Topgun Looms Large For Vic Peters Hero

Bandit Ned made it six starts for six wins at Wentworth Park when he bolted away with the G1 Vic Peters Classic on Saturday night in race record time.

Jeff Collerson

17 October 2021

Bandit Ned not only made it six starts for six wins at Wentworth Park when he bolted away with the group 1 Ladbrokes Vic Peters Classic on Saturday night but shattered the race record for the 520m final in the process.

The Jodie Lord-trained dog notched his 15th win in 18 starts when he led throughout from box six, rocketing over the 520m in 29.47, well inside the race record set by Zambora Brockie at 29.58 in 2015.

After the race a pair of Bandit Ned’s excited part-owners, solicitor Doug Lawman and former NRL star Corey Pearson, disclosed that the sensational youngster was just their third venture into greyhound racing.

Pearson, who played 174 NRL games with West Tigers, St George Dragons and Parramatta, said: “We are part of the Punters HQ Syndicate, managed by Joe Lannutti, and obviously this dog is by far the best we have owned.

“Doug and I are now so rapt up in this sport that we have shares in 16 greyhounds.

“My background is in thoroughbred racing as my father-in-law was the late Terry O’Leary, who was a highly successful racehorse trainer, while my wife Rebecca is also a former trainer of thoroughbreds.”

Zipping Kansas ran a mighty race to finish second, with the Jason Magri-trained youngster, just 26 months old, recording a sizzling 29.66 in taking out the runner’s up cheque.

Surprisingly Bandit Ned’s race record run was not the fastest 520m time of the night, with last week’s Sires On Ice Black Top winner Zipping Kyrgios winning the Free-For-All by over six lengths in 29.42.

Zipping Kyrgios, who does not turn three until January, rung up win number 21 at his 40th start for trainer John Finn after taking lead entering the first turn.

Miss Ezmae went within a tick of race record time too when she staged the best performance of her exciting career to take out Saturday night’s 720m GBOTA Sydney Cup.

The Jack Smith-trained Miss Ezmae maintained her unbeaten record in middle and long distance races when she came from fourth early and second on the back straight to win by nearly four lengths in 41.70.

Her time for the 720m was the second fastest in the race’s long history and was just .02sec outside the race record set by John Finn’s mighty Poco Dorado in 2018.

Jack Smith with Sydney Cup winner Miss Ezmae
After the Cup trainer Jack Smith said: “Even when Miss Ezmae was starting her career in sprints I had no doubt she would make a top class middle distance performer.
“But I wasn’t certain she would get 720m because you can never be sure until they go over that trip, although after she clocked track record times in three middle distance events I was pretty certain she would be equally as good as a stayer.”
There have not been many more popular group race wins than the victory of longshot Light And Lilly in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Peter Mosman Opal.

Light And Lilly gave her trainer Jordan Tweddle a birthday to remember as he turned 42 on Saturday.

Tweddle is the grandson of 81-year-old John Little, one of the sport’s most popular trainers for the past 50 years.

A beaming Little said on Saturday night: “Jordan was working for a company erecting guttering but when my wife died he quit his job to come and help me with my greyhounds.

“He is an absolutely tireless worker and after he joined up with me he secured his handler’s licence and then it wasn’t long before he got his trainer’s licence so this is his first group one winner.

“I have had several health issues in recent years and would probably not be involved with the dogs these days had Jordan not come to live with me and become a greyhound trainer.

“He has done a fine job with Light And Lilly, who has always been a fairly reliable beginner although she really nailed the start tonight.”

Light And Lilly was headed in the middle stages by favourite She’s Salacious, the first group one finalist for Wagga trainer Peter Sims, but she overhauled that greyhound half way down the straight to win in 29.89.