Wow Sets Paws Of Thunder Pace

BUDDING star Wow will be the star attraction at next Saturday's Wentworth Park Group 1 bonanza in the Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder Final (520m).

Jeff Collerson

18 January 2021

WOW was expected to be the star attraction at next Saturday night’s Wentworth Park Group 1 bonanza and like the ultimate professional he is the champ made sure things went according to script last night.

The pressure was on Karina Britton’s superstar after Justin King’s in-form Incapacitated clocked a personal best 29.46 winning heat one of the Ladbrokes Paws Of Thunder but Wow came out and easily won heat two in 29.41.

Those figures were .07s faster than Wow’s previous best Wentworth Park time and set the stage for an enthralling Group 1 final on Saturday night.

The Ladbrokes National Derby and National Futurity age classic finals are other Group 1s programmed for Saturday night along with the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate final.

In his heat Wow was beaten for early pace by Fire On Ice but with that greyhound clocking a near record initial split of 5.32 that was no disgrace, and Wow had taken control and clocked 13.64 and 17.71 for the second and third sections on the back straight.

Unison led throughout in heat four for Michelle Sultana, recording his best Wentworth Park time of 29.57 while Zulu Warlord, a $17 outsider, pulled off the upset of the heats by defeating Fire Legend and Simon Told Helen in 29.75.

In the early stages Zulu Warlord stopped the clock at 5.35 and 13.62 before “paddling” near the finishing line while Simon Told Helen, the $2 favourite, bungled the start and was third from the catching pen.

Unison’s early splits were not too shabby either, as he recorded 5.44 and 13.83 before holding out Winlock On Top, who chased him throughout.

Unison’s heat win took his Wenty tally to five wins from six starts, all notched since Michelle Sultana became his trainer.

After Wow drew box five in Saturday night’s $75,000 to the winner final trainer Karina Britton said: “If he could not have box one, seven or eight, I reckon five is next best for him.

“Wow has been consistently jumping away well, a lot better than he did early in his career.”

Naturally Justin King was delighted to see Incapacitated come up with box one, especially as his dog wore the red rug in his all-the-way heat win.

Wenty newcomer Run Like Jess, trained by Rob Camilleri and Deb Coleman in Victoria, set the time standard in the Summer Distance Plate by covering the 720m in 41.91.

Having his first 720m test, Run Like Jess speared away with a huge lead in the early stages but faded sharply in the straight, hanging on to win by a half head from Stanley Road.

Fellow Victorian Blazing Cartier, trained by Robert Britton for Sydneysider Tom Rees, won the other heat in 42.29, just .04sec wide of her best Wentworth Park time.

Blazing Cartier trailed Torpedo Tears and Always Juan in the early stages but swept to the lead on the home bend and won running away.

Blazing Cartier had box one in her heat but looks to have drawn ideally in box eight in the Plate final, as trainer Robert Britton said he prefers the bitch drawn away from the rails.

The final draw also favours Stanley Road, who was slowly away from box seven in his heat and was fifth going through the pen before flashing home once he found the inside fence.

When Stanley Road drew box one in this Saturday’s Plate final, trainer Mark Gatt and owner Eddie Kingswell could not conceal their delight.

Box draw for the Paws Of Thunder is 1 Incapacitated 2 Fire Legend 3 Zulu Warlord 4 Ritza Coen 5 Wow 6 Vicky’s Queen 7 Unison 8 Winlock On Top with reserves Ebby Infrared and Simon Told Helen.

Summer Distance Plate draw is 1 Stanley Road 2 Zipping Truvy 3 Trouble At Mill 4 It’s A Flirt 5 Run Like Jess 6 Torpedo Tears 7 Prim And Proper 8 Blazing Cartier with reserves Let’s See and Hampshire.