John Finn was at home recuperating after suffering a heart attack early this week but that did not stop the master trainer taking out each of two heats of the Crocmedia National Distance Championship at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
He started the ball rolling when Poco Dorado prevailed by a head in a thriller over Big Butters and Kanzan in heat one, stopping the clock at a brisk 42.20sec for the 720m.
Poco Dorado's litter sister Veloce Nero kept the Finn flag flying in heat two, taking the lead with a lap to go before scoring by just over a length from the fast finishing duo Kihael Road and Ebby Ripper in a slick 42.22sec.
Veloce Nero (pictured) and the wide running Poco Dorado have each drawn extremely well in Thursday's final, coming up with boxes one and seven respectively.
Just for good measure Finn got Blue Moon Rising, a litter brother to his two Distance winners, into Thursday night's NSW final of the National Sprint Championship when that dog finished fast from fifth on the home turn to be runner-up in Sunburnt Highway's 520m heat.
Finn called on his sister-in-law Patricia Chaker to take his greyhounds to Wentworth Park with Chaker commenting: "You should have seen the list of instructions I got from John, he is very particular about his dogs you know.''
Little Digger, trained by Raymond "Jack'' Smith, John Finn's nephew, set the time standard in Saturday night's four heats of the Crocmedia National Sprint Championship with a tearaway six lengths' win in 29.77sec in heat two.
Little Digger was backed from $2.20 to $1.50 and the powerful finisher was always going to win after settling in third position going through the pen, being second at the half-way mark and leading turning for home.
Peter Mosman Classic winner Velocity Liberty set a scorching pace with a first split of 5.42sec, and went through to Thursday night's state final by finishing second.
The other Sprint heats were taken out by Sunburnt Highway in 29.93, Sky Wave in 30sec and Watch The Wasp, who came from last to win in 30.21sec.
Unfortunately for Watch The Wasp's trainer Dean Swain and owner, well known thoroughbred owner Robert Jones, the dog has been barred from contesting Thursday's final after being judged to have turned his head in the straight.
Watch The Wasp had run down Double Mack in a roughly-run race in which hot favourite Miss Splendamiro was a certainty beaten.
Miss Splendamiro was in second spot when skittled by the wide running Modus Operandi on the first bend, and was "flattened'' again when third, and finishing rapidly, approaching the home corner.
Sky Wave showed plenty of determination to win as she was beaten for the early lead by rank outsider Mandrake Mae, while favourite Catch Me Curly lost no admirers in finishing second, just over a length away.
Catch Me Curly began well from box five but was hampered crossing to the rails and came from fourth on the back straight with a tenacious finishing run.
He has drawn the coveted rails box in the final with Little Digger also nicely placed in box three.
Sunburnt Highway, a fifth grader at WP, ran the race of his life to lead throughout in his heat, winning by nearly three lengths from Blue Moon Rising.
Box draws for Thursday are the Sprint: 1 Catch Me Curly 2 Northern Nangar 3 Little Digger 4 Blue Moon Rising 5 Double Mack 6 Sky Wave 7 Sunburnt Highway 8 Velocity Liberty with reserves Cosmic Bonus and Bekin Street.
The Distance final draw is 1 Veloce Nero 2 Big Butters 3 Rockstar Kerr 4 Ebby Ripper 5 Kihael Road 6 Kanzan 7 Poco Dorado 8 Miss Wing Wong with reserves King Panda and Tahiti Pearl.
See you next week!