Group 1-winning trainer Geoff Scott-Smith is hopeful blueblood King Colt (pictured. photo credits Jason McKeown Photography Facebook link HERE) will make an overdue return to the winner’s list in Friday night’s $10,000 to-the-winner Winter Cup Final (520m) at Geelong.
A son of the great Brett Lee, King Colt, which is raced by NSW breeder Tanya Nieuwendyk, is the only greyhound in Scott-Smith’s racing team that doesn’t carry the Dundee prefix, which celebrates the Scottish city where Scott-Smith was born.
Since completing an impressive city hat-trick in May – clocking 29.48 at Sandown Park and 30.06 and 30.23 at The Meadows – King Colt has endured an 11-race drought, although he put the writing on the wall with a strong-finishing second to Mepunga Bella in his Winter Cup heat.
WATCH: Mepunga Bella (box three) defeat King Cold (Box two) in heat one of the Geelong Winter Cup which was run last Thursday night.
“King Colt is owned by Tanya Nieuwendyk from Bathurst. Tanya’s partner Glenn Starr is related to Trent Anderson, who reared Dundee Osprey and Dundee Calypso for me,” Scott-Smith explained.
“Trent sent me a couple of dogs and Glenn and Tanya sent me King Colt and a couple of his sisters, which have returned to NSW now.
“King Colt can really motor and early on he was a really good dog but then he started missing the kick and when you get up against the top dogs you can’t do that.
“He won three in a row in town at one stage but then he went up to free-for-all and bad boxes against good opposition was a different kettle of fish. He did run second to Mepunga Blazer at Sandown one night, which was a good run, and I was really impressed with his run at Geelong last week. He’s one of those dogs that needs things to go his way.”
Three heats of the Winter Cup were conducted, with Not Available, trained by Robert Britton, and King Colt’s conqueror Mepunga Bella, prepared by Britton’s brother Jeff, both running 29.80, while Andrea Dailly’s Dyna Gertie ran 29.94.
While Scott-Smith was impressed with King Colt’s heat placing, he admits he’ll need luck on his side after drawing box five for the final.
“There’s no favours with the draw. It’s a tough ask from the five,” he lamented.
“Not Available, which is in box three, pinged out last week and will be hard to beat.
“Time-wise, there isn’t much in it; he was only a length or so off them. He’s got a really good turn of foot from mid-race but he really needs to lead to win so he’s just got to get out of those boxes. He’s definitely capable but he needs a bit of luck in running.”
Scott-Smith enjoyed the ride of his greyhound racing life with the now-retired all distance dynamo Dundee Osprey, a three-time Group 1 winner of the Topgun, Harrison-Dawson and Sale Cup and runner-up to champion Fanta Bale in the Sandown Cup, which is now standing at stud.
“He’s enjoying his retirement and he’s served 13 or 14 bitches so far,” Scott-Smith said.
“I’ve put a few of mine to him. I’ve got some pups that are about nine months old out of Dundee Kestrel, which is a litter sister to Dundee Calypso (multiple Group 1 finalist), and they’re looking really nice.”