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Whirlwind start to Cyclone Arrow’s Queensland career

By Isaac Murphy

Tony Apap knows a thing or two about training a strong sprinter, think Bubble Guppy and in more recent times Shorino.

While ex-Victorian Cyclone Arrow has a long way to go, he shares a lot of the same traits as those dogs and has taken to life in Queensland since his June arrival with great aplomb.

The progeny of Hey Fergus and Krinon Brae went three from three to kick off his career in Queensland at Albion Park on late last month, but Apap took just as much out of his fourth placing last week.

“I was a bit disappointed last start but when I came home and watched it in slow motion he got cut off at the start, went up in the air and lost all momentum, but we worked out he came home in 12.52 which is enormous,” he said.

“He’s come up here and just got straight into his work; he loves it the more the better in his mind, he’s a mad chaser we got that read on him pretty early.

“I wasn’t sure what I would start him over, he’d mostly raced at the one turn tracks in Victoria

“He just worked so hard and credit to his owner Nick (Koutsourakis) he was a picture of health, so I was happy to take him straight to the 520.”

Being presented in such great condition, Apap was able to get right to it with Cyclone Arrow, and his impressive trials have led to immaculate racing.

“We were able to trial him almost straight away when he arrived, he went well at Ipswich and then I took him to Albion Park and he went 30.20 first look at the place and that’s when I thought we might have something really nice here,” he said.

“His three wins at Albion he’s gone 30.15, 30.09 and then 29.84, so he’s responding to the work we’ve put into him brilliantly and are keen to see how quick he can go.”

Albion Park

MP SANITIZE 520m

Apap re-iterated his stance on just how good the dog’s last run was, where he showed the mental capacity as well as the physical.

“It sounds strange, but I actually like his fourth last start more than his wins,” he said.

“He was never going to win the race, but he didn’t care - he just loves running and to come home the way he did was a really good sign.

“I’ve had plenty of middle-distance dogs in my time and the way he runs his races that’ll be an option for him one day and he’ll be more than handy.”

Middle-distance plans are staying on the shelf for the moment as the dog faces his sternest test in the Ipswich Young Guns heats this Saturday night, but Apap is confident with a touch of luck he’ll take to Ipswich as he did Albion Park.

“We’re looking at the Young Guns heats at Ipswich for him on Saturday night, there’s not many restricted races on at the moment and the way he’s trialled at Ipswich we’d probably be mad not to have a go at it,” Apap said.

“The only worry for him at Ipswich is the shorter run to the first turn when he’s not brilliant early, but on the upside it’s probably a stronger 520 metres than Albion Park overall which is in his favour.

“If he can position himself around the first turn and be relatively handy, he’s a good chance to at least grab a finals spot.”

Cyclone Arrow was sent to Apap via prominent Victorian business owner Nick Koutsourakis, and both parties more than pleased with early results.

“I’d trained one dog for Nick and one of his mates in the past, but I know him more through his business which makes a lot of greyhound products in Victoria, he’s very switched on with all of that,” Apap said.

“We buy dry food off him and a few other items that have really helped our dogs and that’s really how I got to know him.

“He’s a busy man down there and wanted a fresh start with the dog who he thought had some ability and thankfully he sent him to me, and things are going well for both of us so far.”

Cyclone Arrow

Rasheda - who Apap trains for prominent breeding expert David Brasch - should finally get her chance at a feature win in the Ipswich Grand Prix for the stayers on Saturday night, after a frustrating winter where the out-and-out stayer just couldn’t draw a box.

“Rasheda gets her chance in the Ipswich Grand Prix on Saturday night as well, it’s the one race on the calendar that is pencilled in for her every year as we know the further the better, she’d run 900 metres but we’ll settled for the 732,” Apap said.

“It’s an event made for out-and-out stayers which we know she is, she’s a much better chance of grabbing a front runner like Classy Ethics or Velocity Bettina late over the trip.

“I’d love to see her draw and inside box because she’s been luckless over the Group races at Albion.

“With her you need a lot to go right to see her win, but when she does win she does it in style.”

Another Apap runner worth keeping an eye on is Velocity Tinto; the bitch was a maiden a month ago but after three impressive wins in good time at Ipswich the 520 is calling.

“She’s managed to knock off a few races over the 431 metres that can be a bit dangerous and we think the time’s right to get her up to the 520,” Apap said.

“She’s beautifully bred (Barcia Bale/Velocity Melzon) and clearly has ability, but the jury is probably still out on her until we see what she can do at the longer sprint trip.

“We’ll probably try to find a nice graded race for her at Albion being the slightly easier 520 to get her started.

“She hasn’t seen the track as much as Ipswich, so she may take some time but he’s only young.”