SOME memorable celebrations could be on the cards if local star Panel Beater can emulate his mother and win Monday evening’s Group 3 Ladbrokes Nowra Summer Puppy Classic (520m).
The consistent son of notable sire Collision and champion greyhound Double Twist, trained by Nowra Hill mentor Garry Edwards, looks a strong chance jumping from box seven in the $25,000-to-the-winner final.
Double Twist was the 2013 NSW Greyhound of the Year and her brilliant race career included winning the Summer Puppy Classic for Edwards back in 2013.
Her son has not quite reached those heights yet but Edwards is hopeful his greyhound can capture the final, one of the biggest races of the year at Nowra.
“I think the last time (we won) we opened the bar and had a big spread on for everyone the following week,” Edwards said. “It would be nice to see that again.
“This draw is far from ideal as he needs to be drawn inside – anywhere from (boxes) one to four would have been better.
“Having said that, I think he’s the fastest greyhound in the race at his best and he’s capable of running time. It’s just the first two sections I am worried about.”
Panel Beater’s solid 30.04 victory from box one in last week’s heats extended his overall career record to a decent six wins and eight minor placings from 20 starts.
That was only his second victory in 11 starts but he has won once and placed once in two previous starts from box seven and has run a scorching 29.87 at Nowra.
“I’ve been banging my head against the wall with him these last few starts,” Edwards said. “It felt like years since he last put it all together.
“When I saw the draw I thought, ‘yuck’ (but) he’s pulled up fine and looks in great condition.”
Edwards bought his first greyhound more than 40 years ago while working as an apprentice fitter, forming a syndicate with his mates and scoring a loan from his mother to help finance his purchase.
That first greyhound, Patricia Lisa, was a city class greyhound and enjoyed a notable career – and Edwards has not looked back since.
Wollondilly trainer Donna Campbell rugs up three contenders in the final, with fastest qualifier Big Black (box eight) looking her best chance.
Kennelmate Tiempo Dinero (box three) clocked a strong 30.10 win in last week’s heats and also looks a strong contender.
Heza Gangster, owned and trained by Meroo Meadow’s Tracey Bryant, has placed in his last two starts and looks a decent value chance from box five.
The final is race six on the card at the Shoalhaven club, with action under way at 5.14pm. For Nowra Monday fields, form and expert picks, visit www.thedogs.com.au