Champion greyhound Jungle Deuce with trainer Raymond Smith. (Picture: Racenet)

Saturday night saw the return of Group 1 racing for NSW Greyhounds for 2022, with the feature race the Group 1 2022 Paws of Thunder.

Saturday night saw the return of Group 1 racing for NSW Greyhounds for 2022, with the feature race the Group 1 2022 Ladbrokes Paws of Thunder.

The night was filled to the brim with quality racing via three Group 1’s and a Group 2. It was a fantastic spectacle for those who attended, the night filled with heart stopping moments.

A couple of exceptional litters were on display, fighting it out for bragging rights, whilst a fan favourite was on the hunt for his first group 1 success.

‘Get on the Deuce’

The latest people’s dog, Jungle Deuce, devastated his competitors to take out the Group 1 2022 Ladbroke Paws of Thunder.

Leaping from the boxes, class sprinter Wow looked set the put on a show, the commentator calling it “something special already” by the turn. He maintained that lead down the back straight by a length and half as they rounded for home.

Jungle Deuce, using his size, pushed up the rail to take the lead. The inside line proved the difference as they passed the post. The win was his second group victory for the month, after taking out the Group 2 Box 1 Photography at Albion Park on January 6. Trainer Raymond Smith told Sky Racing post race that “he’s just a great little dog”.

Jungle Duece became the latest fan favourite following Raymond’s declaration that he would shout the Forbes Pub if he could take out the $750,000 TAB Phoenix last month. The dog unfortunately finished sixth on the night, but this win is sure to still spark celebration back home in Forbes.

The crowd reacts to Jungle Duece winning the 2022 Group 1 Ladbrokes Paws of Thunder

Zipping Kyrgios pulls out an ace to take The Collerson

The consolation to the Paws of Thunder didn’t disappoint. Multiple Group 2 winner and Group 1 finalist, Zipping Kyrgios took out The Collerson.

Turning the table on last week’s heat, which saw him checked early, before coming home late to lose by a whisker to Where’s Rocky, Zipping Kyrgrios walked out of the boxes to give Qwara Bale a clear gap early.

The 2021 Group 1 Maturity Classic winner stretched her lead out to six lengths by the end of the back straight.

Zipping Kyrgios then exploded at the last bend, closed the gap and blew past the outside to take the win. It was a display of his continued good form after taking out the Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup earlier in the month.

Zipping Kyrgios takes out the 2022 Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup earlier this month. (Picture” The Greyhound Recorder)

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Slingshot Jonesy hooked at the post in battle of brothers

Slingshot Hooks has stormed home to pip his brother in the Group 1 2022 National Ladbrokes Derby.

Limited to the best male greyhounds nominated which were whelped on or after October 1, 2019, the race, like the National Futurity for the females, was a chance to feel the Group 1 environment and show off your wares.

Like his name indicates, pre race favourite Slingshot Jonesy shot to the lead from the inside box. Taking a few lengths breathing space around the first bend before settling down the back, he looked to stretch the lead out further.

As he rounded the last turn the pack had tagged onto his back, a scramble ensueing as they straightened. Brother, Slingshot Hooks, erupted down the outside late to take the race by a neck.

The result is a promising sign for the Slingshot Gypsy by champion sire Barcia Bale litter, one which already includes multiple city winners. The victory returns trainer Darren Sultana to group winning status for the first time since Black Forger back in March 2019.

The winning presentation taking moment of the night saw a young connection share a kiss with the winner.

Greyhound racing has a new Idol

Idolize has pulled off an all the way victory in the Group 1 2022 Ladbrokes National Futurity Final.

Limited to the best female greyhounds nominated which were whelped on or after October 1, 2019, the race is a chance for the youngsters to get a taste of Group 1 racing and display what talent is to come.

Starting a heavy favourite, Idolize, the 2021 Group 2 Laurels Classic winner had the form on the board. Surging up the centre of the track from box 3, she turned well in front. Down the back it was all over, stretching to lead by a number of lengths.

The win was trainer Peter Presutto’s second group victory, the race made even better for him with little sister Chic getting home for second in another display of a strong litter for the night following the National Derby early.

Litter brother High End also showed promise in the city recently, sure to keep plenty of smiles on Presutto’s face for the coming season.

Idolize and trainer Peter Presutto with connections after winning the Group 2 2021 Laurels Classic in December. (Picture: The Greyhound Recorder)

Mepunga Ruby shines in Distance Plate

Mepunga Ruby put on sparkling performance in the Group 2 NSW GBOTA Summer Distance Plate Final.

Pinging the lids from the 720m start, the Jeffrey Britton trained female dominated the other dogs before the first corner. The race time was a sensational 41.64 seconds, 0.27 outside the track record.

Her first Group 2 indicated good form coming into the group racing season. Her previous best was the Group 3 Speed Star over 725m at The Meadows in August. With Group 1 podium finishes in the Bold Trease and Gold FM Sale Cup towards back end of 2021, the win will be sweet for connections.

It caps a stunning turn around for the Mepunga Ruby, who was ruled out by stewards for marring on debut in December 2020, the suspension putting a promising career at risk if the habit couldn’t be trained out of her.

Racing stalwart Barry Smith sent her to gun trainer Jeffrey Britton, in a move now paying dividends.

Mepunga Ruby with handler Angela Langton after winning the Group 3 Speed Star last year. (Picture: GRV)

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