By Jason Adams and Luke Corda
We’re all aware of the supreme talent that is Wow She’s Fast and the start she’s made to her career.
She’s three from three and yet to show signs that she’s not going to be a future star of the sport. In the process she’s become the fastest Maiden winner ever at Sandown Park and has put a combined gap of 43 lengths on her opposition.
There’s a bit for us to learn as to how she’ll handle herself in high quality fields but what we’ve witnessed so far is damn good.
Her trainers Kel and Jackie Greenough won’t be rushing her progression or taking any risks as she’s now at Grade 5 level and open to coming up against an experienced and high class fields. They’ll be making the most of the restricted win options that are available.
We’ve seen similar starts to a career and similar times from the stars of our sport but very few have generated the interest she has.
Why? It’s hard to specify. But it’s clear she’s making waves stronger than that of even the likes of Aston Rupee.
On Thursday we saw a different dimension to her as she overcame early challenges to win again. And didn’t it strike a chord amongst her fans!
On the same card Barooga Smoke cemented his spot in TAB Melbourne Cup heats and Koblenz confirmed that he’s a leading contender for the world’s greatest greyhound race, the TAB Melbourne Cup.
Barooga Smoke began well from box 1 then held out pressure from his outer to settle in a good position and from there went on to win comfortably in a fast time of 29.21.
It was his first win at Sandown Park since he took out the Easter Gift last April for former trainer Brett Nye. It was also his first city win for new trainer Brooke Ennis.
“He came to the kennel from Brett (Nye) who did a great job with him – we gave him a bit of time off to settle in. He loves this place, it was good to draw box 1 and he did well,” said Ennis.
Barooga Smoke is now exempt into heats of the world’s greatest greyhound race on Friday November 19. He will race in the lead up but plans are not set in stone.
“At the moment we’ll just make sure he’s fit and sound leading up to the heats. He’ll race between now and then but we haven’t decided where that’ll be.”
The TAB Melbourne Cup is a race the Ennis clan have been a part of but not yet able to conquer. The family have had four finalists – Brooke had Zipping Meg (2015), husband Jamie had Ocatre (2009) and Matt Machine (2016) and his father Gary had Enry Walt (2011).
“We’ve had a few runners with some bad boxes. It’s a hard race to win and you need draws to fall your way. We’ll aim for it again, we hope to win it one day!”
Koblenz further highlighted his status a serious contender for this year’s TAB Melbourne Cup with a breathtaking win.
He speared from the boxes to record a red-hot first split of 4.93 – just half a length off the record set by Fernando Bale and Black Magic Opal – making him equal 8th fastest ever.
Despite a strong challenge from Keep It Blue, Koblenz proved too classy which was much to the delight of his trainer David Geall.
‘’It’s a massive relief every time these good dogs go around – whatever place they’ve run, first or last,” said Geall.
‘’This was his first ‘500’ metre run in over five weeks so that’s why I feel relieved.’’
Koblenz, or ‘Jaidyn’ as he’s known named after former Collingwood star Jaidyn Stephenson, completed the 515m in 29.16 which puts him in the top 15 fastest winners this year.
Considering his strong form of late, Geall surprised many when he opted not to nominate Koblenz in the ’50 Day Countdown’ special event later in the evening which carried exemption into the TAB Melbourne Cup heats.
‘’He’d been off for a few weeks after a minor injury at Cranbourne. He had only had a 385m at Shepparton and we thought he was a bit underdone.”
‘’This was a more suitable race because if he was two or three lengths off his game, he’d still get away with it.’’
Following the win Koblenz firmed from $12 into $10 with TAB to win the world’s greatest greyhound race on Friday November 26.
Koblenz will now target heats of the Cranbourne Cup on October 22 which kicks off the Metro Festival of Racing.
Next Thursday’s racing is highlighted by the opening TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude series. Greyhounds must compete in a Prelude or win an exemption race to be eligible for Cup heats.