Lagogiane's Chase For Golden G1 Breakthrough

PETER Lagogiane has two victories in NSW’s richest race, the Million Dollar Chase, and on Saturday he’s taking aim at the state’s most prestigious.

PETER Lagogiane already boasts two victories in NSW's richest race, the Million Dollar Chase, and on Saturday night he's taking aim at the state's most prestigious greyhound trophy.

The former house painter from Sydney's west is striving to write another chapter in his rags to riches story when Nad Al Sheba contests the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Final (520m).

There would be no greater stage for Llandilo-based Lagogiane to celebrate his first Group 1 triumph, with the Million Dollar Chase not yet afforded Group status.


Nad Al Sheba (box 4), owned by Lagogiane, wife Jodie and sons Isaak and Bailey, occupies the third line of betting on the $350,000 to-the-winner Easter Egg at $6.

"Having an Easter Egg in the trophy cabinet would be nice, but having a million dollars in the bank – nothing compares to that!" Lagogiane laughed.

"Of course, you've got the money factor with the Million Dollar Chase, but I've grown up watching the Easter Egg and the champions that have won it – Rapid Journey, Brett Lee, Fernando Bale."

Nad Al Sheba, winner of 15 from 32, finishing unplaced only four times, won his Easter Egg semi-final in an airborne new Wentworth Park PB of 29.51.

Nad Al Sheba winning his Golden Easter Egg semi-final

However, he was upstaged by odds-on favourite Mackenna's blistering 29.28 performance.

"I think the pressure is on the favourite," Lagogiane said.

"The race is hers to lose, not ours to win.

"Mackenna has run 29.20 and 29.28 her last two goes and no dog in Australia is going to run her down if she's running that up front.

"But in any big race you've got to do everything right and our dog is on the improve and he's flying under the radar. 

"Box four is what it is. Good dogs can win from any draw, but the race will be won at box-rise.

"We go into the race expecting nothing and praying for the best."

Victory would be extra special, as Nad Al Sheba is a son of Beast Unleashed, which Lagogiane guided to victory in the 2018 G2 Launching Pad at Sandown Park.

The Easter Egg finalist is named after a region in Dubai, where Lagogiane's training kennels were located during a two-year stint in the United Arab Emirates.

"We bought the dog two years ago for our sons, Isaak and Bailey," Lagogiane explained.

"I told them they were getting something fast and they thought it was motorbikes!

"To my surprise, they said, ‘Dad, he's beautiful'."

Since returning from the UAE, Lagogiane has claimed dual Million Dollar Chase titles with Mystic Riot (2018) and Handsome Prince (2020).

He's also enjoyed Group race glory with the likes of French Martini, Barcia Blue Boy and Pay Call.

But a Group 1 title has thus far proven elusive.

If Nad Al Sheba can upset Mackenna, it will be a case of third time lucky for Lagogiane in the Easter Egg Final.

Federal Lilly was run down late as favourite by Zipping Bailey in 2019 and Vicki's Queen finished sixth to Tommy Shelby in 2021.

Saturday night will also be Nad Al Sheba's third appearance in a feature final, finishing runner-up in the G2 Maitland Cup, while he won the Listed The Collerson at Wentworth Park.

"We'll go in with a smile and we'll walk out with a smile, win, lose or draw."

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