The Warragul Toyota Cup will take centre stage on Saturday night, but there is no doubt all eyes will be on the Warragul Distance Cup with Rippin’ Sam making his long-awaited return to the race track.
Rippin’ Sam was sidelined for four months due to a broken sesamoid which saw him scratched from the Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup at The Meadows in September.
“Rest was a huge component in Rippin’ Sam’s recover,” trainer and Stud Master Brendan Pursell said.
“I also purchased a laser machine and have spent a lot of using that on him as well as plenty of walking at the beach.”
Rippin’ Sam’s strength in running is no secret which means a different approach to his racing comeback.
“He is obviously a naturally strong greyhound which means his preparation was different to a short courser.”
“He has had a couple of 500 metre trials, as well as post-to-post’s but he hasn’t had a trial or run over the 600 or 700 metres.”
“Finding a race for him to come back to is also difficult because I didn’t want to put him over 500 metres because doesn’t have any early speed, but I also didn’t want to put him over 700 plus metres because it would be too much for him. The 680 at Warragul was pretty much perfect.”
Saturday night will see Rippin’ Sam jump from box four in the $14,000 Warragul GRC Distance Cup against the likes of Equilibrium, Hot Tip and Dyna Chancer.
“He has never seen the Warragul track before but saying that he hadn’t seen Bendgio’s U-turn track before and he won by 10 lengths on debut,” Pursell said.
“I think Dyna Chancer is the one to beat on Saturday night for obvious reasons.”
“I will be happy with second or third, a win would be bonus but the main thing is that he is pulling up well.”
During his time on the sidelines, Rippin’ Sam began his stud career with Pursell.
“We have sold around 24 straws, and mostly to females on season.”
“He has two litters on the ground and in a matter or weeks we will see about five more which is great for a new sire.”
One of Rippin’ Sam’s first Victorian litters was to Tiggerlong Scar who was bred by Correy and Sam Grenfell.
Tiggerlong Scar had 10 pups; five dogs and five females at the end of December.
Rippin’ Sam, the son of Fernando Bale and Tears Sam, also the brother to Tornado Tears, is being held at Stud by Brendan Pursell for a starting price of $1,100 (frozen semen only).