Master trainer Kel Greenough is never one to talk up his star greyhounds – young or old – but even he found it tough to play down the sensational record-breaking debut of the perfectly-named Wow She’s Fast at Sandown Park on Sunday afternoon.
At her first start, Wow She’s Fast, a February 2020 daughter of My Bro Fabio and Fair Of Face, won by a staggering 27.5 lengths – yes, you read that right – in the scintillating time of 29.088sec.
“I don’t know how I’m going to talk it down but I’ll try,” quipped Greenough.
“Maybe it was wind-assisted!”
Wow She’s Fast’s time eclipsed the previous record for the fastest performance by a maiden greyhound at Sandown of 29.156sec, which was set by G1 winner Burn One Down in a 0-1 win event in 2016.
It was the quickest run recorded in a maiden heat, breaking kennelmate Zac’s Entity’s 29.25sec 15-length effort, which was only established on August 1.
Zac’s Entity, which completed a stunning Sandown double for Greenough and wife Jacqui on Sunday with a runaway 10.5 length win at his 715m debut, clocking a fast 41.51sec, had surpassed the prior benchmark of 28.285sec, set by another G1 winner, Mepunga Blazer, in 2017.
Drawn in Box 5, Wow She’s Fast started $1.60 and while her 5.00sec first split came as a pleasant surprise to Greenough, her scorching overall time was by no means unexpected.
“She trialled at Sandown on the Wednesday week before the race and went 29.24sec,” Greenough said.
“I hadn’t had her up to ‘500’ before that, so I didn’t know how she’d run it out.
“The day she trialled was a beautiful day and perfect conditions and it was the same again yesterday. I think Sandown has varied a bit over the times but the track is racing terrific at the moment.
“The run home is good but not sensational. She’s doing it all in the mid-split but she’s obviously still improving and should get stronger with racing.
“If I can put a dampener on anything, when she first came to us her box manners were atrocious. The first time I put her out of the boxes at Sandown she went 5.56sec. I thought, ‘Oh my God, she’s got no idea!’
“She was basically just star-gazing and I’ve done a fair bit of work with her but she’s never jumped as good as she did yesterday. Hopefully she keeps doing that, because that’s where you need them to be.”
While it’s extremely rare to see a greyhound win by such a huge margin, Greenough recalled two other similar ‘gap jobs’.
WATCH: Wow She’s Fast clocked an airborne 29.088sec on debut at Sandown Park on Sunday (September 26), surpassing Burn One Down as the fastest ever maiden winner at the track.
“I was talking to Jacqui about it and years ago we had a dog called Modern Express that won by the length of the straight at Cranbourne over ‘500’ and went one hundredth outside the record,” Greenough recalled.
“The other one that would’ve been close to being in the ‘20s’ was when Bobby Boucheau broke the 595m record at Sandown.”
It’s interesting to note that Wow She’s Fast’s mother, Fair Of Face, ran fourth in the 2016 Sandown Laurels, behind two-time G1 winner Up Hill Jill (1st) and Hall of Famer Fanta Bale (3rd) and ahead of three-time G1 victor Striker Light (6th).
Wow She’s Fast is raced by long-time kennel clients Greg Sprod and Tyrone Whittington and Greenough revealed the courageously optimistic moniker has been the subject of animated conversation between connections.
“I told Tyrone she was going pretty good, which as you know, is about as good as you get from me,” Greenough said.
“Then her name came back and I said, ‘What did you call her that for?’
“It puts a lot of pressure on her and what happens if she goes terrible? I actually asked Tyrone if we could get it changed a couple of weeks ago!”
Potential staying superstar Zac’s Entity then completed an afternoon to remember for the Greenough kennel when stepping up to 715m for the first time at only his fifth start.
Like Wow She’s Fast, Zac’s Entity, a May 2019 son of Fernando Bale and Zac’s Entity, had started his career with a gobsmacking 515m maiden win at Sandown, but had been beaten at his next three starts, including a third in the G3 Speed Star (600m) at The Meadows at his third start.
Greenough has made it clear, despite his obvious ability, that Zac’s Entity remains a work in progress as he “learns on the job” and he was pleased with the way the lightly-raced talent navigated a winning path on Sunday.
“He’s made some bad decisions in his races so far and it’s going to take a bit of time,” Greenough said.
“He’s got the ability but he lacks a bit of confidence.
“He had trialled faster over 715m but that was by himself and it’s very different in a field.
“It was pleasing to see him go inside and outside and cop a bump or two. Hopefully he’ll keep learning with experience and if he keeps passing the little tests we could look at a race like the (G1) Bold Trease.”
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