Barooga Smoke booked his spot in TAB Melbourne Cup heats with a faultless win in yesterday’s ‘50 Day Countdown’ feature.
He 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!”
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.
Earlier in the card Koblenz, one of the leading contenders for the world’s greatest greyhound race, produced an electric win in a fast time of 29.16 but it was his first split of 4.93 that turned heads. It was just 0.03sec off the record held by Fernando Bale and Black Magic Opal. Click here for the reaction from trainer David Geall.
Wow She’s Fast impressed yet again when she kickstarted the program with a tough win. For the first time she was challenged early however handled it with class. It was her third win from as many starts and is already one of the sport’s most popular sprinters.