Ronan Izmir just beats Paw Licking in the 2013 Mega Merch Ballarat Cup final.
The 2013 Mega Merch Ballarat Cup will go down in history as the culmination of an epic year-long battle between Ronan Izmir (box 4 – $2.70F) and Paw Licking (box 5 – $2.90) with the race exceeding all expectations.
Ronan Izmir was ultimately victorious claiming the $50,000 first-prize as well as Greyhound Racing Victoria’s $50,000 Country Cups bonus after a tremendous blow-for-blow battle with his fellow Cup bonus aspirant Paw Licking in the Cup final.
Ronan Izmir won the bonus as a result of being the first greyhound to win three Country Cups in a calendar year after winning the Bendigo, Warrnambool and Ballarat Cups. Paw Licking was chasing the bonus after winning the Traralgon and Shepparton Cups. The result means that in three Country Cups this year, Ronan Izmir and Paw Licking have run one-two.
Tonight’s race was built as a race between two and it panned out that way. Ronan Izmir took the initial lead with Paw Licking striding to the front around the turn. Down the home straight it was a two dog shootout as the Pearcedale pair traded blows. In the end it was Ronan Izmir that proved too strong, in brilliant chasing performance.
After the race, trainer Jason Thompson highlighted that Ronan Izmir’s performance was special for a number of reasons, including providing the owners with a much needed boost.
“It’s a big thrill to win these races but it’s an even better feeling when you know what the owners have been through. This greyhound provides them with a lot of happiness and I’m just glad that I can be a part of it.
“He (Ronan Izmir) is a special talent and tonight’s win highlighted that,” Thompson said.
Ronan Izmir won the Ballarat Cup in a time of 25.07s in front of Kel Greenough’s Paw Licking and Darren McDonald’s Dark Warrior.
His career record now stands at 30 wins and 11 placings from 48 career starts with his career earnings going beyond $230,000.
COMING UP ON GRV.ORG.AU: Must read special feature article about what Ronan Izmir means to his owners
CLICK HERE TO WATCH REPLAY OF THE EPIC BATTLE