Douch’s dynamic Traralgon duo

Des Douch is eyeing a feature double at Traralgon on Friday night with classy litter sisters Zara Marnie and Skinny Olive leading contenders in the $13,500 Floodfawn Classic (500m) and $13,500 Glenview Cup (395m) respectively.

Douch is especially bullish about the prodigiously talented Zara Marnie, which the astute Maffra trainer/breeder says is perfectly drawn in eight for the female-only Floodfawn Classic (race 8, 9.17pm).

Zara Marnie, a March ’21 daughter of Bernardo and Tidelina, stamped herself a star of the future in winning six of her first ten starts, culminating in a scorching 29.17sec victory in a Group 3 Launching Pad heat at Sandown Park on March 23.

But a fall in the G3 Easter Gift temporarily halted her progress and she’s been beaten in all three starts since resuming from a two-month spell.

“I’m hoping this might be her race and she can get back on track.”

Zara Marnie started $1.90 favourite in the first of two Floodfawn Classic heats held last Friday, but could only run fourth, beaten seven lengths, by fastest qualifier Zipping Eve (28.16sec), trained by Matt Lanigan.

However, Douch is upbeat that a return to Zara Marnie’s brilliant best is imminent.

“I’m expecting a big run from her,” he said.

“She had the fall at Sandown, and it took a little while to get her back.

“She’s come back well, but while she hasn’t had much luck in her last couple of runs, she has been a little bit disappointing.

“But I found a couple of little injuries that we’ve been able to fix, and she’s suited out there (box 8), with nothing on her outside. She can go early – she’s gone 8.16sec at Warragul, which is pretty smart – so I’d like to see her jump.

“I’m hoping this might be her race and she can get back on track and we can start looking ahead at some good races.”

WATCH: Floodfawn Classic finalist ZARA MARNIE (B2) set Sandown Park alight in a G3 Launching Pad heat on March 23, leading all-the-way in a flying 29.17sec, defeating TRAPPER TEARS (B3) by 2.5L.

While Zara Marnie has drawn ‘the pink’, sister Skinny Olive will exit box one in the Glenview Cup (race 6, 8.30pm).

Winner of 10 of her 17 starts, including six of her past eight, Skinny Olive also started odds-on at $1.60 in the first of three Glenview Cup heats.

She came out humming to lead clearly from box two but wasn’t able to repel the strong finish of Every Four Years, trained by John Paraskevas, which clocked a BON 22.12sec, his fifth win from his past six starts.

Douch once again rates Every Four Years as a serious threat in the $10,000 to-the-winner decider, while he also has great respect for Karen Pitt’s 22.23sec qualifier Compliance, the 2022 G2 Ballarat Cup winner.


“Skinny Olive is a real little speedster; she gets out quick and gets going,” Douch offered.

“She’s won 10 from 17, with six placings, so she’s done a great job so far. She’s probably a 400m – 425m bitch, but she’s run 24.70sec over 440m at Sale.

“The dog in two (Every Four Years) is very strong; it ran her down last week, so I’m hoping she can get a good break on it. Compliance is definitely a chance too. It’s a very good dog.

“I’d be thinking Zara Marnie is my best chance in the two finals.”

Friday night’s Traralgon meeting also features the $9890 Latrobe Valley Cup Final over 395m (race 5, 8.11pm), with Jessica Sharp’s Cuban Cigar (box 5) the quickest of Monday’s eight heat winners, posting a BOD 22.44sec.

large-Zara Marnie (Floodfawn Classic Final on 20230630)
Gerard Guthrie
About Gerard Guthrie - Chief Journalist The Greyhound Recorder Chief Journalist with The Greyhound Recorder newspaper since 2001, member Topgun selection panel, Dapto Megastar selection panel and Australian and NSW Greyhound of the Year judging panels, compere Dapto Puppy Auction, previously contributed to Sky Racing's The Catching Pen, Sky Sports Radio's Going Greyhounds and website. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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