Idolize pictured with Peter and Natalie Presutto 📷 Greyhound Racing NSW

  • Wednesday, 27 Sep, 2023,
  • by Gerard Guthrie

Idolize a ‘Million Dollar’ mum?

Comeback mum Idolize set Nowra alight on Monday night to join a star-studded cast of Victorian sprinters that have booked berths in the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals via the NSW-wide regional qualifying series.

A total of 17 Vics are confirmed starters in the semi-finals of the MDC at Wentworth Park next Friday night (October 6) following the completion of the regional round on Tuesday.

Group 1 winner Idolize, trained by Peter Presutto, continued her amazing comeback from temporary retirement, during which she became a mother, with a dazzling display at Nowra in the penultimate qualifier.

After a 29.83sec heat victory, the January ’20 daughter of My Redeemer and Hightan started $4.40 in the final and was a dominant all-the-way winner, defeating fellow Victorian Tom Keeping, trained by Matthew Lanigan, by four lengths in a scorching 29.63sec.

“When you think about it, we’re only two wins away from a million bucks!”

It was Idolize’s fourth win from nine starts since returning from an eight-month absence, during which she produced three pups to Shima Shine.

“I’m not sure what the right word is…elated!” said Peter Presutto.

“When you think about it, we’re only two wins away from a million bucks!

“With the right box, right field and right luck, she could win it. You can say that about a lot of other dogs too, but I’m glass half-full!

“The last time, I think you take it for granted a bit. But then when she wasn’t there, you really do miss it because you’ve got a taste for it.

“The original plan was to go to the Bendigo Cup, but then I looked at the Million Dollar Chase and thought we’ve got to have a crack at it. I’m not going to die wondering.

WATCH: “Idolize wins it brilliantly!” IDOLIZE (B3) booked her ticket to the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals with a scorching all-the-way 29.63sec victory in the Nowra regional final.

“I thought about Temora and then Wagga, but I still hadn’t made the commitment, so it came down to either Nowra or Wentworth Park.

“By going to Nowra she gets an 11-day break before the semi-finals, whereas if we went to Wenty on Saturday, she’d have to travel up there three weeks in a row, which isn’t easy.

“She felt her way around Nowra the first week but still won, just. I had a lot more confidence on Monday night and she just took off.”

Devon Meadows-based Presutto is understandably excited about returning to Wentworth Park for the MDC semis.

Idolize has won four of her five starts at the famous Sydney circuit in great style, winning the G1 National Futurity in January 2022 (29.80sec) and clocking a PB 29.63sec in a semi-final of the G1 Golden Easter Egg.

“It will be nice to get back to Wentworth Park,” Presutto said.

“It’s obviously going to be a bit harder, because the other dogs have qualified too, but do they go as well there as she does?

“Hopefully, she can begin like she has been. I was told she broke the first section record at Nowra. The record was 4.23sec, she went 4.24sec in her heat and 4.21sec in the final.

“She wants to keep racing and just keeps getting better. It was pointed out to me that there’ll be 64 dogs in the semi-finals, and she’ll be the only mother!”

Boom youngster Mackenna pictured with handler Lee Moore 📷 Temora GRC

Other notable MDC qualifying performances came from brilliant youngster Mackenna, prepared by training newcomer Michelle Carruthers, and Daniel Gibbons’ country cups queen Kelsey Bale.

Mackenna upstaged Baby Jaycee in the Temora heats, before a blistering near-record 25.41sec victory in the final, her eighth win from 10 starts and less than half a length outside champion She’s A Pearl’s 457m track record.

Kelsey Bale powered to victory in last Friday’s Wagga final, charging to a 3.75L victory over Dundee Smokey in a flying 29.90sec, with Hector Fawley third in a Victorian trifecta.


National Sprint: Aussie Rocks, Tinker Norm, Postman Pat
Dapto Megastar: Umberto
Goulburn: Fire Hose
Broken Hill: Kruger Lass, Landyn Bale, Ailee Bale
Maitland: Isle’s Entity
Bulli: Al’s Entity
Temora: Mackenna
Richmond: Magic Muffin
Wagga: Kelsey Bale, Dundee Smokey, Hector Fawley
Nowra: Idolize, Tom Keeping

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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