Incapacitated Lands Hometown Derby

INCAPACITATED won Friday night's Group 2 Richmond Oaks Final (535m) for Justin King and Tess Simmons in commanding fashion.

Michael Cowley

6 March 2021

Like so many things in life, when you are fortunate enough to find something good, you have to enjoy every moment, because you just never know when it will end. It’s the same philosophy for greyhound racing and Justin King and Tess Simmons know it only too well.

 And that’s why both are enjoying every minute they have with their dog Incapacitated, including a special moment on Friday night when they won the Group 2 Ladbrokes Richmond Derby Final.

 “It is special,” King said. “It just makes you appreciate it when you do get a dog like this. I’ve had a lot of good handy dogs but he’s the best dog I have trained and it could be another 20 years until I get another like him.”

 The Derby really opened up with the scratching of pre-race favourite Wow due to swab irregularity from his win in the Paws Of Thunder in January, and while fastest qualifier Avalanche was all the rage early, Incapacitated was backed into favouritism.

 He jumped well but couldn’t cross the early leader It’s A Rush in the run to the first turn, but he stayed alongside the leader and heading up the back Incapacitated took the lead and once in front, he wasn’t going to be run down, going on to win by 3¾ lengths in 30.44s.

 Second went to Royal Emgrand who ran home stoutly, while Ritza Coen also stormed home late to grab third.

 Avalanche jumped fairly, but was checked soon after trying to get across from his box seven draw, and his chance disappeared right there.

 “I’ve been doing this for 25 years and to finally win a race like this, on my home track …” Justin said. “I’ve put so many dogs around here, breaking in dogs, pre-training dogs … this is like my workplace.

 “He won the Christmas Gift which was a Group 3 (at Wentworth Park) but it was a match race event, so to finally win a Group 2 and in a full field … he deserved this.”

 Tess conceded she was lost for words, like Justin overcome with emotion after the win.

 “I can’t believe it. I’m lost for words. He’s been so consistent, I think he’s made four of five group races (finals) and it’s just great to finally crack one,” she said.

 “It is special to have a dog like this. We have been through a lot with this dog and I couldn’t do it without Justin. He’s had my back the whole way and been so supportive.

 “This has been such a special journey, especially when you have them from little pups and you break them in and have them the whole way through.”

 Tess is also close friend with Karina Britton who has been devastated by the irregularity found in Wow’s swab.

 “It’s heartbreaking. He’s been the dog to beat for me for months,” Tess said.

“I don’t know what to say. He is still in my eyes the dog to beat in Australia.”

 The next target on the agenda should be the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg which begins on March 20.

 “I keep wanting to go over further but he’s so competitive over the 500m, so it’s hard to knock it back,” Justin said.

 “We’ll have a think about it next week and we’ll either go for the Egg or go over further.”