ORANGE greyhound trainer Martin Hallinan has a huge chance to collect a big cheque tonight.
Three of Hallinan’s dogs have qualified for the group one Newcastle Herald National Derby (515m) final, and one for the group one Dogpro National Futurity (515m), both at the Unibet Gardens, in Newcastle.
The winner takes $75,000 from each race.
Waymore’s Blues, Zipping Snoopy and Zipping Brock will all attempt to win the derby title, while Zipping Delta will race in the futurity.
Despite Zipping Brock running down Waymore’s Blues in the second qualifier last week, in an impressive 29.54 seconds, Hallinan nominated the latter as his best derby chance.
“I’d love to say they’ll run one, two and three but I’ve got to be realistic,” he said.
“You can never go into a group one race confident, everyone is more hopeful.”
“They have good speed, which is a real asset in races at the Gardens. With a bit of luck, we might be able to take this one home"
Hallinan said all three dogs in the derby are in prime condition, despite running from less than ideal boxes.
“They’ve all been running well, and did a good job in the heats and semi-finals,” he said.
“They have good speed, which is a real asset in races at the Gardens. With a bit of luck, we might be able to take this one home.”
Zipping Delta was run down by Ritza Hattie in the second semi-final of the futurity last week, but Hallinan refuses to write his dog off.
“There is no shame in being run down by that dog,” he said.
“Ritza Hattie is probably the best bitch running around at the moment, and Zipping Delta has drawn more favourably than her. As with the other race, with a bit of luck who knows.”
Soviet Missile, trained by Molong’s Toby Weekes, also qualified for the derby and will be tough to beat, Hallinan said.
“It’s a great little dog that one,” he said.
“But it might not be that suited to the Gardens. It’s a strong dog, and doesn’t have as much speed. But it can run anywhere, you’d expect it to do well.”
The Dogpro National Futurity (515m) runs at 8.58pm tonight, while the Newcastle Herald National Derby (515m) kicks off at 9.38pm.