Victorian star Shima Shine claimed an overdue Group 1 breakthrough on one of Australian greyhound racing’s greatest stages with a memorable all-the-way victory in the TAB Topgun (525m) at The Meadows.
Contesting the invitation-only Topgun for the second time, having run sixth to Get It Gizmo in 2019, it was an anomaly that Shima Shine didn’t yet have a Group success on his resume.
Trained by Andrea Dailly, the son of Barcia Bale is raced by long-time breeding partners David Gleeson and Bob Cummings, who’ve enjoyed feature race success with Shima Shine’s mother Shima Song, a two-time Group 2 winner of the Geelong Cup and McKenna Memorial, and the likes of Shimaguni and Shima Bar.
And at his seventh appearance in a Group event, Shima Shine finally delivered on his enormous talent and continued the proud family tradition.
“He’s had a few things go wrong but he’s right tonight and he showed them what he can really do,” said delighted co-trainer George Dailly.
“You can’t knock the dog. He’s got two track records (Ballarat 450m and Bendigo 425m) and he could have held four. He’s a serious dog.”
Drawn in box two, Shima Shine started on the third line of betting at $5.10.
On debut in Victoria, Western Australian Tommy Shelby started $3.20 favourite from box one, shading Australian Greyhound of the Year Simon Told Helen at $3.40 from box eight.
Shima Shine came out running and set up his victory when holding out Simon Told Helen in the all-important run to the first turn.
WATCH: Shima Shine (2) scores a breakthrough win in the TAB Topgun, staving off a determined Simon Told Helen (8).
Shima Shine and Simon Told Helen then broke clear of the chasing pack as Shima Shine kept going strongly to deny the gallant Simon Told Helen, scoring by 2.5 lengths in a scorching 29.67s, equalling his Meadows personal best.
Christo Bale finished strongly to grab third place ahead of Tommy Shelby, completing a Victorian trifecta.
It was Shima Shine’s 25th win from 40 starts and he’s racing in peak form at the right time of the year, having won six of his last eight starts.
“He was in this race last year but he got seriously hurt at the first turn and he wasn’t the same dog for six months,” George Dailly explained.
“It took forever to get him right but he’s come good and he’s racing well.
“Things haven’t worked out for him but they worked out good tonight!”
Topgun night was the second leg of Victorian greyhound racing’s first ever Metropolitan Festival of Racing, which will see almost $2 million in prize money distributed across five race meetings at The Meadows and Sandown Park during November.