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Samona to strike while the iron is hot

By Alex Nolan

Young trainer Josh Priest and his father Terry hope to strike while the iron is hot with Samona.

After winning last week’s Winged Runner Trophy at Albion Park – handing Josh his first Listed winner – Samona is headed south for another Victorian campaign and a shot a Group 1 glory.

A recent trip south saw the daughter of Ritza Lenny and It's A Synch run a slashing third at bolter’s odds in the Group 3 Launching Pad Final while in the care of trainer Brendan Pursell.

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This time, Terry will accompany the in-form winner of seven from 32 – and more than $61,000 prize money – to Melbourne when she returns to Sandown for a tilt at the Group 1 Sapphire Crown.

However, the hard-working Josh is staying put to oversee their Park Ridge South kennel.

“Josh would’ve travelled down today but he’s still on his learner driving plates and wouldn’t be able to get around,” Terry said.

Albion Park

Winged Runner Trophy (L) F 520m

“His work ethic is phenomenal and he deserves all the accolades for what he’s done with Samona and not just her, but with all our greyhounds.

“You see my dogs racing at Capalaba but Josh handles 99% of them.”

Samona is set to exit box six in the third Sapphire Crown Heat over 515 metres at 10:15pm on Friday, with a vacant box to her inside.

It’s a similar set up to her win at Albion Park last week, when navigating early traffic from box six to find the fence.

After finding the front going through the catching pen, Samona put paid to her rivals to win in 29.92 seconds and book her return ticket to Melbourne.  

“Josh was very confident last week because he likes the middle boxes with her,” Terry said.

“She got a bit of room then really put the after burners on.

“As I said to Josh, ‘if you’re in good form then you’re mad if you don’t have a go.’

“She’s turning into a smart racing bitch.”

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Josh’s kennel is set to expand in the near future, with Terry confirming the Longbow Syndicate that own Samona have purchased another pup to be trained by Josh.

“I’m so proud of the effort Josh has put into the greyhounds,” Terry said.

“I can give him a steer but he still has to get up and do it himself every day.

“He wants to make a career out of greyhounds, so getting his name out there and having some good dogs is important.”  

Samona is expected to return to Brisbane soon after the Sapphire Crown series to target the TAB Queensland Winter Carnival majors.

She won’t be the only Queenslander represented in Victoria this week.  

The Warren Nicholls-trained Days Of Thunder is set to contest a heat of the Group 1 Sandown Cup over 720 metres on Thursday.

Days Of Thunder is listed as a $41 chance with TAB for what will be his second look at the track, after dropping out to last then running home into fourth in an oddly-run affair last week.

Samona
Days Of Thunder