RONAN Izmir lifted himself off the canvas to win a truly memorable Ballarat Cup, 450m, last night.
The Jason Thompson-trained greyhound clinched the $50,000 first prize as well as a $50,000 bonus for connections by becoming the first dog to win three country cup finals in 2013.
Last night’s triumph followed earlier feature race success at Bendigo and Warrnambool.
Ronan Izmir led the final early from box four, but was crossed and headed by rival Paw Licking – also shooting for the bonus – before rallying in the home straight to take out the group 2 event.
Part-owner Michael Sigalas was thrilled at the performance after the dog missed the recent Melbourne Cup with injury problems.
“It’s a great result for the family,” he said. “He’s had some issues and this is where Jason Thompson is unbelievable.
“Jason said to me ‘it is going to be a rush, Ballarat. He is going to have to have a race at Bendigo and then into the heats and we will just hope he can do it’.”
Ronan Izmir wasn’t able to better his track record time at Ballarat, but still stopped the clock in a slick 25.09 seconds.
Dark Warrior, trained by Darren McDonald, ran third.
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