Former top prospect Zara’s Entity returns to the track tomorrow night.
The Kel Greenough trained chaser burst onto the scene in June 2017, winning six of her first 10 starts including a brilliant 29.27 victory at Sandown Park followed by the group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic. She ran third behind Bewildering in the Speed Star soon after and made two more group finals before coming on season following a heat of the TAB Melbourne Cup.
And so begun a a run of frustrating setbacks.
“Three times in the space of four months she came on season,” said Greenough.
“Obviously that’s a bit weird, and she wasn’t having a full season, so I took her to (greyhound vet) Barbara Backhoy and I asked to her to check her out to see if there’s any cysts on her ovaries that were causing the problem.
“Sure enough there was so Barbara cleaned her up and she had a full season after that. We then had to wait one more time so she’s actually come on season four times in around about six months period.”
Greenough stepped her up to the middle distance in her first campaign after eight months on the sidelines, recording a brilliant 34.01 victory at her first 595m start at Sandown Park. That performance was enough to qualify her for another tilt at a Speed Star where she would meet a rampaging Tornado Tears before, to the frustration of all involved, she again came on season.
Now, two months shy of her fourth birthday, she’s set for one last campaign.
“She’s never lost any zest for racing,” Greenough continued.
“She’s probably not going as good as she was, but her last couple of trials have been nice enough to say she’s ready to race again – I wouldn’t race her if I didn’t think she’d run okay.
“I trialled her at Warragul last Friday and she went 25.73 – the quickest she’s gone is probably 25.60 – so she’s not that far off, and the run home was enormous. She had a ‘500’ the week before at Sandown only ran 29.70 after getting tangled up with another dog, but again with a fast run home.
“She’ll need a trouble free run to have any sort of chance because she’s been out for so long, but Robbie Britton’s dog (Tornado Tears) did it Saturday night (winning the group 1 Zoom Top after a five month layoff), so that gave me encouragement.
“I don’t expect a long more lot racing out her because of her age, and she’ll come on season probably in another couple of months knowing what’s happened.”
A breeding career beckons when she does come on season, and owner/breeder Michael Barry has already picked out boom sire Fernando Bale for her first mating.
Two races before Zara’s Entity makes her return to the track, kennel mate Never Duplicated will jump from box 7 in her debut over 715m.
The daughter of champion stayer Sweet It Is has strung together three consecutive wins over the middle distance journey including a slick 34.05 over 595m at Sandown Park two weeks ago, however Greenough is cautious about her chances on Thursday night.
“She’s drawn up against Brendan Pursell’s bitch Sweet As Em who goes really well, and she looks like she’s probably a couple lengths quicker than Never Duplicated.
“She doesn’t seem to go as good from an outside draw as an inside box because she seems to find the lead easier from the inside. Off an outside draw she still wants to get across, so that she has to get across and being her first 700, she is going to get tired.
“But she’s surprised both me and the owners considering she didn’t break in particularly quickly, so to be where she is at the moment we’re pretty happy with her.”
Click here for your free form guide for Thursday night’s meeting.
Zara’s Entity (1) runs 34.01 on her 595m debut