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Petit ‘Sweet’ for Meadows success

Talented speedster Sweet Petit has had to overcome a nightmare run of box draws to win seven of her 23 starts, highlighted by the lucrative Pink Diamond Princess series in June.

Sweet Petit has done it the hard way, with the daughter of Fabregas and Gold Vein, trained by Daryl Holmes and raced by the Holmes family’s ‘Shiraz Racing’ syndicate, having only drawn inside box five in one of her last 16 starts.

During that period she’s drawn Box 5 on five occasions, Box 8 and Box 7 four times and Box 6 twice, with a solitary outing from Box 3 the closest she’s found herself to the rail.

It doesn’t get any better at The Meadows on Saturday, with Sweet Petit ‘back in black’ for a testing assignment against Group winners Jax Bale, Weblec Jet and Kuro Kismet, where TAB’s marked her at $10.

“It’s unbelievable,” Daryl Holmes said.

“She’s actually drawn race nine, box five in five of her last six starts!”

We’ll defer to the mathematically inclined among the greyhound racing fraternity to calculate the odds of that happening; suffice to say it’s incredibly unlikely.

“She’s got that first split but then she grinds after that and that’s what happened last week at The Meadows,” Holmes said.

“She came out well but Mepunga Knight stuck with her and he’s seven kilos heavier and was pressuring her and leaning on her.

“I reckon she’s changed her racing style since she’s been drawing bad. She’s adapted and doesn’t rail like she did earlier on.”

Sweet Petit has been unplaced at her last two starts, both at The Meadows, behind star duo Aston Fastnet and Koblenz in a ‘red hot’ G1 Maturity Classic heat and then after leading last Saturday night.

“I put her in the Maturity heats, but I knew I was probably doing the wrong thing,” Holmes said.

“Back in 1999 I was tossing up whether to put Coriole in the Maturity and she ended up winning it. Coriole wasn’t going as well as Sweet Petit but she kept improving through the series.

WATCH: Sweet Petit (5) storms home to win the Pink Diamond Princess final at Bendigo on June 18.

“It’s another tough race – Jax Bale and Weblec Jet – and she’ll need to get a two or three-length lead if she’s going to win. But you’d have to say on face value she’s out-graded.”

Holmes has enjoyed many memorable moments in greyhound racing but contemplated walking away from the sport before good friend Robert Le Sueur offered the opportunity to form a breeding partnership with Gold Vein, the mother of Sweet Petit and recent 29.30sec Sandown Park winner Curator.

“I nearly gave it away when I retired from work, we did a bit of travelling, but Robert (Le Sueur) asked me to go halves in breeding with Gold Vein and all the dogs I have at the moment come from her,” Holmes explained.

“Robert has another one from the Fabregas litter called Black Gemstone that goes well and is just coming back from injury.

“From the next litter, to Mepunga Blazer, there’s Curator. He really surprised us at Sandown and I’ve got a dog called El Dorado that has a lot of ability. He won his first start at Sandown (29.68sec) but then got into trouble in the final.

“I’ve got Robert’s dogs here at the moment because he lives across the border in NSW at Mulwala.

“Black Shiraz was the fastest dog we’ve ever had. People never got to see how good he was because of injury but he showed that when he went to stud.

“Delbairn Babe was probably the best. She was a stayer, broke the track record at Olympic Park and then threw Tangairn, which won the Australian Cup.

“Coriole was very good too, Petite Verdot made the Melbourne Cup and Golden Easter Egg finals and won the SA Oaks and Brokenwood broke the Cranbourne record.

“But that’s all in the past and you’ve got to look forward!”

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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