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Paddy wants Nationals pat

An impressive return from four months on the sidelines has earned comeback sprinter Paddy Wants Pats a crack at Thursday night’s Victorian National Sprint Championship heats (515m) at Sandown Park.

Earlier in 2022, Paddy Wants Pats, a superbly-bred son of Group 1 winners Black Magic Opal and Striker Light, was enjoying a career best run of form.

He won the Listed Western Districts Derby at Ballarat, and finished runner-up in the Group 1 Australian Cup, before being injured in the G1 Perth Cup final as the $3.50 second elect.

“Last week was really the run he had to have, so to win was a bonus.”

“He tore a back muscle,” owner/trainer Kelly Bravo explained.

“He came out of the boxes a bit awkwardly and slipped off the mat.

“It was bad timing because he was in a real purple patch.

“We thought he’d be out for about three months but then he tore a groin, which kept him out a little bit longer.”

After minor placings at Bendigo over 425m and Warrnambool over 450m at his first two starts back, Paddy Wants Pats returned to ‘500’ for the first time since March at Sandown last Thursday night.

Despite a limited preparation, Paddy Wants Pats ($3.10) issued a timely reminder of his capabilities, as he came out running (5.08sec) and opened up a sizeable mid-race lead, before defeating Propelled by one length in 29.56sec.

WATCH: PADDY WANTS PATS (3) came out running and opened up a huge lead in his 29.56sec victory at Sandown Park last Thursday night, at his third run back from an injury-enforced break.

It was the blueblood’s 15th win from 38 starts and fourth from eight appearances at Sandown, and he’ll be looking to continue making up for lost time in Thursday night’s state National Sprint heats.

Drawn in Box 2 in the third of four heats, Paddy Wants Pats is TAB’s $2.70 second elect, behind Harry Manolitsis’ in-form $2.40 favourite Revolution (Box 3), which has also overcome injury issues.

“Last week was really the run he had to have, so to win was a bonus,” Bravo explained.

“He’d only had a couple of 390m trials before he raced again, so he came back a little bit underdone.

“He needed the run last week, but he was able to get a nice break and hold on.

“He hasn’t lost any of his early pace with the injury and touchwood, he’s been pulling up really well, so hopefully he’ll keep improving.

Click HERE  for TAB’s latest prices on Victorian National Sprint heats

“I’m happy with the box draw for Thursday night. I like him down near the fence. He’s won a lot of races from ‘the pink’, but that’s only because he’s kept drawing it.

“He’s racing dogs that may be a bit fitter than he is, but hopefully he can qualify, and he’ll benefit from another ‘500’. He’s been in a few nice races, and I think he deserves to win one.”

Tom Dailly has the favourite in the opening two heats in Dusty Bourbski (Box 2), runner-up to Wow She’s Fast in the recent G1 Maturity Classic, and Zara’s Ivan (Box 1) at $2.20 and $2.50 respectively.

Karen Pitt’s G2 Ballarat Cup winner Compliance (Box 2) and Mario Briganti’s powerhouse Big Opal Rocks (Box 6) are disputing favouritism in the fourth and final runoff, at $2.40 and $2.60.

Victoria’s representative in the G1 National Distance Championship, to be held at Wentworth Park on Saturday, August 27, will be determined in a ‘one off’ special event at Sandown next Thursday (August 11).

PADDY WANTS PATS claimed his first win since returning from injury at Sandown Park last Thursday.

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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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