Saturday night is the culmination of the $1.3M Australian Cup Carnival, with greyhound breeders Nicole and Sean Cachia excited to have their first Group 1 contender Ima Misha Doll (pictured above box eight) in the $145,000 Superstayers (725m).
The Anakie couple’s minds wont solely be focussed on the massive night they will be part of at The Meadows, however, as Ima Misha Doll’s mother Lever Footprint is due to have her next litter of puppies to My Bro Fabio that very night.
“We will be there for our first Group 1 on Saturday night. Nicole’s mum will come around to look after Indy (Lever Footprint) in case she goes into labour. She has a lot of breeding experience so she’ll be in good hands. Hopefully it is a successful night all around,” Sean Cachia said.
In the heats of the Superstayers Ima Misha Doll stole the spotlight when she jumped from box eight in her first start over the 725 metre journey at The Meadows. It was a shock win from a punters perspective with the white and black greyhound paying $23.40 for the win (Replay).
“I was 50/50 heading into the race, it was always in the back of my head that she could lead for a long way especially if there was trouble behind her,” Sean explained.
“When she gave up the lead on the first turn I thought she could finish in the top three, but I was hopeful that she would keep coming down the home straight.”
After 10 years in the sport Sean and Nicole couldn’t be any more proud of Ima Misha Doll, who they had in their care for six months prior to going to the rearers and then into the care of trainer Heather Collins.
“Billie (Ima Misha Doll) was the last pick of the litter; it was Nicole that really pushed to keep her,” he said.
“Lever Footprint (pictured earlier this heavily pregnant) was a quick box dog, so when we put her to College Causeway I was expecting 500 metre dogs from her first litter. To have Billie running over 700 is exciting. I think the longer distance could really be her caper.”
Ima Misha Doll has raced over middle distances at Sandown (595m) and The Meadows (600m) six times over the past six months for three wins and three minor placings. Her most impressive victory was her debut over 600 metres at The Meadows from box 4 in a best of the night time of 34.68s (Replay).
At 8.38pm on Saturday Ima Misha Doll will line up from box six (Race 6) alongside Star Recall and Lioness Lulu, with the trio all returning to the 725 metre trip in the Group 1 $145,000 Superstayers for just their second start over 700+ metres.
“Ima Misha Doll has the speed to lead and if she is out in front she can run her own race. I would rather her be in front because she is only small (24.7 kg),” he said.
“Star Recall (box 5) is the dog to beat though. She is also pretty quick early; it’s her second start over the 700 so you don’t know how it will affect her second time around either.”
$145,000 GROUP 1 SUPERSTAYERS (725m)
The Meadows, Saturday night March 5
$100,000 (1st), $30,000 (2nd), $15,000 (3rd)
1 LIONESS LULU (Mark Giddings, Toolleen)
2 NO DONUTS (Anthony Azzopardi, Londonderry)
3 ESPARZA (Jamie Ennis, Lara)
4 DEWANA BABE (Matthew Dewan, Carrum Downs)
5 STAR RECALL (Jeff Britton, Anakie) Won heat in 42.317sec
6 IMA MISHA DOLL (Heather Collins, Lara)
7 BEKS (Patrick Bouchier, Dennington)
8 TAMBAY BALE (Mark Delbridge, Balliang)
9 CHRICHTON BALE (Darren Fisher, Lara)
10 RING THE BELL (Gerard O’Keefe, Neerim Junction)
WATCH: Ima Misha Doll surrendered the early lead before reeling in Lioness Lulu to win a heat of the Group 1 Superstayers in 42.84sec.