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Smithson’s spark

West Australian trainer Adam Smithson is pinching himself after his kennel star Vice Grip won his way through to the Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup Final (515m) last Saturday night in trying conditions at Sandown Park.

In driving rain, Vice Grip made his 37th victory from 81 starts count, running down Nitro Bale to make it through to the $1 million race.

“It’s always been a goal to compete in this type of race and Vice Grip is allowing that to come true,” Smithson said.

“What the dog (Vice Grip) has done is a pinch-yourself moment – he has been unbelievable for me.”

Vice Grip has won multiple Group races for Smithson, 29, and his young family since moving into their care in August last year – highlighted by the pinnacle of WA greyhound racing, the Group 1 Perth Cup (520m).

“What the dog has done is a pinch-yourself moment – he has been unbelievable for me.

“It is rewarding in itself that you can do something you love for a living.”

WATCH: VICE GRIP (B5) displayed all of his trademark grit to overhaul NITRO BALE (B6) in the seventh heat of the Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup in a time of 29.63 seconds.

Smithson, a former sparkie from Perth who quite simply had enough of being inside a roof on 40-degree days, started training greyhounds from his Nambeelup base a few years ago and has not looked back.

The WA duo have drawn box 3 in Saturday night’s Sportsbet Melbourne Cup Final, a race Aston Dee Bee – the sire of Vice Grip – won in 2017 for trainer Seona Thompson.

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“He didn’t want the red box so it’s not a disaster being drawn in box 3 but like all of the dogs in the (Melbourne) Cup, he has to come out to put himself into a winning position.

“Vice Grip’s best attribute is his heart – he is never out of the race and will always just push through.”

Owned and bred by the Victorian-based Four Frothys Syndicate, Vice Grip also contested the inaugural running of The Phoenix (525m) at The Meadows in December last year.

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About Molly Haines - Communication Assistant at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 16 years of experience working with greyhounds in all capacities.
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