In what was a dramatic late finish to rival any we have witnessed on the racetrack in recent times, Forbes-trained greyhound Jungle Deuce has been voted The People's Pup and will represent the people of NSW in the Greyhound Racing NSW slot for next months $1.145m TAB Phoenix.
A concerted push through local media in the Central West in the final 36 hours of voting saw the Jack Smith-trained sprinter overhaul early polling leader Bandit Ned to clinch the slot as voting closed on Saturday.
Jungle Deuce's win was confirmed less than 48 hours after he showed his class when overcoming a slow start to record career win number 18 at Dubbo's Dawson Park on Saturday night.
The GRNSW TAB Phoenix slot was thrown open to the public to vote last Monday when a list of 10 candidates was supplied to the general public.
Bandit Ned - like four other Group race winners - had secured his place on the list courtesy of his Group 1 Vic Peters Classic win in October, while Jungle Deuce was one of the five remaining dogs selected by an expert panel to complete the list.
The selection process was then turned over to the public to select 'their' dog, and it appeared like the promising Bandit Ned was going to run away with voting.
GRNSW Chief Executive Tony Mestrov, who was unaware of how the voting was progressing during the week, was informed on Sunday that a late voting surge had seen Jungle Deuce secure his organisation's slot for a shot at the $750,000 first prize.
"I would firstly like to congratulate Jack Smith and the connections of Jungle Deuce for being voted The People's Pup and winning the right to represent GRNSW and the people of NSW in the TAB Phoenix," Mestrov said.
"I understand it was hotly contested ballot, and regardless of the outcome we would have been well represented in Melbourne. But the public have spoken and selected Jungle Deuce who I know will not only proudly represent the people of NSW in the GRNSW slot, but has a realistic chance of bringing the $750,000 first prize back across the border.
"Now it's time for us all to get on board with Jungle Deuce and cheer for The People's Pup to bring the inaugural TAB Phoenix trophy to NSW."
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: