Caption: Chontae White and trainer Adam Smithson with their daughter Kia and All Stars Sprint winner Vice Grip
Western Australian News by JAMES BROADHURST
VICE Grip came home with a powerful finish to win the Group 2 All Stars Sprint (520m) at Cannington in late October.
The Adam Smithson-trained chaser outgunned Momentum in the concluding stages to capture the $40,000-to-the-winner feature by a length.
The two greyhounds had clashed when they came together immediately out of the boxes with Vice Grip’s opening stride cutting into Momentum’s launch space.
Momentum, the fastest qualifier and race favourite, shrugged off the contact and moved up to challenge the leading Brazil Monelli, while Vice Grip took the sit behind the pair.
When Momentum pushed up on Brazil Monelli as they went through the final turn Vice Grip came with him.
Momentum looked the winner but he bumped with Brazil Monelli as he attempted to pass which arrested his forward motion just enough to open the door for Vice Grip.
It was the break Vice Grip needed to seize control of the race and he swept along the outside to claim the race in 29.90.
A journeyman chaser that had competed in Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory, Vice Grip joined Smithson’s team in early September, not long after going around in the Darwin Cup.
Vice Grip has thrived under Smithson’s care and has become the standard-bearer for a kennel on the up.
Smithson took over the kennel from his father Ray about two years ago and since then has gone about expanding the operation.
Success has followed. Aside from Vice Grip’s frequent trips to the winner’s circle, Smithson also took out the Distance Potential (600m) with Low Blow in early October and has racked up wins with Hi Sky and the up-and-coming Panadero Opal.
Momentum had his taste of Group race glory in early November when won the Group 3 Young Stars Classic (520m) at Cannington.
One of the most exciting greyhounds in the state, Momentum signalled himself as a young gun on the rise when he won the WA Bred Championship among a string of other impressive performances.
Despite having his colours lowered with a narrow loss to Unsee This during the heat stage, where both greyhounds clocked PB times, Momentum went into the Young Stars final as the dog to beat.
Momentum lived up to expectations with a brilliant launch that saw the ascendant light-fawn chaser stamp his authority on the race early.
He streaked to the lead with a first section of 5.45 and took control of the contest before they hit the first turn and then extended his advantage in the back straight.
Unsee This pushed past his fellow Shayne Williams-trained kennelmate Tiger Town into second place, but neither was close enough to threaten the leader.
Momentum turned for home in an unassailable position and he charged to the finish line more than six lengths ahead in 29.65.
The win continued Momentum’s stellar start to his career for trainer Cosi Dagostino.
It was his 13th win (along with five runner-up placings) from 20 starts and there’s the promise of plenty more to come.