Thief strikes twice in WA

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WA Wrap by

James Broadhurst

Star Victorian chaser Catch The Thief completed a flawless WA campaign when he took out the Winter Cup over 520m at Cannington in mid-June.

The Matthew Clark-trained chaser, which was prepared by Krystal and Steve Shinners during his stay in the west, won five of five starts at Cannington, including the Group 2 WA Derby.

His Derby victory confirmed him as one of the most exciting racedogs in the country when he demolished arguably the best field assembled for that race in years.

After pouncing to the lead from box three Catch The Thief mustered with trademark acceleration and fired through to the lead by the first turn.

From that point onwards there was no catching Catch The Thief and he continued to power ahead before crossing the line to score by more than five lengths in a stunning 29.32.

Three weeks later Catch The Thief produced a virtual repeat performance in the Winter Cup final.

He outgunned main danger Tommy Shelby in the early speed battle and then kicked away to win by three lengths in 29.63.

Steve Shinners, whose friendship with Mathew Clark extends back to their time when they both worked at the Cranbourne greyhound track as teenagers, was confident that Catch The Thief was set for an exciting future back in his home state.

“I think the sky’s the limit for this dog,” Shinners said.

“He’s improving every week and turning into a genuine racedog. His racing manners are just sensational.

“To be able to run 5.32 early – there’s not too many dogs that can do that and his middle section run is unbelievable.

“I’m sorry to see the greyhound go but I’m sure Matty and Bianca (Clark’s wife) are twice as excited to have him back.”

A GUTSY win in the WA Oaks by Cobargo gave trainer Kody Charles his first group race success in greyhound racing.

Cobargo came into the Oaks trophy decider as the fastest qualifier after leading all-the-way to win her heat the previous week.

She began well in the final, but was beaten to the lead by the quick launching Mermaid Monelli.

Cobargo gave hot pursuit, but when Thrift Monelli leap-frogged her into second place in the back straight her task seemed impossible.

As they rounded for home Cobargo looked to be too far back, but the plucky black bitch had other thoughts as she dug deep to surge forward on the outside.

With momentum on her side Cobargo mowed down Mermaid Monelli on the line to bring up a thrilling victory.

“I can’t believe it. I’m shaking,” an excited Charles said after the race.

“I didn’t think we could win down the back.”

Charles is from a well-known WA harness racing family.

He has competed as a trainer/reinsmen and continues to be involved with the trots as a breeder but in recent years has switched his main focus to greyhounds.

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