Group 1 Glory For Dyna Weslyn
RACE favourite Dyna Weslyn pulled out all stops to stave off a fast finishing Shooter's Hill in Sunday's Silver Collar Final at Manukau Stadium.
10 June 2019
“I was really relieved when the line came up. From where I was standing I wasn’t sure if she had held on. Luckily she had enough left in the tank to nail the win,” commented a thankful Craig Roberts after his star stayer Dyna Weslyn gamely won Sunday’s running of the prestigious $100,000 Duke Of Edinburgh Silver Collar at the Manukau Stadium.
Dyna Weslyn started the demanding 779m staying test as the hot $1.40 favourite. She bounced straight into the race lead and she appeared to be cruising to her expected effortless Group 1 victory having built around a ten length lead on her rivals by the halfway stage.
That was until the stayers turned in for the run home when charging at her late was the $33 outsider Shooters Hill. The big boy (38kg) flew at Dyna Weslyn and he agonizingly came up a head short for his young trainer Sam Lozell.
As commentator Peter Earley, who called his 47th Silver Collar, said in his postrace wrap, “she was going up and down like she was on a pogo stick.”
Battling on solidly for his third placing 3.75 lengths further behind was the Victorian, Gerry O’Keefe prepared Vandagambo. He chased after the pacemaker for the final half of the race after striking some early traffic issues.
“Weslyn is a special wee dog, the complete racing package. She handles everything that’s thrown at her and I’m so proud and privileged to train her,” added Roberts about the Brendan Wheeler-owned greyhound.
Roberts advised that Dyna Weslyn will return to contest the Group 1 $30,000 NZ Stayers Cup on her home Addington track (June 28) where she recently shattered the 732m track record. This was a race that he mentored kennelmate Avenger Bale to win last year.
He also indicated that Dyna Weslyn will then be aimed towards the Australian Nationals Distance series in Perth which will see New Zealand trained greyhounds racing in for the first time. The New Zealand qualifers for both the sprint (520m) and distance (732m) races will be decided at the Addington Raceway on August 8.
It was an emotional occasion back at the podium for Lozell. His grandfather Max Matthews recently passed away. It was back in 1995 when Mathews trained Cuties Sister to win the Silver Collar. Lozell wasn’t even born then.
“Having a runner in the Silver Collar final has always been a dream for me ever since I was a kid. I’m absolutely stoked to have a stayer on the podium afterwards. I thought he was a chance of getting some of it when he improved racing around the final turn,” commented his 23 year old trainer, who also advised that Shooters Hill will also travel to Christchurch for the NZ Stayers’ Cup series.
Melbourne greyhound commentator James Van de Maat is the breeder and is a part owner of Vandagambo and he made the trip across the Tasman to support his stayer. “Rapt, that was great effort by the boy. It was fantastic to be part of such a prestigious race,” said Van de Maat, who also called two of the support races on the card.