• Tuesday, 11 Jul, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Michelle’s belles come up Roses

In her wildest dreams, Michelle Carruthers couldn’t have envisioned a better start to her training career.

Carruthers, who hails from Bagshot, near Bendigo, enjoyed a remarkable three days last week courtesy of her first two runners – the only two greyhounds in her name – exciting litter sisters Zadie and Mackenna.

Debutante Mackenna was a sensational 17.5 length maiden winner at The Meadows last Wednesday, and then at Bendigo on Friday night, Zadie was victorious in the $22,295 Listed Beanie For Brain Cancer Roses Final at just her third start.

Zadie and Mackenna, which don’t turn two until December, were among four Whiskey Riot – Alcyone sisters purchased from breeders Bev and Daniel Pell by Michelle and partner Lee Moore.

“It’s been a great thrill,” said Michelle.

WATCH: “Here comes Zadie!” ZADIE (B8) continued the dream start to Michelle Carruthers’ training career when storming to victory in the Listed Bendigo Roses (425m) last Friday night, clocking 24.04sec.

“I’ve been Lee’s helper ever since we’ve been together – 10 or 11 years. Years and years ago, my dad, Ken Carruthers, had greyhounds and I grew up on a farm, so I’ve always been around all sorts of animals.

“I graduated to my catchers license in 2016, then when it came up for renewal I upgraded to an attendant and then about 18 months ago I upgraded again to my trainers license. If you can’t beat them, join them!

“We bought these pups off Daniel and Bev (Pell) when they were three months old. There were four girls left and Lee took the lot of them.

“Lee asked me to pick out two ear-brands to put in my name and I got Zadie and Mackenna and they’re probably the best two. I might be stealing a bit of Lee’s limelight!

“They’re young too, they’re only 19 months. They’ve been showing plenty for a while and it was a matter of waiting until they were old enough to launch!”

And launch they have. Zadie, Mackenna, and Michelle.

“They’ve been showing plenty for a while and it was a matter of waiting until they were old enough to launch!”

Zadie clocked a fast 25.06sec at Shepparton in a nine-length maiden victory on debut, before finishing second in her Bendigo Roses heat.

Drawn in box eight for the $15,000 to-the-winner female feature, Zadie ($4.50) stormed home to turn the tables on heat conqueror Mythical Queen ($5.10) and hot favourite Nyali King ($1.60) in 24.04sec.

“It was a lovely race to pick up!” Carruthers said.

“Both Zadie and Mackenna like to rail, so we weren’t expecting her to win from box eight.

“The one, Nyali King, and two, Mythical Queen, are both good dogs and with them drawing the inside, we thought it would be a tough go for us.

“As the race played out, Zadie was better off being out wide and she was very strong at the finish.”

You won’t see many more impressive – and easier – maiden victories than that of Mackenna at The Meadows, as the $1.20 favourite was in a different postcode to her rivals in a 30.05sec romp.

She’ll be well-fancied to make it two from two in Saturday night’s final.

“I thought with little-known trainer, Michelle Carruthers from Bagshot, training her she might have been better odds, but it wasn’t to be,” Michelle laughed.

WATCH: “It’s a process for Mackenna!” MACKENNA (B1) made a stunning debut at The Meadows last Wednesday when scoring by a staggering 17.64 lengths in a slick 30.05sec.

“I think Lee is the only other trainer in Bagshot, so it wouldn’t take people too long to put two and two together.

“It was a very impressive start to her career.

“We’re not unhappy with box three for the final. I think ‘the one’ (Blue Vendetta) will be her main opposition.

“There’s not a lot between Zadie and Mackenna. They’re paired up together when we work them at home, and they’ve been fairly equal when they were broken-in and in their trials.”

The other two littermates purchased by Moore and Carruthers have also shown great promise, with Imani a 10-length BON 21.77sec maiden winner at Shepparton at her first start, before running a close second on Monday.

Keisha also won on debut at Shepparton (22.27sec) and then ran second at her next start.

Thus far, the Carruthers/Moore quartet has combined for five wins and three seconds from their eight starts.

Gerard GuthrieGerard Guthrie

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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