The Rock husband and wife combination Brian and Joanne Smith have double the chance of taking out one of Wagga’s biggest greyhound races.
The Smiths have two runners in the Leo Hartley Memorial final (525m) on Friday night and both have strong claims in the $3000 to the winner affair.
Morello stormed to victory in her heat last Friday while Motangi flashed home late from a near impossible start to book his place in the final.
Brian Smith is happy with how both greyhounds are heading into the affair, especially after both drew well.
Motangi will start from box two while his kennel mate will begin outside him with three.
“I’m pretty happy with the box draw,” Smith said.
“They like the inside so they are as good of chance as any from where they have drawn.”
Morello scored a 2.5-length win in her heat after starting from a wide box.
Owned by the Smiths, the bitch has only been back racing in the Riverina since October and has won three of her last six races.
Smith is looking for her to show her best at the start.
“The box doesn’t really matter to her as long as she comes out,” he said.
“She sorta missed it by a half but when she got going she has plenty of pace.
“If she doesn’t get touched early she’s a chance of leading again.”
If she finds the front again, Smith believes it will take a big effort to run her down.
While Morello was able to zip to the front last week, her kennel mate struck plenty of trouble in his heat.
Motangi was hindered by another of the Smith runners in the first of the two heats, Powerful Molly.
Despite dropping back to last with the interference, Motangi still had enough talent to recover and finish second behind Magpie Hawk.
The second placing broke a string of wins but Smith is confident he can redeem himself.
“If he jumps on the lure they won’t catch him but he is going to need a bit of luck to the winning post,” he said.
Motangi didn’t race generously in the straight, distracted by two greyhounds fighting up the straight.
It’s unlike the experienced dog.
“He’s never seen a dog fight like that one did,” Smith said.
“He’s had a look, then gone forward and had another look to see what they were doing.
“He’s never done that in his whole racing career, he’s nearly four-years-old but it was very obvious he was watching what was going on.”
Smith thought John Hartley’s Magpie Hawk would be one of the hardest to beat.
Hartley is looking to win the race named in his father’s honour.
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