The freakish Space Star ($1.50) will go into Saturday night’s Group 1 Superstayers final as one of the shortest priced favourites in the race’s history.
Last week, the black flash broke the 725-metre track record at The Meadows by almost two lengths. The former time standard – created by Nellie Noodles – was one of the country’s most elusive, standing for almost five years.
Despite his seemingly limitless ability and clear dominance over his rivals in 2015, trainer Robert Britton knows that going in too confident could end in folly.
“In the last two weeks he has lifted himself to a level I didn’t think he was capable of, but you can’t be too cocky going into any race,” the experienced Lara trainer said.
Despite the range of permutations that can arise in every greyhound race, Space Star does have an obvious advantage over his rivals on Saturday night.
His record-breaking Superstayers heat success was 10 lengths faster than Lady Toy’s heat win, who was clearly the second quickest of last week’s four qualifiers. Such discrepancies are rare when greyhounds reach Group 1 level.
“If he gets a clear run it’s hard to see him getting beaten, but if he gets into trouble, which could easily happen from box six, he wouldn’t want to be sitting behind the likes of Beks or Lady Toy, because they do their best racing in the second half of their races and would be almost impossible to catch.”
Victory on Saturday night would see Space Star complete a hat-trick of Group 1 victories in the space of a month, with previous successes in the Galaxy in Western Australia and in the Zoom Top, which is also run at The Meadows.
“He’s currently in a marvellous stretch of form, but I’d like to think he’s at the start of a purple patch and, if that’s the case, who knows how good he might end up?” Britton said.
2015 Superstayers Final
1. Lady Toy (Brooke Ennis, Lara)
2. Berry Blitz (Angela Langton, Anakie)
3. Blinker’s On (Brooke Ennis, Lara)
4. Echelonic Action (Deborah Coleman, Lara)
5. Luna Jinx (Len Ketelaar, Yuroke)
6. Space Star (Robert Britton, Lara)
7. Nicki Fields (Gerard O’Keefe, Neerim Junction)
8. Beks (Pat Bouchier, Dennington)
9. Zipping Felix (Peter Dapiran, Northwood)
10. Mepunga Hayley (Jeff Britton, Anakie)