CATCH The Thief won the group three Warragul St Leger final on Saturday night for Briagolong greyhound trainer Matt Clark.
The $25,000 to-the-winner feature was built as a race in two between emerging superstars Catch The Thief and Zambora Smokey, who had both enjoyed group success and had winning streaks of seven and eight respectively during their relatively brief careers.
However, Zambora Smokey was slow at the start, allowing Catch The Thief to take the lead out of the box and win the 460 metre race in 25.5 seconds ahead of Weblec Jet and Zipping Sullivan.
It was Catch The Thief’s first group win in Victoria, having notched two feature race victories in Perth.
The dog now has 15 wins from 25 starts, and career earnings of $127,000.
Catch The Thief shares $9 favouritism with Simon Told Helen for the group one Melbourne Cup, to be held in November.
Purify Viruoso, trained at Seaspray by John Boreland, won a 400m maiden, pipping Aston Hackett, which led nearly all race, at the post.
Boreland’s Sterlo Magic won the next race, a 460m maiden.
Muza’s Angel finished third in the 460m mixed grade four and five for Kilmany trainer Yvonne Andrews.
Stuart Lee Rose, trained by Sharon-Lee Chignell at Rosedale, finished second in the 460m mixed grade six and seven, only 0.34s behind winner Shuffle The Deck.
Marshall’s King finished second in a heat of the 460m series for Maffra trainer Des Douch.
In another heat, Harper’s Girl, trained by Robert Bean at Tinamba, finished third.
TWO locally-trained dogs placed in the first race at Sandown Park on Thursday night, a 515m grade six and seven.
Bobby Bean Rose, trained by Sharon-Lee Chignell, came second for the second consecutive race, while Red Light Rico notched a hat-trick of third placings for Maffra trainer Ken Bailey.
The race was won by favourite Kismet Storm, trained by Kate Gorman at Tanjil South, which now has three wins from six starts.
In race nine, the 515m free for all, Kingfisher Rose, trained by Jeff Chignell at Rosedale, finished strongly, but couldn’t catch all the way winner Tiggerlong Tonk, finishing half a length behind in second place.