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‘Striker’ out to match ‘Jill’

The proverb “An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” has become one of the more fitting expressions in greyhound racing in recent years, mainly thanks to the exploits of last year’s Melbourne Cup (515m) winner Koblenz and this year’s finalist Paddy Wants Pats.

Their respective dams – Up Hill Jill and Striker Light – were two of the best female sprinters in the latter half of the last decade, both competing against one another at the highest level during decorated Group 1-winning careers.

In 2017, they faced off in the Melbourne Cup Final (won by Aston Dee Bee) and although both were unplaced, their imprint on this world-famous race was not done with.

Up Hill Jill’s prowess as a producer was highlighted brightly in last year’s Melbourne Cup Final when Koblenz led from go-to-whoa to secure a celebrated victory.

WATCH: KOBLENZ – FERNANDO BALE x UP HILL JILL – displayed his trademark early speed from Box 3 and held off his rivals in the 2021 Melbourne Cup Final in a time of 29.40 seconds.

As if not to be outdone, dam Striker Light gets her chance to become a Group 1-winning producer when her well-fancied son Paddy Wants Pats jumps from box 8 in Saturday night’s $1 million final.

His breathtaking six-length heat victory in 29.41 seconds last Saturday night means the Kelly Bravo-trained chaser goes in as one of the leading fancies despite drawing the outside box.

His sire, Black Magic Opal, won the Melbourne Cup in 2013, which is a testament to the importance of family trees.

WATCH: PADDY WANTS PATS – BLACK MAGIC OPAL x STRIKER LIGHT – burst out of Box 2 and easily prevailed in the fifth heat of the Sportsbet Melbourne Cup in a time of 29.41 seconds.

One greyhound in the way of Paddy Wants Pats will be Fernando Mick (box 5), ironically trained by Up Hill Jill’s former conditioner David Geall, who will be looking for his third Melbourne Cup victory in just five years after Koblenz joined My Redeemer (2018) on the honour roll.

Breeding expert George Farrugia has written this article.

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