VICTORIAN owned and bred pup Wandy Neg powered his way into this week’s M A Morgan St Leger final with an awesome win in his heat at Tattersall’s Park in Hobart last night.
Wandy Neg was having only his second start in the state, coming off an impressive 9-1/2 length win in a juvenile in Hobart a week earlier.
While his winning margin in his St Leger heat was only two lengths it was how he still managed to win the race that impressed most.
The dog began fairly from box two but was unable to hold out Rob Pines (4) and Rusty Nails (3) and ended up running up behind them nearing the home turn with Pendle Beri (8) looming large out wide.
Despite being almost stopped in his tracks, the dog forged through a gap turning for home, gained the lead and went on to win comfortably.
Wandy Neg (El Galo-Sophia’s Destiny) had only modest form in Victoria prior to making the venture across Bass Strait.
At his first run over the 461 metre trip in Hobart he clocked 26.02s and despite being held up in last Thursday night’s heat he still managed to stop the clock at 26.11.
Novice trainer Brendan Pursell could box the testing material for Wandy Neg in the final.
Pursell prepares Lika Whisper that scorched his way around the U-turn circuit in 26.02, leading all the way to score by over three lengths.
Lika Whisper won a grade four in Hobart two starts prior leading all the way but this was clearly against far superior opposition.
The dog has had only three starts in the state winning twice in Hobart and Pursell, who has only been training greyhounds for about four months, has been a regular visitor to the winner’s circle.
Pursell was a talented harness trainer but business commitments prevented him from going on with preparing a small team of horses but the switch to greyhound training has been a natural and profitable transition.
Lika Whisper was in arguably the toughest of the two heats with Sandbanker, Pudzianowski, Riley Diary and Denersur all proven performers in grade four and five company in recent months.
The final promises to be a great race but if Lika Whisper can mirror this latest effort he could be the one to beat.
Box draw for St Leger final:
1 – Pudzianowski.
2 – Pendle Beri.
3 – Rob Pines.
4 – Wandy Neg.
5 – Brumby Bomber.
6 – Awesome Naz.
7 – Lika Whisper.
8 – Rusty Nails.
9 – Riley Diary.
10 – Irinka Jarryd.