By Luke Corda
Koblenz further highlighted his status a serious contender for this year’s TAB Melbourne Cup with a breathtaking win yesterday at Sandown Park.
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.
Later in the card track specialist Barooga Smoke punched his ticket to the TAB Melbourne Cup heats he took out the ’50 Day Countdown’ special event in a quick time of 29.21. Click here to hear from trainer Brooke Ennis post-win.
Earlier on, talk of the racing world Wow She’s Fast navigated her way through a poor start to score an eight-length victory which improved her record to a flawless three from three.
Next Thursday’s racing is highlighted by the first TAB Melbourne Cup Prelude series. Greyhounds must compete in a Prelude or win an exemption race to be eligible for Cup heats.