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Palawa King confirms ‘best’ status with Super Stayers victory

21 June 2024

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The Smith kennel's Palawa King after Thursday's big win.

By Pat McLeod

Palawa King confirmed his status as the undeniable Australian distance monarch as ‘the invaders’ continued their domination of the 2024 Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival at Albion Park on Thursday night.

‘The King’ claimed the four-dog, Group 2, $75,000-to-the-winner Super Stayers Invitational over 710 metres in a 41.56 second personal best to highlight trainer Jack Smith’s summation that his champion was now at the peak of his powers.

“He is just unbelievable,” Smith said. 

“He is certainly a better dog than he was at this event last year (when he ran third to Warren Nicholls' Days Of Thunder). And, he has certainly come good at the right time.

“I think now you can say that he is the best distance dog in Australia without sounding big headed.

“Of course with these dogs, a different one wins it almost every night. If we ran this race again my dog might not win it.

Races

8
8

Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:55 PM

GARRARD'S Super Stayers Invitational F

“But, he was the best dog and that is what counts. You have to be on your game on the night and he does it more often than not and that is what makes him such a good dog.”

Palawa King ran his normal back-marker pattern and was given plenty to chase by Tony Brett’s Lena Jinx.

However, 'The King’s' home stretch burst was again powerful enough to rein in that leader, with Tony Zammit’s Valpolicella running third.

“Palawa King’s greatest attribute is his enormous motor,” Smith said.

“He can just sit there and then do that, just explode when he wants to.

“I know his record up here is great, but he has won Group 1 races on four different tracks.

"The good dogs travel. You can have a specialist at a track, but for me I can go anywhere and know that he is going to be competitive. You would do anything to have this type of dog.”

Races

7
7

Albion Park | Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club | 8:34 PM

QGRC Chairman's Cup F

Smith’s wife Maree will make the 12-hour drive from their kennels in Forbes, NSW, for next week’s heats of the Group 1 Queensland Cup, a feature won by 'The King' last year.

Thursday night’s win took Palawa King’s overall record to 30 wins and 25 placings from 70 starts for $1,079,945 in prize money.

His record over the 710 metres at Albion Park is five wins and a third from six starts for $469,385 in prize money.

With next week’s heats of the Queensland Cup and $1 million Group 1 Brisbane Cup over 520 metres heralding the climax of arguably the state’s most successful greyhound carnival, the interstate visitors are ominously poised.

Most threatening is the powerhouse Victorian Jason Thompson kennel, who took out all three Brisbane Cup preludes over 520 metres on Thursday night with Excavation (29.68 seconds), Flying Zulu (29.68 seconds) and a blistering quick Explicit (29.48 seconds).

All three are under the care of South East Queensland master trainer Tony Brett who was ‘absolutely rapt’ by the performances of the three sprinters.

Explicit was an impressive winner on Thursday evening at headquarters.

“As far as first times go they don't go much better than that,” Brett said of Explicit’s Albion Park race debut.

“If you have dogs who can run in that 5:40 seconds range, like Orchestrate, Postman Pat and last year’s Brisbane Cup winner Elite Machine, that's what you need to win these races and these dogs are capable of it.”

Super Night also included four other minor features, with Michelle Sultana’s One Hot Bandit stealing the limelight with his run of 34.50 seconds to win the Tempest over 600 metres by almost 10 lengths, with Ray Burman’s Blue Hornet and Jewel Bee second and third.

One Hot Bandit’s time is the second fastest recorded at track and distance with the record at 34.43 seconds, held by Burman’s Champagne Sally.

Other feature wins on Thursday night went to:

Carramar Driver (trained by Mark Small) – The Lightning (331 metres) in 19.08 seconds;

Gundy Sure Can (Sandra Hunt) – The Thunder (395 metres) in 22.66 seconds;

Flying Freda (Chris Halse) – The Chairman’s Cup (710 metres) in 41.89 seconds.

Flying Freda
One Hot Bandit Next Racing
Flying Freda
Gundy Sure Can