The graduates of the 2012 Dapto Puppy Auction line up in the heats of the Country Motor Company Puppy Classic on Thursday night. This will be the fourteenth running of the series.
A total of 316 dogs were nominated for the 2012 auction, with greyhounds whelped between 1 July 2011 to 31 December 2011 eligible to nominate.
Eight heats of the race have been drawn and will feature 61 greyhounds vying for the grand prize of $75,000 to the ultimate winner.
The value of the highest selling lot in the 2012 instalment of the auction was $8,000 which went to a number of pups including one from the Velocette ex. Paua to Burn litter, one from the Big Daddy Cool ex. Dangle the Carat litter and two from the Flying Penske ex. Angel Doll litter. Only the Paua to Burn pup features in the heats (Cocktail Party; Race 3, Box 6).
HEAT ONE - Race 1 at 7:27pm
The first heat on the card features two greyhounds from the Collision ex. Cool Karen litter, Genetic Jenny in Box 2 and Lickety Lick in Box 7. Cool Karen was a talented race bitch, winning 12 races covering distances from 365 metres to 720 metres. Genetic Jenny has the better record of the two, winning two from eight starts and being placed on three other occasions. The black bitch has a fast 30.06 win to her credit at Nowra back in late September and has had two starts here at Dapto for a third placing. She has the ability to lead and if she can begin on terms is expected to measure up. She has been freshened for this after finding trouble in a race at Nowra on 19 October.
Buckled, in Box 8, stands out as the class runner in the field, placing at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The bitch by High Earner ex. Buckle Bunny has had eight starts for two wins and four placings. This is her first time from Box 8 so it will be interesting to see if she can handle the outside. The widest draw she has had is Box 5. The Velocette ex. Eve dog from Box 1, Alderley Riot, is capable of running a cheeky race, with two wins from five starts. Both wins have come at The Gardens and the dog is trained by respected trainer Ron Bell, so the dogs chances can't be dismissed. Of the other runners, Go Wild Spot (Box 4) and Second Receiver (Box 6) will struggle. Go Wild Spot has been unplaced in six starts and Second Receiver has failed to record a win after facing the starter 22 times.
HEAT TWO - Race 2 at 7:52pm
The Bombastic Shiraz ex. Material Journey litter was one of the best bred at the 2012 auction, with pups from the litter selling for an average price of $5,550. Two feature in this heat with Shimmy Shim Sham starting from Box 1 and So Swanky from Box 7. Shimmy Shim Sham has been racing around Dapto, Coonamble, Maitland and Lithgow and has failed to salute in 10 starts. So Swanky has been racing in Queensland, with two wins from 15 starts, with both wins coming at Ipswich. The greyhound has been placed on seven other occasions. The two standouts in this race look to be Wild Wilfred (Box 3) and Jawlaa (Box 4). Wild Wilfred is beautifully bred by Go Wild Teddy ex. Lee Serenade (Brett Lee ex. Gold Serenade) and is owned and trained by Shane Pulbrook. The blue dog has won five races from 19 at Wagga, Bulli, Temora and Lithgow. The dogs last win came in September at Lithgow and his recent form has only been average. However, the greyhound clearly has talent. He doesn't always step away well at box rise so will need to improve in this area to factor.
The Joseph Scerri trained Jawlaa is by Swift Fancy ex. Kumta Lee and has six wins from 14 starts. The 28kg black bitch has sizzled around the 535 at Richmond in 30.37 and has also won at Wentworth Park in 30.20. She also has a perfect record at Dapto, having won three from three with a personal best of a smart 29.72. She is the dog to beat in this heat and is likely to feature at the business end of the series. Of the others, Sizzling Sally (Box 6) has won one race at Nowra in a better than average 20.94 but has since struggled with the step up to 520 metres, placing in a steady 30.72 at Nowra. Dig Deep Maggie from Box 8 has managed two wins, both coming at Dapto with a personal best of 30.41.
HEAT THREE - Race 3 at 8:14pm
This race features one of the highest selling lots from the auction; Cocktail Party (Box 6). The record of the white and brindle bitch suggests she will struggle to feature in the series, winning just one race from 11 starts in an average 31.11 at Richmond. Steve White, who bought Cocktail Party back at the auction, has Paua to Charge lining up in Box 7. The fawn dog has had a great start to his career, with three wins from five starts over the sprint distances at Bulli and Nowra. White will have him well prepared for this race and he should run well enough to proceed through to the next round.
The runner from Box 4, Lachlan Bomber, will be the dog to beat in this heat. He has won ten races in his short career at Goulburn, Bulli and Maitland. He is a speed dog that has been placed in his only start at Dapto. Black Beach Girl (Box 1) and Zu Zu Lock (Box 3) could make things interesting in this race. Black Beach Girl has recorded a fast 22.65 at Bulli in late October and has plenty of early zip. Zu Zu Lock has won two at Dapto including a respectable 30.18 win from Box 2 just a fortnight ago. The Global Warming ex. Offangorn dog is locally trained by Cliff Bell and should be good value in betting.
HEAT FOUR - Race 5 at 8:53pm
Top Queensland trainer Tony Brett has Exhibitionist (Box 5) engaged in this heat and he looks to have a top chance. The Superman ex. Naughty Nicki bitch was purchased for $1700 at the auction. Naughty Nicki had a decent record for Adele Powell and Exhibitionist has been a tidy purchase to date, winning five from eight and over $4000 in prize money in her short career. Exhibitionist comes to Dapto having won her last three starts at both Albion Park and Ipswich. She is a good beginner and if she employs that trait at Dapto she will be hard to beat.
The two most experienced runners in the field are Vee Ate Turbo (Box 5) and High and Mighty (Box 7). Between them they have had 58 starts. Vee Ate Turbo has won seven races over a distance of 400 metres at Richmond, The Gardens and Maitland. The greyhound failed in her most recent attempt over 500 metres at The Gardens in October and may struggle to run out the 520 metres here at Dapto, although she could lead for a fair way. High and Mighty has done most of his racing in Queensland and is a last start winner at Ipswich over 520 metres in 30.69 which was just a shade off the Best of the Night. However, from 34 starts he has only won four times, so his wins are well spaced and he may struggle from the difficult Box 7 draw. The other runner that may factor is the Victorian Darley Chilly from Box 1. He ran third at his last start over the 500 metres at Bendigo in a steadily run race. He has recorded two wins from his ten starts and can't be completely disregarded.
HEAT FIVE - Race 7 at 9:38pm
This heat is one of the hardest to pick, with all greyhounds showing similar form from limited starts. The only greyhound in the race that hasn't had a race start to date is Hayville Charlee (Box 8). Hayville Charlee is nicely bred by Knocka Norris ex. Vizcaya. Vizcaya won the Group 2 Vince Curry Maiden and ran second in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup in 2006, so Hayville Charlee certainly doesn't lack in the breeding department. Hayville Charlee has had two performance trials at Dapto, winning both with her fastest time 30.21. She has drawn the extreme outside and this may prove tricky for the inexperienced youngster. However, there is little doubt that Billy Bates would have given her a few looks at the track so she should be familiar with the circuit.
Melaneus Shiraz (Box 6) is a noted fast beginner with a speedy 5.38 sectional recorded at Dapto. From four starts at the track, the Hurricane Luke ex. Cin Cin Shiraz bitch has won one and placed in three. Her win at Dapto came in a decent 30.12 from Box 2. She should have no trouble leading. Snooty Reg has made her way up from Victoria. She is yet to win a race but has been placed in four of six starts. Her recent form at Shepparton and Bendigo has been consistent. This is her first inside draw in her career and with half decent box manners, Box 1 might give her a chance to be in the mix.
HEAT SIX - Race 8 at 9:59 pm
El Senor Toro (Box 2) will be looking to improve his win record to five wins from eight starts from a suitable box draw. The black dog by El Grand Senor ex. Royal Pearl hasn't started at Dapto but he has won in a fast 22.57 at Bulli. He is a last start winner at Bulli in 22.64 and is a consistent beginner. His form is superior to the rest of the field so watch him closely.
Jodie Lord has a litter mate to Buckled in Box 5. Handy Nandy has recorded two wins including a last start 25.45 win at Canberra in a mixed grade race. She can begin well but has had the advantage of inside boxes in recent starts. She is also stepping up to 520 metres for the first time so I would take her on trust. The other runner with relatively good form is My Bella Rose in Box 6. The Allan Manwaring trained youngster has won three and been placed seven times from 15 starts. She has quick wins at Goulburn over the 350 and 457 and has won here at Dapto in a moderate 30.63.
HEAT SEVEN - Race 9 at 10:22pm
Amy Bennett will be hoping her greyhound, Little Elsie, can overcome Box 4 en route to her sixth win. The blue fawn bitch by El Grand Senor ex. Oxley Amy has been a model of consistency. She has only recently stepped up the 520 metre distance, winning at Dapto in 30.39 and finishing second at Wentworth Park on 1 November. Little Elsie has a vacant box on her outside which should giver her plenty of room early. Lani Banarni in Box 2 has the best time at Dapto out of all the runners. The Disintergrate ex. Hey Princess bitch has recorded 30.07 for the trip from Box 8. She has a slow beginner on her inside so will likely get a good rails run into the first turn.
Steve White's Paua to Excite is also worth some consideration. She won her first start at Dapto in 30.28 but then tailed out last start, with the stewards report noting that the greyhound may have become winded after early interference and was inexperienced field wise. A clean cross from Box 8 should see her improve but there is a bit of speed on her inside.
HEAT EIGHT - Race 10 at 10:40pm
Frank Hurst has to wait until the last heat to produce Wentworth Park winner Encosta Deplente. He is by Bananarama, who was the mother of the three greyhounds that ran the trifecta in the 2012 auction race run over 297 metres at Dapto. That litter was by Collision. Encosta Deplente is sired by Hallucinate and has won three from seven. He is a last start winner at Wentworth Park in 30.34 and has placed at Dapto from two starts at the track. The Wentworth Park win stands him out in class in this field but he has to overcome the squeezebox to score.
Another of the El Grand Senor ex. Paua to Terrify litter appears here in Box 2. Paua to Thrill is making his race debut and has recorded two solid wins in Performance Trials, the most recent a fast 25.20 over the Canberra 440 metres. Neva's Tree in Box 6 has won his last two at Bulli, leading all the way in 22.92 on both occasions. He may show enough early speed to hamper the running of Encosta Deplente.
The top four from each of these heats will proceed to the semi finals next week.