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Zack ‘shackles’ Houdini

West Australian wonder Zack Monelli ‘unlocked’ the secret to ‘sinking’ Victorian staying magician Houdini Boy in a mesmerising Fanta Bale Super Stayers heat (725m) at The Meadows tonight.

Under the caretaker Victorian trainership of Lyn Smith at Nambrok, Zack Monelli employed catch-me-if-you-can tactics to cause a minor upset in Heat 3.

With a lap to travel, Zack Monelli was 10-12L in front of Houdini Boy, who was intent on pulling off another last-to-first ‘escape’. And he almost did the unimaginable!

But on the line, Zack Monelli ($4.10) had 0.23L to spare over Houdini Boy ($1.50F), with Pilbara ($6.70) a further 5.88L away third in 42.21sec (Best).

Zack Monelli – who finished seventh in the G1 Sale Cup and fourth in last week’s G1 Zoom Top to Houdini Boy – notched his 21st win from 42 starts and seventh win from his past eight starts. It was also his fifth win in six starts from Box 4.

However, Houdini Boy’s dream of capturing his third G1 is not over. He’s still only one step away (well, 725m) from masterminding his most spellbinding act!

Trained by Kelvyn Greenough, Houdini Boy has also qualified for next week’s final – worth $100,000 to the winner.

WATCH: ZACK MONELLI (4) opens up a massive lead before just hanging on to defeat HOUDINI BOY (7).

Victorian staying queen Sunset Bourbski produced a sensational last-to-first victory in Heat 1.

Prepared by Andrea Dailly, Sunset Bourbski ($1.20F) defeated reigning Super Stayers champ Here’s Tears ($5.00) by 6.96L, with My Girl Kizzy ($15.70) a further 0.31L away third in 42.41sec.

Sunset Bourbski, who was a fast-finishing third to Houdini Boy in the Zoom Top, recorded her sixth win from 11 starts over 725m at The Meadows.

WATCH: SUNSET BOURBSKI (5) and HERE’S TEARS (4) come from last and second last respectively to run one-two in the first Fanta Bale Super Stayers Heat.

And Here’s Tears kept the dream alive of back-to-back Super Stayers by finishing second.

Meanwhile, New South Wales staying revelation Stanley Road was sensational in Heat 2.

Trained by Mark Gatt, Stanley Road ($2.20F) finished over the top of tearaway leader Run Like Jess ($3.70) to score by 0.71L, with South Australian star Sir Truculent ($4.20) a further 0.82L away third in 42.42sec.

Stanley Road had put the writing on the wall in the Zoom Top, producing a whirlwind finishing burst when second to Houdini Boy.

Prior to that, he won the G2 Summer Distance Plate (720m) at Wentworth Park.

WATCH: STANLEY ROAD (6) pulled out all the stops to reel in RUN LIKE JESS (8), with SIR TRUCULENT (2) running a gallant third.

Saturday 27 February
The Meadows – 725m

1 HOUDINI BOY (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
2 RUN LIKE JESS (Robert Camilleri, Lara VIC)
3 ZACK MONELLI (Lyn Smith, Nambrok VIC)
4 HERE’S TEARS (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
5 SUNSET BOURBSKI (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
6 SIR TRUCULENT (Walter Harkins, Reynella SA)
7 PILBARA (Mario Briganti, Tuerong VIC)
8 STANLEY ROAD (Mark Gatt, Thirlmere NSW)
9 MY GIRL KIZZY (Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC)
10 LET’S SEE (Mark Davidson, Brandy Hill NSW)


42.21sec Zack Monelli
42.41sec Sunset Bourbski
42.42sec Stanley Road

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About Peter Quilty - Peter Quilty has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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