Tiggerlong Tonk showed why he’s regarded as one of the country’s most exciting young sprinters with a comprehensive victory in last Thursday night’s star-studded edition of the Group 3 Easter Gift at the Sandown Park greyhounds.
With the race billed as having the best field seen in 2020, Tiggerlong Tonk was stepped cleanly before accelerating brilliantly to lead past the winning post the first time, and from there he was never headed. The son of TAB Melbourne Cup winner Dyna Double One put three lengths on his rivals entering the back straight, and extended that lead to six-and-a-half lengths in a scorching time of 29.14.
“When he jumps like that, that’s the dog he is,” said his beaming trainer Correy Grenfell straight after the big win.
“His last four or five starts he’s missed the kick and had to drive hard but tonight he’s gone to the front and shown us what he can do.”
Tiggerlong Tonk was the youngest greyhound in the field and, at just 26 months of age, has already won two group races and over $179,000 in prize-money. His early success on the track has already drawn comparisons to that of Grenfell’s 2018/19 ‘Greyhound of the Year’, Orson Allen.
“I think I compared them early days which I probably shouldn’t have, but this boy is going to be something special,” Grenfell said.
“If he can show the pace that he has, there’s no reason he can’t follow what Orson did.
“To be this young and beat the field he beat he did tonight is outstanding.”
Snags McKenzie ran second in the race, holding off TAB Australian Cup winner Fernando’s Riot.
Later in the night, 2019 Launching Pad winner Tauwitchere won her third consecutive race, this time over 595 metres in 34.18, while in Race 4 on the card Mister Harlewood continued to impress since stepping up the 715-metre trip, recording the 20th fastest time ever recorded over the distance when winning in 41.535.
Last week’s Easter Gift initially shaped as the farewell race for superstar TAB Melbourne Cup winner Whiskey Riot.
But after cracking a toenail in preparation for the event, he was scratched from the race and immediately retired to stud.
While the injury wasn’t severe, it was enough to prevent Whiskey Riot from taking his place in the race.
He officially retired as the ninth-highest prize-money earner in the history of the sport, and has already started his stud career at trainer Anthony Azzopardi’s Rowsley kennels.