Zack stakes claim as WA’s top stayer

\"\"Caption: David Hobby (trainer), Dennis O’Brien (Greyhounds WA) and Miata winner Zack Monelli.

WA wrap by James Broadhurst

ZACK Monelli staked his claim as the best stayer in the state with his victory in the recent Group 3 Miata over 715m at Cannington.

With the retirement of his fellow David Hobby-trained kennelmate Flake Monelli, the title of the best in the west is up for grabs and Zack Monelli presented his case when he captured his first piece of Group race silverware.

After a decent jump Zack Monelli overhauled Wicked Rhythm as they passed the post the first time and then kicked away to a handy break in the back straight.

A late challenge from South Australian raider Line Seeker made things interesting in the concluding stages, but Zack Monelli had just enough left in the tank to hold on and score by a neck in 41.89.

The victory was Zack Monelli’s fifth win in a row and continued a remarkable comeback following a long-term injury.

It was also testament to the savvy of Hobby, whose decision to convert the greyhound into a stayer has proven to be successful.

Zack Monelli made a big impression as a late-charging sprinter at the start of 2020; he flashed home to grab second place in the Perth Cup and not long after set the 490m track record at Mandurah.

A hock injury caused him to miss most of the second half of the year but he’s found the transition to distance racing much to his liking since his return to the track.

“He’s probably not a genuine stayer, he’s probably more a strong sprinter,” Hobby said.

“Those sort of dogs can generally find it after a few runs and he’s done well.”

HOBBY seized other feature race trophy when Sunset Toxic took out the Sandi’s Me Mum Memorial (520m) at Cannington in mid-February.

The meeting marked a return to racing following a short break here in WA due to a CO-VID shutdown.

The weather was a factor on the night as an unseasonal drenching meant a heavy track and slow times throughout the night.

But the conditions didn’t bother Sunset Toxic.

He bounced to the lead from box three and that was the only break he needed as he held the rest of the field at bay for the remainder of the journey.

Sunset Toxic rolled on to cross the finish line more than three lengths ahead of kennelmate Le Jury Monelli in a best-on-night time of 30.35.

CANYA Cruise shattered the long standing 405m track record at Mandurah on January 29.

The blue fawn speedster clocked 22.14 to obliterate the previous mark of 22.22 set by Quartz Bale in October 2014.

With his booming early pace Canya Cruise has been a wonderful addition to the kennels of Krystal and Steve Shinners since he arrived from Queensland late last year.

After racking up impressive record in his home state Canya Cruise has continued in similar fashion in Western Australia.

He has been a regular winner and has rarely missed a podium finish here in the west.

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