Million-dollar decision for Zammits
By TERRY WILSON
QUEENSLAND husband and wife training duo Mick and Selena Zammit have some serious planning ahead of them if they are going to get a crack at the world’s richest greyhound race, the TAB Million Dollar Chase.
Courtesy of Stinger Noir’s win in the Queensland Sprint Championship – a victory that qualified the black dog for a place in the semi-finals of the Chase at Wentworth Park in Sydney on October 9.
Everything going to plan, the opportunity is there for Stinger Noir (Zambora Brockie-Lilly Sur Seine) to earn a place in the Chase final, with its $1 million first money, at Wentworth Park on Friday, October 16.
Stinger Noir’s win in the Queensland Sprint final was in 30.14 seconds, a time far short of the black dog’s best at Albion Park, which is 29.61s back in July.
Nobody has to tell the Zammits what is at stake as they prepare to work around the state border closure.
The number of options to get Stinger Noir to Sydney are not too bad – the Zammits No.1 mission would probably involve sending the dog to a New South Wales trainer.
But after that, and if Stinger gets into the Chase final, things are right up in the air, especially with a seven-figure purse awaiting the winner to join Mystic Riot (2018) and Good Odds Harada (2019) as Chase champions.
The lure of a crack at a million bucks is simply too good an incentive to get to Sydney.
“It’s just too good to ignore and we definitely want to have a crack,” said Mick.
If current border restrictions stand, a plan of attack is most likely to send Stinger Noir down to a trainer in Sydney.
“We haven’t worked it out but that would be a likely scenario.
“We have to be adaptable with what could or is likely to happen.
“One thing is that if we get into the final it’d be hard for us not to go to Sydney and risk quarantine.
“It (getting a runner in the Chase final) would be the chance of a lifetime and too good to ignore.”
Another option for the Zammits is to have a go at a regional qualifier at Casino with another dog or two, perhaps Oh Mickey among others.
Asked if Stinger Noir is up to the class that he will face in the Wenty Park semi-finals, Zammit said he has no doubts the dog can do well.
“I would think so because he has won his last six at Albion Park and has run one of the quicker splits around there.
“Put it this way, he wouldn’t be out of place in it.”
Before the Sydney trip can be confirmed, Stinger Noir, and kennelmate Oh Mickey, are likely to be sent north for the Townsville Cup.
The Zammits had another good winner on state Sprint final night.
Star bitch Sequana won a 600m event in fine style.
Pictured: A very happy Zammit family – Selena and Mick (far right), their children, Carlie and Kaine and Selena’s Mum Lillian Jones after Stinger Noir’s win in the Qld Sprint Championship. (Photo: Box 1 Photography)