WA Stars Ready For Group 1 Victorian Onslaught

WE know that Western Australia can produce a very good greyhound and a few of them will be on show on Thursday night at Sandown Park.

Mick Floyd

6 May 2021

WE know that Western Australia can produce a good greyhound.

Sandi’s Me Mum, Miata and Premium Share have all crossed the Nullarbor to win a Group 1 at Sandown Park, and more recently, Tommy Shelby has swept all before him in what had become one of the longest – and most successful – road trips in racing history.

Tommy Shelby is returning for a crack at the Group 1 Harrison-Dawson next Thursday night, and this time he’s not alone.

Sunset Spitfire, Star Book and Barefoot Tycoon will all trial between races on Thursday night in preparation for May feature race assignments.

But it begs the question, just how good are they?

To find out, we spoke to the number one man when it comes to all things WA greyhounds – the one and only Peter O’Neill – and if he’s right, we’re in for a treat over the next four weeks.

Sunset Spitfire
Trainer (WA): David Hobby
Trainer (Vic): Lyn Smith
Record: 15 starts 14-0-0
Prize money: $91,295
Trialling: Over 515m after race 1
In preparation for: Group 1 Harrison-Dawson
Current TAB price: $8 equal favourite
Did you know? He’s a perfect 10 from 10 over 520m at Cannington

Peter O’Neill says: “Sunset Spitfire is a flying machine. Incredible early speed, he trialled really quick at The Meadows late last year ahead of the Silver Chief (29.52) but was sore in his heat. He’s undefeated in WA and led from box 8 to beat Tommy Shelby last Saturday night. He’d go close to 29.00 on your track.”

Star Book
Trainer (WA): Jamie Marsh
Trainer (Vic): Brett Bravo
Record: 45 starts 22-5-7
Prize money: $133,357
Trialling: Over 515m after race 3
In preparation for: Group 1 Sapphire Crown
Current TAB price: $17
Did you know? Has run at Listed level nine times in her career (one win)

Peter O’Neil says: “Star Book is probably in our top 3 sprinters in Western Australia. Will step right out of the boxes and prefers an outside draw – would have started one of the favourites for the Perth Cup if she hadn’t of draw box 2. Won the Mandurah Oaks last year. She’d go 29.50 here at Cannington (Tiggerlong Tonk recently won the Perth Cup in 29.76)”

Barefoot Tycoon
Trainer (WA): Enzo Crudeli
Trainer (Vic): Andrea Dailly
Record: 19 starts 7-6-2
Prize money: $55,190
Trialling: Over 515m after race 4
In preparation for: Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup
Current TAB price: $21
Did you know? Races in blinkers

Peter O’Neil says: “Barefoot Tycoon has run some really good times over the 600m and 715m at Cannington. He can be hit or miss, but on the arm is a very, very quick dog. Probably around a 41.60 dog over here, so not far behind Zack Monelli.”

Speaking of Zack Monelli, he’ll trial over 595m between races on Sunday.

Zack Monelli
Trainer (WA): David Hobby
Trainer (Vic): Lyn Smith
Record: 49 starts 26-9-3
Prize money: $319,854
Trialling: Over 595m on Sunday
In preparation for: Group 1 RSN Sandown Cup
Current TAB price: $4.20
Did you know? Has contested group races from 490m to 725m

Peter O’Neill says: “He’s undefeated in six starts over 715m at Cannington and was beaten for the first time over 600m last start at Cannington after he found all sorts of trouble. He holds the track record over 600m at Cannington and the 490m record at Mandurah. He also has the second fastest 715m time behind Tornado Tears. He’s a very speedy dog – he would also hold the 275m record at Cannington if they took into account his first split over 715m. If you put him one on one with Sunset Spitfire I don’t know which one I’d back. I don’t think he’s a proper 700m dog, but I reckon he’ll give your 595m record a shake.”