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    Top 10 Greyhounds Set to Sparkle in 2024
Top 10 Greyhounds Set to Sparkle in 2024
Three grey dogs. Source: Midjourney

Top 10 Greyhounds Set to Sparkle in 2024

This year is certainly filled with exciting races to come. Here are ten well-established greyhounds that are believed to excel in the upcoming New Year.

Palawa King

The 2023 season of Palawa King was exceptional as the offspring of Feral Franky achieved remarkable success by securing three victories in prestigious races in Victoria and Queensland during the latter half of the year. Additionally, Palawa King participated in seven more Group finals, achieving a win in a Group 3 race and securing four minor placings. Furthermore, Palawa King finished in third place in 'The 715' event. What makes his rivals nervous is that he hasn't even reached the age of three yet, suggesting that his dominance will likely continue in the early part of 2024. Although Palawa King experienced a rare setback in the heats of the Golden Sands in Brisbane last week, he has already accumulated an impressive record of 22 wins out of 55 starts, earning over $650,000 throughout his career for his connections. It would be interesting to see him compete in new middle-distance events such as 'The Richmond' and 'The Clarence' on his way to the Country Classic in March, but Jack Smith and his team might prefer to focus on 700m races.

Zipping Orlando

In early 2023, there were doubts about his ability to succeed. However, Zipping Orlando quickly proved doubters wrong by winning both the G1 Association Cup and 'The 715' at The Gardens. The Finn camp then prepared him for the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase series, which took place in September and October over a distance of 520m. He progressed through the City Qualifiers but was eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual winner, Jay Is Jay. The latter part of 2023 was relatively quieter for him, with his participation limited to one featured race, namely a heat of the Hume Cup, in Melbourne. After that, he took a break from racing for six weeks. He made his comeback in the heat of the Gosford Gold Cup over a distance of 515m. Although he had a poor start, he finished strongly in the latter part of the race. He tends to turn three at a similar time as Palawa King, indicating that he is well-prepared for a successful start to 2024. Furthermore, he is versatile enough to potentially target the lucrative Country Classic race.

Ritza Piper. Source: The Greyhound Recorder
Ritza Piper. Source: The Greyhound Recorder

Ritza Piper

Another star who has been performing exceptionally well recently is big Joe Scerri, and he aims to maintain that momentum throughout 2024. Ritza Piper, the daughter of Ritza Lenny, experienced a remarkable year after winning the 2023 Summer Distance Plate at Wenty Park. Following that victory, she embarked on a whirlwind tour across the country in pursuit of further triumphs. Although her feature glory quest began in the first half of the year, it wasn't until the latter part of the season that she secured her most memorable wins. She achieved a runner-up position in the G2 Sydney Cup, narrowly losing to Zipping Vanessa, and later triumphed in the G1 Topgun Stayers in Melbourne. Additionally, she finished second to Palawa King in the G1 Bold Trease before returning to NSW and dominating the final of the Newcastle Cup. Despite her small stature, Ritza Piper has had an incredible 12 months, and there are no signs of her slowing down anytime soon.

Zipping Vanessa

The fact that the fourth greyhound on this list is yet another strong contender acknowledges the endurance prowess of our top-line animals as we enter 2024 (and we shouldn't forget about Nangar Rocket). Among the four mentioned stars, Zipping Vanessa is the youngest, with a difference of about four months, suggesting she has the most potential for improvement in the coming year. She will aim to build on her victories in the NSW National Distance Championship in August and the dominant Group 2 Sydney Cup in October. Although she participated in two G1 races at The Meadows in the latter part of the year, she faced unfortunate circumstances with the box draw and during the race itself. In 2024, she will seek to revive her key rivalries with Palawa King, Ritza Piper, and Zipping Orlando.

Nangar Lucy

Following the retirements of She's A Pearl and Good Odds Cash in 2023, along with Wyndra All Class being sidelined for an extended period, the current standout female sprinter on the scene appears to be the winner of Group 1 Peter Mosman Opal (PMO). Nangar Lucy demonstrated her talent by winning both the PMO and the G2 Black Top at The Gardens in September. Her next challenge will be the Group 1 Golden Sands decider at Albion Park on January 4, which is one of the first major finals of 2024. Although she has only competed twice over the middle-distance trip, her recent victory suggests that she has room for improvement and may become the top middle-distance dog in NSW in 2024. The Barnes crew, known for their willingness to travel, are likely to include her and kennelmate Nangar Rocket in races such as 'The Richmond' and 'The Clarence' as they work towards the prestigious Country Classic, the highlight event in the Central West.

One Hot Bandit

One Hot Bandit, likely the most talked-about dog in 2023, exceeded expectations. He achieved an admirable feat by winning the Group 3 Magic Maiden in just his second race, completing it in 29.65 seconds. Throughout the year, he secured 14 victories and finished fourth in the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase final, where Jay Is Jay emerged as the winner. He also placed fourth in the Goulburn Cup against Quantifiable and the Dapto Middle Distance Championship decider, where Father Rick claimed the victory. Notably, his impressive performance in the MDC semifinals, where he chased down Magistrate, left a lasting visual impression. It seems that his strongest performance may be in the middle-distance races in 2024, given his ability to finish strongly in sprint races. Two runs at Dapto, both timed at 34.17 seconds, suggest that he could be well-prepared for an assault on the Country Classic. It's worth mentioning that his mother, Nino De Oro, has also achieved victories over the 600-meter distance.

Wyndra All Class

One of the most notable stories of 2023 was the impressive performance of Wyndra All Class during the early part of the season. She had an emotional victory in the National Futurity in January, followed by a win in the prestigious Ambrosoli. Although she came in second by a narrow margin to the renowned She's A Pearl in the final of the G3 Brother FOX in May, she still showcased her talent. She then finished third in the G3 State Of Origin. Unfortunately, her year was cut short due to injury and the onset of the breeding season, which disrupted the team's ambitious plans. However, they remain optimistic and confident about her successful return to racing in the near future. There is always a certain degree of uncertainty when it comes to how older female dogs perform after extended breaks, but the Gatt kennel is famous for its expertise in preparing its greyhounds, and it would be wonderful to witness the joyous Brian Barton smile again at Wenty Park in 2024.

Zipping Remus. Source: The Greyhound Recorder
Zipping Remus. Source: The Greyhound Recorder

Zipping Remus

In 2023, there was a notable Hallinan product that emerged and made a strong impression. This dog had a remarkable debut at Wenty Park in March, securing a victory with a time of 29.92. This performance hinted at a promising year ahead. Shortly after, the dog finished third in the G3 Magic Maiden race, trailing behind One Hot Bandit. Not long after that, in only its third race, the dog managed to improve its Wenty Park personal best time, clocking in at 29.55. The months of June and July witnessed an impressive winning streak of five races, including a victory in the prestigious G1 Vic Peters Classic. The win in this race was visually stunning and considered one of the standout performances of the year. With an outstanding time of 29.33, the dog won by a significant margin of over eight lengths, solidifying its status as a top-class NSW chaser. Unfortunately, in September, Remus suffered a toe dislocation while attempting to qualify for the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase semi-finals. This setback forced the dog to take a break from the track. However, Remus made a comeback towards the end of 2023 and achieved the fastest heat time in the G2 Queensland Derby. Marty Hallinan, the owner, expressed his belief that Remus had the potential to win the MDC, and everyone is eagerly anticipating what 2024 has in store for this exceptional offspring of Feral Franky.

Rocket Riot

Peter Lagogiane, an experienced trainer, is familiar with the process of preparing an MDC (Melbourne Cup) winner. His best opportunity to secure an unprecedented third title in 2024 lies with Rocket Riot. Despite having participated in only 22 races throughout his career, this offspring of Barcia Bale has already exceeded $100,000 in earnings. Furthermore, Rocket Riot's potential for success continues to rise. He is among the dogs slated to compete in the Beast Unleashed Gosford Gold Cup on Tuesday. In the previous week, he showcased his abilities by overtaking Mortified in the heats on the Central Coast. Before that, Rocket Riot achieved notable success in Melbourne, finishing second in the Group 1 Silver Chief final, with Mepunga Shine emerging as the winner (Morton, who finished third, further validated the form by winning a heat of the QLD Derby in his subsequent race). Additionally, Rocket Riot emerged victorious in the Young Star final during the MDC carnival. Notably, his dam, Princess Riot, displayed her commendable skills. It is worth mentioning that Princess Riot shares the same litter as Whiskey Riot, the winner of the Melbourne Cup, and Fernando's Riot, the Australian Cup champion.

Armatree Cash

This position could have easily been reserved for the current Thunderbolt champion, Vamoose (who is planning a comeback in the upcoming year after recovering from an injury). However, this exceptional Armatree Cash has the potential to succeed him and should be closely observed during the 2024 Thunderbolt series. Being the offspring of Collision, she has already achieved an impressive record of 14 victories out of just 26 races. In 2023, she finished third in two notable short course events: the Richmond Cannonball (following Speeding FINE and Vamoose) and the Goulburn Fireball (trailing behind Packham Silk and Best Ever). Despite being seven months younger than Vamoose, she has won in races ranging from 280m to 401m and has secured wins at various tracks, including Gosford, Wenty Park, Goulburn, and Richmond. With a promising lineage and remarkable speed, Armatree Cash has the potential to become a prominent figure in short track racing in the upcoming year.

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