While Stinger Noir misses the opportunity to compete at Nationals due to COVID-19 restrictions, the win comes with something of potentially far greater value.
“To come away with a golden ticket through to the semi-finals of the Million Dollar Chase as well as the State Sprint title is magnificent, you’re one win away from the final and a crack at the money,” Zammit said.
“Knowing that he’s got his spot booked we’ll really be able to come up with the ideal preparation for him leading into the race, it’s a long way away but we’ll get him down to Wentworth Park for a trial and do everything we can to have him firing on the night.”
While it was a successful night for the kennel overall, they would have preferred a quinella with Oh Mickey, who didn’t fire but is not far off doing something special.
“Considering he was last out he was never really a winning chance from out there, it’s disappointing because you know how good he is, but he’ll live to fight another day,” Zammit said.
“He ran on pretty well, I wasn’t upset with his run I just wasn’t happy with the way he came out.
“It’s frustrating because the dog is going as good as ever; his recent times at Albion and Ipswich will tell you that, but as I said earlier if you just don’t get the breaks in these tough races you’re going to struggle.”
Oh Mickey will get a chance to bounce back in Group 3 company at the Townsville Cup along with Stinger Noir in next Saturday night’s heats, and Zammit says both dogs have pulled up well.
“The Townsville Cup is the next mission; we’ll give both dogs a nice light week and figure out how early we want to get them up there,” he said.
“They’ll go straight in the heats without a trial, I think that’s the best way to go considering the hard racing they’ve been doing week-in week-out down here and both have shown they can handle a new track first up.”
Rasheda leaves it late to claim Distance title
Rasheda is a throwback to yesteryear’s stayers; a true closer in every sense of the word in an age where front runners are all the rage.
Seeing Rasheda come from the clouds to win the Distance Championship for Tony Apap last night was pretty special and she did it with plenty against her.
“It was a remarkable effort to get up and win after clipping the heals of Cool Talk on the home turn and almost coming down,” Apap said.
“She had her momentum up and would have been a good thing beaten if she didn’t get there.
“She did it tough from box six again, I had a joke with Jeff Crawford that I should tattoo that six on her chest to save the rug every week, but she is getting used to racing out there.
“She’s starting to go around dogs where she used to only rail which is a string to her bow.
“We would have preferred her on the inside but that’s racing, and it probably gave me more of a thrill seeing her do it the tough way last night.”
The bitch has been competitive in all of the winter staying events but with the likes of Velocity Bettina and Classy Ethics getting the fly, it’s left Rasheda too far back.
When they bunched at the start last night, Apap knew she’d have her shot.
“She was still near the back of the field last night, but they were far more bunched most of the way around and the field didn’t string out like in similar races this winter,” he said.
“She’s a hard dog to cheer because you’re never really sure if she’ll get there but at the 600-metre boxes, I could see her coming and knew she was going to get her chance to fly around them.
“As I said earlier, she almost fell and then had to pick up again and come four-wide to win it on the line - it was a mighty effort.”