Dream finale fit for a Queen

A third straight victory in the $1.65 million The Phoenix was always going to be a herculean task for champion sprinter Wow She’s Fast.

The Phoenix

Dream Chasers

13 Dec

A third straight victory in the $1.65 million The Phoenix was always going to be a herculean task for champion sprinter Wow She’s Fast.

An historic threepeat in the world’s richest greyhound race would be a feat akin to Bold Trease’s four consecutive Sandown Cups, or in the thoroughbred code, Winx’s four Cox Plates, or Makybe Diva’s Melbourne Cup hat-trick.

Saturday night is the third staging of The Phoenix, with Wow She’s Fast the only name on the honour roll.

Just making it to the boxes for a third Phoenix is a remarkable achievement by Wow She’s Fast and Pearcedale trainers Kel and Jackie Greenough.

Even more so, considering she missed six months of 2023 due to injury.

A fairytale farewell looked to be very much back in play after Wow She’s Fast trialled sensationally at The Meadows last Thursday, clocking 29.49sec, the fastest run at the track this year in either trial or race.

However, the ‘Queen’s’ prospects of ending her magnificent career in a blaze of glory were dealt a massive blow with the box draw, albeit it’s something she’s become accustomed to – and overcome – in both Phoenix triumphs.

In a cruel twist for the Greenoughs, their two slot holders, Big Energy (RSN) and Wow She’s Fast (Sportsbet), were the final two sprinters drawn in the ‘pick a box’ format.

Kel Greenough chose seven for luckless Melbourne Cup runner-up Big Energy, leaving Wow She’s Fast to exit six for the second Phoenix in succession.

The world’s highest earning greyhound, banking an unprecedented $2,391,995 prizemoney in winning 20 of her 34 starts, hasn’t been given any favours in her two previous victories in the slot event, exiting box four in 2021’s inaugural edition.

“You’ve just got to deal with it and move on,” said Kel Greenough.

“Box draws either go your way or they don’t.

“Big Energy will run straight; he won’t cut down on Wow She’s Fast, so this way it gives them both a chance. From what was left to pick from,” he added ruefully.

“We’ll just focus on getting them both as good as we can and hope we get a bit of luck.

“It’s a race you would like to draw well in. Big Energy was the pre-post favourite and after the draw he’s fourth or fifth favourite. He thrives from an inside draw, when he gets one.

“The draw certainly makes the race a bit more open. There’s probably five dogs with not a lot between them in betting. Anthony (Azzopardi) drawing ‘the red’ (Pass The Buck) and Hector Fawley in two, brings them both right into the race.”

Big Energy is the more-fancied of the Greenough pair in Sportsbet’s market, at $6, with Wow She’s Fast at $10, having started $11 and $6.60 respectively in her two Phoenix wins.

“If I had to pick one as the better chance, I would think it’s Big Energy,” Greenough said.

“On their sections in their trials last week he ran about half a length quicker early than Wow She’s Fast (5.09sec and 5.12sec), so he might be able to put himself in the race.”

The million dollar question – or perhaps it’s the $3 million question – is whether Saturday night will be Wow She’s Fast’s racetrack swansong, with Kel Greenough believing it would be an ideal farewell.

“I want it to be her last run. To me, it’s the perfect way for her to go out.”


The Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival is back!

With over $4.1 million in prize money up for grabs, The Meadows and Sandown Park again play host to these blockbuster events, including the $1million Group 1 Sportsbet Melbourne Cup and the most exciting race in greyhound racing, The Phoenix.



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