DAMEK proved he had recovered from another luckless interstate trip with a brilliant win in a heat of the Tasmanian St Leger at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night.
The Eileen Thomas-trained dog began brilliantly from box four and had a commanding lead turning for home.
He had enough in reserve to hold out smart pup Mr Isaac, scoring by over a length with Elite Strike over five lengths away third.
Damek sizzled over the 461 metres in 25.96s which was a personal best from his five outings on the U-bend track.
The dog ventured across Bass Strait a few months ago only to suffer injuries at his only two outings at Sandown and the Meadows.
Two weeks ago he was again tried at The Meadows only to finish last as a result of an injury received during the race.
His owner Peter Phillips said there are no more interstate trips planned in the immediate future.
“The injury he suffered at his latest outing in Melbourne was very minor,” Phillips said.
“I’m sure he just doesn’t take to travelling so we are happy to keep him racing in Tassie and not worry about going interstate in the near future,” he said.
Damek (Big Daddy Cool-World’s Finest) clocked his quickest time on the Hobart track and it was less than two lengths slower than Tenacious Ted’s track record of 25.86 which was set in April last year.
However Damek’s time was the best recorded by a Tasmanian bred dog.
Damek has raced 16 times in Tasmania for 15 wins and a second with his only defeat at the hands of Tombstone Jack in the state final of the National Sprint Championship series in Launceston.
Mushy Peas proved he will be a threat in the final with another powerful front-running display in his heat.
The Gary Johnson-trained dog won at Devonport last Tuesday week winning in similar style.
“The dog is racing well and he’ll be a chance in the final,” Johnson said.
Mushy Peas backed up well from his Devonport win two days prior, leading throughout and hit the line over three lengths clear of outsider Top Choice with Regent Typhoon over five lengths astern.
Johnson has raced the dog sparingly on the Hobart track with this latest outing only his fifth try but it was his third win and he was placed at his two other starts on the circuit.
Mushy Peas has legitimate claims on the St Leger final along with Mr Issues but if Damek does everything right and the track is as hot this week as it was last Thursday night then he will be the one to beat and he could own the record after the race.
St Leger final Box Draw:
1 – Mushy Peas
2 – Posh Luke
3 – Damek
4 – Lenny James
5 – Elite Strike
6 – Regent Typhoon
7 – Mr Issues
8 – Top Choice
9 – National Vision
10 – Colma.