Postman Pat favourite for Million Dollar Chase

Pictured: Postman Pat won his Million Dollar Chase semi-final off Box 8. Photo credit: Lachlan Naidu.

New Zealand greyhound racing can provide the appetiser for the rich weekend of Sydney racing.

Friday evening sees the Kiwi greyhound Postman Pat being loaded away into the Wentworth Park 520m three-trap as the favourite for the Ladbrokes Million Dollar chase at 10.27pm (NZT) where A$1,000,000 awaits the winning connections. .

Saturday afternoon, just down the road at Randwick, New Zealand interest will be firmly focused on the Kiwi bred and part-owned thoroughbred I Wish I Win jumping from barrier one as a favoured contender to win the A$20,000,000 TAB Everest 1200m sprint.

Postman Pat has taken Australian greyhound racing by storm, stylishly winning 12 of his 16 races, since he relocated across the Tasman and into the Victorian kennels of the leading mentor Jason Thompson.

Postman Pat made his Wentworth Park race debut in his semi-final last Friday, professionally winning the 520m event in 29.58, the second quickest time from the eight-semis held.

Owing to a recent overseas trip Thompson placed Postman Pat into the care of Sydney trainer Peter Lagogiane for his Sydney campaign.

Lagogiane is no stranger in preparing Million Dollar Chase winners, having applied the finishing touches to two winners of the race since the 2018 inception of the rich event.

“This is a race where dreams are made of. To win the Million Dollar Chase is a life changing moment. Words cannot explain the feelings we went through after winning it,” explained Lagogiane.

He considers that Postman Pat will have derived immense benefit from his semi outing. “It was his first look at the track under lights, plus the track wasn’t running overly fast last week.

“He has come through his race in great condition – in fact he’s been doing cartwheels in my yards during the week.”

Lagogiane was immediately impressed with Postman Pat as soon as he set eyes on him.

“I could see straight away he was something very special. He is one hell of a talent and I applaud Jason, who has done a brilliant job training him, for entrusting me to look after Postman Pat for this race. I didn’t realise how good the greyhound is.

“I was impressed with the way he won his semi, beginning brilliantly, cutting in going into the first turn, then maintaining a strong chase to come away from his rivals during the run home – kudos to the dog in the way he kept on chasing hard.

“He showed true grit and I consider he’s capable of running in the low 29 seconds – if he runs that, then he’ll be extremely hard to beat.

“I’m tickled pink to have him here and now all roads lead to Wenty,” confirmed Lagogiane. .

Christchurch based owner and breeder Jose Arthur, along with husband Donald, will make it to Wentworth Park to watch their pride and joy chase after history, however they are taking a long route to do so as Jose explains.

“We booked a flight to Melbourne for a family weekend a long time ago. We will be taking a flight straight up to Sydney as soon as we get there.”

They will return to Melbourne on Saturday where the couple will watch their daughter Monique run in the Melbourne half-marathon on Sunday.

“We are very nervous, while being very excited about Friday. We were very pleased with Pat’s semi run, although it’s a much harder task in the final. 

“It is so exciting to have a Kiwi dog racing in an amazing race like the Million Dollar Chase. We are very proud of Pat and we thank everyone involved in behind the scenes who have got Postman Pat to reach such great heights,” stated Jose about the son of Hooked On Scotch and Birdie Tee.

Postman Pat was initially prepared in Dunsandel by Tony Hart. Since then Hart has been joined in a training partnership with Dylan Voyce who will be making the trip to Sydney, along with kennel staff Cameron Thomasson and Ester Heal to support their star.

Let us leave the last word about Postman Pat, who has been backed into $2.10, to Peter Lagogiane.

“Postman Pat is a great Kiwi greyhound, who can do New Zealand proud in the final. We will be barracking for the Kiwis on Friday!”

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 12 October 2023

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