By Isaac Murphy
Greg Stella is meticulous with his planning.
After finishing second with Regal Opal in the 2020 Master’s Final, he came to this year’s heats locked and loaded with Made In America and Security Code both qualifying for Thursday night’s final.
Neither dog has had a smooth run in their career but talent has never been in question.
Stella likes both their chances come Thursday.
“In a perfect world Made in America (box three) would have had box two and Security Code (box two) box three, but I’m certainly not complaining, I think it sets up nicely for both of them,” he said.
“Made in America should clear Security Code early and hopefully the latter can find a nice spot on the fence around the first corner behind the speed.
“It’s nice to have a speed dog and run-on dog this year, we got pipped on the line with a bitch called Regal Opal in this race last year, so it’d be a nice piece of redemption to go one better.”
Made in America has only recently turned his attention to the 500 metre races and relies heavily on early speed, which he has in spades.
“His heat time (30.37 seconds) wasn’t as quick as he previous run, but if he can come out running, I think he’s easily a 30.20 second dog or better this week,” Stella said.
“With even luck at the start he looks the leader from box three on Thursday night and if he wants to be winning the race he’s going to have to get out and find a break.
“He’s run in the high 5.4 second range to the first mark at his best, but I’d be very happy if he could go 5.5 seconds from box three which should see him comfortably out in front.”