It was a difficult decision, and one Dennis Barnes did ponder, but in the end it came down to the fact that these are rare opportunities which don’t come around every day.
Barnes trained promising young bitch Nangar Diva, who got tongues wagging with some handy performances at Wentworth Park in recent weeks, notably a 29.76s best of the night effort on March 13.
But in the back of his mind his target was the Group 3 New Sensation, an event open to greyhounds whelped on or after November 17, 2016, with limitations on wins and starts. Nangar Diva fit perfectly into the event.
However when Nangar Diva started to produce the runs she has, the thinking changed a little.
“I was in two minds which way to go – to the New Sensation or in the Golden Easter Egg,” he said.
“I thought these opportunities only come around every so often. For trainers like myself, you don’t get a chance every year.
“She’s in there so she’s got a chance, but I’m not getting too far ahead of myself. She does have her work cut out. Anyway we’ll see how she goes.”
Barnes chose the Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg, and tonight Nangar Diva lines up in heat 2, more than capable of advancing to the next stage, the semi-finals next Saturday.
Twice previously Barnes, who trains out at Cudal in the Central West, has had runners make it through to the Easter Egg semis.
Back in 2016 Nangar Flash won his heat in 29.66s, then finished fourth in the semi behind eventual Easter Egg winner Moreira.
Then the following year he had Nangar Bear (pictured) win his heat in 29.71s, then narrowly miss a place in the final when he finished third to Up Hill Jill in the semi-final.
“I think every trainer would love to have a runner in the Easter Egg final, and we’re just the same.
”I just hope she can run the same sort of race she did when she went 29.76s, get into second or third position early and she’d be a reasonable chance of qualifying there.”