Medusa Turns Her Rivals To Stone

By Jeff Collerson
Red Medusa, bought for "not a lot of money" just over a month ago, scored her second all-the-way win in two appearances for new owner-trainer Cheryl Betts at Dapto on Monday.

Red Medusa won first up there for Betts over 600m on November 23 in an extra smart 34.48 and put in a repeat performance on Monday, winning easily again, this time in a handy 34.66.

"I think backing her up after four days might have been why she didn't go quite as quick on Monday,'' Betts said.

"A month ago my son James Smallwood noticed she was for sale online and after watching a video of Red Medusa finishing third over 595m at Sandown on October 29 he bought her for me.

"I've been training for 20 years and the best greyhound I have had was Tiny Terror, a little 22kg bitch who made the pace to the home turn when second to Tiempo Dinero in the Group 3 Nowra Summer Puppy Classic in 2017.

"People keep asking me if I plan to try Red Medusa over 720m but I'm not sure she will be able to stay that distance.

"It's a big step up from 600m at Dapto so I'm looking at perhaps giving her a 603m race at Gosford, but in the meantime will probably put her in a 520m race at Wentworth Park.

"My first winner at Wenty came in November, 2014, when I won a 520m fifth grade with Messina Special, named in honour of her breeders Wilma and Tony Messina, who have been having success in town recently with Cheeky Cheeky.''

Red Medusa winning the Billy Bates Memorial at Dapto last Thursday.

When It's A Zoo completed a winning treble for Sonia and Warren Kempshall at Grafton last Sunday it gave the Pillar Valley-based couple 87 wins for 2023, making it their most successful yet.

Earlier at the meeting the local training team won over 350m with Dark Fate, notched a quinella when Vigne Unleashed defeated kennelmate Rocky Pepper over the same trip, then won a similar race with It's A Zoo.

The aptly-named Debussy, almost gave them four wins for the day when he was runner-up in the final event.

Warren Kempshall has a high opinion of Debussy, named after a famous French composer who was considered among the major classical music figures of the late 18th and early 19th century.

Debussy is well named because the composer's most famous piece was Clair De Lune, and that just happens to be the name of the dam of the Kempshalls' greyhound.

"Debussy is very promising but our best greyhound is probably Vigne Unleashed, because he clocked 19.93 when he won on Sunday and has clocked 19.76 for the 350m at Grafton,'' Warren Kempshall said.

"What I like about Vigne Unleashed is that he doesn't need to lead to win and he is strong at the finish.

"I believe he could develop into a Grafton Thunderbolt contender next year.''

Warren Kempshall has been a trainer for 40 years while Sonia, who he met through their love of greyhounds, has been in the sport for 18 years.

"I got interested in the racing side after I became the owner of a pet greyhound,'' Sonia said.

"That sparked my interest in racing and then I met Warren, an established trainer, who came from Iluka, while I was from nearby Yamba.

"We spent five years training greyhounds together at Townsville and these days, on our 10.5ha property, we have 15 race dogs along with 30 puppies and retired greyhounds.''