Queensland and NSW have unveiled their respective teams for next week’s TAB Origin Greyhound Series at Albion Park.
Looking to recapture the Origin crown, Queensland has announced a strong line up of proven stars, headlined by three recent Group 1 finalists in Farmor Beach, Crazy Cool and Maggie Moo Moo.
The Wayne Scott-trained Farmor Beach is coming off a stellar 12 months, claiming the 2020 Group 3 Vince Curry Memorial Final and Group 2 Ipswich Gold Cup, before securing a spot in this year’s Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Final at Wentworth Park.
Crazy Cool was the surprise packet of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival, causing a boilover to claim the Group 2 Golden Ticket, before going on to run second in the Group 1 Gold Bullion Final to Shima Shine, as well as recently securing a spot in the Group 1 Sapphire Crown Final at Sandown.
Queensland’s premier stayer, Maggie Moo Moo, fresh off an ever-consistent autumn that saw her compete in finals for both the Group 1 Sandown Cup and Wentworth Park’s Group 1 Association Cup, will lead the local hopes in the 710-metre feature.
The NSW brigade will be headlined by two superstars of Australian greyhound racing; reigning Million Dollar Chase champion Handsome Prince for Peter Lagogiane, and Danielle Matic’s multiple Group 1 winner and arguably Australia’s top sprinter, Wow.
Rising star Jungle Deuce will represent the southerners in the Origin Match Race, coming off a scintillating 29.54-second dash around Albion Park en route to winning the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic last night.
The visitors’ staying hopes will rest on Dashing Corsair winner Zipping Niseko, who also notched up a gritty win in the Listed feature last night.
Last year’s Group 1 Queensland Cup winner Classy Ethics will also don the baby blue in the Distance race, and brings with her a significant track advantage after calling Queensland home for the majority of 2020.
“We’re happy with the squad that we have selected,” Queensland selector Luke Gatehouse said.
“It’s a powerful NSW line-up and they’re going to be hard to beat.
“But we relish the opportunity to be underdogs as Queenslanders and will be doing our utmost to win this year’s Series.”
After COVID-19 forced the abandonment of last year’s Series, it returns with two $60,000 Group 3 races – the Origin Sprint (520 metres) and Origin Distance (710 metres) – as well as the Listed Origin Match Race, Regional Origin Challenge and Queensland Emerging Origin Stars (all run over 520 metres).
Bragging rights still rest with NSW after Feral Franky broke the 2019 stalemate with a barnstorming victory in the Origin Match Race to send the shield south of the border, with Queensland’s victory in 2018’s inaugural series leaving it at one apiece heading into 2021.
Late last month, each state announced preliminary squads of 25 dogs, along with confirmation that Ben Hannant (Queensland) and Terry Hill (New South Wales) will coach the respective states.
Hannant will make his debut as Queensland coach, replacing Chris Walker who led Queensland to victory in 2018, while Hill will take the reins for a third term.
The box draws for each of the series’ races will be conducted on Monday, June 14 at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club, and will be broadcast live on SKY2 from 2pm.
The final teams for the TAB Origin Greyhound Series are as follows: