RAY and Susan Pitstock will have a double shot at capturing the inaugural Group 2 Richmond Riches series (535m) when the husband and wife duo tackle this Saturday’s heats with talented litter mates Kensa and Brietta.
The series is open to the greyhounds purchased from the 2014 Richmond Puppy Auction, with a total of 68 chasers set to line up across eight qualifiers on the weekend.
The Pitstocks have only recently acquired the bitches, both owned by Race A Chaser Syndications, who were luckless on debut for their new kennel last Wednesday at Richmond.
Brietta will be the first to seek redemption on Saturday, with the daughter of Spring Gun and Little Bit Fancy set to exit box eight in the fifth heat.
She will meet a couple of above handy sprinters in Ritza Lenny (box three) and Struggle Street (box seven), but appears suited by the wide draw.
“It was a good run last Wednesday,” Ray told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She got into a bad position because she didn’t jump, she got pushed around on the first bend, but she still managed to run on pretty good.
“She hadn’t been to Richmond for a while so I think she was a little bit strange to it as well.
“She is up against a couple of pretty good dogs this week, but we are confident she will run a strong 535m and going on how she went last week I think she should be suited by box eight.”
Brietta, rated a $7 shot with Bet365 to win her heat, is one of the most inexperienced greyhounds in the series, with just four starts from which she has one win and two minor placings.
Despite her limited starts, Pitstock says she has the ability to be competitive in the $100,000 to the winner series.
“We learnt a lot about her last Wednesday night and if we can get her through this week, she will be fitter for the run.
“If we can get her to produce her best it won’t really matter what is in the race as I think she has got the ability to match them.”
Kensa will step out for her first try over 535m in the seventh heat of the night, with the 25 kilogram pocket rocket sure to be a chance if she can bring her A-game on the weekend.
She had no luck when finishing seventh over the 400m at Richmond last week, but Pitstock says she is much better than that run suggests.
“She has got some early speed when she does everything right at the start, but she just got flattened over the 400m at Richmond last week.
“That put her right out of the race but the good thing was that she tried her heart out and that’s all we can ask.”
While she is a query over the trip, Pitstock says plenty of work has been put into Kensa to condition her for the journey.
“She will be short of a run this week as we are stepping her straight up over the 535m for this series, but she has been working pretty hard here at home this week.
“She has been up our straight track twice which conditions them well.
“She will definitely be the big improver of the two of them if she can make it through this week and the fact that she can begin gives her a chance.”
Kensa, the $3 favourite to win her race, will jump from box one, the same draw she used to score a devastating 22.68 triumph at The Gardens on debut back in March.
Pitstock believes she is drawn to lead and that she is a great chance of progressing through the series.
“She will have to lead to win, but I think she might go alright.
“If she begins I am hoping she will be able to set up a bit of a lead and if she can do that then they will have to catch her.
“To be honest Richmond is probably not her track because a bitch who can begin as fast is she can is going to be suited to a tighter track – whereas Richmond has the big long straights – but we are still expecting her to go well.”
With the challenge of preparing two new greyhounds for the event, Pitstock says he expects both bitches to continue to improve as the series progresses.
“They have only got to run in the top four on Saturday and if they can do that they should both improve for the semi-finals.
“The ability is definitely there, it’s just a matter of getting to know them both and getting the best out of them.”
Group 2 Richmond Riches – all-in market
Ritza Lenny – $3.50
Thirty Talks – $3.50
Paua To Avoid – $7
Vidi Vici – $9
Paua To Engage – $9
Split Image – $9
Paua To Rush – $9.50
Megalodon – $11
Battle Station – $11
Struggle Street – $11
Bent Poppy – $21
Lowanna’s Son – $21
Elleni Banner – $21
Kensa – $26
Cawbourne Kristy – $26
Brietta – $34
Sassy Pose – $34
Kay Dee Em – $34
Katie The Weapon – $41
Justa Grant – $41
Joyanna – $41
Et Cetera – $51
Mia Got Class – $51
Brock On – $51
Tommy The Weapon – $51
Unique Gatsby – $51
Sylvia’s Monaro – $67
Rita’s Moment – $67
Ace Jack – $81
Ballistic Prince – $81
Frendy – $81
Mary’s Shadow – $81
Rare Scents – $81
Naughty Nathan – $81
Marylou – $101
Nichole Googs – $151
Lagoon Jazzy – $151
Daisy The Weapon – $201
Brinjola Ibrox – $201
Imperial Court – $201
Cosmic Feature – $201
Blinky’s Idol – $251
Blitzing Jaybee – $301
Gold Air – $301
Blitzing Jet – $301
Casino Gold – $301
Ashby Daze – $301
Gold Devil – $301
Glen Star – $501
Cameo Fox – $501
Viking Gold – $501
Shifting Gears – $1001
Girl Power – $1001
Big Mouth Bas – $1001
Blitzing Babe – $1001
Chicago Avenue – $1001
Disclaimer: Race A Chaser Syndications is owned by Race Media, the parent company of Australian Racing Greyhound. For more information on the Syndicates, check out the RAC website and some of the greyhounds they currently have racing.