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Orson Allen primed for Perth return

Correy Grenfell finds himself in the unusual position of seeing his superstar sprinter Orson Allen favourite for the Group 1 National Sprint Championship but not on top of betting on Thursday’s Victorian State Sprint Final at The Meadows.

Curiously, Orson Allen is $2.20 favourite with TAB for the National Sprint Grand Final to be held at Cannington on Saturday, August 24, while he’s the $3 second elect for the Victorian qualifier, behind Black Opium at $2.50.

“It’s a bit strange,” agreed Correy Grenfell.

“I suppose it’s because he won the Perth Cup earlier in the year and that he’s already in the Grand Final.”

Orson Allen, a dual Group 1 winner in 2019 of the Perth Cup and Harrison-Dawson, has already booked a ticket to Perth courtesy of Greyhound Clubs Australia’s ‘wild card’, granted to the highest ranked greyhound to qualify for its state final.

Should Orson Allen win Thursday’s State Sprint Championship, next in line to receive the wild card is another Victorian in Dyna Patty.

After being scratched from the Group 1 Brisbane Cup in early July, Orson Allen returned to the track in last Saturday’s Victorian Sprint heats.

Drawn in box one, the son of KC And All and Desalle Sale started $1.60 favourite from box one and delighted his young trainer with a 29.93s victory after a less than ideal preparation.

WATCH: Orson Allen (B1) defeat Hone In (B2) in the opening Victorian National Sprint Championship at The Meadows.

“I was stoked,” said Grenfell.

“It was a really good effort first-up and with a couple more runs under his belt he’ll only get better.

“He got whacked a few times in the Bendigo Cup heats and bruised his knee and also hurt his hamstring. It was nothing major – just niggles – and we’re on top of things now.

“Since his last start he’d only had two solo trials at Ballarat over 390m and 450m to get ready for the Nationals. He’s not a natural 500m dog so I was absolutely over the moon to see him break 30 seconds in his heat.

“He shocked us all with his run-home time. That’s what he runs home in when he’s at his best. He’s just a race dog; I think that’s the best way to describe him.

“Box six doesn’t help on Thursday night but as long as he gets through unscathed and pulls up well it will be the perfect preparation for Perth.

“He’d never gone well when he’d travelled interstate but when he went over to Cannington for the Perth Cup he was only about a nose off the record at his first start over there so he obviously loves the track.”

While the clock is ticking on Grenfell’s life-changing journey with Orson Allen, he’s hopeful there’s a chapter or two left to write.

“We’ve probably only got a handful of starts left with him,” Grenfell offered.

“I can’t speak on behalf of Brendan (Wheeler) but I’d say if he injures himself again it would be time to pull the pin.

“It’s a great time of year to have a good dog – after the Nationals, there’s the Million Dollar Chase, Topgun and Melbourne Cup – but the dog’s done enough.

“We just made the move to Mount Wallace, which is between Anakie and Ballarat, about two and half weeks ago. Orson Allen has paid for the property so we might have to name it Orson Lodge!”

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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