Vice Grip grabs hold of another WA feature

Caption: Vice Grip (Adam Smithson) after taking out the Lew Dorsa Memorial final (520m) at Cannington


Vice Grip continued his Perth Cup winning form when he took out the Lew Dorsa Memorial final (520m) at Cannington in early April.

The Adam Smithson-trained chaser had lowered his colours to the quick jumping Archibald during the heat stage but was able to turn the tables in the trophy decider.

As he did the previous week Archibald burst out of the traps and once again captured the front running position while Vice Grip powered across from box seven to sit behind the leader.

Archibald held the lead through deep into the back straight, but he had Vice Grip at his heels the whole time and as they approached the final turn the pressure finally took its toll.

Vice Grip muscled ahead along the inside and entered the home straight with a handy break.

He extended his margin in the run to the finish line and crossed for victory two and half lengths over the late charging Momentum in 29.70.

“He’s just an honest dog. He gives his all every week,” Smithson said of Vice Grip after the race.

“I’m pretty blessed to have a dog like him.

“It’s all him. He’s just got a massive heart and he tries his best.”

Since joining Smithson’s kennels towards the end of last year, Vice Grip has raced 21 times for 13 wins and has only missed a top three placing on two occasions.

At time of writing Vice Grip had ventured to Sydney to contest the Million Dollar Chase series.


Panama Pepper’s strong running ability was on full display in the Good Friday Cup (405m) at Mandurah when the Steve Withers-trained chaser surged to an impressive victory.

From box eight Panama Pepper mowed down the quick jumping Turbo Fun to secure the front running position before they hit the turn and then left his rivals in the dust in the home straight.

He barreled across the finish line to score by more than four lengths in 22.32.

The victory was Panama Pepper’s third in-a-row and pushed his career stake-money past the $50,000 mark.

At one stage it looked as though the light fawn speedster might not even have a career on the racetrack.

Panama Pepper faced an uncertain future after he collapsed following his win in the Spring Maiden Classic over 520m at Cannington last year.

The reason was attributed to hypoxia – a lack of oxygen – which was likely due to a combination of the dog’s hard running style and the track configuration at Cannington.

A subsequent a trial run at Cannington also resulted in him being affected by hypoxia so competing at headquarters is not an option for him, but fortunately the problem doesn’t occur when he races at Mandurah.

Panama Pepper has enjoyed success at Peel circuit over both the 405m and 490m journeys.

The Good Friday Cup triumph improved his record at the track to eight wins, with four minor placings, from 14 attempts.





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