at such a big race. Siberia would need to go further forward in his class and more experience, but we will consider all options,” the trainer explained.
“I’ve won big races on the mainland with dogs at huge odds so we’re not afraid to have a crack.
(Pictured: Connections and trainer Debbie Cannan with Siberia)
Twisted Reality prevails in Greg Fahey feature
Well-graded stayer Twisted Reality proved all class after taking out the Greg Fahey Middle Distance Championship at Ladbrokes Park Hobart over 599 metres.
The Blake Pursell-trained son of Spring Gun was well set for this assignment, having pulled off a winning double in the space of four days, coming off a gutsy victory in Launceston on Monday over 600 metres touting him as the one to beat starting favourite at $2.70 from box four.
Having the fitness required for the gruelling stayer’s distance was the added bonus to Twisted Reality’s chances, as he bounced straight to the front at box rise, setting up a winning break while Sacred Shadow camped just off the leader looking to strike at any chance.
Twisted Reality began to feel the pinch in the run home though he did enough to score by 1 ¾ lengths from Sacred Shadow, running 34.17 while Devil’s Corner charged home late to grab third spot.
Victory in the feature resulted in Twisted Reality notching his 10th win from 38 career starts.
It was back-to-back victories 12 months on in the Greg Fahey Middle Distance Championship for the Brighton-based trainer having won last year’s edition of the race with Dahlhaus.
“A super effort, to jump and lead the way he did … was a great run,” trainer Blake Pursell said.
“When racing shut down due to COVID-19 there was not many options, so I decided to send a selected team of dogs across to Victoria to be trained there by my dad Brendan (Pursell).
“Being over there allowed the dog to keep up his racing and being kept fit has put him in great shape.”
With limited staying events conducted at present, Blake will look at his options going forward with Twisted Reality, whether to race the dog here in Tasmania or send the dog back to the mainland.
“I’ll need to look at races available and work out a plan going forward,”
Wynburn Lethal fires up for classic catch
Superstar Wynburn Lethal continued her tantalizing form to capture the $14,000 Ladbrokes Illingworth Classic Final (515m) with a brilliant win in Launceston in early August.
It had been a memorable four weeks for Wynyard-based trainer Ben Englund, who has guided the 15-time winning daughter of Dyna Double One to stellar wins in both the Shane Yates Memorial and Illingworth Classic.
Wynburn Lethal has a strong affinity with the Launceston track, and the 515-metre trip for that matter, having won eight of her 12 starts including a string of feature events, beginning with the time-honoured Launceston Gold Collar back in November.
“A fantastic effort from such a great chaser,” trainer Ben Englund said.
“We knew she was a handy bitch so when the shutdown on racing came upon the industry in Tassie, we made the decision to send her across to Kel Greenough to gain more experience,” he said.
“She (Wynburn Lethal) was lucky to get through the first turn unharmed, having to overcome a few challenges in the race.
“Her class prevailed once she found the front to get the job done.”
Wynburn Lethal set a cracking pace in the qualifying round the previous week, stopping the clock in a red-hot 29.70 off box two.
It was a performance that saw the fawn chaser start a $1.50 favourite from box eight for the Monday night decider, confirming to connections she was on target to claim the Illingworth Classic.
Beaten for speed in the early stages by Winklee Hugo, Wynburn Lethal received a charmed run across by Inner Circle which saw her take the lead with a handy break heading into the first turn.
Down the back straight it was nothing but a galloping exhibition, with Wynburn Lethal extending away with absolute ease, crossing the line to score by 1 ¾ lengths from a courageous Winklee Hugo in 29.83.
Highland Wonder came home to grab third.
Wynburn Lethal has now won 15 of her 29 starts, boasting prizemoney of $61,305 for first-time owners Leah Englund and her partner Matt Carrolan.
“It’s a pretty special feeling to win the fourth biggest race we have in Tasmania,” the trainer said.
“Everyone wants to win these types of races especially for Tasbred greyhounds.
“When you can get a good chaser like (Wynburn) Lethal and win the races she has is a great thrill. To have my sister Leah and her partner Matt (Carrolan) in her (ownership) with us makes it even more worthwhile.”