Richmond Derby

Richmond Gets The Wow Factor

By Michael Cowley
Having unluckily missed out on a spot in the Australian Cup Final, many wondered where Karina Britton would next go with her kennel superstar Wow. That question was answered on Tuesday morning when the dual Group 1 winning greyhound was nominated for the heats of the Richmond Derby on Friday night.

Wow walked out of the boxes at The Meadows on Saturday night and while he tried valiantly, he was unable to overhaul Lakeview Cruiser in the heats of the Australian Cup. It was his first loss in 10 starts, but with winners only advancing to this week’s final, it left Britton with a dilemma of where she should go next but she opted for the heats of the Group 2 Derby.

Three heats of the Derby have been drawn with Wow to wear the green rug in the second heat.

“Going to the Richmond Derby was the original plan before we decided to go down to MELBOURNE for the Australian Cup heats,” Britton said. “We’re second reserve (for the Australian Cup final) and I doubt there will be any scratchings, so I took the chance and nominated him for Richmond.

“He pulled up well from the trip. He just seems to be handling everything well - the trip down to MELBOURNE, the trip back … and he’s pulled up sound as well. The older he gets the more relaxed he gets I think. 

“The only thing is he’s picked up a bad habit again, something he used to do in his early days, which was playing up in the box. That’s what happened on Saturday. That’s what he was doing and why he missed the start. I don’t think I’ll give him a stir up this week, that might have had put him over the top on Saturday.”

Wow will be making his Richmond debut on Friday night, and Britton confirmed he has not seen the track for a trial either.

“No he hasn’t been there. That’s the only thing that was a concern about putting him in the Derby heats, but I think he’ll handle it without having a look,” she said.

“If he can get out and finds the front, he’ll get around it OK. Hopefully he will lead and get his own way.”

Britton also confirmed that Wow’s brother Ad Astra, who was second to Barcia Blue Boy in the Group 2 Bulli Gold Cup final last Saturday night, suffered a stopper injury and will be sidelined for the time being. She added that she had not considered nominating Ad Astra for the Richmond series even before the injury.

A dominant winner in the GRNSW Middle Distance event at Bulli last Saturday, the Justin King-trained Incapacitated drops back in distance for the Derby heats on Friday.

Incapacitated has drawn box 5 in a strong heat which also sees NSW Sprint Championship winner Ritza Coen (box 3), Bulli Cup placegetter Ebby Infrared (box 6) and National Derby winner Zipping Moose (box 8).

In the other heat of the Derby, leading Victorian trainer Anthony Azzopardi has Bomb Proof – a winner of 6 of 16 starts - engaged and has drawn box 3, alongside in form Queenslander It’s A Rush, winner of his past two runs at Wentworth Park, as well as Ebby Jet Power (box 7) and promising youngster Zipping Kyrgios (box 8), a 29.60s winner at Wentworth Park last start.

Azzopardi - who last won the Richmond Derby in 2017 with Nangar Flame and the Richmond Oaks in 2018 with Blue Sky Riot - also has How Not Too in the first of four heats of the Richmond Oaks.

A winner of 11 races, How Not Too has drawn box 2 in a strong heat and will meet Aston Reward (box 3) Me Me Mia (box 4), Sneaky Marquee (box 5), Kurios Motion (box 6) and Weblec Pearl (box 8).

Prim And Proper (box 1), Diamantina Rose (box 5) and Fire On Ice (box 7) have strong claims in heat two, while in heat three defending Oaks champion Sniffy (box 3) takes on the very smart Ice Cream Story (box 2), and the speedy Paws Of Thunder finalist, Vicki’s Queen (box 6).

The final heat of the Oaks sees the smart Super Estrella (box 3) a handy 29.70s Wentworth Park winner last start, clash with the brilliant National Futurity winner Zipping Sapporo (box 8).