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Dionysius determined to defend Ipswich Auction crown

By Isaac Murphy

Everything was going to script for the favourites in the Group 3 Ipswich Auction Series heats last Saturday, with Extra Malt, Flaming Rose and Little Byrnes all saluting at short quotes.

However, it was Scott Dionysius’ Diamond Tina who caused the boilover of the night, a six-length winner first time over the 500 metres and ready to improve in this week’s semi-finals.

The Aston Dee Bee/Jay Bay Queen bitch snuck under the radar of punters with only a couple of poor runs to her name the last couple of months, but she’s a full sister to fellow qualifiers Borneo Bandit and Flaming Rose, and brought that form to her heat.

“It was all about making it through to this week’s semi-finals, we thought she could lead with her box manners and run around 30.87 but it was a nice surprise to win the race,” Dionysius said.

“It was a relief to see her back to her best, she hasn’t done much racing in the last couple of months as she had a bit of a rough season which she’s taken a long time to recover from, but she looks like she’s turned the corner.

“We’ve only managed two runs since the Ipswich Sprint Series in early February and neither of them were any good, so it was some effort to step out over the 500 first time and do what she did.”

Races

6

Ipswich | Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club | 6:27 PM

Ipswich Auction Series (G3) H

The bitch showed customary box speed from the four to lead last week, and Dionysius is hoping for more of the same as she clashes with the series favourite.

“I would’ve liked to get a bit closer to the rail this week, but her box manners have always been a strength and she tends to run a nice straight line to the post,” he said.

“She has some speed inside her, but I think she can get across to the fence.

“With Extra Malt in our heat, we’ll be looking to qualify first and win second, but if we can make our own luck out in front you never know.

“We’re never going to be able to run the times she’s capable of, but that’s what these three-week series’ are all about, things can go one way or another and all of a sudden you’re a red-hot chance.”

Dionysius was a part owner of last year’s winner Rio Valiente - along with uncles Jason and Craig Schmidt - and the trio are a genuine chance of defending their title.

“It’s a race I’ve got a lot of time for, I was involved in the ownership of last year’s winner Rio Valiente along with Jason and Craig Schmidt - the three of us make up the Schmidt Hot syndicate,” he said.

“Diamond Tina is a full sister to Borneo Bandit and Flaming Rose who both went well last week, so it’s pretty exciting to have three winning chances in a Group 3 race.

“Comparing this year’s series to last year’s, I think it’s definitely tougher; you didn’t have dogs like Little Byrnes running 30.24 or Extra Malt coming from almost last to win their heats, to name a couple they’ll be hard to toss.”

Borneo Bandit and Flaming Rose had tasted some success over the 500 before last week’s heats but Diamond Tina was first-up, hopefully giving her scope to find a few lengths this week.

“The question mark we’ve always had on the litter is whether they’ll make good 500-metre dogs, they’re bred to just make it,” Dionysius said.

“From what we’ve seen with Borneo Bandit and Flaming Rose we’re confident once they get a bit older it’ll be their pet trip and this week is a real acid test for Diamond Tina to back up her 500.

“She’s only young and has a dozen starts under her belt, so with the right training I think we can turn her into a front running sprinter, and she can always drop back to the shorts.”