All David Smith was looking for was a nice fifth grade race at Nowra to run his bitch. What he has ended up with is a semi-final berth for the richest greyhound race in the world, the GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase.
Last night at The Pinebowl in Nowra, Smith’s Zippy Ethics pinged the lids and then refused to be run down, taking the Regional Final of the Chase in 30.10s, and in doing takes the next step in the $1 million to the winner series, booking a spot in the semi-finals at Wentworth Park on October 12.
But as he revealed after Zippy Ethics won her heat seven days earlier, Smith was not even considering a start in the series before he rang to nominate his bitch.
But because nominations were short, he decided to help out and nominate Zippy Ethics in the Chase. The rest, as they say in the classics, is history.
“I’m rapt to win any race, anywhere, but the million dollars is a long, long, long, long, long way away,” said Smith after the win. “We’ll just take each week as it comes. The Victorian dogs are running 29.2s (at Wentworth Park). We’ll be in it, we’re really happy about that, and you never know … but I won’t be buying tickets to the final for the family just yet.
“I think we might have come to the right venue. There was Miss Splendamiro and Sky Wave at Bathurst and they missed out … that’s how hard it was there.
“I guess it’s always hard to beat people who race at the track regularly, and she’s now won five out of seven here, so it obviously suits here.”
Smith said he will keep racing Zippy Ethics to keep the race fitness on her, before the semi-finals.
Smith also part-owns last week’s Group 1 Dapto Megastar runner-up Benkennie Chic and said she will be nominated for Saturday at Wentworth Park in the city qualifiers, and she will trial, post to post at the venue on Tuesday night.
On Sunday night at Temora, Neil Staines qualified Bogan Way for the semi-finals of the Chase when he ran second to Champion Model. Just 24 hours later and Staines had doubled his semi-final contingent when Bogan Way’s litter sister Bogan Doonie stormed home late to grab second, and the semi-final berth which accompanied it.
So far the dogs through to the semis out of the regional qualifiers are: Rohan Hill and Double Up Dee from Bathurst, Snug and Raven Izmir from Lismore, Big Black and She’s Gifted from Maitland, Embye and Zipping Mitzy from Bulli, Blue Sky Riot and King Jeremy from Wagga Wagga, Midnight Starlet and Little Digger from Dubbo, Champion Model and Bogan Way from Temora, and now Zippy Ethics and Bogan Doonie from Nowra.
Another 15 dogs joined them out of last Saturday’s city qualifiers at Wentworth Park.
The regional series continued on Monday with the final at Grafton, and the 11 regional finals wrap up on Friday at Richmond and Ladbrokes Gardens.
The series then has two more rounds of City Qualifiers next Saturday and the following Saturday, and then the semi-final on October 12.