Against two champions of the sport Shot To Bits proved himself to be one of the brightest young stars in greyhound racing on Saturday night winning the Group 3 TopCat Video Cup (725m) at The Meadows.
It was a performance that captivated, excited and enthralled greyhound racing fans. The race was built as a battle of the champions with Xylia Allen and Sweet It Is continuing their rivalry but it was Shot To Bits that blitzed the star-studded field to land the biggest pay day of trainer Paul Ryder’s career.
The performance was all the more impressive due to how the race was run. Xylia Allen speared to the lead in her customary way, and Sweet It Is was well-positioned in the home straight to unleash her trademark burst to the line. Shot To Bits not only stormed past Xylia Allen, he also out stayed Sweet It Is – a remarkable feat.
Shot To Bits is the first greyhound that the Corio-based Ryder has put the polish on and he calls the greyhound his ‘best mate’ and the ‘son he never had’.
Ryder works full-time as well as training his greyhounds and was still pinching himself about the victory this morning.
“It was a very proud moment and I’m still smiling,” Ryder said on Monday.
“I was still shocked after the race. You can’t go into that race with the champions that were in it and say he would win.
“After they crossed the line I just stood there behind the boxes stunned. I didn’t know what to do because I’d never been in that position before and it was really nice because the other handlers all came up and congratulated me.”
Although Ryder was shocked after the race, he did mention that he told his father after the previous week’s heat that Shot To Bits was a big chance to win the race.
“He ran wide in his heat when he was in front and when he straightened up he didn’t lose too much ground so I knew if he kept on the rail he would improve.
“I actually told my Dad after the heat that he would be a good chance to win the final but I was still shocked that he did!”
Shot To Bits won the TopCat Video Cup in a time of 42.762 seconds beating home Sweet It Is and Xylia Allen. He is a track-record holder over Bendigo’s 660m journey and with the $25,000 first-prize on Saturday night has now amassed more than $70,000 in career earnings.
The story of Shot To Bits will continue this Thursday night as he is engaged in Race 6 at Sandown in a Grade 5 heat over 715m circuit.
LISTEN: Paul Ryder speaks to Chrisso and McGuane on RSN Breakfast
PIC: Shot To Bits with trainer Paul Ryder after the TopCat Video Cup – courtesy Paul Munt