WA star Miata is on track to run in Saturday night's heats of the Australian Super Stayers series despite a shock defeat as $1.40 favourite in the Zoom Top at The Meadows.
Miata ruined her chances on Saturday night when she was left flat-footed from box four after giving high-flying Destini Fireball a big break on the first lap.
She finished strongly to close the margin to 1¼ lengths, but placed third behind Destini Fireball, who defeated Bell Haven by a nose in the Group 1 event.
For Victorian trainer Norm Rinaldi, it was his second Group 1 win, after Destini Fireball gave him his first win at the elite level in the Sale Cup on Boxing Day last year. Miata missed the Sale Cup when her electronic entry was not found by the club.
Destini Fireball set fast first sectionals of 15.91sec. and 29.51sec. before running out the 725m in 42.58sec.
Miata had won the Zoom Top in 42.37 last year.
Trainer Paul Stuart said Miata would have a week of light exercise to freshen her for a fourth run in four weeks in the heats of the $100,000 Group 1 Super Stayers (725m) at The Meadows.
The daughter of Bombastic Shiraz claimed the mantle of Australia's richest greyhound ($671,508) with successive wins in the Group 1 Galaxy (715m) at Cannington last Saturday week, after a blistering 21¾-length heat win on February 2.
"She can't afford to do what she did," Stuart said yesterday. "Last night, I thought she raced like she was tired. She seems to have pulled up well today.
"She ran pretty good to run 42.66 and maybe the couple of weeks running week-to-week has taken a bit of an edge off her.
"She is race-fit now so I don't have to do much with her and she can have an easy week."
Stuart's Perth Cup winner, Dyna Nailin, trialled well at Sandown last Saturday and will have his first Victorian run in a Grade 5 series beginning on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, WA's best sprinter, Hot Irish, finished fourth to upset $19 winner Cintiarna in Saturday's Group 1 Temlee (525m).
Hot Irish, along with Perth Cup placegetters Grigorieva Bale (second) and Glen Gallon (fourth), are among 56 top-seeded sprinters to run in Saturday's Australian Cup (525m) heats.
Glen Gallon, who finished fifth in the Temlee, will have his prize money soar past $720,000 if the Queenslander is successful in his heat and Saturday week's final.