Former AFL star Scott Wynd is hoping a fast start can propel his greyhound Superior Wallis to victory in Friday's $35,000 Devonport Chase final.
Wynd, the 1992 Brownlow Medallist and long-time captain of the Western Bulldogs, has had a lot of success racing greyhounds in Victoria but is chasing his first group 3 feature.
He believes Superior Wallis is up to the task provided he can make a quick exit from box 1.
"He has drawn well but he will really need to hit the start - he can't afford to make a mistake," Wynd said.
"He's done well to quality and now we can only hope for a bit of luck."
Wynd races his greyhounds with his wife Jodie after they got involved in the sport almost by chance.
"On a Saturday night we'd be watching TV with the kids and sometimes flick over to watch The Meadows races," he explained.
"Occasionally we'd have a bet on a First 4, with the kids picking one dog each.
"By some miracle one night we got one that paid about four grand so we decided to use the winnings to buy our first dog."
Superior Wallis won nine races in Victoria before Wynd sent him to Richmond trainer Nicole Howard mid-year.
He's won another six races since.
"He's really found his niche in Tasmania and we can't thank Nicole enough for putting in the time and effort," Wynd said..
"She decided to target the Devonport Chase after the dog had only had a couple of starts for her."
Superior Wallis won his heat in the second fastest time of 25.26 seconds.
He wasn't all that fast away but made the most of the red box to accelerate quickly along the rail to find the front.
There were no concerns from then on, as he strolled home by 6-1/2 lengths.
Aston Lee was the only heat winner to go quicker - 25.21 - but he goes from box 1 to box 8, a draw that didn't please trainer Blake Pursell.
Victorian-trained visitor Ferdinand Boy had his colours lowered by Aston Lee in his heat when $1.10 favourite but qualified as the fastest second.
Early market with tab.com.au -
1.90 Ferdinand Boy; 3.60 Superior Wallis; 4.40 Sacred Stance; 10.00 Nando Dreamer; 13.00 Aston Lee; 19.00 Siberia; 31.00 Harden Up Tommy; 61.00 Buckle Up Miri.
TOP PACERS HEADING TO GOLDEN APPLE
Scooterwillrev and Cool Water Paddy renew hostilities at Mowbray on Sunday night as the state's top pacers head towards the Tassie Golden Apple.
The two have met twice in the past three weeks and Cool Water Paddy has been first home on both occasions.
The Juanita McKenzie-trained five-year-old scored first-up at Mowbray on November 7, when Scootwillrev ran second, and ran second to bolter Gotta Good Reason in last week's Danbury Park Cup when Scooterwillrev ran sixth.
They have drawn barriers eight and nine respectively in Sunday night's Free-For-All so which ever horse gets the best luck in running will probably win the race.
The Tassie Golden Apple has heats at Mowbray next Friday night leading into the $30,000 final on Saturday night December 11.
VISITORS CAN EXPECT TOUGH OPPOSITION
Two Victorian-trained sprinters are among the 19 entries for next Wednesday night's $125,000 Newmarket Handicap at Mowbray.
Patrick Payne has nominated six-year-old mare Dunbrody Power, who was transferred from the John Thompson stable in Sydney specifically for a Tasmanian campaign.
David and Coral Feek have entered seven-year-old gelding I Am Vinnie who has poor recent form but is a three-time Randwick winner.
Dunbrody Power, who also has next year's Bow Mistress on her agenda, ran a close sixth to Krone in a $1 million Magic Millions race on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
If they make the trip, the visitors will come up against a strong local lineup headed by three horses with a rating over 100 - The Inevitable, three-time Newmarket winner I'm Wesley and Mandela Effect.
The other highest-rated entries are last year's winner Gee Gee Secondover (96), Blaze Forth (95), Deroche (94) and Amaword (91).
There are also several horses down in the ratings that will be high up in the betting including And Beyond, War Correspondent, Take The Sit and First Accused.
The meeting will also feature the $100,000 3YO Cup.