Fastest heat winner Aqua Cheetah looks the one to beat after again drawing box eight in the Group 1 Crownbet Megastar at Dapto next Thursday.
Aqua Cheetah jumped from box eight to win his heat last Thursday in 29.72, defeating Riley Tokaam. If Aqua Cheetah snares the $75,000 winner's cheque this Thursday he will lift his earnings past $300,000.
Aqua Cheetah is trained in Victoria by Seona Thompson and owned in partnership by Ian Robertson, his wife Tia and their friend Mark Morgan. Robertson bred Aqua Cheetah from Dalta Bale, a greyhound who was presented to him as a gift.
“Margaret Bannerman trained Dalta Bale and when she finished racing she gave her to me in return for a couple of pups from each of the greyhound's litters,” Robertson said. “I trained Aqua Cheetah early in his career and after a stint in Sydney he went to Seona Thompson. Leading Sydney trainer Jason Mackay has been Aqua Cheetah's caretaker trainer for the Dapto campaign and it was Jason's greyhound Riley Tokaam we beat in the heat. I really wanted Aqua Cheetah in box eight in the final, he loves it out wide.”
Jodie Lord, who supplied four of last week's eight Canberra Cup finalists including the winner Champion Model, qualified three greyhounds for the Megastar, including Rohan Hill who won his heat in 29.89 and Asa Barboza who won in 30.22.
HUGE CHEER SQUAD
The Gunning-based trainer will also be represented by Zambora Cross, while Bombshell Bandit is first reserve. Lord won last year's Megastar with Let It Develop after taking out the 2016 Canberra Cup and is confident of landing the double again.
The other heat winner was Barking Bad who won his heat in 29.95. Barking Bad will have a huge cheer squad at Dapto on Thursday as he is owned by four bankers who plan to descend on the Illawarra track with their families to watch their first greyhound contest a Group 1 final.
Brad Crawford, head of the ownership syndicate which bought Barking Bad as a pup for only $1,500, has already requested that the six time group finalist becomes his family's pet when the greyhound's racing days are over. Barking Bad is a son of Ebby Miss, who has become one of the best producers in recent times.
Owner Michael Eberand bought the rather “scrawny” Ebby Miss at the urging of his teenage son Bradley and although she won only four races she has been brilliant at stud.
Eight of her offspring, Barking Bad, Ebby Ripper, Ebby Chance, Aussie Infrared, Utah Miss, Suffragette, Reichenbach and Lord Golec, have so far won more than $677,000 prizemoney.
Eberand, who trains Barking Bad is not concerned at his greyhound's box six draw on Thursday.
“Barking Bad's record shows his best boxes are five and six and he has a 50 per cent winning strike rate from box six,” Eberand said.
Box draw for the Group 1 Crownbet Megastar is: 1. Asa Barboza 2. Where Art Thou 3. Another Gangsta 4. Rohan Hill 5. Riley Tokaam 6. Barking Bad 7. Zambora Cross 8. Aqua Cheetah. Reserves: 9. Bombshell Bandit 10. Up Hill Jill.
Courtesy of Thedogs.com