Dyna Villa continued his meteoric rise up the sprinting ranks, taking out the Group 1 Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder (520m) at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Jumping from box eight, Dyna Villa was able to cross from the wide draw and hold out the early pacesetters to lead going through the first turn. From there, Dyna Villa entered another gear, pulling away from his rivals to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 29.69.
Assertive Bella held on well for second place with Kerrigan Bale a further 4 1/2 lengths away in third.
Dyna Villa (pictured, winning his Paws Of Thunder heat) made some history, with the Jenny Hunt-trained chaser becoming the first greyhound to win the Paws Of Thunder and Melbourne Cup.
And Dyna Villa will not be resting on his laurels with the dog’s handler Joe Briffa, spokesman for trainer Jenny Hunt, indicating the dog will be back at Wentworth Park for next Saturday night’s heats of the National Derby.
"The Perth Cup heats are a week later but Western Australia is a long trip so I reckon Jenny will opt for the National Derby series in Sydney," Briffa said.
"This dog is simply a great chaser."
Dyna Villa took his record to 19 wins from 30 appearances and has already earned more than $600,000 in prizemoney.
While Dyna Villa's dominant effort was tremendous, run of the night (and possibly year) came in the Group 2 Ladbrokes Summer Distance Plate (720m), in which Space Star, staged a breathtaking performance to win.
Space Star copped a severe check in the early stages and gave fellow Victorian Starc a huge start, only for the Robbie Britton-trained stayer to run him down in the final stages.
Amazingly Space Star was able to cover the 720m in 42.18, 0.2 faster than he posted in his all-the-way heat win a week earlier.
Robbie Britton has won dozens of group races but even he was gob-smacked at Space Star’s effort.
"That was a run and a half," a beaming Britton said after the race.
"I didn’t see him get hit in the early stages and when he dropped back sharply I thought he had broken down.
"Then when he got going again I still believed he was gone and could not get anywhere near the leader from where he was."
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