A super quick trial by Lightning Frank has created plenty of buzz among the locals ahead of tomorrow night’s heats of the $67,000 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup (450m).
A dual Group 1 winner in 2017, Lightning Frank has endured a number of injuries over the past 12 months, and after ‘below par’ performances in his past two runs, Allansford trainer Matthew Wright was beginning to wonder whether to retire his star.
“When a greyhound gets up in age (he’s three-and-a-half) and they put in a couple of underwhelming runs you do start to think about whether to retire them,” Wright said.
“But his trial last week gave me hope that he may be able to win another nice race. The problem is they don’t give these types of races away, and there is plenty of depth in his heat, even though Aston Dee Bee has been scratched.”
During his time off with injury last year, Lightning Frank stood with Paul and Michelle Westerveld at Meticulous Lodge alongside sires such as Barcia Bale, Fabregas and Fernando Bale.
“His trial last week gave me hope that he may be able to win another nice race.”
“Paul and Michelle were unbelievably helpful and gave me an insight into that part of the industry. I know they pushed really hard for the dog and would no doubt have invested their own money through advertising, so I can’t thank them enough.”
“Unfortunately, he (Lightning Frank) has only had three matings, including one of my brood matrons, as the timing probably wasn’t ideal with breeding numbers dropping in 2017. However, that has turned around now, which is great for the sport, and at least Lightning Frank showed he has a high fertility rate as two of his litters produced nine pups, while there were eight pups in his other litter.”
Wright said Lightning Frank is ‘perfectly drawn’ in box eight on Wednesday night, where he will look to add to his tally of 21 wins from 42 starts and $333,787 in prize money.
He is the $2.10 favourite in Race 8, which is scheduled for 9.27pm, ahead of Alpha Georgiou ($4) and Monster Fish ($5). A total of seven heats will be run, with the winners and fastest runner-up to qualify for the $47,000 to-the-winner final on May 2.