Northern Rivers greyhounds gunning for the Golden Easter Egg
OWNER-TRAINER Mitch Northfield shouted Mitcharlie Mia home from in front of his TV in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Golden Easter Egg (520m) heats but it's back to business tomorrow.
The Northern Rivers greyhound will jump from box eight in the third of four semi-finals at Wentworth Park in Sydney and looks a strong chance to qualify for the $250,000-to-the-winner final the following Saturday.
Mitcharlie Mia's terrific 29.82s victory from box five in the heats last week made it six consecutive wins for the greyhound, including her recent triumph in the Group 2 Richmond Oaks.
Northfield, of Dobies Bight near Casino, missed the heats to take a break on the Sunshine Coast but he is looking forward to being trackside tomorrow night.
"I gave her a bit of a shout at the finish (watching on TV) just to make sure she got there," he said.
"I knew she could finish strongly and that's exactly what she did.
"Obviously I just hope she can keep going and make the final - the real big one."
Mitcharlie Mia held off Sleek Master by a length to win her heat and extend her impressive record to 18 wins and 10 placings from 34 starts.
The daughter of Don't Knocka Him and Proper Lucy has now had a win and two placings from four visits to Wentworth Park.
Mitcharlie Mia's tough opposition in the semi-finals includes fellow heat winners Duna Runa (box one) and Both Sides Now (box five)
Cash In Motion, trained by Robbie Cooke of Woodview, also near Casino, will jump from box seven after qualify- ing from the heats.
"I don't think the draw matters too much with her (Mitcharlie Mia) as she is so strong," Northfield said.
"It's just about whether she can get a clear run.
"Box eight is still better than box five. She just has to stay in the clear, which she's capable of doing.
"She seems to have pulled up fine from the heats and looks as good as gold."
Northfield said he was having a fantastic time with Mitcharlie Mia.
"It's been such a busy time for me - planning where to go next with her, the driving, the work," he said.
"It's tough but you have to enjoy it.
"In one sense I would be a little relieved if she qualified (for the final) in second place as it might just relieve a bit of the pressure of expectation from her.
"Having said that, she's a wonderful little greyhound and this is just a fantastic experience for me.
"I'm trying not to think about the $250,000. I just focus on her and the race and see what happens."
Racing continues on the Northern Rivers at Casino today. The first of 10 races starts at 12.40pm.