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Stars emerge after Queensland claims UBET Origin Series

By Isaac Murphy

Queensland have claimed the inaugural UBET Origin Series in what was an exciting night for Australian greyhound racing at Albion Park, with the clash producing some pulsating racing in a concept that is sure to grow.

The series comprised of the stayers over the 710m, sprinters over the 520m and match race over 520m, as celebrity coaches and greyhound enthusiasts Chris Walker and Terry Hill captained their states.

It was the maroons who drew first blood, with boom young stayer Double Gee for Salena Zammit delighting the Queensland trainer with his swooping exploits.

"What can I say his form is speaking for itself," said Zammit

"He's doing it tough giving away maturity and race starts, he's just racing wonderfully at the moment."

Zammit said while the kennel always had confidence in the dog's ability he had to overcome some hurdles to get to where he is.

"I saw the talent in him early on after we broke him in and trialled him we knew he was going to be a distance dog," she said.

"But we had a lot of trouble winning a maiden with him because over the 520m boxes he'd come out ten lengths behind the field."

Zammit said now that Double Gee had found his trip, the sky was the limit for one of Australia's budding young stayers.

"He's really put his name up there with some of the best stayers, but we just train for tonight then tomorrow we'll worry about what's next, anything can happen in the future, so we just enjoy tonight."

"We're Queenslanders through and through."

The home crowd was treated to another gritty win in the UBET Origin Sprint by recently crowned Winter Cup champion Jury, who gave the Queenslanders an unasailable two nil lead.

Hall of Fame trainer Tony Brett said the dual group one winner was a dream dog for the kennel.

He's a pretty special dog to us, he hasn't got a vice in him at home he's the loveliest dog you see how friendly he is he loves a sook and a pat.

 "But when it's time to go and he's behind those boxes you can just feel it in him, he's a wound up ready to go."

Jury was challenged along the back straight by fellow Queenslander Maurice Minor and New South Wales dog Catch Me Curly pressing hard.

Brett marvelled on his dogs ability to rise to the occasion.

"He thrives on the competition, Maurice Minor he'd be one of the strongest 500m dogs around and I know how strong Catch Me Curly is because we've had him in the kennel the last three weeks," he said

"Around the back I was thinking we might be in a little bit of trouble here, you never know after a big run last week when they power out if it's going to take it out of them, but to just keep kicking on like he did I couldn't be prouder of him."

Brett said the occasion was topped off by a family connection and winning the inaugural UBET Origin Series.

"My brother and his wife are down, he's never been to Albion Park so to have them tonight is pretty special and to win the first installment of this concept is even better."

Brett plans to give his star dog some time off before refocusing on group one glory.

"The plan is to go on to nationals, that's two really tough runs so we'll ease off him for a little," he said.

"But he's been to Melbourne and raced down there at Sandown where the finals are, so it's always nice when they've seen the track."

The match race between Queensland's It's Dyllan and New South Wales Mister Beluchi was far from a dead rubber, as the two dog dual captivated onlookers, with Mister Beluchi putting the blues on the board in a back and forth battle.

It was a case of mixed feelings for Northern Rivers trainer Frank Hancock, with the former Queenslander donning a blues cap for the night.

The Brisbane Greyhound Club donated $2000 to the Mark Hughes Brain Cancer fund as a pair of Chris Riordan dogs won out of the four box.

Double Chip clocked the second fastest winning time of the night in 29.85, getting the better of Hara's Honey in a bobbing finish.

Versatile sprinter Fabrique saluted in the fifth over 520m, the greyhound also having success recently over the 395m.

Outside the feature races the performance of the night came from former Victorian Not Available, currently with the Steve Scott kennel which flew around the 520m in 29.71 despite multiple checks.