• Wednesday, 09 Mar, 2022,
  • by Peter Quilty

Untapped enters a new ‘Galaxy’

Australia’s most underrated stayer, Untapped, is headed for ‘a galaxy far, far, away’ – 3400km, from Melbourne to Perth.

‘A long time ago’, Untapped was contesting middle distance events – including going through undefeated in the Ballarat Enduro series (545m) in August last year.

A winner of 11 races (with six seconds and 10 thirds) from 40 starts, Untapped (Apr ’19 Aston Dee Bee x Mepunga Fame) has made an ‘intergalactic’ progress.

It seems ‘light years’ from that $5000 Ballarat final win to now competing against the sport’s stellar stayers!

And now is the future as the three-time G1 finalist engages in some staying ‘Star Wars’ in the G1 Galaxy heats (715m) at Cannington on Saturday night.

Trained at Dennington (on the outskirts of Warrnambool) by Dustin Drew, Untapped is among a strong Victorian contingent attempting to ultimately claim WA’s richest staying event.

The ‘invasion’ is headed by triple G1 winner Gypsy Wyong, Mepunga Ruby, which recently took out the G1 Fanta Bale Super Stayers, and G1 Hume Cup winner Knicks Bale along with G3 Fireball winner Hank The Hustler, Torpedo Tears and Emani Bale. (Pilbara and Jayville Slick are Victorian owned but have been based in WA since late last year.)

Gypsy Wyong (Box 1), Untapped (Box 3) and Knicks Bale (Box 6) will clash in Heat 4 (Race 4, 11.03pm).

And it’s Gypsy Wyong which has proved Untapped’s nemesis, winning the Bold Trease and Zoom Top. Untapped finished fourth and third respectively in those races. She was also a finalist in the G1 Sale Cup (3rd) and G2 Summer Distance Plate (4th).

Untapped ($2.60) is the second elect in her heat, behind the Andrea Dailly-trained Gypsy Wyong ($1.45) on TAB’s fixed odds market, and Drew says she will need to be at her absolute best to topple her ‘arch-enemy’.

“It’s hard taking on ‘Team Dailly’,” Drew said. “She (Gypsy Wyong) is a seasoned stayer, so it’ll be difficult to turn things around.

“The only way my girl can beat her is to run her off her feet in the early and middle stages.”

However, Drew is not surprised by Untapped’s transition to one of the sport’s premier stayers. Well, yes and no.

“I don’t think she’s a genuine 700-metre type, but she has a high cruising speed.”

“I always knew she had ability, but she’s got her quirks. She doesn’t like to be crowded early and can be a bit timid.

“But it’s a fallacy when people think she needs to lead to win – albeit she was beaten by an aggregate margin of 27 lengths at her first three starts. So, it’s been a fair turnaround.”

Drew is also ‘50 cents each-way’ on whether he thought she’d make a stayer.

“I don’t think she’s a genuine 700-metre type, but she has a high cruising speed. She gets to the front and breaks them up.

“However, I had no choice but to step her up over more ground. I didn’t want her getting knocked around on the middle distance ‘bend’ starts.

“So, I modified her routine; I’ve kept her fresh and put a bit of weight on her after watching a Youtube video of Ned Bryant (GRV Hall of Fame inductee) talking about training stayers.

Click HERE  for TAB’s ‘All In’ market on the Galaxy

Untapped is under the guidance of WA trainer Steve Withers (the man behind retired superstar Tommy Shelby) during her Galaxy mission.

“I’m very thankful to Steve and his family,” Drew said. “I asked him around six weeks ago if he’d take her for this campaign and he’s given me regular updates.”

Drew comes from a proud family heritage in greyhound racing and he’s doing his late dad, Ray, proud. A revered Warrnambool greyhound racing identity, Ray sadly passed away on October 14 last year after a 10-month battle with liver cancer, aged 73.

“It’s still in the back of my mind every day… We’re just trying to keep the family tradition going,” Drew said.

Gypsy Wyong, which finishing second in last weekend’s Galaxy prelude, sits on the second line of ‘All In’ betting at $4, behind fellow Victorian Mepunga Ruby and Mambo Monelli, both at $3.50. Untapped is quoted as a $7 chance.

The Jeff Britton-trained Mepunga Ruby (Box 2) is engaged in Heat 3 (Race 3, 10.48pm) and is an unbackable $1.15 favourite.

Pawnote: A ‘graduate’ from the 2019 National Greyhound Draft – Untapped is raced by ‘Team Borda’ comprising around 50 part-owners.

For a greyhound that, at one stage, was a potential ‘applicant’ for GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program, Untapped keeps displaying ‘untapped’ ability!

WATCH: Untapped (6) defeats Drako Bale (7) and Stanley Road (4) in a G1 Bold Trease heat.

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

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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