By Mick Floyd
Dustin Drew scored the biggest win of his training career when Untapped led all of the way to win the $262,500 RSN Sandown Cup (715m) at Sandown Park Thursday night.
Untapped ($5.50) timed the start to perfection to cross to the lead from box 7 through the first turn with fastest heat winner Jarick Bale ($5) trailing her through.
From there the pair quickly cleared out from the chasing pack, setting up a thrilling two dog battle for the final lap of the 715m journey.
Jarick Bale switched to the inside down the back straight and narrowed the margin to a head as they returned past the starting boxes.
Untapped wouldn’t allow the dual group 1 winner through however, increasing the margin back out to a length off the back straight and maintaining that margin to the line, saluting in a race record 41.40sec.
Aston Velvet ($12.70) flashed home late to finish a further 1¼ lengths away third.
A graduate of the 2019 National Greyhound Draft, a large crowd of owners – many first-time owners at that – were present at the track as the daughter of Aston Dee Bee and Mepunga Fame claimed the country’s most prestigious race for stayers.
“The 41 seconds felt like four minutes there then,” Drew told Sky Racing’s Jason Adams.
“It’s been an amazing ride. When I started off with her, if you had of said she’d win a group 1… it’s amazing.”
Untapped took some time to embrace racing but has rewarded connections for their perseverance.
After a modest career over the sprint and middle distances, Untapped stepped up over the staying trip in November last year, winning a heat of the group 1 Bold Trease before finishing third in the final.
The Sandown Cup was her fifth group final across three states, finishing no worse than fourth in each. Drew, who hails from the Warrnambool suburb of Dennington, attributed part of Untapped’s success to the work done by Steve and Kiera Withers in Western Australia.