Ronan Izmir winning the Bendigo Cup earlier in the year. Pic: Clint Anderson
By Ryan Reynolds, Geelong Advertiser, Monday 14 October 2013
ONE of country greyhound racing’s top rivalries is set to heat up again this week.
Paw Licking, trained by Kel Greenough, and Jason Thompson’s Ronan Izmir will be chasing Group glory in Friday’s Geelong Cup.
But first they must get through the heats at Beckley Park tonight.
There is a lot on the line for both in the Geelong Cup. They sit on two country cup victories each this season and the first chaser to score a trifecta of wins will earn a $50,000 bonus.
In an intense battle between the pair, Paw Licking beat Ronan Izmir in the Shepparton Cup to level the score at two country cups each.
Earlier, Ronan Izmir got the upper hand in the Warrnambool Cup.
“We have been getting in each other’s way,” Thompson said.
“He (Paw Licking) stopped us at Shepparton and we will both be trying to do the same thing.
“They’ve been in a few finals together and they are both talented dogs and that’s why they have won two country cups each.
“You start to chase the bonus once you have won two country cups. With Ronan doing it early on, each one we aim to get that bonus.
“Ronan is going good and he used to hold the course record there (Beckley Park). I think he is a chance to make the final.”
There are a lot of similarities between the two dogs.
They are both talented go-forward chasers and are trained from the same street in Pearcedale.
“We drive straight past (Jason’s house) on the way to the races,” Greenough said. “There’s not much between the two dogs. It’s been evenly matched so far.”
Greenough expects all eight heats to be hotly contested.
“It’s outstanding, the heats, they are top quality,” he said.
“They are probably the best I have seen.
“It’s not easy beating the best, but it will be an outstanding series.
“I haven’t won a Geelong Cup yet, which isn’t good.”
The bunny is set to roll in the first at Beckley Park at 7.07pm.