Finalists from heats on 9/12. Includes $100 Unplaced.
Prize money: $25000 / $5500 / $3500
The time-honoured Group 3 Christmas Gift at Wentworth Park has been won by some smart dogs over the years, but in 2019 the GBOTA gave the race a stunning facelift.
The GBOTA limited the race to just four starters, and added some unique criteria to ensure a top field.
The first two spots in the field were to go to the two greyhounds which recorded the fastest two times over 520m at Wentworth Park in the preceding three months. The next spot went to the Million Dollar Chase winner, with the final place going to the highest ranked greyhound under the GRNSW grading policy.
In that first year of the new format, the four were Feral Franky, Good Odds Harada, Jimmy Casey and Embye.
The clash of the two brothers – Harada and Franky – was tantalising, and it didn’t disappoint, but when he positioned up behind his sibling, Feral Franky was always going to be hard to hold out. He won the Christmas Gift in 29.54s.
In 2020 it was another change of format with this time four, two-dog match races taking place, with the overall winner the dog who posted the fastest time in those match races.
That honour and the title went to the Justin King-trained Incapacitated whose 29.66s was fast enough to claim the trophy.
2020 Christmas Gift Shootout - Winner Incapacitated Trained by Justin King & Tess Simmons
The new format continued in 2021, and most anticipated that the title would come down to either the flying Group 1 winner Wow, Zipping Kyrgios or the up and coming Bandit Ned.
But none of the above would succeed, and it would be the Jason Magri-trained Zipping Kansas who produced a brilliant performance to defeat Wow and claim the overall title in 29.46s