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‘Opera’ all jazzed up for Launching Pad

Promising young sprinter Jazz Opera ‘hit the high notes’ when successful in the $25,000 to-the-winner GRV VicBred Maiden final (525m) at The Meadows on Australian Cup night.

And now her Devon Meadows trainer, Natalie Presutto, is hoping Jazz Opera (pictured above) can ultimately ‘play a winning tune’ in the forthcoming G3 Launching Pad (515m) series at Sandown.

But first, she needs to make it to the ‘countdown’ to Australian greyhound racing’s only sweepstakes event. There are 64 places available in the $150,000 to-the-winner series at $2000 per entry.

However, Natalie is hoping a Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) promotional competition may ‘launch’ Jazz Opera into the rich series.

The Meadows has purchased two Launching Pad entry forms where you can register and vote for a greyhound you want to see in the series.

WATCH: Jazz Opera (6) snared the $25,000-to-the-winner G3 GRV VicBred Maiden final at The Meadows on Australian Cup night.

Subsequently, Natalie entered Jazz Opera and kennelmate Real Reward in the competition and is hopeful both receive the most votes – from a list of eight greyhounds – and win the valuable ‘tickets’ into the Launching Pad.

“You can only win it if you’re in it… You can’t win it sitting at home,” Natalie said. “It’s a great promotion by the MGRA and breathes even more life into the event. And it would be such a buzz just to get a start in the Launching Pad series.”

Bred and owned by neighbour Michelle Nolan, Jazz Opera (Apr ’19 Fernando Bale x Hightan) revealed her potential with the VicBred Maiden victory. She led all the way, clocking 30.02sec, and paid $6.30 for the win.

It was her second win from only five starts and her prizemoney catapulted to $28,380.

Jazz Opera with Natalie and Peter Presutto after winning the Vic Bred Maiden Final on Australian Cup night.

“Her assets are how she begins and early pace… She gets out in front and doesn’t have to rely on luck,” Natalie said. “We haven’t seen the best of her yet… She’s got more in the tank and with more experience, she’ll get stronger.”

Natalie added that Jazz Opera is a virtual carbon copy of her mum, Hightan, who was also bred by Nolan and owned by Natalie’s husband, Peter Presutto.

At her final career start, Hightan finished third to Orson Allen in the 2019 G2 Cranbourne Cup.

Noted for her reliable box manners and early acceleration, Hightan won 16 times from 47 starts – including seven city races. She has a second litter, by My Redeemer, that are 13 months old.

“There are a lot of similarities between mother and daughter,” Natalie said. “But Jazz Opera is better than Hightan at the respective stages of their careers.”

Other greyhounds in the MGRA’s Launching Pad competition are Mepunga Gertie (Matt Lanigan), Fairytale Nacho (Derek Faulknall), Papaya (James Egan), Banjo Bert (Gary Harding), Reese’s Girl (Brett Nye) and Fire And Fury (Andrew Xerri).

Cast your votes here for the chance to win up to $7,000. Voting closes this Sunday at 11.59pm.

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Peter Quilty
About 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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