Ebby Ripper, Sydney's queen of stayers, turned back the clock 12 months in producing with her all-the-way performance at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Renowned for a string of last-to-first efforts over 720m at Wentworth Park, Ebby Ripper stunned racegoers by jumping in front and leading throughout to notch her 11th long-distance win at the course in the Dukes Ladbrokes Preview Stakes.
Arguably the most powerful finisher in greyhound racing, Ebby Ripper was never going to lose once she led clearly around the first turn and scored by three lengths from Veloce Nero in 42.24sec.
"That's not the first time Ebby Ripper has surprised us all by leading all the way, she did exactly the same thing to win the NSW final of the National Distance Championship in early August last year,'' trainer Michael Eberand said.
"She has been campaigning in Brisbane at the Albion Park winter carnival but has thrived since returning to Sydney and I think she is happy to be back in her kennel at home.''
Ebby Ripper will now tackle next Saturday night's NSW heats of the 720m National Distance Championship at Wentworth Park, as will Veloce Nero, who chased her home on Saturday.
Veloce Nero's run was outstanding as she began well but was checked back to last in the field of five at the first turn.
"She certainly surprised me with how well she went as Veloce Nero was entitled to finish at the back of the field after the trouble she struck early,'' trainer John Finn said.
Last Saturday's other 720m event was taken out by Kihael Road, who trailed Kanzan all the way before coming with a late rush to win by a half-length in 42.22, .02sec faster than Ebby Ripper.
Kihael Road had created a big impression by winning first up over 720m at Wentworth Park on July 11 before finishing third to Veloce Nero in a similar race 10 days later.
Although Kanzan was run down, trainer John Smart was not too disappointed and remains upbeat about her prospects in this Saturday's National Distance Championship heats.
"Originally I had not intended to nominate Kanzan on Saturday and freshened her up last weekend so her run was good.''
Even in defeat, Kanzan clocked the best time she has recorded at Wenty.
Next Saturday also features heats of the National Sprint Championship at Wentworth Park and the vastly improved Catch Me Curly emerged as one of NSW's top prospects after posting yet another sizzling performance last Saturday.
The Jason Magri-trained sprinter made light of his tricky box four draw to lead all the way in the 520m Free-For-All, winning by four lengths in 29.80sec, fastest time of the night.
Early speed wins big races and Catch Me Curly displayed dazzling dash on Saturday, recorded outstanding sectional times of 5.47, 13.77 and 17.85.
Fancy Irene, who scored her second Wentworth Park win in a 520m fifth grade on Saturday, was placed just once in her first five starts at Dapto for her owners and trainer Cliff Bell.
"She ran so disappointingly the owners were considering returning her to her breeder Dennis Barnes, but I persuaded them to be patient as I was confident she would come good,'' Bell said.
"Although Fancy Irene got a dream run through the first turn tonight her effort was good because she lost ground at the start when she veered to the left and collided with another runner.
"Once she was second on the back straight I was confident she would win because Fancy Irene is very strong.''
See you next week!