Leading NSW trainer Peter Lagogiane has taken immediate advantage of the timely reopening of the Victorian borders to launch an imposing assault on Sunday afternoon’s Group 2 Triple M Bendigo Cup heats (425m).
Greyhound Racing Victoria recommenced accepting interstate nominations this week with Lagogiane jumping on the opportunity to head south with in-form short-coursers Straight Shift (15 wins from 20 starts), Zipper It Mate (10 from 15) and One Fury (six from 17).
“We looked at the race about two months ago, more so for Straight Shift,” said Lagogiane.
“But Zipper It Mate and One Fury, which is the fastest dog to go around Richmond over 400m this year (22.45s), are good dogs too and you’re not going to win anything staying at home so I thought why not.”
While the trio boast outstanding strike rates, they’ll have plenty against them on their first foray outside NSW with Lagogiane declaring it their “acid test”.
“It sounds terrible to say we’re going down to Victoria for a Group race without a trial but due to the COVID situation we didn’t have the chance,” said Lagogiane, who’s based in Western Sydney.
“But I think Bendigo will suit them because they’re speed dogs. They have good box speed, their first sections are really good and they chase.
“Everywhere I’ve taken Straight Shift in particular he’s gone really well first look.”
Straight Shift (box 3) will contest the first of eight cut-throat heats, while Zipper It Mate (3) will tackle Bendigo 425m record holder Jim Zarr Dashian and Tiggerlong Tonk in heat six and One Fury (5) will face the resurgent Shima Shine in the final run-off.