Better Than This has defied all odds to achieve coursing greatness and win consecutive Waterloo Cups at Longwood today for co-trainers Ashlee Terry and Andrew Paraskevas.
Exactly 100 years since a greyhound named Brown Hawk collected the double by winning the 1916 & 1917 Waterloo Cups, Better Than This put his name in the history books once again by defeating Night Attack (Leigh Howard) by three lengths.
To win the Waterloo Cup, greyhounds must course one-on-one six times in the space of two days without defeat in what is greyhound racing’s ultimate test of speed and stamina. It also requires training excellence with regard to managing your greyhound.
One of 50 entries in the 2017 Waterloo Cup (up from 36 in 2016), Better Than This joins a small handful of greyhounds to have won the race twice, while GRV Hall of Fame inductee, Byamee is the only greyhound to have won it three times (1953-55).
On a day in which a greyhound adoption day was held in Bendigo, it’s incredible to think that little over 12 months ago Better Than This was destined for that very path. The son of Knocka Norris and Father Of Mine was booked into the Greyhound Adoption Program before a last-minute decision to try him at coursing, and now he is a bona fide champion courser.
WATCH: The 2017 Waterloo Cup final plus post-race interview with Ashlee Terry.
“Coursing is such a great avenue for greyhounds and if it wasn’t for coursing this dog wouldn’t be racing at all. He simply wouldn’t perform very well behind a mechanical lure, so we decided to try and course him at Lang Lang last year because they use a drag lure there, and he turned into a completely different dog when we raced him there,” Terry said.
With this year’s Waterloo Cup being at Longwood, where a mechanical lure is used, Terry was in two minds about allowing her star try to defend his title.
“We weren’t going to enter him this year because it’s a mechanical lure here at Longwood and he hasn’t won on a rail track in his life. But I really need to thank the Longwood Coursing Club because they allowed us to trial him here a few weeks ago behind a drag lure. We felt we needed to do that because we needed him to simulate the conditions at Longwood with the conditions at Lang Lang, and it worked,” she said.
Co-trainer Andrew Paraskevas said he was overwhelmed with the support he and Ashlee had received across the two days.
“It has felt like people have come out of the trees to help us all weekend. It is extremely humbling that everyone in coursing is willing to go out of their way help each other, and I can’t thank you all enough,” he said.
Better Than This, who was bred and is owned by the Sparkle And Fade Syndicate, collected a first prize of $12,970, while Night Attack earned the runner-up cheque of $3,875.
This was the 144th running of the Waterloo Cup, which concludes Victoria’s 2017 coursing season. The final was streamed live on GRV’s Facebook Page, in a first for Greyhound Racing Victoria and the National Coursing Association.