Elsa to take Meadows lead

Shane Drummond is hoping perennial bridesmaid Elsa Rose can end a frustrating run of second placings and celebrate a breakthrough city victory at The Meadows tonight.

Elsa Rose has finished runner-up at her last five starts, the most recent in the Bendigo to The Meadows Final last weekend, her only placing from four starts at the track.

The daughter of champion sprinter/sire Fernando Bale has won just four of her 41 starts, but her record could easily read much better, having filled minor placings on 19 occasions.

“It’s definitely been frustrating,” said Heathcote-based Drummond.

“If she was just a bit quicker early she would have won a few of those races where she’s run second.

“She always tries but the better boxes do help. She’s had some good boxes lately but she finds it harder when she draws four, five and six and she’s come up with six.

“There is a bit of speed underneath her but if she can cross them she has a good chance.”

Drummond also has Elsa Rose’s litter brother Take The Lead, which boasts a more impressive strike rate of eight wins from his 30 starts, making his debut at The Meadows.

“I reckon he’s quicker than Elsa Rose but he probably hasn’t shown it yet,” said Drummond.

“He’s had a couple of niggling injuries but he’s on track now and if he begins he has a really good chance in that race. I think he would be the better chance of the two.

“Alan Taylor bred the litter and asked me if I wanted to have a crack with Take The Lead after he was told he was no good. Elsa Rose was with Mario Briganti for her first couple of starts and then I got her too.

“They’ve been handy and they’ve only just turned two and a half so hopefully we’ll see their best over the next six months.”

If consistency counts for anything, tonight could see Drummond savouring city success – perhaps even a double – on what he admits is a rare trip to the big smoke.

“I’m a plasterer so the greyhounds are just a hobby,” Drummond explained.

“I’ve been doing it for 20-odd years and they’re my downtime away from work.

“I work for myself so I can race whenever I want but I don’t get down to the city too often because it’s very tough.

“I’ve never had a real cracker but I had a pretty good bitch called Pepper Shiraz, which broke the Shepparton 650m record and held it for about two and a half years until Mario Briganti’s dog Manila Knight broke it last week.”

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