Edwards in pursuit of elusive Group 1 crown

CONTENDER: Trainer Garry Edwards with his Maya Herrera ahead of this Thursday's Dapto Megastar (520m). Picture: MITCH COHEN

CONTENDER: Trainer Garry Edwards with his Maya Herrera ahead of this Thursday's Dapto Megastar (520m). Picture: MITCH COHEN

Garry Edwards remains optimistic about the future of NSW greyhound racing as he attempts to secure the crowning jewel of his training career in this Thursday’s Dapto Megastar (520m). 

The Nowra trainer is chasing his maiden Group 1 in the richest and most prestigious greyhound race on the South Coast with classy sprinter Maya Herrera. 

With greyhound racing set to be banned from July 1 next year, this year’s edition of the $75,000-to-the-winner final could potentially be the last. 

But as some momentum builds to have the decision reversed, Edwards was hopeful the race wouldn’t be his last chance to win a Group 1.

“I have won two Group 3’s and a Group 2 so it would put a bit the icing on my cake if we do fold which I don’t think we will,” he said.

“I am always thinking positive.

“We just have to keep doing the right thing and showing the rest of the world that we are a sustainable business and hopefully we can get back on our feet and show it is a good family, viable sport to be in.”

Edwards has been involved in greyhound racing for more than 40 years.

He has won a Group 2 puppy action race at Dapto as well as the Group 3 Christmas Gift at Wentworth Park and Group 3 Nowra Puppy Classic. 

Maya Herrera, which qualified by winning last week’s prelude, will give the veteran trainer a chance to add to those black type victories when the chaser jumps from box three in the Megastar final.

“She is drawn good,” Edwards said.

“It is a shame we couldn’t draw one or two but three, that’s where we want to be.

“We want to be on the inside. If we were on the outside I don’t think we would have had a chance.

“We got a chance now.”

Maya Herrera, a $21 outsider with the TAB, will have to beat an elite field in the semi-invitational final.

Group 2 Bob Payne Spring Sprint winner Ritza Lenny leads the betting market as the $1.85 favourite after receiving a stellar draw in box one.

Edwards felt the Mark Gatt trained had to jump from the inside alley.

“I don’t know what he does at Dapto but if you don’t come out of the red I know we will be charging to the fence and I know the checks definitely goes to the fence so he could get swallowed up,” he said.

“He could, but I am not saying he will.

“At Wentworth Park he likes getting off up the back straight so I don’t know. He might just get out for Mark this week but it is a bad place to be if you don’t jump.”

“The dog I am worried about is the eight [Let It Develop] because he is drawn where he wants to come and I don’t know much about the Victorian dog [Pantera Nera] but they tell me that’s where he has to be.

“Definitely Ritza Lenny is the dog to beat.”

Box Draw

1. Ritza Lenny 2. Black Bear Lee 3. Maya Herrera 4. Knight Sprite 5. Magic Sprite 6. Pedro Cerrano 7. Pantera Nera 8. Let It Develop. Reserves: Ritza Rossi, Tilly’s Boy.

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