Semi-final giant-killer Devel Sixteen is once again flying under the radar heading into Saturday night’s Group 1 Golden Easter Egg final (520m) as she strives to continue Victoria’s decade-long domination of NSW’s most prestigious event.
And that’s just fine with Avalon trainer Jason Sharp, who prepares the Easter Egg surprise packet with wife Jessica.
Devel Sixteen started at $16 in her semi last weekend but caused a major upset when leading all-the-way in a flying 29.54sec, clocking the second quickest qualifying time and eliminating series favourite Flying Ricciardo in the process.
The daughter of 2015 Easter Egg winner Fernando Bale overcame box five in her dominant frontrunning display.
She’ll have to do it the hard way again if she’s to become the third Victorian female to win the race in the last five years, following on from counterparts Striker Light (2017) and Up Hill Jill (2018), with TAB marking her a $15 outsider.
“They don’t really rate her again this week and I’m happy about that,” Jason Sharp said.
“I don’t think a lot of people realise what she’s been doing at The Meadows; she’s broken 29.90sec at two of her last three starts there.
“When she was in front going past the winning post last Saturday I knew we were in the Egg because Flying Ricciardo wasn’t sitting on her backside and I couldn’t see anything else running her down.”
WATCH: Victoria’s ‘flying femme’ Devel Sixteen (5) clocks a slick 29.54sec,
the second fastest Golden Easter Egg semi-final time at Wentworth Park last week.
The only semi winner to go faster was local star Wow (29.45sec) and the G1Temlee and G1 Paws Of Thunder victor is $2.60 favourite ahead of WA’s G1 Australian Cup hero Tommy Shelby at $2.80.
“Wow and Tommy Shelby are the two I suppose,” Sharp said.
“But I’d like to think she’s got most of the others covered and if she gets out in front I don’t know if there’s too many in the race that could run her down.
“I’m happy with box five. I don’t mind drawing middle boxes at Wentworth Park.
“I really do think we’re in it. I don’t know why but she just seems to love that track up there and her last half a dozen starts have been fantastic.
“I consider the Easter Egg one of the grand slams. We’ve run third in the Melbourne Cup (Kouta Mayhem) and I’d love to win a couple of them!”
As fate would have it, Devel Sixteen was a late entry for the Easter Egg, only nominated after the heats were postponed for one week due to torrential rain that drenched NSW.
If Devel Sixteen becomes the 10th Victorian to win the Egg in the last 11 editions, the Sharps have generously pledged to donate a percentage of their share of the $250,000 winner’s purse to the Mid North Coast Greyhound Flood Appeal.
“We’ve already donated to the appeal and if we did happen to win we’ll donate a bit more,” Sharp said.
“We were always thinking about coming up for the Easter Egg but (litter sister) Junk Food Junkie was first reserve for the Shepparton Cup on the same night as the heats were originally going to be run and we didn’t think it was worth coming up with just one dog.”
The Golden Easter Egg is race 8 at Saturday night’s Wentworth Park meeting, to jump at 8.54pm, with Victoria also represented in the Group 1 Association Cup (race 6), Group 3 The Ambrosoli (race 7) and Listed Ultra Sense (race 2).
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