Just when it seemed he may have needed a freshen-up from racing, Dyna Villa reminded all of his talents with a stunning performance at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Exactly one week after being run down by Above All in the Group 1 AJS Corporation Silver Chief at The Meadows, the Jenny Hunt-trained Victorian sprinter emerged the equal fastest of the eight Group 1 Paws Of Thunder heat winners, clocking a time of 29.64sec over the 520m.
“He had every chance to win the Silver Chief but was beaten by a very good dog (Above All) on the night,” said trainer Jenny Hunt.
“He might have just had an off night that night, and it’s a reminder that greyhounds aren’t robots… they’re like people, anyone can have an off night.”
“I’m just glad he has regained his best form again. He has pulled up well after his heat win and we look forward to Saturday night.”
Dyna Villa (pictured), who in November won the world’s richest greyhound race – the $600,000 Group 1 TAB Melbourne Cup – is one of four Victorian-trained greyhounds to make the Paws Of Thunder final along with Andrea Dailly-trained trio Kerrigan Bale, Maximum Lil and Spring Leaf.
While Dyna Villa has been installed the favourite at $2.50 with TAB after drawing Box 8 in the final, Hunt was about to predict his fortunes.
“I never try to predict the outcomes of races and I don’t even bet. I just hope he goes well because if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that there are no certainties in racing,” the Lara trainer said.
2015 GROUP 1 PAWS OF THUNDER (520m)
Saturday 17 January. First prize: $100,000
1. ASSERTIVE BELLA (Jason Mackay, NSW)
2. KERRIGAN BALE (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
3. SPRING LEAF (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
4. COOLABAH JET (Jodie Lord, NSW)
5. WHITTAKER (Julie Fletcher, NSW)
6. SHOULDERS (Anthony Azzopardi, NSW)
7. MAXIMUM LIL (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
8. DYNA VILLA (Jenny Hunt, Vic)
9. ZIPPING TARN (Anthony Azzopardi, NSW)
10. DYNA DOUBLE ONE (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
Wentworth Park also hosted two heats of the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) on Saturday night with Victorian-trained duo Starc and Space Star victorious in 42.47sec and 42.20sec respectively.
Space Star, trained by Robert Britton, is currently a $1.40 favourite with TAB.
2015 GROUP 2 SUMMER PLATE (720m)
Saturday 17 January. First prize: $40,000
1. STARC (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
2. SMOOTH NUMBER (Allen Hansen, NSW)
3. SERENA NIMBUS (Neville Brown, NSW)
4. DOUBLE RINSE (Andrea Dailly, Vic)
5. ZIPPING RORY (Peter Dapiran, Vic)
6. BIG KAT (Carl Schlensog, Vic)
7. PUMPED UP ZARR (Neil Staines, NSW)
8. SPACE STAR (Robert Britton, Vic)
9. RARAMURI (Ian Morgan, NSW)
10. JOANE (Christine Proctor, NSW)
Paws Of Thunder Heat Replays
Watch: Space Star (8) wins in 42.20sec