Progressive sprinter Sonny Daze stunned his rivals in tonight’s Group 3 Northern Districts Cup final (450m) at Shepparton.
But his Toolleen trainer, Rod Clark, wasn’t astonished by the performance.
“He was the fastest heat winner (25.06sec), but the punters didn’t back him, so I was very happy about that as we had a little bit on him,” Clark said. “We haven’t been able to get a decent box, but we were rubbing our hands once he drew near the rail.”
Sonny Daze ($4.10) snared a $25,000 first prize, leading throughout from Box 2 in defeating All Inn Morgan ($14.60) by 4.3L, with rank outsider Kalter ($41.30) a further 3L away third in 25.23sec. It was his seventh win from 18 starts – including four of his past six.
“His run-home time in his heat (18.44sec) was huge – only top class dogs run that sort of time.”
Owned by Clark’s partner, Bonnie Webb, Sonny Daze (Oct ’18 Don’t Knocka Him x Big Bang Marjen) has also won three races (with two seconds) from six starts at Shepparton and his stakes spiralled to $37,075.
“His run-home time in his heat (18.44sec) was huge – only top class dogs run that sort of time,” Clark said.
While Sonny Daze’s run-home time was a little slower in the final at 18.60sec, Clark remains optimistic about his potential.
“He’s had 18 starts now and just keeps getting better every week like a good bottle of wine,” Clark added.
“He’s got huge heart and he is indicating he’ll be able to run 500 metres. So I’ll probably take him to The Meadows sometime in the near future and then Sandown Park, and hopefully he can win a few nice races in the city.”
WATCH: Sonny Daze (2) takes out the Northern Districts Cup in comfortable fashion over local greyhound All Inn Morgan (8) and Kalter (1) running 25.23sec.
The huge night of racing at Shepparton was supported by four feature memorial races named in honour of prominent contributors to greyhound racing at Shepparton – Alec Reid, Doug Ferremi, Keith Warburton and Kel Tremellen.
Kialla trainer Michael Carter made it a memorable 48 hours when Extra Speed (Jul ’17 Fabregas x Speed Lane) proved too speedy in the Alec Reid Memorial (450m). Extra Speed ($8.40) toppled Untold Soldier ($7.10) by 2L, with Benchester ($2.10F) – who set a new Shepparton 385m track record (21.42sec) five nights earlier – a further 1.25L away third in a slick 21.77sec. It was her 20th win from 60 starts. (Carter also took out a Melbourne Cup Prelude at Sandown on Thursday night when Music Event upstaged Catch The Thief.)
G1 bred on both sides, Coco Nova ($2.00F) was colossal in the Doug Ferremi Memorial (450m), scoring by 5L over My Name Heather ($18.20) in 25.14sec. Trained at Lara by Darren Fisher, the superbly bred daughter of El Grand Senor x Maja Mahi Mahi notched her sixth win from 17 starts.
Meanwhile, Wangaratta speedster Ducky’s Delight ($4.90) took out the Keith Warburton Memorial (450m) with an all-the-way 2L win over Ruby Girl ($9.80) in 25.26sec. Prepared by Phil Clark, Ducky’s Delight (Jan ’18 Allen Deed x Kasreyn) registered his sixth win from 35 starts.
And Clark made it a double when Swansie Delight (Jul ’18 Walk Hard x Jodie’s Knee) led throughout in the Kel Tremellen Memorial (450m). Swansie Delight ($5.90) accounted for Mr. Mufasa ($2.20F) by 0.5L in 25.50sec. It was her fifth win from 18 starts.
Devon Meadows trainer Jihad Talgi also enjoyed a memorable Halloween, with his littermates Invictus Benson ($6.80) and Invictus Jaxson ($10.20) running one-two in the $7,750 to-the-winner GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (450m). The pair were Talgi’s only runners on the card and returned a Quinella dividend of $20.40.