Warrnambool Cup winner Ronan Izmir draws comparisons to champion dog

BOOM Pearcedale sprinter Ronan Izmir staked a claim as Australia’s in-form greyhound after a stunning win in the group 2 $70,000 Norlane Hotel Warrnambool Cup (450m) last night.

Trainer Jason Thompson rated Ronan Izmir as similar to his former Australian Greyhound of the Year El Galo after the win.

“He’s pretty foolproof at the moment. He’s very similar to El Galo,” he said.

“I’m not saying he’s as good. They both came through and won the Bendigo Cup and then the Warrnambool Cup. At this stage of their careers, their performance cards are strikingly similar.”

El Galo went on to dominate greyhound racing Australia-wide, winning 44 of 71 starts and picking up more than $500,000. 

He won the Warrnambool Cup in 2008.

The other similarity is the way the greyhounds go about winning their races, with blistering early speed.

Last night, Ronan Izmir exploded from box six to clock a slick 6.47 seconds to the first section, allowing the $2.60 favourite to lead from the Kel Greenough-trained Paw Licking ($4.50).

The well-supported Peter Rocket was making use of box one to push through along the rail, but his charge forward came to an end when he struck interference on the first turn.

Rounding the home turn, Ronan Izmir was still a couple of lengths in front and he went on to win by 2.75 lengths from Paw Licking, with Thompson’s other contender, Ima Geisha Girl ($6.10), another five lengths away in third.

Thompson said he always looked forward to coming to Warrnambool in May for the greyhound carnival.

“It’s a great time of year and the club should be really happy with the success of the carnival,” he said.

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