Victorian aspirants for the National Sprint Championships line up on Saturday night at The Meadows for the Victorian leg of the Nationals series. The field is missing a number of top Victorian sprinters but nevertheless it should be a good race as each dog has a reasonable chance of success. Brooke Ennis’ Dream It is the fastest qualifier through to this week’s Victorian final. If Dream It cannot win this race on Saturday night he is a very rough chance of getting a wild card into the big final at Cannington.
Jeff Britton has two finalists. Britton missed out on a berth in the National Distance final with Mepunga Tiara on Thursday night at Sandown but he has a chance of qualifying for the sprint final with Cosmic Wise and Mepunga Armagh.
Here’s a look at each of the finalists and their current Sportingbet fixed odds prices:
Box 1 – Crackerjak Dak (Andrea Dailly) – $3.40
This Andrea Dailly trained dog loves an inside box so he is drawn to do well. The extremely well bred son of Mogambo and Lil’s Memory (Bombastic Shiraz – We Owe Heaps) ran second to Dream It in the heats last week from box two. He has won four from nine at The Meadows with a best time of 29.94. He needs to lead to do his best work.
Box 2 – Crawf’s Bread (David Crawford) – $9.00
Crawf’s Bread is an extremely consistent chaser and winning this race would be a nice little reward for the dog by Where’s Pedro and Tekki (November Fury – Brian’s Tiger). He defeated Marcus Joe last week to land a heat win in 30.12. He has won six from 18 at The Meadows with an overall best of 30.03. He’s got an imposing record from box one but from box two he has won just the one race from eight attempts.
Box 3 – Cosmic Wise (Jeff Britton) – $10.00
The Cosmic Chief and Wise Penny (Bombastic Shiraz – Awesome Berger) bitch had box four last week when running one and three quarter lengths second behind Buckle Up Mason. She has won two from six at the track and has stopped the clock at 29.94. Her form from inside boxes is good and she is generally reliable at box rise.
Box 4 – Dream It (Brooke Ennis) – $5.00
Dream It was last week’s fastest heat winner from box one. The Bartrim Bale and Ondina Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) dog moves to box four to week, a draw he has won from three times. Dream It is a talented conveyance, running second in this years Group Two Warrnambool Classic and also a finalist in the Group Two McKenna Memorial. He has had 10 starts at the track for six wins. He takes a few strides to get motoring so he will need some luck in the early stages.
Box 5 – Marcus Joe (Barry Moloney) – $6.00
This Velocette and Mojo Glory (Jack Junior – Mint Mojo) dog loves The Meadows. It was the scene of his Group One Maturity win last year and overall he has seven wins from 15 starts at the track with a flying 29.66 to his credit. He finished strongly behind Crawf’s Bread last week from box six and he has the squeeze draw for this race. He has only won once from box five so his connections will be hoping he can overcome the draw.
Box 6 – Mepunga Armagh (Jeff Britton) – $4.60
A winner last week in 29.86, Mepunga Armagh will be looking to make it two in a row on Saturday night. The Premier Fantasy and Mepunga Harmony (Pure Octane – Mepunga Shiraz) dog has two wins at the track from four starts. He had box eight last week for his eight and a half length win so the wide draw should not worry him this week. He’s got great early pace and looks a real chance.
Box 7 – Buckle Up Mason (Jenny Hunt) – $7.50
Jenny Hunt will be looking to qualify her second runner for the Nationals after her charge Xylia Allen took out the Victorian National Distance final at Sandown on Thursday night. Buckle Up Mason won in 29.99 last week to bring his Meadows record to 13 wins from 32 attempts at the track. His best is 29.74. The Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) dog has just the one win from box seven but is capable of showing the pace needed to lead.
Box 8 – Nockabout Aussie (Peter Akathiotis) – $16.00
Nockabout Aussie had a comfortable six length win over Grand Legacy last week to win his heat in 30.02. He has not won from a draw wider than box six so the Knocka Norris and Aussie Nicky (Aussie Cruiser – Aussie Nerabella) dog looks to have a tough task ahead of him. He has won just three from 16 at the track so he will be relying on a lot of luck.
Grand Legacy (9) finished second behind Nockabout Aussie. He has just the one win at The Meadows and will find it tough to challenge some of the others in this final. Woodnear (10) was well beaten by Mepunga Armagh. His last win was back in April this year and he is likely to be double figure odds if he gets a run.
Jeff Britton has capped off a remarkable night of racing for his team of greyhounds by taking out the Group One Maturity at The Meadows with Mepunga Hayley. Earlier in the night , Britton and Mepunga Tiara secured the Group Two Victorian Distance Championship final.
Britton told ARG earlier in the week that Mepunga Hayley deserved to win the final and the Bekim Bale and Mepunga Harmony (Pure Octane â€“ Mepunga Shiraz) bitch certainly didn’t disappoint.
Jumping from box eight, Mepunga Hayley was handy but it was Take Charge (3) who took the early lead. Favourite Hooksy (7) was slow to begin, as was Grand Legacy (6) and Sisco Rage (1). Neither of this trio was able to factor in the finish, with Hooksy finishing down the track in seventh.
Mepunga Hayley headed Take Charge coming off the back straight and streaked away to score by three and a quarter lengths in a personal best 29.78. Shoulders (2), who was positioned well in the early stages, got home for second for Anthony Azzopardi. The Andrea Dailly trained Humphrey Bale (5) finished strongly for third.
Mepunga Hayley, owned by Barry Smith, has now won 10 from 20 and over $160,000 in prizemoney and is one to follow closely for the remainder of her career.
1st: Mepunga Hayley (8) â€“ Jeff Britton
2nd: Shoulders (2) â€“ Anthony Azzopardi
3rd: Humphrey Bale (5) â€“ Andrea Dailly
4th: Take Charge (3) â€“ Stephen McKenna
5th: Sisco Rage (1) â€“ Darren McDonald
6th: Lamia Bale (4) â€“ Steven Collins
7th: Hooksy (7) â€“ Tanya Auld
8th: Grand Legacy (6) â€“ Peter Dapiran
1st split: 5.06
2nd split: 17.81
Margins: 3 1/4 x 2
Scratchings: Trail Blazing (9) and Wind Whistler (10)
Upsets have been the flavour of the 2014 Group One Maturity Classic so far and that didn’t stop on Saturday night; with two of the four semi winners at double-figure odds while the other two winners were not sent out as favourites.
Lamia Bale set the time standard into the finals, stopping the clock at 29.99 and paying a very juicy $22.90. The Steve Collins trained bitch by High Earner and Maple Bale (Spiral Nikita – Vista Bale) narrowly defeated Sisco Rage (1) who unleashed her customary finish to miss victory by a nose. Lamia Bale was fast away and this worked to her benefit as race favourite Spring Leaf (4) was slow away and never fired a shot. The Darren McDonald trained Sisco Rage, a bitch by High Earner and Sisco Power (Sisco Buzz – Sisco Yep) joins Lamia Bale in the final next week.
The other long-odds winner was Grand Legacy (5) for Peter Dapiran. The El Grand SeĂ±or and Premier Babe (Premier Fantasy – Ikari Babe) dog saluted at odds of $17.30 as he pulled off a win from a bad draw. It was also his first win at the track. Favourite Eliza Blanche (8) was beaten by the box and the other dog in the market, Luca Neveelk (7), demonstrated that he really needs to lead to show his best work. When the lids opened, Crackerjack Rose (2) showed the best speed, leading into the first turn. Take Charge (3) also got away well and took the lead turning into the back straight. Grand Legacy was third at this stage and down the home straight he put in the long strides to secure a two and a half length win in 30.17 over Take Charge. The Stephen McKenna trained Take Charge, a dog by Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic), will take a spot in next week’s final with Grand Legacy.
The other two winners, Mepunga Hayley (5) and Humphrey Bale (1), both saluted at odds of $6.00. Mepunga Hayley, a bitch by Bekim Bale and Mepunga Harmony (Pure Octane – Mepunga Shiraz) lowered the colours of $1.80 favourite Hooksy. The Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Hayley led easily, crossing other noted beginners Rue De Kahn (4) and Push It (2) quickly and shooting away to win in 30.00. Hooksy was pushed wide at the first turn but he managed to put himself into second and finished two and a half lengths behind Mepunga Hayley. The Tanya Auld trained Hooksy has scraped through all series but the black dog by Hondo Black and Uno Witch (Primo Uno – Proven Tops) may well just peak in time for the final.
In Humphrey Bale’s race, Shoulders (3) and Where’s The Surf (2) vied for favouritism. Humphrey Bale trumped them all, leading all the way in 30.18 for trainer Andrea Dailly. The Bartrim Bale and Pindari Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) dog won his seventh race at the track and is considered something of a track specialist at The Meadows. Where’s The Surf and Shoulders squeezed each other for room early with Where’s The Surf worst affected. Shoulders finished impressively to finish second, grabbing Samus Allen down the home straight and in turn, snaring himself a spot in the final. Shoulders, a black dog by Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed (Bit Chili – Stresa) will be the only NSW trained dog in the final for trainer Anthony Azzopardi’s
The box draw for next week’s final is:
Box 1 – Sisco Rage – Darren McDonald (30.00)
Box 2 – Shoulders – Anthony Azzopardi (30.20)
Box 3 – Take Charge – Stephen McKenna (30.33)
Box 4 – Lamia Bale – Steven Collins (29.99)
Box 5 – Humphrey Bale – Andrea Dailly (30.18)
Box 6 – Grand Legacy – Peter Dapiran (30.17)
Box 7 – Hooksy – Tanya Auld (30.16)
Box 8 – Mepunga Hayley – Jeff Britton (30.00)
First Reserve: Trail Blazing – Tina Womann 30.12)
Second Reserve: Wind Whistler – Angela Langton (30.29)
The heats of the Group One Maturity Classic have been run and won at The Meadows on Saturday night. The top two from each heat and the eight fastest thirds will now progress to the semi-finals next week.
A couple of high-profile chasers lost on the night (namely Warrior King and Hooksy). As a result, Warrior King missed a place in next week’s semi-finals and Hooksy scraped through as one of the eight fastest thirds. My Bro Fabio made up for his brother Warrior King’s loss by taking out the time honours for the night. He was the only dog to break thirty seconds and was the quickest dog by over two-tenths.
Training honours went to Anakie based Andrea Dailly, who rugged up three winners on the night. She was closely followed by Avalon trainer Jenny Hunt who had two winners.
Here is a look at how each heat panned out:
Mepunga Hayley (2) kicked off the night with a win for trainer Jeff Britton; collaring early leader White Spyro rounding the turn for home. As expected, White Spyro (7) flew the lids and took the early lead but the strong Mepunga Hayley was able to position herself in a handy second and well within striking distance. Cette Away (8) rounded out the first three, finishing seven and a half lengths off the winner and based on her time, she will only go through as a reserve next week. Mepunga Hayley scored by five and three quarter lengths in 30.14. The black bitch by Bekim Bale and Mepunga Harmony (Pure Octane Mepunga Shiraz) notched up her eighth career win in the process.
Living Proof (4) went to the boxes as favourite but a poor start and a poor box meant trouble at the first turn and as a result he wasn’t able to run a place. Best away was $10 chance Blurred Lines (6) for trainer Kelly Bravo. The black dog by Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic) staved off a late challenge by Hot Whirl (1) to win by half a length in 30.19. Capullo Bale (2) tried hard and ground out a good third, but his time wasn’t good enough to see him straight into the best 32 next week.
Jenny Hunt’s Samus Allen (5) shook off her last two unplaced runs to return to the winner’s circle; a place she has become accustomed to in her short career. She has now won eight from 10 and is one to black-book. The bitch by Bekim Bale and Blachura Bale (Most Awesome – Hanicka Bale) began sweetly from the squeeze box and wasn’t troubled in her one length win, equalling her best time of 30.11. Queensland visitor Give You Credit (7) ensured he would be staying in Victoria for another week, flashing home for second. Take Charge (6) wound up in third after holding second position for most of the race. The solid run ensured he was one of the fastest thirds, meaning a spot in next week’s semi-finals.
Race favourite Push It (1) had every chance to win this race but Crackerjack Rose (6) came out and spoiled the party, pulling away for a three and a quarter length victory in a moderate 30.47. The Andrea Dailly trained bitch by Collision and Smell The Roses (Jim Joes Up – Our Maiden) was considered a $13 chance but she made the most of a good getaway while Push It bombed the start. Push It was granted a saloon passage on the rail through the first turn, courtesy of Kalaway Ernie (3) ducking wide but she didn’t have enough gas at the end to take down Crackerjack Rose and was lucky to hold off American Sniper (8) who finished third. As a result of the moderate race time, American Sniper will only be a reserve next week.
Rue De Kahn (7) reaped the benefits of a trial last week at The Meadows to fire out of the boxes and secure a win in the fifth heat for NSW trainer Dean Swain. The bitch by Where’s Pedro and Shelbourne Dawn (Boherduff Light – Queen Survivor) improved off her trial time to stop the clock at 30.15. Rue De Kahn completed the course with one length to spare over the strong finishing Wind Whistler (1). Another strong finisher, Bekim Hatrick (8), was two lengths away in third and has earned a spot in the semi-finals.
A major upset occurred in the sixth heat as Warrior King (1) was bundled out of the series after a slow start. The field closed in on him and he had no room to move along the rails. It was a hard fought race up front as Grand Legacy (5) and Spring Leaf (6) went hammer and tong for the lead. Grand Legacy won out but Spring Leaf slipped into second and whittled away at Grand Legacy. The Spring Gun and Scarlett Cath (Premier Fantasy – Scarlett Spy) bitch hit the lead up the home straight and emerged a one and three quarter length winner in 30.09 for trainer Andrea Dailly. Shoulders (2) kept his good record at The Meadows intact, sweeping home into second. Early leader Grand Legacy secured the last minor placing and his time was good enough to make the semi-finals.
The upsets continued in the seventh heat as raging favourite Hooksy (2) had his colours lowered by long odds chance Dyna Zod (1), who paid a massive $31.80 for the win. Best away was Summer Wages (3) who showed the way for most of the race only going down by half a length to Dyna Zod in a race time of 30.22. It was just the second career win for the Superman and Talia Bale (Fortified Rush – Brenell Bale) dog trained by Andrea Dailly. Hooksy tried hard after finding himself mid-field early and did enough to qualify for next week, finishing third.
Peter Dapiran finally got a winner courtesy of Zipping Snoopy (2), who saluted by just under a length in 30.11. The red fawn dog by Mantra Lad and Cho Chang (Whisky Assassin – Pacific Style) recorded a personal best en route to his third win at the track. He took advantage of a clear passage through the first turn and made the rest of the field do all the chasing. The run of the race was the inexperienced Eliza Blanche (8). Having just the two starts prior to this series, she had all the work to do from the wide box. She began okay from box eight and as she crossed to the rails she found interference and was galloped on from behind. She showed great tenacity to work her way into second and take ground off Zipping Snoopy up the home straight. Kerrigan Bale (4) earned a spot in the semi’s next week as one of the fastest thirds.
A city debut ended with a win for Luca Neveelk (3). The Talk’s Cheap and It’s A Neveelk (Nitro Neveelk – Bigbad Leesa) is a star on the rise for Gerald Neveelk, now winning 13 from 15. He led all the way in 30.14 and won by one and a half lengths. Sisco Rage (8) flashed home for second. It was a huge run as she was in trouble early but she worked her way around the field to put herself into next week’s semi-finals. Dyna Alchemist (5) made the semi-finals, taking the all-important third spot.
My Bro Fabio (6) atoned for his brother’s defeat earlier in the night, stamping his authority on this race with a nine and a half length victory in a best on night 29.78. My Bro Fabio is trained by Brooke Ennis and is by Turanza Bale and Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo). He had a mile of room rounding the first turn and once he got into second, there was no doubt he would take down early leader and second place-getter Top Secret (7). Truly Loyal (3) was third but will only be a reserve for next week’s semi-finals.
Punters were on the money in the second last race of the night. Where’s The Surf (2) was favourite and didn’t disappoint, edging out a wall of chasers to find the lead and win by four lengths. Trail Blazing (5) showed plenty of pace but the box draw meant he had to battle hard outside Where’s The Surf early and settle for second. Dyna Orion (1) was finally beaten from a box one draw but he tried hard in the run home to get third and earn a semi-final draw. Where’s The Surf, trained by Darren McDonald, scored in 30.04. It was the 15th career win for the Where’s Pedro and Nova Surf (Surf Lorian – Nova Keroma) dog.
The last heat ended with another upset, this time it was All Strung Out (8). Starting as the clear favourite after the scratching of up-and-coming chaser Lonesome Jett, All Strung Out was only fairly away and could not negotiate a clear path into the race. He saved face by finishing third and qualifying for next week’s semi-finals. Dyna Ostranda (1) emerged as the race victor, running down reserve runner Lamia Bale (9). It was Dyna Ostranda’s first win at The Meadows. The Jenny Hunt trained dog by Heston Bale and Dyna Panama (Gable Lafourchce – Raisa Bale) scored by three quarters of a length in 30.05.
Sandown Park plays host to six heats of the time honoured Group Two McKenna Memorial tonight with some of the countries best middle distance greyhounds assembling for a crack at the cool $40,000 first prize.
The race is run over the 595 metre journey that requires dogs to overcome a tricky bend start and also possess the ability to run out a trying middle distance trip.
The race had been held over the longer 715 metre trip up until 2009 with Flash Of Light’s 2010 win being the first time the race was run over the shorter distance.
Some of the more recent winners of the McKenna Memorial include Kobble Creek (1999), Osti’s Joker (2000), Pearl Larricki (2001), Boomeroo (2002), Arvo’s Junior (2003), Malfoy (2005), Fallen Zorro (2008), Mantra Lad (2009) and Irma Bale (2012).
Here is a look at the main chances in each of the six heats;
Race 4 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 1 – 8:08pm
The first heat features the return of the classy Bookkeeper (2). The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Smashing Amy (Collide – Amy Grace) has not raced since mid February and is capable of carving out lightning times if he is right. He has won four of his 10 attempts at this trip and has a best of 34.04. Should he be anywhere near his best then he is the one to beat.
Tarks Nemesis (7) has been racing over the longer trips and has had a slight freshen up after finding plenty of trouble in a heat of the Group One Albion Park Gold Cup on the 5th of June. The Angela Langton trained bitch has her share of early and mid-race pace and if she can put herself in the firing line early, she looms as a major player in this heat.
Cosmic Wise (8) has been racing consistently over the middle distance trips for trainer Jeff Britton. She registered a slick 34.17 here two starts back and has performed well from outside draws in the past.
Ever Alert (4) has recently stepped up to middle distance racing and has impressed by winning his first two outings. He won at the Meadows over 600 metres in 34.64 two starts back before running a swift 34.24 over this journey last time out.
Race 5 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 2 – 8:28pm
Supersonic Hawk (2) looks well boxed to improve on recent efforts in the second heat. The Jeff Britton trained son of Westmead Hawk and Shelby Shiraz (Bombastic Shiraz – Proper Shelby) had no luck just after the start last time out and it may pay to overlook that effort. He is always thereabouts over this journey and has a best of 34.41. He is capable of a big run here.
Sisco Rage (3) returns to the more suitable 595 metre journey after a couple of flashing finishes over sprint trips in recent times. He stopped the clock at 34.40 in his only run over this trip which was back in late February. If he can manage a clean getaway he will be in this up to his ears.
Prue Bale (4) is an enigmatic type with more than her share of ability. She has not won since April when she flew around this trip to register a fast 34.14. It would take a form reversal for her to win but she definitely has the talent.
Great Spartacus (1) has come up with a nice box for trainer Kelly Bravo. The fawn dog should be the early leader and loves the rails alley, he could be in the race for a long way.
Born Ali (7) is a Group One winning bitch over the longer trips who steps back in distance for this heat. She has class on her side and has gone 34.21 here in the past. She is likely to need a bit of luck in the run to feature.
Race 6 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 3 – 8:52pm
The third heat boasts some top quality chasers, none more so then Surf Mail (6) who loves the 595 metre trip at Sandown Park. The Darren McDonald trained son of Surf Lorian and Hybrid Theory (Bond – Renee’s Special) has won four of his six starts at this journey including a rapid 34.10. He has been flying over the sprint distances recently and won here last week in 29.55. He is the one to beat in this race.
Group One Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (3) chases his second middle distance crown when he steps back up for this race. The Andrea Dailly trained dog has been racing well over sprint trips and has won two of his four over the 595 metres with a best of 34.41. If he can begin on terms he looms as the main danger.
Recent Bulli Gold Cup winner My Boy Snoop (1) is an interesting runner from the rails alley. The Anthony Azzopardi trained long strider has had three recent starts in Victoria over the sprints and looks like he will relish the step up in distance. He looks a genuine each way chance.
Kelly Bravo rugs up Lethal Three (7) and she could very possibly lead the race from the wide box. She has won two from five here and posted a best of 34.25. She meets a hot field in this heat but is not without her chances.
Race 7 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 4 – 9:11pm
The speedy Go Mobo (1) looks perfectly boxed in the fourth heat for Lara trainer Rob Camilleri. The regally bred son of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) is the probable leader and has the imposing record of three wins from four starts out of box one. He has also finished in the top two at his last seven outings and boasts a best of 34.32. He will take some catching.
Musquin Bale (6) is the winner of the Group Three Bert Bryant Memorial and tuned up for this nicely with a 34.61 win at the Meadows last week. He should be able to find a position somewhere near the lead early and with a clean run, he will be right in the firing line at the business end of proceedings.
My Bro Fabio (5) is a relative newcomer to the middle distance journey but gives the impression that it is right up his alley. He overcame early trouble to flash home for an eye catching second to Go Mobo last week. He will be hoping for early luck to be a chance here.
Race 9 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 5 – 9:35pm
Superstar bitch Xylia Allen (8) headlines the fifth heat. She returns to the 595 metre journey after a successful trip north where she took out the Superstayers over 710 metres at Albion Park. The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) has plenty of early toe which should mean that the drop back in distance is not a concern. She is undefeated in two starts here including an airborne 33.79 effort in February. She is a freak and easily the big gun in this one.
Gimme Fuel (1) has his first go at the Sandown 595 metre journey in this heat. He is a consistent performer who should be close to the speed early and poised to strike in the run home.
Searle Bale (5) can be a little risky at box rise but has a big motor and can figure in the finish with a clean run. She registered a zippy 34.08 here a fortnight ago and a repeat of that would have to see her given serious each-way consideration.
Cornelius Fudge (4) is a strong finisher who should be doing his best work late in the event. The worry for him is whether or not he gets room to move in transit during the race. If he does he is a definite contender for exotics.
Race 10 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 6 – 9:55pm
The final heat features the continuation of talented bitch Dyna Kayla’s (6) return to racing. In three runs back from a two month let up, she has won two over shorter trips and shown some of the form that led to her starting in multiple Group staying events at her very first preparation. She has a personal best of 33.99 here and is undefeated in two starts over the journey. She looks a huge hope in this heat.
Luby Loo (1) is an exciting youngster who has taken to middle distance racing like a duck to water. She has won her last three at three different tracks and stopped the clock at 34.05 here last week. If she can handle the class rise she can go very close in this one.
Tick Bale (5) is well performed over this trip but has been done no favours by the draw. He has won two of his three starts here and has a best of 34.32 but he is likely to only be away fairly and as a result is going to need luck.
Dream It (4) is a very talented conveyance but he is yet to fill a place in two appearances over this journey. Should he manage to come out running he could spring an upset at each way odds.
Mepunga Tiara (8) has not won for over a month and has struggled from the outside draw in the past but has a fast 34.15 to her credit over this journey which she recorded in May. She has won two from six at the trip and should be prominent early.
With the introduction of a new Group racing calendar, the Bendigo Cup is now one of the first Group Two races on the agenda for the 2014/2015 racing season.
Now worth $45,000 to the winner, the 425 metre race will see eight heats take place on Sunday. The first two placegetters from each of the heats will rug up in the final, which jumps on Friday 4 July.
The time standard for the 425 metre distance is 23.41, set by Black Magic Opal in the heats of the Bendigo Cup run in April (2013/2104 racing calendar).
Heat One – Race 4 at 6:00pm
The highly talented Luca Neveelk (4) is having his first start at Bendigo and arrives at the track with 11 wins to his name from just 12 starts. The blue dog by Talk’s Cheap and It’s A Neveelk (Nitro Neveelk – Bigbad Leesa) has shown plenty of early speed at Healesville, Traralgon, Warragul and Sale. He trialled 24 seconds flat at the track and should be right in this.
The biggest danger comes from box one. The Brooke Ennis trained Universal Size (1) is a former Queenslander and the Knocka Norris – Surf Queen (Surf Lorian – Queen Size) dog has had four wins from five starts in Victoria. One of those wins has been at Bendigo in a smart 23.75. He has two career wins from box one.
The rest of the field contains a number of experienced greyhounds. Crawf’s Bread (3) has raced in Group company before and has 19 wins from 74 starts. He can show early speed and likes the inside. However, at his only start at Bendigo, he failed to run a place. Vapourash (7) has also contested Group races previously and has won at Bendigo in 23.89. Hurricane Rhino (8) could make things interesting as he loves the outside. The Anthony Azzopardi trained dog has raced at Bendigo and won in 24.02.
Heat Two – Race 5 at 6:22pm
Local hope Matt’s Entity (8) performed well in the Bendigo Cup series earlier this year and he looks a big hope in this heat. He has won seven times from box eight and has four wins at the track with a best of 23.57.
Boxed next to Matt’s Entity is Group One Golden Easter Egg placegetter Warrior King (7). He has failed to run a place down in Victoria since returning from the Egg but he can’t be overlooked as he has a best of 23.48 at the track.
Jonny Black Fox (3) has also recorded a flying 23.48 at the track. Remarkably, the dog has won 14 from 17 career starts, but has never had a start from box three. This isn’t expected to worry him though as he has pretty good box manners and some early dash.
If you were looking for a runner outside the top three just mentioned, you can’t go past Arena Allen (4). The Allen Harper – Cara Bale (Larking About – Denise Bale) bitch has done a lot of racing this month, having six starts so far in the month of June. She comes to Bendigo with five wins from five starts at the track and a best of 23.84.
Heat Three – Race 6 at 6:44pm
Rising four year old Peter Rocket (5) resumes from a three month stint on the sidelines to take part in this heat. He is a multiple Group race winner and will give it his all. He has a best of 24.10 at the track.
There’s plenty of early speed drawn on the inside. Pippa Shiraz (2) flies along early but has the tendency to be collared before the line. Drawn on Pippa Shiraz’s immediate outside is the in-form Crackerjack Dak (3). The Andrea Dailly trained dog by Mogambo – Lil’s Memory (Bombastic Shiraz – We Owe Heaps) has won three of his last four starts. He is yet to record a win at Bendigo but has drawn favourably.
Tee Brady (6) has been a consistent placegetter in Victoria but he is yet to win from box six but can show pace.
Heat Four – Race 7 at 7:04pm
Darren McDonald’s Harry Keeping (4) will contest the fourth heat and he looks like he will start the deserved short-priced favourite. The Cosmic Rumble – Naomi Keeping (Surf Lorian – Only Keeping) dog has nine wins from 11 starts and has won at Bendigo in 24.07.
Capullo Bale (2) has won his last three starts with one of those wins coming at Bendigo in 23.85. He has been improving out of the box with a bit of experience under his belt and looms as the main threat to Harry Keeping.
Talented New Zealander Clone Your Own (5) has superior mid-race pace and is capable of pulling out a top performance for trainer Rob Britton but he will need to in order to factor from the squeeze draw.
Heat Five – Race 8 at 7:28pm
Hallelujah Henry (5) resumed from a three month spell at Shepparton last Monday, leading all the way in a best of night 25.37. He does is best work on the bunny and has won at Bendigo in 23.92.
Multiple Group finalist Innocent Til (6) has box six and has not won since April. He has been unplaced at Bendigo from one start but has a good record from box six, recording five wins wearing the green vest.
White Spryo (8) is drawn to take advantage of any interference in the race and with her early speed she could very well be the one that can win at odds. The Disintergrate – Hanify’s Elite (Elite State – Miss Hanify) bitch has won three of her last four and has never been unplaced from three starts at Bendigo with a best of 23.81.
Azza Azza Azza (10) should make the race interesting if he gets a start. He’s won seven from 11 and has won his last two.
Heat Six – Race 9 at 7:48pm
Allen Malik (7) has flown around Warragul in his last two wins. However, both those wins came from box one and he now moves to box seven for this event. This will be his first start at Bendigo.
Question Bale (6) has been very consistent and with his good manners early, he is one of the main dangers. The Collision – Mamie Bale (Where’s Pedro – Maple Bale) dog has 15 wins from 31 starts but is also having his first start at Bendigo.
Of the other runners, just two have broken the magical 24 seconds at Bendigo. Those two runners are Elite Devil (2) and Velomagic (5).
Heat Seven – Race 10 at 8:08 pm
Crump (7) has had a month off so will be nice and fresh for this. He goes well from the outside and has won at Bendigo in a very fast 23.67.
Papa Hook (1) looks a good each-way chance as he has three wins at Bendigo, a best of 23.90 and he has never been unplaced from the rails alley.
Granola Bale (4) is another one with form at the track. The Jenny Hunt trained dog has two wins and two seconds from four starts at the track. She hasn’t broken 24 seconds but she is a consistent beginner and has won three of her last five.
Senor Socks (8) has won his last three but lines up for the first time at Bendigo. Overall, he has 11 wins from 19 starts and has won from the pink.
Heat Eight – Race 11 at 8:32pm
A couple of NSW trained dogs will make their way to Bendigo for this final heat. My Kinda Music (2) is a very fast bitch who looks set to show how good she is from box two. The El Grand Senor – Ice Dancer (Spiral Nikita – Herron Quay) bitch holds the Temora track record and since that run back in March she has had a run of poor box draws. If she can get on the bunny here she will be hard to contain.
The other NSW runner, Unleash De Fear (7), also has plenty of talent and was a finalist in the recent Group Three Bulli Gold Cup. If he pings the lids he should go well. He has had 15 starts for eight wins.
They have to contend with Victorian track record holder and Group race winner Walk Hard (6). He has won his last two at Healesville and has won at his only start in Bendigo in 23.95. He will need some luck from the poor draw but he is a tenacious chaser and very strong.
Also presenting as a danger is Dyna Ishaan (1), who has an imposing record from box one. He has won six times from the rails draw and with such a good record from the box, he has to be considered. This will be his first start at Bendigo.
Yannick (box one) won the 1998 Tweed Heads Galaxy by six lengths, running 23.32 to set a new track record for the 420 metres at Border Park. Hiraani Blade, who would later be barred from racing at Wentworth Park after jumping the fence and trying to head off the lure in the back straight by galloping across the infield, finished second with Icy Prophet third and Maggiore fourth.
Tap Dance downed Gallant Ruler by two and a half lengths to win the 1994 Peter Mosman Memorial over 520 metres at Wentworth Park, running a race record 30.38 from box one.
Victorian stayer Totally Ablaze won the 1998 Albion Park Gold Cup (710 metres) by a neck from Queenslander Nujooloo with Tonight’s Wish third. Totally Ablaze, trained by Roger Nodzio, ran the trip in a fast 41.96, just 8/100ths outside the race record.
Coulta Colleen set a new track record time of 30.33 when winning over 525 metres at Broken Hill in 2001.
Mustard Moss took out the 1971 Journalist’s Cup (Best 8) over 790 yards (722 metres) at Wentworth Park in a fast 43.2. The Bill Fletcher-trained stayer downed 1970 NSW Greyhound of the Year Tara Flash by two and a half lengths with Fawn Mink third.
Worthy Reward won the first Peter Mosman Memorial final to be held on the new loam surface at Wentworth Park, in 1993. Worthy Reward defeated Rich Roulette and Pedictability in a slow 30.76 for the 520 metres.
Great Wish won the 1999 Peter Mosman Memorial by a whopping 10 lengths, running a fast 30.08 for the 520 metres, just 4/100ths outside the race record.
Farrago became the first greyhound to be earbranded in NSW, in 1951. He was given the number AB001. The plan was to try and prevent ‘ring-ins’ and would gradually be done to about 10,000 racing greyhounds in the state. The Greyhound Recorder claims Runaway Joe had been the first to be earbanded, on 2 May that year, by the NSW NCA, at Penrith. Runaway Joe, infamous for allegedly being a ring-in at Lismore in 1949, might well have been a test case and then Farrago, being a champion and very prominent, was used as the first ‘official’ earbrander.
Classy Victorian sprinter Solve The Puzzle blitzed a top-notch field to win the 1998 Peter Mosman Memorial at Wentworth Park. He downed fellow Victorian Adrenalin Storm by almost 10 lengths in 30.04, clipping a substantial 34/100ths off the previous race record. Lucy Lawless was third ahead of Fraud, Spoken Joe (later to set a track record at Wentworth Park) and Fibba.
Irish import Smooth Approach gave trainer Shirley Watkin her biggest success when annexing the 1975 Winter Stake by a length from Lord Beresford over 457 metres at Harold Park. Oberon Lad was 10 lengths further adrift in third place. Smooth Approach ran 26.49 to set a new race record.
Hotshow Vintage, from Victoria, won the 2001 Albion Park Gold Cup by a nose from Worldlee Man with NSW stayer Bronze Token a length and a half away third and fellow NSW stayer Pearl Larricki fourth. Hotshow Vintage collected $40,000 for trainer Jason Thompson.
Royal Kojak downed Star Wine by a head to win the 1987 Olympic Park Hurdle Championship, run over 511 metres. Revel’s Command was third with Weinberg fourth. The race was marred by three finalists falling.
Pied Rebel set a new track record of 23.8 for 440 yards (402 metres) at Tweed Heads in 1969 at only his third race start.
Garrick Bale won the 2012 Peter Mosman Memorial by seven lengths for trainer Andrea Dailly and earned $75,000, a 50 percent prize money hike from the previous year.
The John Young-trained Petite Panther won the 1970 Which Chariot Gold Cup final over 675 yards (617 metres) at Bulli by two lengths in 36.5.
Woolley Wilson held on to defeat Midnight Enemy by a head in the final of the 1972 Winter Stake (500 yards; 457 metres) at Harold Park. Woolley Wilson collected $2,500 first prize for trainer Geoff Watt.
Race 1 â€“ 525M Maiden Final â€“ 7:15PM
After stepping slowly, the Andrea Dailly trained Dyna Yemen showed a tremendous turn of foot to find the early lead, before scoring a brilliant 30.03 heat win. He has drawn awkwardly tonight but with a slow beginner directly outside I’m hoping he will get sufficient room to muster speed. There are a number of strong kennels represented in this, so you might get around the $2.50 mark or better.
Haraka resumed from a three month spell to score a strong 30.63 heat win and he would have derived a lot of benefit from
The heats of the Group One Sapphire Crown have been run and won at Sandown on Thursday night.
The name “Britton” featured heavily as Linda Britton won two heats, Jeff Britton won one heat and finished second in another and Rob Britton won the final heat.
Two sets of sisters also feature in the final. You Say Goodbye and Hot Dream are by Premier Fantasy – Hello Sienna (Bond – Hello Gal) and Oakvale Flyer and Oakvale Destiny are by Vapour Whirl – Foot Luce (Hallucinate – Scarlett). Remarkably, Oakvale Flyer and Oakvale Destiny stopped the clock at the same time of 29.57 in separate heats.
The fastest qualifier for the final is Zelemar Fever (1). The Linda Britton trained bitch by Bombastic Shiraz – Noaki Pace (Spiral Nikita – Leprechaun Pace) set the standard at 29.34 when taking out the first heat. She began well from box one, but it was Lady Goldenpaw (3) who took the early lead. She didn’t have it long though as Zelemar Fever (1) slipped to the lead around the first turn, taking full advantage of the rails run. You Say Goodbye (2) qualified for the final after getting clear down the back to finish five and a half lengths behind Zelemar Fever. The Stephen McKenna trained bitch began slowly, tried to muster around the turn and was checked but luckily got the run along the rails down the back.
It was Jeff Britton’s turn to rug up a winner in heat two as his recent Group Two Bogie Leigh Futurity finalist Oakvale Flyer (4) finished too strongly in 29.57. It was her sixth win at Sandown in her short 12 start career. She sat back in third early and worked her way into the lead turning for home. Race favourite Prue Bale (3) was handy, having the sit on early leader Mahogany Saphire (9), but Oakvale Flyer got the better of both and the Andrea Dailly trained Prue Bale, a black bitch by Go Wild Teddy – Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) had to settle for second, nearly two and a half lengths behind Oakvale Flyer.
Linda Britton returned to the winner’s circle in the third heat as Te Amo (4) debuted beautifully at the track, leading all the way in 29.70. The Cosmic Rumble – Osti’s Bride (Hallucinate – Osti’s Lass) bitch recorded a fast first split of 5 seconds flat and made her own luck in front, winning by three lengths. The field behind her suffered varying degrees of interference. Especially (1) and Cairnlea Ella (8) were the worst affected and they were the ones sitting second and third turning for home. Paul Galea’s Hot Dream (5) pounced on the opportunity to move up into second spot and finish with a wet sail.
Amadeus Strikes (3) caused an upset in the fourth and final heat, leading all the way to win in 29.51 at a price of $17.80 for trainer Rob Britton. The black bitch by Bombastic Shiraz – Forgetful Lucy (Larkhill Jo – Sensation Lee) is a talented conveyance and the win in this heat was her 22nd career victory. She finished a length ahead of Jeff Britton’s Oakvale Destiny who absolutely powered home from the rear of the field. The favourite, Ritza Hattie (4), copped a lot of interference after beginning moderately and she was unable to make an impact.
The box draw for the final should see Zelemar Fever start the early favourite as she has drawn suitably in box three. Here is the full draw:
1. Prue Bale – Andrea Dailly (29.72)
2. You Say Goodbye – Stephen McKenna (29.70)
3. Zelemar Fever – Linda Britton (29.34)
4. Hot Dream – Paul Galea (29.89)
5. Oakvale Destiny – Jeff Britton (29.57)
6. Te Amo – Linda Britton (29.70)
7. Amadeus Strikes – Rob Britton (29.51)
8. Oakvale Flyer – Jeff Britton (29.57)
9. Lady Toy – Norm Gost (29.57)
10. Mahogany Saphire – Elsie King (29.78)
Tonk is the 2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg winner. The fawn dog by Bartrim Bale – Coulta Gold (Bombastic Shiraz – Coulta Tess) was crowned the champion on Saturday night at Wentworth Park after drawing away to score by four and a quarter lengths in 29.62 for trainer Brooke Ennis. Ennis also put the polish on third placegetter, Warrior King.
After the dogs passed the post the first time, race favourite Buckle Up Wes (1) looked the goods as he held the rails advantage over lid pinger Magic Display (5). However, as the field approached the first turn, the race changed complexion. Buckle Up Wes elected to run-off and in the process hampered Magic Display, who never gave up trying to take the lead. Tonk made the most of this opportunity to dive into the gap that was created along the rail and zoom to the lead.
Buckle Up Wes checked off the back of Magic Display and fell back into fifth position. Down the back straight, the Andrea Dailly trained Hawk Alone (8) who showed pace from box eight, worked his way around the outside of the field to take up second position. Warrior King (4) showed great tenacity to hunt along the rails and work himself into third. After that, the placegetters positions didn’t change, with two and a quarter lengths separating Hawk Alone and Warrior King for second and third. Buckle Up Wes battled on gamely for fourth.
Of the others, Ollie Bale (3) got jammed early and was dragged down before the post the first time and then got checked to a clear last around the turn and that’s where he stayed. Evil Punk (6) checked off Warrior King in the early stages and wasn’t able to lead, finishing fifth. He was also forced wide around the turn. Jordan Allen (7) was slow away and was the widest of the runners rounding the first turn and finished sixth. Magic Display wound up in seventh.
The Easter Egg win is Tonk’s first Group One victory and he pockets connections $250,000 for his efforts.
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Race 1 – 525M Grade 5 – 7:12PM
The strong and promising Rumero Reason looks to be in a very suitable race. He is normally slow to begin and tonight that should allow him to find the rails in the early stages and he will prove too strong for these.
Ichi Tooshi comes here with strong NSW form, if he can handle the track at his first look he will be right in the mix. Dynamic Luke looks to be another hope, he didn’t have much luck in his debut run here and he can atone for that effort tonight.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 4 – 1 – 3 – 5
Suggested Bets:Â Win bet on Rumero Reason, rove in quinellas with 1,3,5.
Race 2 – 600M Grade 5 – 7:35PM
Abbey’s Hand steps back up to the 600 metre journey tonight and if she pings he lids as expected, I can’t see anything reeling her in. In late March she looked very impressive when scoring at Sandown Park in a smart 34.21 and a repeat of that will see her win tonight.
Fachoong is racing in great form of late and I would expect him to be applying some pressure to Abby’s Hand as they head off the back straight, he will just need plenty of luck from box seven. Thoughtful Wish is another who is not ideally drawn but she is too talented to dismiss, must include in your exotics.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 7 – 1 – 8
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Abbey’s Hand, rove in quinellas with 1,7,8.
Race 3 – 525M Grade 5 – 7:58PM
The Andrea Dailly trained Missile Flash faces a huge drop in class tonight. She is coming off a slick Bendigo win on Wednesday night and with her great acceleration she should be able to burn them off mid race. I’m expecting her to start around $3.50 which is value.
Penn Bale looked impressive when hitting the line hard in a heat of the Launching Pad two weeks ago. That night she gave the talented Chant a big head start and only went down by three lengths. Echelonic Action will be big odds tonight, she is dropping back to a more suitable trip and she can run a drum at big odds.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 6 – 7 – 8 – 4
Trifecta: 6/4,7,8/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 6,7,8/4,6,7,8/1,4,5,6,7,8 ($36 for $1)
Race 4 – 525M Grade 5 Final – 8:19PM
Question Bale is an ultra reliable beginner who should have sufficient speed to cross the two runners drawn underneath him tonight. He hit the line quite strongly in his 30.25 heat win last week and a repeat of that sees him win again.
Hexen Bale has the good draw and he appears to be improving with every run. If he can step on terms tonight he should settle on Question Bale’s tale and he will be in the finish. Mermaid Princess is expected to start favourite but tonight she has speed drawn either side of her and she can miss the kick at times. I would prefer to risk her tonight.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 1 – 4 – 2
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Question Bale, should be able to get around $3.00 fixed.
Race 5 – 525M Mixed 4/5 – 8:38PM
Marley Girl’s recent form doesn’t look to flash, however if you look a little further back she managed to score at this track in a slick 30.05. Tonight’s race seems to lack genuine early pace, so if she can step cleanly she should lead and be able to reproduce that 30.05 run.
Nothing Much is a big talent but my concern with him is that he can bomb the start at times. With a slow beginner drawn outside him tonight he will have a bit more margin for error at box rise. Noble Bale has the class edge but he will get a long way back early, include in your exotic bets.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 – 3 – 7 – 1
Suggested Bet:Â Each way bet on Marley Girl (should be around the $8 mark or better)
Race 6 – 525M Grade 5 Final – 8:57PM
Buckle Up Mason was suited by the class drop in his heat and he looks suited again tonight. Last week he produced a 5.05 section which should see him settling on the speed again and with a clear run he should be too strong for these.
Skinny Vinnie has the coveted rails draw and that brings him right into contention, like Buckle Up Mason this class will definitely suit him and he tends to do his best racing here. White Spyro is the expected leader and she may give them something to catch at odds.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 1 – 2 – 8
Trifecta: 3/1,2,8/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 1,3/1,3/Field ($12 for $1)
Race 7 – 600M Mixed 4/5 – 9:22PM
Tick Bale is finally stepping up in distance and although he has a tough draw, he should have sufficient early speed to overcome it. He has been luckless of late over the 500 metre journeys whilst producing some barnstorming finishes, tonight he should relish the longer journey.
Allen Deed continues to impress and at Sandown last start he lowered the colours of the brilliant Campaspe Will. He has been beginning much better of late and he looks to be the main danger. Easton Bale recently won a heat of the Golden Easter Egg and he has enough early speed to lead for a long way.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 8 – 7 – 5 – 3
Suggested Bets:Â Win bet on Tick Bale, rove in quinella with 3,5,7.
Race 8 – 525M Mixed 3/4 – 9:40PM
In a wide open affair, I have settled on the early speed runners. Premier Event is likely to be around the $8.00 mark but he has brilliant box manners which should allow him to fire to the early lead. I’m expecting there to be plenty of shuffling up behind him and that will allow him to build a race winning break.
Tiggerlong Chief returned to form with a solid 30.13 win here last week and he appears perfectly drawn out in box eight.
Tyronimo will be a short priced favourite but I’m expecting him to get buried a long way back early. Shadow Lane is the only other winning hope for mine, he has a top record here and he should be able to follow Premier Event across in the early stages.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5 – 6 – 8 – 1
Win bets on Premier Event and Shadow Lane (both will be over the odds)
Quinella Boxed: 5,6,8 ($3 for $1)
Race 9 – 525M Grade 4 – 10:05PM
Peloton Bale has an enormous engine but poor box manners have been very costly of late. Tonight there is a lot of early speed drawn underneath him and I think he may be able to settle much closer to the lead than normal. He has the lot of them covered talent wise, he just needs an ounce of luck.
Bogner Bale was a tad disappointing at Sandown last start but he should be able to atone at his favourite track. He has won five of seven here and he should have enough pace to cross to the early lead. If Peloton Bale is strung up in traffic, this bloke may just steal the race.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 5 – 3 – 2 – 4
Win bet on Peloton Bale
Trifecta: 3,5/3,5/Field ($12 for $1)
Race 10 – 600M Grade 5 – 10:27PM
Ultor Bale appreciated the step up to 595 at Sandown last time scoring an all the way win in fast time. Tonight he has two slow beginners drawn underneath so he should be able to find the early lead again.
Zipping Makka is making his middle distance debut and he gives every indication that the journey will suit. The only concern is that he is slow to begin and he will be giving them a big head start. Supersonic Hawk will be nice odds and he may be the surprise packet of the race.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 5 – 2 – 8
Suggested Bets:Â Win bets on both Ultor Bale and Supersonic Hawk (have more on Ultor Bale
Race 11 – 525M Grade 5 – 10:45PM
In what is a wide open affair, I think that the speedy Pippa Shiraz should be able to cross early and zip away off the back straight. She has done most of her recent racing in open class and tonight she should relish the class drop.
Jack Silver looks suitably drawn out in box eight and he should be able to follow Pippa Shiraz across in the early stages. He can run very slick times when given space, he just needs to avoid trouble going through the first bend.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 7 – 8 – 3 – 4
Suggested Bets:Â Win bets on both Pippa Shiraz and Jack Silver.
Race 12 – 525M Grade 5 – 11:02PM
Dyna Fulcrum produced a big performance to be placed here last week, tonight from the red draw he should be able to get a nice sit behind the early leaders and he will run over them in the home straight.
Lady Goldenpaw should be able to cross to the early lead and she will be in it for a long way. I don’t think she can hold out Dyna Fulcrum but she is a great place bet. Yakamov Bale has been racing in great style and he is a winning hope with some luck initially.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 – 7 – 8 – 4
Suggested Bet:Â Load up on Dyna Fulcrum, drawn to win
1,2,3,7,8/1,2,3/3,5,7,8/5,6,8 ($90 for 50c)
2,3/1,2,3/3,5,7,8/5,6,8 ($72 for $1)
Over half the field for the 2014 Group One Golden Easter Egg final will be trained by two trainers. Andrea Dailly has qualified three runners for the final (Ollie Bale, Jordan Allen and Hawk Alone) and Brooke Ennis has qualified two runners (Warrior King and Tonk).
The final field is now known after four semi-finals of the rich Group One race were completed at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The fastest semi-final winner was Evil Punk, who recorded 29.70 for the 520 metre journey. Overall, there wasn’t much difference amongst the other semi-final winning times; 29.80, 29.81 and 29.83.
Here’s a look at how each of the semi-finals panned out.
Semi-final One – Group One Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s kicked off the semi-finals with a bang, qualifying the first two runners into the Easter Egg final next week. Everything went the way of the Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale (3), as he lead all the way in 29.83, recording sections of 5.46, 13.94 and an 11.74 run home.
The race favourite, Keybow (7), came undone by the box draw, finding all sorts of trouble trying to get across from the outside and he finished down the track in seventh. Where’s The Surf (1) looked well-suited by the draw but didn’t fly the lids and had to do a mile of work to get himself into a handy position around the turn, but he couldn’t hang on for a place, finishing fourth.
Fort Allen (8) crossed beautifully from box eight to land in second behind Ollie Bale but it was kennel-mate Jordan Allen (5) that displayed blistering mid race pace to finish six and a quarter lengths second behind Ollie Bale. It was a top run as he was only average away and had to negotiate a tricky passage into the race. Romantic Affair (4) finished strongly for third.
The first two 2014 Easter Egg finalists are Wheeler bred. Ollie Bale is a black dog by Go Wild Teddy – Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) and Jordan Allen is a black dog by Fear Zafonic – Dyna Celeste (Awesome Assassin – Jindara Bale).
Semi-final Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Evil Punk (5) took out the second semi-final in a victory that no one could begrudge him of. It was a gutsy effort by the James Coyle trained dog who was desperately unlucky in the heats, falling after striking the lure down the back straight. The stewards wisely used their discretion to advance him through to the semi-finals and avoid the ballot. He ran away with a four and a half length win over Warrior King (4) in a time of 29.70. He recorded sections of 5.48, 13.84 and 11.73 run home.
Brooke Ennis’ Warrior King (4) began well from box four but switched off the back of Evil Punk rounding the turn, losing momentum. This allowed Lach’s Wish (1) to move up into second behind Evil Punk on the rail. However, Warrior King quickly balanced back up and swept past Lach’s Wish down the back. Dyna Nalin (6) stormed home for third, after rounding the first turn in fifth position.
Richmond Derby place-getter Evil Punk is a black dog, bred, owned and trained by James Coyle and is by Collision – Punk Angel (Addis Boy – Dos Santos). Horsham Cup place-getter Warrior King is a red brindle dog by Turanza Bale – Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo).
Semi-final Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Luckily, greyhounds don’t know what odds they are when they jump from the boxes. Magic Display (3) was rated a $31.00 chance when the lids opened but she didn’t run like a longs odds shot. She pinged the lids to record the best first section of the semi-finals, a fast 5.36. Buckle Up Wes (4) tried to go with her but she stuck to her guns to get the all important lead around the first turn.
Down the back, she was nearly four lengths clear of Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes and Ritza Hattie (1), who began well from box one. Buckle Up Wes had to do a little bit of extra work as he was stuck outside Ritza Hattie down the back and could only cross her heading into the final turn. It was a mad dash to the finish line with Buckle Up Wes in hot pursuit of Magic Display and Ritza Hattie chiming in down the middle of the track.
Magic Display crossed the finishing line with half a length to spare in 29.80. Buckle Up Wes finished second, with just half a length separating him and Ritza Hattie in third. Magic Display, trained by Evelyn Harris, recorded sections of 5.36, 13.74 and 11.92 run home.
Magic Display is a black bitch bred by Evelyn Harris. She is by Magic Sprite – Display Bonus (Elite State – All Display). The Ted Medhurst trained Buckle Up Wes is a black dog by Collision – Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale).
Semi-final Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg
Brooke Ennis qualified a second runner for the Easter Egg final after Tonk (2) put on a great chasing display to hunt down Hurricane Rino (5) and run away to score in 29.81, running home in 11.87. The first two sections of 5.38 and 13.76 were credited to Hurricane Rino, who speared the lids from box five to lead the field around the Glebe circuit.
Tonk railed beautifully and chased the leader hard down the back. He poured on the pace up the home straight to zoom past the tiring Hurricane Rino to score strongly by three and a half lengths.
Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (7) unleashed a withering finishing burst to grab Hurricane Rino in the shadows of the post to secure second spot and a place in the final.
The fancied Iona Tokyo (1) began well from box one, but after being crossed by Hurricane Rino going into the turn she shifted wide and that ended any chance she had of making the final.
Tonk is a fawn dog by Bartrim Bale – Coulta Gold (Bombastic Shiraz – Coulta Tess). Hawk Alone, trained by Andrea Dailly, is by Westmead Hawk – Glamorous Jade (Brett Lee – Glamorous).
The all-important box draw for the final next week is:
1. Buckle Up Wes – 29.84 (Ted Medhurst)
2. Tonk – 29.81 (Brooke Ennis)
3. Ollie Bale – 29.83 (Andrea Dailly)
4. Warrior King – 30.02 (Brooke Ennis)
5. Magic Display – 29.80 (Evelyn Harris)
6. Evil Punk – 29.70 (James Coyle)
7. Jordan Allen – 30.27 (Andrea Dailly)
8. Hawk Alone – 30.05 (Andrea Dailly)
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Race 1 – 520M Heat – 7:28PM
In form trainer Darren McDonald looks to be in for a big night again and he should get the ball rolling in race one. Awesome Project looks perfectly placed out in box eight and with a keen railer drawn directly underneath he should get a clear passage early. He has won here in 29.86 previously and a repeat of that will see him win again.
Stilton Blue looks the likely leader and he can run very quick times on the lure. My only concern is that if he gets a little bit of pressure applied early, he may come unstuck in the final stages. Being Good will hit the line hard and she must be included in the exotics.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 8 – 5 – 1 – 4
Trifecta: 8/1,4,5/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 8/5/Field ($6 for $1)
Trifecta: 5,8/5,8/Field ($12 for $1)
Race 2 – 720M Association Cup Heat One – 7:47PM
The brilliant Xylia Allen has been in rare form of late having broken two track records in her past two starts, however I still don’t believe she is a true and genuine stayer. I expect Xylia Allen to establish a big lead but the strong Infinite Wish should be within striking distance as they head for home. Infinite Wish has recorded some top placing’s at Sandown in recent times and she looks perfectly placed in a race which is sure to have a fast pace set.
Set Her Again has struggled in her two runs here but she is a whole lot better than that. She recently recorded a sub 35 win at Albion over 600 metres and has indicated in her past couple of runs that she is now crying out for the 700 metre journey. Alpe D’Huez is another runner who is in hot form and he looks to be a genuine chance also.
I believe this is a great value race. Xylia Allen is a big take on, she should hold on for second or third, but I think that a stronger type will haul her in late, so her winning chances are diminished.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 – 5 – 1 – 6
Suggested Bet: Win bets on Infinite Wish and Set Her Again
Trifecta: 2,5,6/1/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 2,5,6/Field/1 ($18 for $1)
Race 3 – 720M Association Cup Heat Two – 8:10PM
The powerful Sweet It Is produced a monster effort to score at Sandown last week at her second start for the Darren McDonald kennel. She seemed to show a little more early dash than normal last start before getting knocked over and if she can reproduce that better speed initially tonight she will be able to settle much closer to the pace. The fact that there are at least four front runners in this line up just enhances her chances even more. With the presence of Dyna Willow, Ash Flash and Born Ali, it is very likely that you may see $4.00 or better for Sweet It Is, enormous value.
Dyna Willow is expected to start a short priced favourite and rightly so. She is coming off a track record performance over this track and trip and in that performance she powered to the line. The box draw is her toughest opponent tonight, Ash Flash likes to use a bit of the track and there is every chance Dyna Willow will be posted wide for most of the trip.
Born Ali was soundly beaten when runner up here last time but she is much better than that performance.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 1 – 5 – 2
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Sweet It Is, rove in quinellas with 1,2,5
Race 4 – 720M Association Cup Heat Three – 8:27PM
This is probably the toughest heat of the three. Established staying star Dyna Kayla looks the top pick and with any sort of luck early she should win, however we see up and comer Rocky Bale and the consistent Hailstorm Billy who makes his long awaited staying debut.
For me, it is too hard to look past Dyna Kayla. The Andrea Dailly trained chaser has the runs on the board and she is likely to be out in front and avoiding any trouble. She has had little luck in her past four runs but prior to that she had won 10 of her 14 career starts. If you can find $2.50 or better then I suggest you unleash.
Rocky Bale is the most intriguing runner of the series, he is taking on the big guns for the first time over the staying trip and he races as though this journey is right down his alley. My biggest concern is that he likes to run wide and being his first look at Wentworth Park he may get a little lost through the turns.
The enigmatic Cawbourne Looney must be kept safe also, she doesn’t always show her best but her best is quite amazing.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 1 – 5 – 6
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Dyna Kayla, anchor in exactas with 1,5,6
Race 5 – 520M Golden Easter Egg Semi Final One – 8:50PM
Now we arrive to the major players of the night. We kick start the first semi with the reigning Perth Cup champion Keybow who smashed a quality line up here last week in 29.45. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but like last week I think Keybow is a risk tonight (he made me look silly last week). In tonight’s event he has loads of early speed drawn either side which should mean that he will be strung up in traffic early, which should allow his kennelmate Where’s The Surf to head through the first bend with a commanding lead.
Where’s The Surf has produced three solid performances here in recent times with the most impressive being from this draw when scoring in 29.71, a repeat of that will see him get the cash tonight.
I have anticipated that the outside draws will be finding bother, this should give classy veteran Ritza Ryder a chance to show his best and qualify for another Group Race final. He loves to rail and his form hasn’t been too bad of late.
Obviously Keybow has the talent edge but like I hinted earlier, tonight’s box draw may pose a major problem.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 1 – 2 – 3 – 7
Suggested Bet:Â Win bets on both Where’s The Surf and Ritza Ryder, more on Where’s The Surf.
Race 6 – 520M Golden Easter Egg Semi Final Two – 9:15PM
Heat number two looks pretty straight forward for mine. Talented Tasmanian Varcoe looks perfectly drawn out wide and he is sure to have derived plenty of benefit from last week’s look at the track. He recently broke 25 seconds in a trial at Maitland he is the reigning Launceston Cup champion over a similar distance. Dyna Nalin is expected to start a short priced favourite but I think he will be giving Varcoe an almighty head start. Varcoe should be around the $6.50 mark or better, definitely worth an each way ticket.
Dyna Nalin is coming off a sizzling 29.69 heat win last week, however the red draw played a major role in that victory. There is no doubting this superstars ability but there are plenty of negatives for him tonight. Being a slow beginner is never an advantage and box six is a disastrous draw for a notorious railer. I think we can let other punters snap up the short odds about this one.
Shadow Lane may be the surprise packet in the race, I think he will start double figures but with some luck initially he may find himself in strong contention off the back straight. Warrior King has been in great form of late but like Dyna Nalin the box draw may be his undoing tonight.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 7 – 6 – 4 – 3
Suggested Bet:Â Have a little crack at Varcoe, very keen on this one.
Race 7 – 520M Golden Easter Egg Semi Final Three – 9:35PM
This looks to be the most open of the heats. Buckle Up Wes has taken all before him of late. He recently captured the Group One Australian Cup and he set the track alight here last week with a 29.56 heat win. Like a few of the top fancies in earlier heats, tonight’s box draw looks to pose a problem for the favourite.
Musquin Bale has drawn ideally in box eight and he was far from disgraced when runner up behind Buckle Up Wes last week. Tonight he should once again gain a clear run whilst Wes is likely to be weaving his way through some traffic. In these sort of races there is very little separating each runner talent wise, so sometimes it is often better to look for value this is why I have put Musquin Bale ahead of the favourite.
Ritza Flare is another who has the suitable draw, last week she was handily placed here and being her first run from a spell, she is sure to have derived a lot of benefit from that run. As stated earlier, Buckle Up Wes clearly has the class and talent edge but box draws can bring the best undone sometimes.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 8 – 1 – 4 – 6
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Musquin Bale, rove in quinellas with 1,4,6
Race 8 – 520M Golden Easter Egg Semi Final Four – 9:58PM
The inside draws appear to hold the key to this race. I am expecting Iona Tokyo to fire to the early lead. In her past three wins she has gone 5.40 or better to the first marker and still managed to finish off around the solid 29.70 mark. With Iona Tokyo likely to set the speed, Tonk looks set to get the nice drop on her early and if he is within two lengths of her off the back he should have her measure. Three runs ago he reeled off a sizzling 29.57 win here and when given clear galloping space this bloke can really let down.
The quinella looks pretty straight forward on paper, with the inside two dominating the event, however if everything doesn’t go to plan, the swooper Gradence may come into play. He is likely to get a mile out of his ground but he will be unleashing a barnstorming finish late. I think it would be best to anchor him for third and fourth in your exotics as I believe he may be giving the two leaders a massive head start.
Hawk Alone has some small claims but he will need to do everything right in the early stages, whilst Dark Warrior may find some of these too slick for his liking.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 – 1 – 4 – 7
Trifecta: 1,2/1,2/4,7 ($4 for $1)
First Four: 1,2/1,2,7/4/Field ($20 for $1)
First Four: 1,2/1,2,7/Field/4 ($20 for $1)
Race 9 – 520M Special Event Heat – 10:18PM
Rumble Comet should cap off a top night for the kennel. In recent times he has scored two sub 30 wins at The Meadows and both times he had to overcome plenty of difficulties. All he has to do is get through the first turn still standing and he should feature.
Bearded Midget has blistering early speed but I think he is a doubt to run the trip and he may also need a look at the track. Triumphant One could be the smokey, he was far from disgraced in his last start placing here.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 7 – 5 – 4 – 8
Trifecta: 7/4,5,8/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 4,5,7/4,5,7/Field ($36 For $1)
Race 10 – 520M Special Event Heat – 10:37PM
Jawlaa is in good form, has the perfect draw and is likely to be short, however tonight she comes up against a number of chasers who have blinding early speed with Army Surplus being the fastest of them all. Army Surplus has an amazing turn of foot soon after box rise and he finally put the time on the board with a brilliant 29.78 win here late last month.
Dyna Geldof should be able to follow Army Surplus across early and this will allow him to be a major player throughout. Billy Buzzard looks to be the other winning hope. Jawlaa is the type that will either win or finish well down the track, tonight I’m tipping well down the track.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 3 – 4 – 8 – 5
Suggested Bet:Â Win bet on Army Surplus, rove in quinella with 4,5,8
Race 11 – 520M Special Event Heat – 10:53PM
The get out stakes looks to be the toughest race of the night with at least six winning chances. Kid Maximus reeled off sizzling sectionals when beating a smart field at Sandown last time. He should be good value in this event.
Ritza Raider faces a big drop in class and with an ounce of luck early he should be right in the finish. He has a top record here and his best performances to date have been from wide draws. Apollo Reign could be the surprise in the event, will be double figures but has the talent to feature. Box draw is his only concern.
Top Four: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â 2 – 7 – 8 – 3
Suggested Bet:Â Win bets on Kid Maximus and Ritza Raider, box quinella 2,7,8 ($3 for $1)
1/7/1,4,8/1,2 ($6 for $1)
1/3,4,5,6,7/1,4,8/1,2 ($30 for $1)
1,2,3,7/7/1,4,8/1,2 ($24 for $1)
1,2,3,7/3,4,5,6,7/1,4,8/1,2 ($60 for 50c)
The Group One Golden Easter Egg progresses to the semi-final stage on Saturday night at Wentworth Park. A total of four semi-finals will be conducted, with the first two placegetters from each semi progressing through to the rich $250,000 final on Saturday, April 19.
The field composition of the semi-finals has been determined, firstly, by placings in heats and, secondly, times recorded in registering such placings. The formula used seeds greyhounds into the semi-finals based on a combined consideration of the placings and times recorded by all greyhounds in the heats. No guarding applies in the semi-finals.
Training honours from last week went to Andrea Dailly, who has qualified seven runners for the semi-finals.
Here’s a look at the four races.
Semi-final One – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 5 at 8:50pm)
Darren McDonald has two greyhounds engaged in this semi-final and Andrea Dailly will rug up three greyhounds.
One of McDonald’s greyhounds, fastest heat qualifier Keybow (7), has moved from box two, which he had last week, to box seven. He is better drawn near the rails although he has won from outside boxes. The dog on his immediate inside, the Fay Wotton trained Pride Of Mykonos (6), is a quick beginner and may give Keybow a cart across. Keybow will need luck in the early stages in order to repeat last week’s devastating 29.45 performance.
Mcdonald’s other runner is Where’s The Surf (1) and he has drawn ideally in box one. He has had five starts from the cherry and recorded four wins and a minor placing. He ran second to Iona Tokyo last week, beaten three lengths in 29.78 after contending with an undesirable box seven draw. He won at Wentworth Park from box one on 29 March in 29.71. He looms as a big threat.
Andrea Dailly’s main chance in this semi-final looks to be Fort Allen (8). He is drawn on Keybow’s outside and was one of the greyhounds involved in the abandoned race last week. He began well from box six in the heats and was running within a length of Evil Punk before the lure caused carnage. He has won two from box eight and looks well drawn. He is yet to win at Wentworth Park. Dailly’s other chasers include Ollie Bale (3) who led all the way last week in 29.96 and Jordan Allen (5) who finished fourth, five and a half lengths behind Warrior King, who ran a winning time of 29.91. Ollie Bale and Jordan Allen will need to improve their times in order to feature.
Old stager Ritza Ryder (2), trained by Mark Gatt, finished a strong third to Dark Warrior last week, beaten two lengths in 30.29. He hasn’t been beginning well lately and faces a tough ask. Mario Abela’s Romantic Affair (4) was also finishing strongly in her heat and was beaten 10 and three quarter lengths by Keybow. She has only missed a place at Wentworth Park once in her 13 goes at the track, but this looks to tough for her at this stage of her career.
Semi-final Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 6 at 9:15pm)
Dyna Nalin (6), trained by Paul Stuart, has the fastest heat qualifying time in this semi-final. He ran 29.69 last week from box one. The move to box six is likely to cause the tardy beginner a few problems. He is a champion dog but will need that luck around the first turn in order to put himself into the race.
Warrior King (4) looks to be improving with each look he has at the track. The Brooke Ennis trained chaser won his semi last week in 29.91 after lobbing close to the lead. He began well and will need to do so again to overcome the poor draw. He has a lot of talent and is very strong.
Evil Punk (5) fell last week after colliding with the lure down the back straight and was advanced through to the semi-finals at the discretion of the stewards. He looked to have the race all sewn up last week after beginning well from box four. Trainer James Coyle rates him as a 90% chance of taking his place in this semi-final and it remains to be seen how the incident last week will affect him. He is a good beginner and could lead this field. He has a best of 29.70 at the track.
Tee Brady (2) finished second last week from box one, beaten four and a half lengths by Ollie Bale in 29.96. He has just one win at the track in 29.93 and is yet to record a career win from box two for trainer Tom Tzouvelis.
Varcoe (7) began okay from box eight last week and gets his chance this week to try and lead. He has a slow beginner (Dyna Nalin) on his inside and on his outside (Bessy Boo). The Debbie Cannan trained dog ran third to Iona Tokyo last week, beaten three and a quarter lengths in 29.78. He has run 29.92 in a stewards trial and would probably need to run quicker then that to make it through.
Of the others, Michael Carter’s Shadow Lane (3) is a talented chaser who is yet to win at Wentworth Park. He was beaten by Dyna Nalin last week but ran a good 5.46 to the first mark. He will show his best if he can lead. Lach’s Wish (1), for Adam Campton, was balloted through from the abandoned race last week. She has won five races at Wentworth Park but hasn’t managed to crack the 30 second mark and will find this tough. Bessy Boo (8), trained by Christine Proctor, rattled home last week but she has very little early place, which will make it hard for her to get across from box eight
Semi-final Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 7 at 9:35pm)
Buckle Up Wes (4) has drawn the blue rug for the third semi and is clearly the one to beat. Leading throughout last week in a personal best of 29.56, Wes recorded 5.36 to the first mark and that sort of section will see the Ted Medhurst trained dog leading this field.
Ritza Hattie (1) was very unlucky last week and the rails draw should suit Mark Gatt’s talented bitch. She isn’t the best away at box rise but has a slow beginner, Zipping Delta (2), on her outside. Zipping Delta, trained by Jason Mackay, ran fourth behind Buckle Up Wes last week. If Ritza Hattie can get a look in around the first turn, she is an each-way chance.
There’s a bit of speed drawn to the outside of Buckle Up Wes, with Edge (6), Mexico City (7) and Musquin Bale (8) drawn in the outside three boxes. Edge (6) is on the comeback trail and was very tenacious from box seven last week, running second to Easton Bale. His best time at the track is 29.68 and he has recorded a best first section of 5.38. Graeme Barnett will be hoping his fawn flash is back to his best. Mexico City (7), Mark Gatt’s other greyhound engaged in this semi-final, is also on a comeback. He has had three runs since a spell and had his first 520 metre race last week since returning. He wasn’t disgraced, losing by three lengths to Warrior King in 29.91. He hasn’t performed badly from outside boxes. Despite not winning from box seven, he has won four from box eight. Musquin Bale (8) ran second to Buckle Up Wes last week and ran 29.76 in the process. He’s won two races wearing the pink rug and the Andrea Dailly trained chaser is sure to be prominent.
Magic Display (3) for Evelyn Harris and Woods (5) for Marie Burton, may find the going a little tough. Magic Display was a surprise heat winner last week in 29.94. She does her best leading and ran a 5.37 first section last week. She will need to lead and hope for some trouble behind her. Woods has been done no favours by the box draw. He hasn’t been beginning lately and his form has been very patchy.
Semi-final Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 8 at 9:58pm)
Iona Tokyo (1) was a heat winner last week in 29.78 and has drawn perfectly in box one. The little black bitch, trained by Francois Sidrak, has really taken to Wentworth Park, winning three from four at the track. She is an excellent beginner and will put herself into the race.
Darren McDonald’s Dark Warrior (3) is another that has drawn well. He toughed out a win in the heats last week in 30.29 and with three looks at the track now under his belt, he looks the improver.
Easton Bale (6) led virtually all the way from box five to win last week for Andrea Dailly and recorded 29.83. It was just his second win from seven attempts at Wentworth Park. He had been coming off a 600 metre campaign and showed good early zip last week, running a first section of 5.44.
Tonk (3) couldn’t repeat his 29.57 effort last week that he put in at his first look at the track in early March. In the heats, he ran third to Buckle Up Wes, beaten five lengths. He had box one last week and this week moves to box two, a box he has won from four times. The Brooke Ennis trained chaser may make things interesting if he can hit the lead early.
Andrea Dailly has two other runners engaged in this semi-final and they look to be drawn unfavourably out wide. Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (7) has box seven and Dyna Beth (8) has box eight. They are also drawn next to fellow kennel-mate Easton Bale. Hawk Alone found all sorts of trouble from the inside draw last week but fought on well to finish 11 lengths third behind Magic Display. Dyna Beth finished nine and three quarter lengths behind Keybow, but was drawn in box three on that occasion.
Local chasers Gradence (4) and Hurricane Rino (5) will need some luck to feature. Gradence, trained by Mark Gatt, likes to get back in his races and flash home. He may just give some of these speedy chasers too much of a head start. Anthony Azzopardi’s Hurricane Rino finished second to Magic Display last week from box eight, with the wide draw suiting him. He has the squeeze box this week and has never won wearing the yellow rug.
After an exciting night of racing, it was the Jeffrey Britton trained Texas Titan who set the time standard and stamped himself as favourite for next week’s lucrative final. The first four heats saw four of the more fancied chasers record heat wins, however the towards the end of the night there were a few surprises. The most surprising would have been Tasmanian chaser Wynburn Wizard, who lowered the colours of the highly talented Deadly Clear.
Heat One – Launching Pad
Good box manners finally saw the Graeme Jose trained Prince To Excel get his chance to advance to next week’s final. After beginning on terms with the field, he and Louie Neveelk matched motors as they headed for the first bend. Using the rails draw to advantage, Prince To Excel bumped Louie Neveelk out of the way and quickly established a two length lead as they headed for the back straight. Although he seemed to get a little tired in the run home, if you had invested your hard earned on him you had no worries as he always looked to be in control, scoring by a half length in a respectable 29.91. I would expect him to improve on that time for next week’s final.
Surprisingly Moot Point was sent out as favourite. The wet track didn’t really suit his racing style as he was always going to find himself settling well back in the early stages. After some scrimmaging through the first bend he managed to find himself within four lengths of the leader and although he looked close enough, it was always going to be a struggle to reel in the leader on the heavy track. Louie Neveelk who helped set the early pace hung on for the minor end.
Heat Two – Launching Pad
According to punters, heat two looked to be a match race between likely leader Stylish Baroque and the explosive Oscura. From the coveted rails draw, Stylish Baroque pinged the lids and quickly rolled to the early lead and from there on she was always going to be hard to reel in. After beginning well the other well fancied runner Oscura managed to find a little bother and soon after he found himself giving the leader a four to five length head start. As they rounded the final bend, early leader Stylish Baroque looked to be coming back to the leaders, but as they straightened up she managed to dig deep and hold on for an impressive 29.68 win.
After finding early bother, Oscura was always going to find it difficult to win, however this exciting chaser managed to hit the line solidly for third place and he managed to narrow the margin to just under a length. The consistent Owen Bale who stepped much better tonight managed to snare the runners up prize with a strong effort. He is sure to break through in town very soon.
Heat Three – Launching Pad
Texas Titan has been catching everyone’s attention with some powerful performances in recent weeks. Last week he settled near last before unleashing a barnstorming finish to narrowly go down. Last night he anticipated the start a lot better and before he knew it he was within two lengths of the leader as they headed for the back straight. Once he had settled this close it was a matter of times and margins. The Jeffrey Britton trained chaser quickly took over going around the final bend and quickly raced into favouritism for next week’s final, scoring the fastest heat win in 29.57.
Lady Goldenpaw, who races well at Sandown, set the early pace as expected, but unfortunately for her supporters she had two strong chasers breathing down her neck. After being headed she managed to kick on and hold on for third place. The improving Fully Charged managed to gain a rails run through the back straight and for a fleeting moment he looked to be a winning chance before Texas Titan quickly put pay to him. He eventually filled the quinella spot, going down by only three and a half lengths.
Heat Four – Launching Pad
The fourth heat saw punters get it right again. The Tony Brett trained Chant made the most of the coveted rails draw. After bombing the start, he showed a tremendous turn of foot which saw him go from a length behind to a length in front as they headed through the first turn. Soon after he hit the power button and established a commanding six length lead. In the final stages he appeared to get a little tired and the final margin registered was two and three quarter lengths in a time of 30 seconds flat. On the heavy track and being his first look at Sandown, I would expect him to improve dramatically in next week’s final.
Blurred Lines was the second pick in the market, but after a slow beginning he was never in contention, eventually finishing well down the track. Penn Bale caught the eye of onlookers. After giving the leader eight to nine lengths start, she hit the line solidly to fill the quinella spot. She isn’t too far away from another win.
Heat Five – Launching Pad
As the night went on, conditions on the inside part of the track continued to get worse, however this did not sway punters. Fearless Bert was sent out as an even money favourite, but soon after box rise punters were heading for the bar. After bombing the start he found himself strung up in traffic and looking for room to move and as they headed through the first bend he was well and truly out of contention.
After stepping cleanly from box six and given plenty of room to muster by Lou Todd in box seven, the strong Zell Bale soon found himself within three lengths of pacesetter Access as they headed through the first corner. Having scored a 600m win at The Meadows in February, it was clear that Zell Bale was going to feature once he had settled so close. As they straightened for home Zell Bale had the leader clearly in his sights and he powered to the line to score by just over a half length from early leader Access in a more than handy 29.77.
Access who led for most of the journey was very gallant in defeat, with this being his first try at the 515m journey. His previous racing had been limited to the 450 metre distances at Shepparton and Warrnambool. A metro win is just around the corner for him.
Heat Six – Launching Pad
In what originally looked to be a very open heat punters quickly stored there faith in the Stephen Elsum trained Mepunga Ranger, and he didn’t let them down. After beginning well from box two he got squeezed out by Frank Furter and Top Secret, who were both desperately seeking the rails. After copping the knock he quickly found his feet again and with the aid of some scrimmaging through the first turn he managed to balance up only four lengths from the early leader. With some open space off the back straight he quickly lengthened stride and began to eat into the lead and as they turned for home he had hit the lead and powered to the line to score by one and a half lengths in a smart 29.81.
The second pick in the event, Frank Furter, was never really in contention. Soon after box rise he was squeezed out by Top Secret and being a leader, his hopes had quickly ended. Runner up Top Secret wasn’t really helped by track conditions and if he can continue beginning like he did last night he will be a major player in any event he contests.
Heat Seven – Launching Pad
Heat seven looked to be the most intriguing event of the night. Boxes one to three appeared to hold the key to the race. Mepunga Sambo was coming off a brilliant Sandown win last start, Cheeky Hand was expected to set the early lead and most onlookers where watching with anticipation to see if Deadly Clear could return to his brilliant best. With all this being said, Wynburn Wizard had something else in mind.
After being slow to begin, Wynburn Wizard slowly worked his way across and after 60 or so yards he found himself hugging the fence and within four lengths of the pacesetting Cheeky Hand. Coming into this event with only Tasmanian form, onlookers didn’t really know what to expect mid race once he had settled in third spot. Turning for home he gave spectators plenty to talk about as he had quickly gathered in the leader and had also left the talented Deadly Clear in his wake, eventually scoring by one and half lengths in 29.88.
Although beaten, Deadly Clear is sure to have derived a lot of benefit after his metropolitan debut. He appeared a little lost as they headed through the first turn and headed for the back straight. I think with another look at the track, he will appear more at home and he will be able to fulfill his early promise. Cheeky Hand as expected set a cracking pace, but the heavy conditions made it a little tougher for her to run the trip out. Favourite Mepunga Sambo was having only his fourth start and after being crowded early he eased a little through the first turn, from there on he was out of contention.
Heat Eight – Launching Pad
The final heat was another open affair with four strong winning chances. Mepunga Hayley and Banged Up Bill looked to be the most talented chasers in the field, however it was the Andrea Dailly trained pair who took control of the event.
Lunar Tom managed to step cleanly and soon after he drove to the early lead. Lektra Brave was drawn directly outside him and also began well and followed his kennelmate across into the first turn. As they headed off the back straight, Lunar Tom had broken up the field and established a four length lead over Lektra Brave. Unfortunately for Lunar Tom punters it wasn’t a big enough lead and as they rounded the home turn Lektra Brave had quickly cut the lead back to a length and had victory clearly in his sights. He eventually hit the line one and three quarter lengths in advance of Lunar Tom, stopping the clock in 29.89.
Mepunga Hayley was slow to begin and as they headed into the first turn she copped another knock. After that she got pushed back to last and was never in contention. Banged Up Bill who was also considered a winning hope never really looked likely. He bombed the start and he seemed to look all at sea as they entered the back straight, which is quite strange as he raced at this venue before.
Group Two Launching Pad Final – Box Draw
1. Mepunga Ranger
2. Wynburn Wizard
4. Texas Titan
5. Stylish Baroque
6. Lektra Brave
7. Prince To Excel
8. Zell Bale
9. Owen Bale Res.
10. Fully Charged Res
Next week’s final should be a great race. My early tip is Texas Titan just ahead of Chant. Chant should probably set the pace but I think Texas might be a little too strong in the run home. If you are having a look at early betting markets, if you can find $4.00 for Texas Titan and $5.50 or better for Chant, it might be worthwhile snapping up those odds before race night using one of out free bet offers.
The Dailly and McDonald kennels both head back to Victoria with doubles under their belts after the conclusion of the Group One Golden Easter Egg Heats at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
As expected, the Victorian trainers dominated, taking out five of the heats. Western Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland trained dogs will also feature in the semi-finals.
Keybow was the fastest heat winner, flying around the Glebe circuit in 29.45.
Heat One – Golden Easter Egg
Class prevailed in the first heat with Western Australian superstar Dyna Nalin (1) taking advantage of a rails draw to duck through into second spot around the first turn. He was last away but had room as Pride Of Mykonos (2) was off and gone. Once Dyna Nalin got into second it was only a matter of when, not if, he would run down the early leader Pride Of Mykonos. Dyna Nalin hit the front rounding the turn into the home straight and the champion dog trained by Paul Stuart drew away by seven and a half lengths in 29.69.
Fast Archer (7) and Chica Destacada (4) were both in the market but failed to run a place. Fast Archer didn’t show his customary early zip and went extremely wide around the first turn. Chica Destacada was in the hunt early but checked off Make A Fifty (3) rounding the turn and fell back in the field. Shadow Lane (5) got up to run third after suffering interference at the first turn, flying home to miss second spot by a head.
Heat Two – Golden Easter Egg
Frank Sidrak’s Iona Tokyo (3) displayed her blistering early pace to take out the second heat from Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8). She controlled the race from start to finish and was never troubled in 29.78. Where’s The Surf (7) and Varcoe (8) were able to cross the field safely at the turn as first reserve Hurricane Beccy crashed across from box six, interfering with Yogi Blue (5). Iona Tokyo’ winning margin was two and a half lengths lengths and just a neck separated Where’s The Surf and Varcoe.
Heat Three – Golden Easter Egg
Rue De Kahn (1) started as the favourite but wasn’t a factor after she was swamped by dogs crossing to the rail. The surprising leader was Easton Bale (5), who had been coming off a number of runs over the 595 metres at Sandown. That strength held the Andrea Dailly trained chaser in good stead as he was able to stave off a challenge by Edge (7) to win by four and a quarter lengths in 29.83, recording just his second win from seven starts at Wentworth Park.
Edge tried his heart out and was rewarded a place in next weeks semi-final by finishing second. As usual, Gradence (2) came from nowhere to finish third. He got the space he needed down the back to wind up his motor and power over the top of Crash Model (8) and Apollo Reign (4) down the home straight.
Heat Four – Golden Easter Egg
Warrior King (5) built on his good second in a Prelude a fortnight ago and went one better in the fourth heat. He obviously gained plenty from the look at the track in the Preludes as he jumped well to contest the lead with Mexico City (1). Mexico City gained a slight upper hand down the back but Warrior King was too strong at the end, winning the race in 29.91 by one and three quarter lengths for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Mexico City could only manage third as Bessy Boo (7) put in a massive run to rattle home for second. Jordan Allen (2) looked like he was going to run a slot rounding the home turn, but he checked off the back of Warrior King and in turn surrendered ground to Bessy Boo.
Heat Five – Golden Easter Egg
Keybow (2) set the track on fire to win by panels (well eight and a quarter lengths) in 29.45. Darren McDonald had given Keybow a short let-up and it didn’t hurt, as he was in front by the first turn and once in that position, nothing would or could catch him.
Dyna Beth (3) and Stilton Blue (5) found themselves in their own race against each other down the back, with Dyna Beth eventually prevailing to finish second while Stilton Blue fell back to fourth. The strong Romantic Affair (1), who turns four in August, kept her good record at Wentworth Park intact, filling third place. She has only been unplaced once now from 13 goes at the track.
Heat Six – Golden Easter Egg
The Dailly’s bought up a double for the night with Ollie Bale (3) showing great tenacity to win heat six. The 2014 Group One Silver Chief winner had a good run from box three to lead. Once he was in front it was always going to be a tough task to run him down. The hard luck story of the race was Ritza Hattie (2) who kept trying and kept finding trouble. Without the interference, it would be fair to say that she would have won the race. She wound up in third and will see her way to the semis next week where she may get more luck. Tee Brady (1), after beginning well, stuck on well for second.
Ollie Bale won by four lengths and recorded 29.96 for his first win at Wentworth Park.
Heat Seven – Golden Easter Egg
Unfortunate events unfolded in the seventh heat after the lure broke down in the back straight. The heat contained greyhounds the calibre of Walk Hard (5), Innocent Til (8) and Evil Punk (4). As a result of the incident, Evil Punk fell but was able to get back on his feet.
The lure looked to momentarily lose power down the back, allowing the leader Evil Punk to pounce on it. The lure kept up momentum, albeit slowly, and the dogs were pulled up near the 520 metre boxes.
The race was declared a no race. A ballot is normally undertaken in these circumstances but the stewards elected to exercise their discretion to excuse Evil Punk and Fort Allen (6) from the ballot on the basis that they were likely to finish in the top three and they will now go into next weeks semi-finals. Lach’s Wish (7) was picked from the ballot for the third placed spot
Heat Eight – Golden Easter Egg
Ted Medhhurst’s Australian Cup champion Buckle Up Wes (3) got his Easter Egg campaign off to a great start with a personal best win in 29.56, running a smart 5.35 to the first mark. Victorian chaser Musquin Bale (7) was also impressive running second as he was only beaten by two and three quarter lengths. Tonk (1) duelled with Buckle Up Wes for the early lead and wound up in third. Crump (6) wasn’t done any favours by the box draw and finished sixth.
Heat Nine – Golden Easter Egg
Magic Display (3), a $21.00 chance, convincingly won the ninth heat for trainer Evelyn Harris. Magic Display demonstrated that it’s always handy to lead at Wentworth Park, as all sorts of things can happen around the first bend. Favourite Red Road (6) blew his chances when he began badly and was then twisted sideways at the first turn.
Hurricane Rino (8) used box eight to perfection to find himself in second and avoid the strife at the first turn that affected many of the others in the race. Hawk Alone (1) was extremely unlucky, copping a check that meant he had too much ground to make up, but he still got into third. Magic Display won by four lengths in 29.94. The margin between the two minor placegetters was five and three quarter lengths.
Heat Ten – Golden Easter Egg
The final heat was extremely messy and it was Dark Warrior (4) that emerged as the eventual winner for Darren McDonald in 30.29. Prelude winner Woods (2) was just three quarters of a length away in second and veteran Ritza Ryder (1) ran on well for third. It was the slowest heat win of the night and indicative of the trouble in the race, with each dog suffering varying degrees of interference at different times over the course of the 520 metre journey.
The heats of the Group One Golden Easter Egg kick-off on Saturday night. The three-week series will see 10 heats conducted on Saturday night followed by four semi-finals next week.
Notable absentees from the heats include Black Magic Opal and Paw Licking, who are setting their sights on the Bendigo Cup.
Recent Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes has made the journey up, and it will be interesting to see if he can nab the rich Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg double.
Alongside the Australian Cup, the Golden Easter Egg is the richest race on the Group racing calendar, with a grand sum of $250,000 awarded to the winner.
Last year’s winner was Grigorieva Bale and other previous winners include Mancunian Girl, Tenthill Doll, Rapid Journey, Brett Lee, Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn and Cosmic Rumble.
Here’s a look the main chances in each of the 10 heats:
Heat One – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 1 at 7:28pm)
Grand chaser Dyna Nalin (1) headlines the first heat. The Paul Stuart trained dog loves box one and trialled 29.65 last week at Wentworth Park. He lacks the early speed of some of the other runners in the race but you can never under-estimate class and if he gets even just a tiny bit of luck, he’s well and truly in this.
Chica Destacada (4) is only young but has shown plenty of ability. She has three wins from four starts at the track and distance with a best of 29.73. She has shown good box manners at the track, which she will need to use to overcome box four.
Victorian chaser Allen Eryk (8) appears to be well drawn out in box eight, as he has had two wins and a placing from three goes wearing the pink rug. The Jarvis Bale-Greta Bale (Where’s Pedro-Gold Rush Bale) dog has won four of his last five around The Meadows and Sandown over the longer trip. This will be his first start at Wentworth Park.
Fast Archer (7) has a load of early pace and won a free-for-all last week at the track from box seven. He recorded 29.75 leading all the way. He’s been hit-and-miss at box rise in recent times and needs to repeat last week’s efforts to take this out.
Rough each-way chances are Pride Of Mykonos (2) and Make A Fifty (3). Both won Preludes (at double figure odds). If there’s any trouble in the race, they may be the ones that benefit.
Heat Two – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 2 at 7:50pm)
Iona Tokyo (3) has drawn well near to the fence. His box manners have been brilliant and he is a last start winner (back on 1 March) in 29.71. He has gone 5.34 to the first mark previously, the best of any dog drawn in this race. Iona Tokyo is trained by Francois Sidrak and is by Swift Fancy-Iona Habit (Fenceline-Dancing Habit). She is a litter sister to Paws Of Thunder winner Iona Seven.
Another chaser that has been showing good box manners since a return from a spell is Kulu Special (2). The Anthony Azzopardi trained bitch is just 24kg and has won two from two at the track. Last week she recorded her best time of 29.72.
Queenslander Yogi Blue (5) has had the advantage of a few looks at Wentworth Park and was a Prelude winner in 30.03. The box draw hasn’t been kind to him as he has only had the one career win from box five.
Where’s The Surf (7) won here last week for Darren McDonald, drawing away to win by over six lengths in 29.71. He had the suitable rails draw on that occasion and now needs to contend with the wider draw.
Varcoe (8) failed in the Maitland Cup heats after beginning terribly. He has trialled here in 29.92 in preparation. If he doesn’t begin he will find it hard to crack a top spot in this heat.
Prue Bale (4) is also worthy of some consideration. She is a last start winner at The Meadows and showed handy box manners to lead. She has had a start at Wentworth Park but failed to run a place.
Heat Three – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 3 at 8:07pm)
National Futurity winner Rue De Kahn (1) will get every chance to lead from the nice draw. She is drawn next to Gradence (2) who is a slow beginner. The Where’s Pedro-Shelbourne Dream (Boherduff Light-Queen Survivor) bitch has three wins at the track and a best of 29.79. She looks to be one of the main chances.
Apollo Reign (4) has not missed a place since returning from a five month spell. His win at Richmond in March was a flying 30.43. He ran third here to Hellyeah Bolt last week and is definitely a place chance.
Edge (7) has not long returned from a two month spell and should be nice and fresh. He won at The Gardens last week in 29.52 and loves Wentworth Park, where he has won seven races. His best is 29.68 and if he shows the early speed we know he has, he should go well.
Crash Model (8) won a Prelude in 29.87 from box one. She has five wins at the track but goes better from the inside.
Heat Four – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 4 at 8:28pm)
Local chaser Mexico City (1) is well drawn and Mark Gatt will be hoping his chaser can get close to his best of 29.58. The Where’s Pedro-Physical (Surf Lorian-By Request) dog has had two runs back since a four month spell. He ran third in a Maitland Cup heat last start.
Crawf’s Bread (6) is a handy Victorian chaser visiting Wentworth Park for the first time in his career. He is a consistently good beginner and will need to begin here at Wentworth Park from the poor draw. He has been racing dogs like Innocent Til and Dark Warrior, so he can handle the class of dogs in this heat.
Warrior King (5) is a talented Victorian youngster who ran second at Wentworth Park in a Prelude. He has been showing some early speed in recent racing and is very strong. He was a placegetter behind Crump in the Horsham Cup and will need luck from the squeeze draw.
Winsome Charlee (8) ran a place in last years Egg final and makes her first race-track appearance since June 2013. She clocked 30.35 here in a trial last week and will need to improve off that to get anywhere near her best of 29.66.
Tricky Jade (4) has not won since December last year but she clearly has a lot of talent. The Martin Hallinan bred and trained bitch has a best of 29.56 at Wentworth Park. Her problem is that she hasn’t been showing any early pace in her three most recent starts.
Heat Five – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 5 at 8:50pm)
Star chaser Keybow (2) is the class act in the fifth heat. The Group One Perth Cup winner and Australian Cup placegetter trialled 29.62 here in preparation and he should prove too good for this field.
Recent Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy Classic winner Stilton Blue (5) has drawn box five and has been flying around Nowra, with a near track record breaking run just over a fortnight ago. He has a best of 30.23 at Wentworth Park, which you think he would need to improve on to be a chance.
Healesville track record holder Frosty Jay Jay (6) is a fast animal but he lacks the early toe. He ran fifth here to Dark Warrior last week, finding trouble. The one thing in his favour is that he appears partial to wearing the green rug, winning two from three out of the box.
Veyron Bale’s (4) recent form has been ordinary but a change in scenery may prove good for him. Last time he came to Wentworth Park (January this year) he scorched around the Glebe circuit in 29.50.
Tomac Bale (8) loves box eight and is coming here with a short spell under his belt. Interestingly, he has recently changed hands and left Wheeler’s ownership and is now trained by Luke Azzopardi. He failed at Wentworth Park in January and will need to improve on his recent form to be any sort of chance.
Heat Six – Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 6 at 9:07pm)
Ken Burnett’s Double Trigger (4) will be advantaged by his experience and form at the track. His most recent win was on the 15th of March and it came at the track in 29.68. He has six wins in total at Wentworth Park and has brilliant early speed.
Jason Thompson and Darren McDonald trained chasers can never be overlooked and both have chasers engaged in this heat. Thompson has Boris Fields (5), a dog that has won two races at Wentworth Park with 29.54 his best time. He needs some room to move, which may be tricky from box five. McDonald has the speedy There’s A Earn (6), who ran second last week at Wentworth Park to Yogi Blue and should be improved by the look at the track.
Strong finishers Ritza Hattie (2) and Ollie Bale (3) are also in with a chance but their fortunes will lay with the all important start, as both will need some luck in the early stages. Tee Brady (1) is also worth some consideration from the rails alley.
Heat Seven â€“ Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 7 at 9:30pm)
Innocent Til (8) has again drawn a wide box but he has a good record from box eight, with seven wins. He has won four of his last five starts and was recent runner-up in the Horsham Cup. He has had the one start at Wentworth Park and didn’t run a place. However, he cannot be ruled out based on that. He has loads of talent and a win wouldn’t surprise.
Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard (5) makes his first visit to Wentworth Park under race conditions. He trialled last week in a fast 29.68, but he needs some room early in order to muster pace and that might be difficult from the draw.
Evil Punk (4) fell at his last start here at Wentworth Park and it remains to be seen how he will react this week after that. He is a talented local chaser trained by James Coyle with a best of 29.70.
Boyce Road (2) is a very handy youngster with three wins at Wentworth Park to his credit. He is already a Group race finalist and has recorded 29.69 at the track. He’s tardy at box rise and that might cost him at this level.
Fort Allen (6) has been racing consistently in Victoria and makes his first appearance at Wentworth Park. The Andrea Dailly trained chaser is an excellent beginner and that should put him in this race.
Heat Eight â€“ Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 8 at 9:50pm)
We have to wait until the eighth heat to see Australian Cup champion Buckle Up Wes (3) go around. He has had a short spell since his big win and had a tune-up at Hobart last week, winning in the fastest time of the night. He has taken to Wentworth Park well in the past, with three wins and a place from five starts. He ran third in the Paws of Thunder final in January and has a best of 29.65. He will be hard to hold out.
Horsham Cup winner Crump (6) has drawn off the fence in box six. He trialled in 29.85 last week and this will be his first start at the track under race conditions. If he can negotiate the turn safely he could turn this into an interesting race, as he is very strong.
The Victorian trained Tonk (1) debuted at Wentworth Park on 15 March in a flying 29.57. This heat is a rise in class from the field he met two weeks ago but if he runs up to that performance he will be up there.
Awesome Project (8) is a former NSW chaser now in the hands of the astute Darren McDonald. He is risky at box rise and will need to do everything right from the wide draw.
Heat Nine â€“ Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 9 at 10:12pm)
Richmond Derby winner Red Road (6) gets a chance to strut his stuff in the ninth heat. He has 11 career wins from 15 starts, with three of those wins coming at Wentworth Park. He has a best of 29.54 and displays generally good box manners. He just has to steer clear of any interference from the bad draw to take this out.
Calm Model (5) is returning from a long six month spell so should be fresh for this. She has two wins at Wentworth Park, with a best of 29.70.
Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (1) has drawn his box. He is a strong 500 metre chaser who will be looking to pounce if he has a clear run.
Maitland Cup finalist New Gleam (4) has had the one start at Wentworth Park for a 30.01 win. He recorded a first section of 5.38 and if he can do that again he is a big chance of being near the lead.
Cawbourne Havoc (2) has 10 wins at the track and his experience will put him in good stead. He is a leader and could very well take this out at good odds.
Heat Ten â€“ Group One Golden Easter Egg (Race 10 at 10:35pm)
Hellyeah Bolt (8) has excelled at Wentworth Park and has a best of 29.92 from box eight. He has won four in total from the box and looks hard to beat.
Hellyeah Bolt’s immediate danger is drawn directly inside him. Billy Buzzard (7) has been very consistent of late and has recorded a flying 5.32 to the first mark this year. If anyone can upset the favourite, it is Billy Buzzard.
Bathurst Cup and Prelude winner Zipping Tess (3) has been pinging the lids in her last few starts but failed to do so at Maitland. Her Prelude win came here in 29.79 and she is certainly capable of performing well from the decent draw.
Dark Warrior (4) was impressive winning a Prelude two weeks ago in 30.06. He could only manage fifth from box three here last week and will need to improve to feature.
Victorian greyhounds continued their dominance of top-level staying events by running the quinella in both heats of the Group Three Betfair Cup at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
The “Mexicans” will represent half the field in next week’s $25,000 to-the-winner final and look to hold all the aces for the big race.
Here’s how the two heat’s panned out;
The Rob Britton trained bitch Born Ali (4) led from pillar-to-post in the first heat in a stylish exhibition of front-running. Beginning flawlessly from box four, the daughter of Velocette and Born Princess (Whiskey Assassin – Born Lucky) quickly put a space on the field, carving out a first section of 16.16.
If there was any worry for Born Ali, it was the fact that event Group One winner Destini Fireball (5) was parked on her hammer and poised to strike. Everywhere that Born Ali went, Destini Fireball followed just a length behind. As they swung for home, it looked as though the old-stager may overhaul the leader, but the Group One Galaxy winner found too much, railing well and finishing the race right off to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 42.41.
Suits Us (2) made terrific ground mid-race to land third place, with Cawbourne Looney (6) finishing strongly in fourth to secure a spot in next week’s final.
Favourite, Dyna Kayla (8) was last away and took a long time to find the fence, covering plenty of extra territory. She could only manage a tiring fifth and is second reserve for the final.
Classy stayer Dyna Willow (7) was simply too good in the second heat, winning by 2 3/4 lengths and setting the time standard of 42.04 in the process for trainer Steve Collins.
Eleazar (1) found the early lead from Avondale Maurick (2) with Dyna Willow working her way to third. Down the back it looked a race in two with Eleazar giving Dyna Willow plenty to catch. But the class of Dyna Willow became more evident as the race wore on and she looked to have it won as they headed for home.
If there was any danger, it was her fellow Victorian Lucy Wires, who is known for her withering finishing burst, who started to emerge from the pack. But Dyna Willow staved off the challenges, holding them all at bay in a polished performance.
Lucy Wires rattled home for second giving Rob Britton two finalists, while Eleazar clung on to third place. Avondale Maurick managed to keep fourth position and gain a start in next Saturday’s final.
The box draw for the final is as follows;
1 – Lucy Wires – Rob Britton
2 – Cawbourne Looney – Jodie Lord
3 – Born Ali – Rob Britton
4 – Eleazar – Dean Swain
5 – Avondale Maurick – Ron Bell
6 – Dyna Willow – Steve Collins
7 – Destini Fireball – Norm Rinaldi
8 – Suits Us – Ken Burnett
9 – Shoe Laces Lady – Lesley Green
10 – Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly
This race, the richest, or equal richest, in the country at times, is awash with history. This year will mark its 13th running over 525 metres at the Meadows, and itâ€™s 56th overall. Itâ€™s also interesting to see what alleys have provided the most winners of the event since the move to the Meadows.
The first Australian Cup set the template for the prestige of the event. Run in 1958 as a handicap event over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne, the winner was the great Rookie Rebel, owned and trained by Wally Hooper. Rookie Rebel was the backmarker, off eight yards, and short-priced favourite. Despite a severe check at one point in the race, Rookie Rebel stormed home to defeat the smart NSW racer Magic Babe by three lengths in 36. 2/16ths, the fastest time registered in a handicap. He earned ÂŁ800 ($1,600) for the victory.
The Australian Cup was run over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne as a handicap from 1958 to 1962. No race was held in 1963 when the move was made to Olympic Park. The new distance was 560 yards (511 metres) and it remained a handicap in 1964 and 1965. From 1966 to 1995 it was run at Olympic Park. When that track closed, the Cup took place over 515 metres at Sandown Park from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 it moved to the Meadows and was contested over 518 metres until 2001. Since 2002 it has been run over 525 metres at the Meadows.
When Is The Race Run
The first Australian Cup was held on 31 March 1958, and has been held either in late February or March through most of its history. The exceptions have been when it was run in May from 1995 to 1997 and again in 2002, and January in 1998 and 2000.
Only the one: China Trip, in 1992 and 1993.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
Eaglehawk Star won by seven and a half lengths in 1985; Brett Lee blitzed the 2001 field by seven lengths in the last Cup contested over 518 metres; South Australian speedster Ginger won by six and a quarter lengths in 1989; NSW champion Benjamin John scored by six lengths in 1969 and Listowel Sue won by five and a half lengths in 1977.
Closest Winning Margins
The dead-heat in 2003 between Blackjack Tom and Most Awesome is obviously the closest of all time. Old Tops won in 1964 by half a head, becoming the first winner of the race at Olympic Park and also the first from NSW. Regal Post downed Dundalk Star by a head in 1987. China Trip won both her Australian Cups, in 1992 and 1993, by a head. Black Diro won by half a neck in 1971.
Most Successful Trainers
Queensland mentor Jim Coleman was the first to train dual winners, in successive years with Ungwilla Lad (1975) and Odious (1976). Then Garry Ball trained China Trip to win two in a row. Darren McDonald prepared Brett Lee in 2001 and Pure Octane in 2005; Robert Britton put the polish on Isa Brown (2002) and Tasman Queen (2008); Andrea Dailly has scored with Dyna Lachlan (2010) and Spud Regis (2013), and Graeme Bate has one and a half winners: he prepared Blackjack Tom in 2003 (who dead heated) and Velocette in 2009.
Idle Mate (third 1958, second 1959), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Fawn Nulla (third 1966, Won 1967), Ungwilla Lad (Won 1975, third 1976), Count Dâ€™Argent (fourth 1977, Won 1978), Tangaloa (second 1979, Won 1980), Franklin Deano (eighth 1990, Won 1991), China Trip (Won 1992 & 1993), Bomber Gleeson (third 1992 & 1993), Super Impact (seventh 1994, sixth 1995), El Galo (second 2008 & 2009), and High Earner (fell 2010, second 2011).
Some Beaten Stars
Magic Babe (second 1958), Shanâ€™s View (sixth 1960), Dennis Direct (second 1961), Tamaroo (seventh 1962), The Stripper (second 1964), Takiri (eighth 1965), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Kintaâ€™s Son (fifth 1966), Miram Miss (sixth 1968), Petite Panther (second 1971), Miloâ€™s Charm (second 1972), Bristol Miss (fifth 1972), Miss Baines (second 1973), Tempix (second 1980), Acclaim Star (sixth 1980), White Panther (eighth 1980), Chariot Supreme (sixth 1984), Acacia Park (eighth 1984), Legendary Kid (third 1986), True To Do (second 1993), Hotshot (fourth 1998), Reggemite (seventh 1999), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Dutchyâ€™s Angel (third 2001), Cyrus The Virus (fifth 2003), Monsterâ€™s Inc (second 2004), Paua To Burn (seventh 2006), Train A Journey (second 2007), and Glen Gallon (seventh 2013).
Meadow Vale (1960) was the first Tasmanian to win the Cup, defeating Fairâ€™s Orders and thereby giving trainer Peter Reid the quinella.
Dennis Direct, the runner-up to Copeland in 1961, later went to the United States to race.
Take A Bow, who won in 1962 to take his record to eight wins from just 11 starts, including the Sandown track record, was the sire of 1969 winner Benjamin John.
Busyâ€™s Warrior, third to Peteâ€™s Advice in 1981, was later disqualified for a positive swab, and Hotshow Vintage, second to Arvoâ€™s Express in 2000, was another who was later disqualified.
Apart from the 2003 dead-heat for first, there was a dead-heat for third, in 1987, between Fernando Prince and Shining Chariot.
The Australian Cup was the richest race in the country between 1960 (when it was worth ÂŁ1,400 to the winner) and 1962 and from 1964 to 1979 (that year it shared equal billing with the Melbourne Cup, both races being worth $30,000 to the winner). In 1983 it was worth $50,000 and again became the richest race, until 1989. Since then, it has shared top billing in 1996, and 1998 to 2000.
Since the move to the Meadows and the 525-metre distance, winners have come out of six boxes, but the majority, perhaps not surprisingly, have exited box one (four winners). Box two has provided one success (St Pierre) and box three one and a half. No winner has worn the blue rug or the green. In fact, the last winner to come from box six was Brett Lee and I am fairly sure the last winner to come from box four was Franklin Deano in 1991.
The 2014 Super Stayers final will cover the full spectrum of youth and experience this year after three exciting heats were run and won at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Whodat Knockin’ turned out to be the surprise package of the night when he qualified fastest in the final heat. Incredibly it was the dogs first start over the 725 metre trip.
The heats featured plenty of upsets and surprises that will see a few new faces taking their place in next week’s Group One final.
Let’s take a look at how they panned out;
Heat One – 2014 Superstayers
Classy staying bitch Dyna Willow (5) showed plenty of tenacity to take out the first heat in an eventful affair.
Born Ali (1) went to the boxes as the favourite and when she jumped quickly and led early, it looked as though the race was hers for the keeping. However, a slight bump with Lethal Three (6) saw Born Ali drift back sharply through the field. Subsequent vetting of the dog showed an injury to a triangle muscle.
Born Ali’s mishap left Lethal Three alone in front, with Infinite Wish (2) and Wag Tail (4) in pursuit, but the drama of the race had not finished yet.
Infinite Wish raced up and all but claimed Lethal Three before the pair bumped, which saw Wag Tail cop the backwash and fall.
As all this happened, Dyna Willow was just beginning to hook out and unleash her run home. Lethal Three led by close to four lengths as they swung for home, but Dyna Willow exploded down the straight and put paid to Lethal Three in grand style to win by a length in 43.06 for trainer Steve Collins.
Lethal Three hung on for second with Infinite Wish in third.
Dyna Willow has been a permanent fixture in group staying finals of late and certainly has a knack of putting herself into a race. She will definitely be worthy of consideration in next week’s final given her Group One experience.
Heat Two – 2014 Superstayers
The second heat was one for the senior citizens when last years winner Destini Fireball (8), who turns four-years-of-age next month, reproduced some of his finest form to win in 42.86.
While the winner was certainly a surprise, two of the biggest surprises occurred at box rise. Favourite Dyna Kayla (2) and the normally zippy beginner Benarkin (3) came out of the boxes seventh and eighth respectively.
This left New Tibur (5) in front with Destini Fireball in second place. This pair led the field out of the straight and into the back with Benarkin mustering pace from last to work to third along the fence. The favourite Dyna Kayla tried desperately to secure a passage through the field but found herself wide for the bulk of the trip.
As the field left the back, Destini Fireball gained the ascendency and quickly put a margin on New Tibur. Dyna Kayla and Benarkin battled on but were struggling to make any ground on the leader.
Destini Fireball prevailed in a vintage effort to win by 1 3/4 lengths. Sweet It Is (7) came from the clouds to snare second place with Dyna Kayla in third.
Heat Three – 2014 Superstayers
The final heat saw a major upset when Whodat Knockin’ (5) celebrated his first start over 725 metres a win in a Group One heat.
The Sam Bonnacurso trained son of Knocka Norris and Shanlyn Supreme flew out of box five and put a big space on the field the first time down the straight, setting new first and second split records in the process.
Speed Lane (4) and last week’s Zoom Top winner Cheetah Zorro were the early chasers, while favourite Lucy Wires (3) began tardily and found early trouble which hampered her chances of running into the race.
Off the back Whodat Knockin’ was absolutely high-balling in front and led by the better part of ten lengths. The margin abbreviators were Speed Lane and Hala Belle (7), who looked to have their work cut out for them if they were to be any hope of winning.
Hala Belle rocketed home but could only manage to get within a length of Whodat Knockin’ on the line who prevailed to score in a best-on-night time of 42.85. Maddison Dee finished in third place some four lengths away.
Next Saturday night’s final looks to be a mouth-watering affair with a terrific combination of new and old chasing the $100,000 first prize.
Could it be the new kid on the block Whodat Knockin’ or the precocious Dyna Kayla landing their first Group One? Or will the grand old stager Destini Fireball rekindle the days of yore and add to his already impressive CV by going back-to-back?
1. Hala Bell – Peter Akathiotis (42.90)
2. Destini Fireball – Norm Rinaldi (42.86)
3. Whodat Knockinâ€™ – Sam Bonnacurso (42.85)
4. Lethal Three – Kelly Bravo (43.12)
5. Maddison Dee – Michael Chilcott (43.17)
6. Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly (43.14)
7. Dyna Willow – Steve Collins (43.06)
8. Sweet It Is – Leonard Jones (42.97)
9. Infinite Wish – Angela Langton (43.25)
10. Benarkin – Tony Brett (43.18)
Eight heats of the 2014 Group One Australian Cup were conducted on Saturday night at The Meadows, with a quality field assembled for the big final next week.
Darren McDonald has qualified two runners for the final, with Keybow the fastest qualifier for next weekâ€™s final after a devastating performance in the final heat. Dyna Nalin, who has qualified for yet another Group race final, will be chasing Miataâ€™s prize money record next week.
Greyhounds from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania will all feature in the final.
Hereâ€™s a look at how each of the heats panned out.
Heat One – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Kiss Me Ketut (3) had it all his own way, leading from start to finish in a personal best time of 29.77 to secure a berth in another Group One final. He ran a smart 5.04 first section and had Punch One Out (5) with him for most of the race. The inside draw gave Kiss Me Ketut the advantage of a rails run as Punch One Out had to work hard on Kiss Me Ketutâ€™s outside. They were matching strides down the back straight but Kiss Me Ketut didnâ€™t let the outside runner worry him and he emerged victorious by three quarters of a length over Punch One Out. Prue Bale (4) loomed as a danger turning for home, but she was unable to make up the ground on the home straight, finishing third.
Heat Two – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Marcus Joe (2) has lived up to his Maturity win last year, qualifying for the Australian Cup after taking out heat two in 30.04. As expected, the speedy Magic Diva (3) pinged straight to the front and was rattling along in the early stages, but the 525 metre trip was always going to be the telling factor. The talented Marcus Joe got himself into a perfect position in the early stages of the race, settling in second position. Favourite, Peter Rocket (1) was back in fourth on the rails. Buckle Up Mason (4) was also prominent. Magic Diva was still six lengths in front down the back straight but by the home turn, Marcus Joe had abbreviated that margin to two lengths with Peter Rocket also hot on his heels. Marcus Joe barged his way under Magic Diva up the home straight with Peter Rocket electing to go on the outside. However, once Marcus Joe hit the front, the result was never in doubt as he finished strongly to win by two lengths from Peter Rocket, with Buckle Up Mason completing the trifecta. The early lamplighter, Magic Diva, finished fourth.
Heat Three – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Darren McDonald is no stranger to Group One finalâ€™s and he has qualified Hallelujah Henry (1) for the big final. Hallelujah Henry used the perfect rails draw to lead all the way in 29.91, finishing three quarters of a length ahead of the fast finishing Crawfâ€™s Bread (2), with Empire Allen (7) another five and a half lengths away in third. Of the others, Hawk Alone (3) was checked out of the race at the first turn. NSW chaser Boyce Road (8) was eating up the metres down the back straight after being last at the first turn, but he got dragged down by General Destini (5) and that ended any hope he had of storming home.
Heat Four – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Musquin Bale (2) returned from a long spell in the Warragul Cup heats and with a little bit of racing under his belt since then, he has steadily improved, with tonightâ€™s win bringing up a hat trick for the Andrea Dailly trained dog. He finished too strongly for early leader Paw Licking (7), winning easily by four and a quarter lengths in 29.89. High Recall (8) was unable to cross from box eight and had to settle for fourth after Bazzaâ€™s Gift nabbed her on the line for third.
Heat Five – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Buckle Up Wes (6) has made up for the disappointment of not being in the final field for the Launceston Cup by qualifying in fine style for the Australian Cup. The win was good for the Tasmanian based dog as he had to come from behind. National Time (5) was the early leader and Buckle Up Wes was able to sit just off the pace. Hot favourite Farmor Las Vegas (1) didn’t begin well from the inside, while Banjo Boy (8) and Zelemar Fever (7) were unable to cross the field. Buckle Up Wes made a quick decision to head wide turning for home and he finished over the top of National Time by a length in 29.98. Jordan Allen (4) filled third.
Heat Six – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Another day, another Group One final for Dyna Nalin (1) and Paul Stuart. Dyna Nalin used all his experience to patiently wait on the rails for the run at the home turn that would secure him a berth in the Australian Cup final. In taking the lead, he surpassed fellow West Australian chaser Te Amo (5) who began the best at box rise and maintained a fair lead for much of the race. Dyna Nalin first tried to get underneath the field just out of the first turn but checked off the back of Humphrey Bale (2). He had more luck turning for home and secured the win by half a length over the gallant Te Amo with Humphrey Bale finishing third. If Dyna Nalin can win the big one next week, he will break Miataâ€™s prize money record.
Heat Seven – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
Innocent Til (8) reversed his fortunes in the Temlee by beginning brilliantly from box eight to lead all the way in 29.79. When the lids opened, Shadow Lane (7) did a sharp left hand turn out of the boxes, paving a clear alley for Innocent Til. Noted strong finisher Hailstorm Billy (1) quickly got to second down the back straight and looked the only chance to run down Innocent Til, but Innocent Til had about 10 lengths on the field at that stage and wound up winning by three and a quarter over Hailstorm Billy and Tick Bale (6), giving Jason Thompson a runner in next weekâ€™s final.
Heat Eight – 2014 Group One Australian Cup
The final heat was punctuated by the scintillating performance of recent Perth Cup winner Keybow (8). He used box eight to perfection to romp away by nine and a quarter lengths in a flying 29.59, which is just over two lengths off Heston Baleâ€™s track record of 29.45. Thereâ€™s not much that can be said for the rest of the field as Keybow turned the race into a one-act affair. Speed Series (5) and Clone Your Own (7) filled the places.
The final field and box draw for next weekâ€™s Group One Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Australian Cup is:
1. Kiss Me Ketut – David Burnett (29.77)
2. Keybow – Darren McDonald (29.59)
3. Dyna Nalin – Paul Stuart (30.03)
4. Innocent Til – Jason Thompson (29.79)
5. Hallelujah Henry – Darren McDonald (29.91)
6. Musquin Bale – Andrea Dailly (29.89)
7. Buckle Up Wes – Edward Medhurst (29.98)
8. Marcus Joe – Barry Moloney (30.04)
9. Punch One Out
10. Crawfâ€™s Bread
According to punters, Hawk Alone (8) was a rough chance to take out the Group One Macro Meats Rookie Rebel over the middle distance at The Meadows. However, the black dog by Westmead Hawk-Glamorous Jade (Brett Lee-Glamorous) had other ideas.
Bookkeeper (6) and Xylia Allen (5) battled for favouritism before box rise, but when the lids opened it was veteran General Destini (2) that got the early break. Xylia Allen (5) began well but was caught up in traffic at the first turn. Bookkeeper was also checked and it was the two favourites now leading the field at the wrong end.
Hawk Alone (8) managed to cross clear of the trouble to get the sit on General Destini. Spirited Flame (1) was about eight lengths away in third and about to make the run of the race. Hawk Alone moved to the outside of General Destini rounding the turn for home and hit the front halfway up the straight. Spirited Flame dropped from the clouds to storm home up the home straight between General Destini and Hawk Alone and was found wanting by just a head.
It was a great finish to the race, which was won in 34.65. General Destini finished a length and a half away in third. Xylia Allen didn’t look a chance after she found interference and Bookkeeper also struggled to get back in the race.
Hawk Alone’s co-trainer Tom Dailly commented that he was worried about Spirited Flame in the closing stages but “the dog has a big heart and just kept kicking.”
Hawk Alone is trained by Andrea Dailly and owned by Mark Rodgers. The Rookie Rebel win is the dogs first Group One and brings his earnings over $200,000.
Itâ€™s finally that time of year for WA racing; when a number of Australiaâ€™s best greyhounds brave the heat for their working holiday in the West, with the end result a rug the Perth Cup final (530 metres) and a chance of winning $140,000.
General Destini has made the trip over to Perth for the second time. Last year he ran second in the Perth Cup heats from box four, running 30.56. Jumping from box one will increase his chance of winning the race dramatically, but he will have to improve on his best WA time of 30.43 if he is going to finish first across the line. Heâ€™s currently paying $2.80 for the win.
Andrea Daillyâ€™s Hawk Alone is set to jump second favourite ($3.00) from box three. He comes to Perth without a win at Cannington from his three starts, but strength should be on his side after having multiple starts over 600 metres at the Meadows.
Keybow for Darren McDonald is the fourth visiting greyhound in the first heat. The youngster with only 16 starts to his name is set to jump from box two, paying $3.20 for his first WA start. The black dog came second in the Cranbourne Cup two starts back over their 520 metre distance. He came home well, which should hold him in good stead for the extra 10 metres he has to run at Cannington.
All four WA representatives are in double figure odds, West On Santo for Linda Britton jumped well last week and is in career best form. Box six wonâ€™t do him any favours, even though his best time was run from box five, and the jump in class may be too much. Paul Stuartâ€™s Dannie Bale (box eight) has the WA experience and time of 30.31, but his form of late has not been great.
WA holds favouritism in the second heat, with Paul Stuartâ€™s chaser Hillbilly Flash jumping from box one and paying $2.00 in the pre-post markets. The white and black dog is searching for his fourth consecutive win and he ran a personal best time of 30.30 three starts back. He almost repeated his efforts last week running 30.35.
Victorian chaser Veyron Bale (box two) for trainer Andrea Dailly has had four starts at Cannington for one win in a time of 30.67. Two starts back at Wentworth Park he ran a best of the night performance over 520 metres in a heat of the Paws Of Thunder. The 520 metre trip at Wentworth Park is his longest distance recently, with multiple successful starts over 400 metres at Sale, Geelong and Ballarat; hopefully Canningtonâ€™s 530 metres wonâ€™t knock him around too much.
Linda Brittonâ€™s Enough Talking ($24.00) has run the second fastest recorded time coming into the heats. Although he is without a Cannington win for 14 starts, the black dog is slowly finding his form. He will have to do everything right from box six to win the race.
Victorian Iona Seven ($1.60) for trainer Robert Britton has been in hot form of late, winning the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder. She has drawn out wide for her two wins and drawing box seven in the Perth Cup heat cant come as too much of a disappointment.
Ben Abercrombieâ€™s speedy beginner Burzynski is jumping from box one and paying $4.50 for the win. He has the capability to cause problems if he can find the lead early, but has not won at Cannington in six starts. However, if he finds himself in front of the field early on, it will be a hard task for chasers to run him down.
Steven Collinsâ€™ Liara Allen ($6.00) is searching for her eighth win in her first start at Cannington. Her last three starts have been over distance, which should help her when it comes down to the final stages.
Zelemar Fever is the deserving $1.60 favourite in the fourth heat of the Perth Cup. She is in flying form of late, breaking the 30-second barrier on three occasions; running her personal best time of 29.90 last week. The little black bitch has had superb box draws recently; wearing the red rug in three of her past six starts. Jumping from box seven this week is her only hurdle.
Linda Brittonâ€™s second chaser Te Amo (box four) is without doubt a speedy bitch. Her downfall a lack of strength over the 530 metre trip, especially when she has greyhounds like Mepunga Fearon and Zelemar Fever to contend with.
Mepunga Fearon ($15.00) has drawn box six for his second start at Cannington. Last week he found trouble on the first corner but ran home well to finish third. Although this is a tough heat, his run last week will give him a helping hand.
WAâ€™s traveling sensation and reigning Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin will jump as the $2.00 favourite from box seven. He is yet to win since returning from a working vacation, finishing third and fifth. Despite his dip in form he is too talented to let the opportunity to take a second Perth Cup pass him by.
The Linda Britton trained Gone To Heaven has the least experience in the fifth heat, with only eight starts to her name. She has won on seven occasions, bit at her last start she finished fourth after finding trouble throughout. The sentimental bitch jumping from box five definitely has the speed to contend in the race. She ran her personal best time of 30.23 from the same box.
Andrea Daillyâ€™s Allen Deed is jumping from box four paying $5.00 for the win. Heâ€™s also inexperienced, with just 11 starts and six wins. He is yet to race at Cannington but muse be respected after his Silver Chief heat victory.
Dyna Beth for trainer Andrea Dailly is currently the $2.50 favourite and jumps from box three. Even without a win in her last four starts, the second place getter in the Melbourne Cup has enough class to take out the sixth heat of the Perth Cup.
Paul Stuartâ€™s Fancy Dreamer has a perfect record from his six starts at Cannington and his fastest winning time of 30.22 from box six is the fastest of the WA competitors in the heat. He is currently paying $3.00 to win from box seven.
High Recall is a talented up and comer from the Britton kennels. She has won seven of her 10 starts, the majority of them in impressive times. The little black bitch ran her fastest time of 30.32 over the 530 metre trip two weeks ago. Her inexperience against this class of dogs will be her main issue.
Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale is set to jump as the $2.40 favourite from box six for Andrea Dailly. His first start at Cannington will prove a hard one, with Star Recall and Crump both past runners at Cannington and in good form.
Star Recall for Linda Britton is jumping from box five and paying $5.00 for the win. The little black bitch has won on five occasions from just eight starts. Her inexperience may work against her in this class, although her past four starts have all been wins at Mandurah. The jump in distance may also make things a little hard for the youngster.
Crump has returned to WA for his first Perth Cup series, after last travelling to WA for the Group 2 Derby. He won his Derby heat in an impressive 30.38, but he was unable to overcome box eight in the final finishing fourth to Boris Fields. Jumping from box four in the Perth Cup heats Crump is paying $3.80 to defeat this talented field.
Both Sveta Monelli and Prue Bale hold $2.50 favouritism in the last heat of the Perth Cup. Sveta Monelli has recently defeated the likes of On Coin and Zelemar Fever and is in career best form. She looks hard to beat from a WA perspective, even from box six.
Victorian Prue Bale has the red for only the second time in her career and sheâ€™s a last start winner at the Meadows from box four. Prue Bale will not be able to give Sveta Monelli much room if she wants to secure a rug in the Perth Cup the following week.
Awesome Project ($7.50) for Darren McDonald is searching for his sixth consecutive win from mostly outside box draws. Wearing the pink rug on Saturday night shouldnâ€™t come as too much of a disappointment after his recent box draws and strength should be on his side after successfully competing over 600 metres at the Gosford racetrack.
Out of the 64 greyhounds that are competing in the $10,000 to the winner heats of the Perth Cup, only eight will earn their rugs and privilege to race in WAâ€™s biggest event, the Perth Cup. The box drawn for the Perth Cup will be drawn out on Sunday the 2nd of February at the Greyhounds WA industry night.
As trainers prepare their greyhounds for the Perth Cup series they spare a thought for Brenda and John Crossley, who are unable to race their superstar On Coin, who fell two weeks ago and sustained a shoulder injury. On Coin would have been a serious contender in the Perth Cup heats.
Six heats of the Group 2 Lion Quality Products Warragul Cup were conducted on Sunday afternoon and the excitement factor was at an all time high when the Nicole Mcrae trained chaser, Walk Hard, broke the track record in the third heat.
The final will be an interesting affair with Paw Licking and Black Magic Opal meeting for the first time since Paw Lickingâ€™s track record breaking win in the Hobart 1000. That match up alone will have plenty of eyes drawn to Warragul for Friday nightâ€™s final. Here is a summary of the six heats:
2014 Warragul Cup Heat One
There was a boil over in the first heat when Risk of Damage (4) finished too strongly for Whata Good Size (2). Whata Good Size and Transcend Time (1) were vying for favouritism before box rise. When the lids lifted, Risk of Damage, Ollie Bale (5), Transcend Time and Whata Good Size all got away well. By the first turn there was only Risk of Damage, Whata Good Size and Ollie Bale contending for the lead. Ollie Bale was stuck on the outside of the other two and up the straight, Whata Good Size hit the lead but Risk of Damage wasn’t finished yet as he reeled in Whata Good Size to win by half a length in 26.04. He was a $29.60 in Victorian betting markets. Ozzie Bullet (7) rattled home for third.
2014 Warragul Cup Heat Two
Black Magic Opal (4) returned to the winnerâ€™s circle with an emphatic two and a quarter length win in the second heat. Black Magic Opal recorded 25.61 and defeated Crump (7) and Empire Allen (8). Black Magic Opal led and the race was over from that point on, with the contest for second and third the only race happening. Check My Swagger (6) got away well and was positioned nicely in second but collided with Mepunga Armagh (2) in the home straight. Crump finished strongly, getting into second and booking a place in the final.
2014 Warragul Cup Heat Three
The third heat resulted in an amazing track record breaking run by Walk Hard (3) who ran down Paw Licking (7) in an exciting duel up the home straight. Walk Hard recorded 25.46 in his one length victory. Paw Licking led easily into the turn, running the fastest first sections of all the heats and the race looked all but over. Walk Hard began midfield but was able to find a nice position on the rails to begin his record breaking run. Mepunga Fearon (1) battled away for third. Walk Hard is clearly the fastest qualifier through to next Fridayâ€™s final.
2014 Warragul Cup Heat Four
Banjo Boy (7) started favourite but wasnâ€™t able to overcome the box and finished fifth. It was a tight run into the first turn with Nic Nat Nui (8), Izack Bale (2) and Cee Ronaldo (1) all challenging for the lead. Cee Rinaldo came off best but Evieâ€™s Entity (4) was finishing fast along the rails and she drew away to win by two and a half lengths in 25.78.
2014 Warragul Cup Heat Five
This was the hardest heat to pick a clear winner. The recent Tasmanian edition to Darren McDonaldâ€™s kennels impressed with a solid second in this heat. Cointreau Cap (6) led the field up with Premier Event (8) doing the chasing early. Behind them, Awesome Grunt (1) was working himself into the race nicely with a run along the rails. Cointreau Cap kept plugging away up front but Awesome Grunt was slowly working him down, eventually getting to him and winning by three quarters of a length in 25.79. Crawfâ€™s Bread (3) snuck home for third.
2014 Warragul Cup Heat Six
Deadly Vane (8) was much too good in the final heat. He used the outside box to perfection to run away with a five length win in 25.57. Musquin Bale (7) performed well at his first start back from a long spell to finish second with Dark Warrior winding up in third.
The field and box draw for the final on Friday, 24 January 2014 (including heat times) is:
2014 Warragul Cup Final Box Draw
- 1. Paw Licking â€“ Kelvyn Greenough (25.52)
- 2. Deadly Vane â€“ Joe Borg (25.57)
- 3. Awesome Grunt â€“ Ian Bindley (25.79)
- 4. Evieâ€™s Entity â€“ Lyn Smith (25.78)
- 5. Walk Hard â€“ Nicole Mcrae (25.46)
- 6. Risk of Damage â€“ Geraldine Debono (26.04)
- 7. Black Magic Opal â€“ Jason Thompson (25.61)
- 8. Crump â€“ Troy Iwanyk (25.75)
- 9. Cointreau Cap â€“ Darren McDonald (25.84)
- 10. Musquin Bale â€“ Andrea Dailly (25.88)
2014 Warragul Cup Heats Replays
Ollie Bale (8) took out the 2014 Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief at The Meadows on Saturday night for trainer Andrea Dailly and owner Paul Wheeler. The 31kg chaser registered the time of 30.19 en route to landing the $100,000 first prize.
Co-Trainer Tom Dailly had told ARG in the lead up to the event that he hoped his dog would be in the top two as they passed the post the first time and that is exactly how things panned out.
Beginning as well as can be expected from the extreme outside, the son of Go Wild Teddy and Zambola Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) was fourth to exit the traps and had headed the early leader Kid Maximus (1) by the post the first time.
Despite holding the front all the way up the back straight, Ollie Bale was yet to get to the fence and Kid Maximus refused to relent on the inside as he inched up to within a head of the lead nearing the top of the home turn. But Ollie Bale’s strength proved too much and he finally got the better of Kid Maximus, who checked off the eventual winners heels as he finally moved down to the fence.
From that point, Ollie Bale put on the afterburners and careered away to score by two and a quarter lengths to a gallant Kid Maximus, with Top Innings (7) running a solid race to finish in third.
The win was Ollie Bale’s seventh from twenty four outings and takes his career earnings to $129,740.
2014 Silver Chief Final Replay
The final of the 2014 Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief at The Meadows is one of the most even fields in recent memory. Based on first split times you can literally throw a Kleenex over the field at the end of the first section, and it’s not much different when it comes to the finish either.
The race could well be decided in the run down the straight the first time, with the charge into the first turn likely to be no place for the faint hearted. Whoever can manage to get through that part of the event unscathed should take a power of beating.
In a race that has a history of producing some of the finest greyhounds of their generations, this years instalment looks like an engrossing battle with any of the eight starters a chance at not only scooping the $100,000 first prize, but also etching their name into greyhound racing immortality.
|Comments:Â Paul AkathiotisÂ (Trainer)Â -Â â€śYouâ€™ve gotta be quick out of the boxes, you need to run around the five secondÂ mark to lead basically. Iâ€™m keeping him fresh, Iâ€™ve given him a free gallop onÂ Tuesday and Iâ€™m keeping him fresh until Saturday, you want him to jump out andÂ lead. He has gone 5.04 and 5.05 in trials so he can do it, he can lead. Iâ€™m justÂ hoping to run a good race, thereâ€™s some pretty good dogs in there.â€ť||
|Â Ride the Rails||
|Comments:Â Darren BrownÂ (Trainer) - â€śI’m very happy with the box, I’d much prefer there than out wide. I’d like to see him lead but the dog he ran against last week, Top Innings, he does begin, but heâ€™s gotta be able to get down so if we both begin, I’ve got the fence and thereâ€™s going to be a lot of interference coming down to the winning post. You can’t be too confident going into this race because virtually every dog has an identical first split, give or take a length and they’re all evenly matched.”||
|Comments:Â Joe BorgÂ (Trainer) – â€śI’m happy with him being on the inside even though heâ€™s had most of his starts on the outside. Box three is new to him so we really have no idea what he’s going to do, but hopefully he pings straight to the front. The four wins he has had there, he has began well but still found interference. In this type of race, a Group One final, youâ€™d prefer no interference at all. That’s what we are hoping for, a clean start and a clean run to the first turn, that will set up the race for him.â€ť||
|Comments:Â Michelle Mallia-MagriÂ (Trainer) –Â â€śHeâ€™s probably the most unlucky dog I’ve got in the shed when it comes to box draws. You have to lead in these races. I think the two (Ride The Rails) goes to the fence, so if he jumps I’m just hoping I can beat Deadly Vane out of the boxes and at worst, I’ll have a sit on the two. That’s my aim anyway, it doesn’t always work out that way unfortunately.”||
|Comments: Andrea Dailly (Trainer) – â€śThe box isn’t great, but he chases hard, we’ve just gotta hope he gets a clear run early. He doesn’t ping the boxes but he does accelerate quite quickly. Heâ€™d be a chance of leading if they left him alone early but realistically I don’t think he will lead.â€ś||
|Comments: Darren McDonaldÂ (Trainer) –Â “He’s probably going to struggle. BoxÂ six has given him no favours. He’s only a young dog, he’s up against the odds with the dogs that are in there but he’s got a little chance I suppose. He’s a leader, if he gets to the front he could maybe run a place. He’s not overly strong at this stage so he’ll have to get to the front and get a bit of a break and hope they crash behind.”||
|Comments:Â Jeffrey BrittonÂ (Trainer) – â€śHe will have to lead, he won’t be coming from behind and thereâ€™s probably a few in the race like that. If he misses it from out there, well you’re in big strife. I’m sure if thereâ€™s a little bit of buffeting around the first turn it won’t bother him, he’s a pretty good chaser, but we have to be up the front. You just hope he does everything right.â€ť||
|Comments:Â Andrea DaillyÂ (Trainer) – â€śI would like him out wide if it was anywhere but the Meadows, itâ€™s very hard to get across from the pink at the Meadows. Heâ€™ll need to really come out flying. I’d like him to be in the first couple.â€ť||
|Comments:Â Found trouble last week, with a clear run in this field he could give some cheek.||
|Comments:Â Promising young dog who would be in this up to his ears if he gained a start.||
Top Innings looks to hold all the aces in this race. If he can begin and lead from box seven then it could be all over. Should he miss the start, look for Ride The Rails in box two or Veetee Turbo in box four to capitalise on their opportunity. Deadly Vane and Ollie Bale can also loom as big dangers if they can land anywhere near the speed as they go down the back. This is shaping up as one heck of a race.
Upsets were the order of the evening in the four semi finals of the Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief at the Meadows on Saturday night.
Just one favourite runner (Top Innings) finished in the top two and managed to qualify for next week’s $100,000 to-the-winner final.
The field looks very even for week’s main event with plenty of new names on the scene all bidding to become the next Group One champion. The box draw for the final is listed below.
Semi Final 1
Kid Maximus (5) kicked off proceedings by causing an upset in the first semi final, leading throughout to score in 30.22. Kid Maximus found some of his early dash that had been lacking a little in recent outings, leading quickly from box five in a first section of 5.11. Second favourite Veetee Turbo (4) suffered some interference as they went through the first turn but managed to get to second place into the back straight and set out in pursuit of the leader. Keybow (6) sat deep on the track and also loomed as a danger given his propensity to run on. But all honours were with the Peter Akathiotis trained son of Where’s Pedro and Aussie Belle who staved off both challengers to score by one and three quarter lengths. Veetee Turbo hung on for second place just in front of Keybow to book his place in next week’s big final. It was just Kid Maximus’ second win since May and his third at the Meadows from 24 outings.
Semi Final 2
In what always looked the toughest of the four races on paper, the upsets continued in the second semi final when Ollie Bale (2) stormed home to salute in 30.08, setting the time standard for the four semi finals in the process. Shifty Sticka (5) started a short priced favourite and, while it was never going to be easy for him from that draw, not many thought he would bomb the start completely and virtually have zero chance from box rise. Empire Allen (3) found the front early in 5.11. But his kennelmate Ollie Bale’s presence on the fence in second place was always going to be his main threat given the dogs strong run home. Tiggerlong Chief (8) landed in third early and scouted wide from the outside draw. Off the back, Empire Allen managed to maintain a three length ascendency but by the time they swung for home Ollie Bale began to wind up and went by Empire Allen with a withering finishing burst, scoring by one and three quarter lengths. Empire Allen finished in the all important second placing to make it an Andrea Dailly quinella, with Gimme Fuel (4) finishing third. Ollie Bale’s run home was the feature of the race, the run home time was 12.30 with Ollie Bale running over the top of the leader in that time. The son of Go Wild Teddy and Zambola Bale showed that he has inherited some of the strength that was a trademark of his mother during her career.
Semi Final 3
After three semi finals, punters were still yet to get it right with yet another favourite missing a place. Deadly Vane (5) finished solidly to win in 30.22 for trainer Joe Borg in a mixing affair. Favourite Allen deed (1) left the boxes quickly but was quickly challenged by both Deadly Vane and Beckenbauer (6) in a run to the first turn that was no place for the faint hearted. The line of three passed the first section in 5.15. Allen Deed and Deadly Vane bumped slightly and Beckenbauer made the most of an uninterrupted run to scorch away down the back. His only danger from that point was Deadly Vane, with the rest of the field a long way back. Beckenbauer fought on strongly but could not quite hold of the fast finish of Deadly Vane who grabbed him in the shadows of the post to score by half a length. Hailstorm Billy (7) ran on solidly to finish third. The win sees Deadly Vane maintain his perfect record at the Meadows with the son of Vee Man Vane and Surfing Idol winning four from four at the circuit.
Semi Final 4
Top Innings (1) led throughout to win the final semi final in 30.10 for trainer Jeff Britton. The son of High Earner and Ricky’s Angel, who is part owned by former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, set an early mark of 5.15 and railed like the lure to make the most of the inside draw and hold the lead from Ride The Rails (6). Top Innings skipped away down the back with a line of three dogs in pursuit. Jordan Allen (4) and Godric Gryfindor (8) were doing their utmost to abbreviate the leaders margin with Ride The Rails, who was posted outside that duo, really starting to wind up as they left the back straight. But Top Innings managed to pack too much punch and hang on for a one and a quarter length win from Ride The Rails, with Godric Gryfindor finishing in third placing. The win was Top Innings’ fifth from eleven career starts and he made it two from two at The Meadows in the process.
Box Draw for the 2014 Group One AJS Corporation Silver Chief Final;
1 – Kid Maximus – Peter Akathiotis
2 – Ride The Rails – Darren Brown
3 – Deadly Vane – Joe Borg
4 – Veetee Turbo – Michelle Mallia-Magri
5 – Empire Allen – Andrea Dailly
6 – Beckenbauer – Darren McDonald
7 – Top Innings – Jeff Britton
8 – Ollie Bale – Andrea Dailly
9 – Gimme Fuel – Kelly Bravo
10 – Keybow – Darren McDonald
2014 Silver Chief Classic Semi Final Replays
This Thursday night Sandown Park hosts Australiaâ€™s premier age restricted race for bitches. The $50,000 to the winner Laurels Classic will garner plenty of attention over the next three weeks from greyhound racing enthusiasts, with some high quality bitches engaged. The one disappointing factor is the lack of support from over the border, with only the Mark Gatt trained Ritza Hattie and the Shannon Ellis trained Booming Bennett making the trip from interstate.
â€śThere are a lot of good bitches going around in NSW that I thought would be making the trip, but I was surprised that they didn’t. Hopefully we can fly the flag for NSW. It has probably diluted the depth of the series and gives us some sort of chance. Dyna Willow and Infinite Wish are really classy, but they drop back from staying races. Something always pops up in these series and something will shock on the night and run flying time and grab the attention.â€ť explained Mark Gatt, trainer of Ritza Hattie.
Heat One â€“ 7.06pm
The first race on the program provides plenty of interest, with high quality stayer Infinite Wish dropping back in distance to take on the sprinters for trainer Angela Langton. It does appear as though the Brittonâ€™s will be extremely hard to beat, with the consistent Midnight Scandal drawing the coveted red box, and Cairnlea Ellie coming out of the pink.
Peta Bale (Tammy Collins) â€“ â€śShe is going to need plenty of luck and is one of our lesser chances. She tries her best though, so we are hopeful.â€ť
Cairnlea Ellie (Robbie Britton) â€“ â€śSheâ€™s got genuine early pace and it wouldnâ€™t be surprising if she ran well, she must lead to win. I think she is my best chance in the series after winning at Geelong in very quick time.â€ť
Midnight Scandal (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śShe desperately wants the red and we think she is a genuine chance.â€ť
Infinite Wish (Angela Langton) â€“ â€śIf she has a little luck around the first corner and is up near the lead she will be very hard to hold out.â€ť
Heat Two â€“ 7.23pm
The second heat of the night is a wide open affair and cases could be made for almost the entire field. Two of the runners in the race have drawn perfectly, with Wise Peejay in the red and Lektra Bianca in the pink. It will be an interesting race and one that could surprise the clock watchers.
Lektra Bianca (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe will be perfectly suited out wide and her last few runs have been the best of her career, she is some chance.â€ť
Wise Peejay (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śShe grows a leg off the red and is a huge chance. The draw is perfect.â€ť
Tarks Nemesis (Angela Langton) â€“ â€śShe is very strong and can run good times, she just needs luck early.â€ť
Heat Three â€“ 7.46pm
Anyone bring a dart board? This is one of those races where anything could happen and it wouldnâ€™t surprise. If Flying Twist can position herself close to the lead, then she will be extremely tough to beat. Cosmic Wise is the logical danger from box four. The box isnâ€™t as bad as it appears, with a vacant box in five and Flying Twist on her inside, she should get plenty of room the move. This heatâ€™s prizemoney could be heading to Anakie.
Flying Twist (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe isnâ€™t a bad bitch and she won over 600 last week and is strong. Box three will suit her and she is racing well.â€ť
Cosmic Wise (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śSheâ€™s a handy performer and will go ok. Wise Ella from that litter would have been a chance in the series, but she hurt herself.â€ť
Oxley Delight (Robbie Britton) â€“ â€śBeen hanging out for an inside box and she nearly got over a few times and just got held out. She would have to run up to her best to figure in a tough race.â€ť
Quell Bale (Tammy Collins) â€“ â€śShe loves the track at Sandown and is doing her best work there. Hopefully she can step and find the front early.â€ť
Heat Four â€“ 8.07pm
The fourth heat is a heat that could very easily produce the winner of the series, with multiple high quality bitches engaged. The Andrea Dailly trained Prue Bale jumps from the four and will be extremely hard to beat. She is very slick early and has the pace to offset the middle box, especially with a vacant box to her outside. The logical danger will come from the Crawford kennel, in the shape of Shall She Rock
Dyna Suzie (Tammy Collins) â€“ â€śShe needs to be left alone early to do her best; she will struggle with Prue Bale on her outside.â€ť
Prue Bale (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe is a good chance and has early pace, so she can offset the draw, especially with the vacant box on her outside.â€ť
Heat Five – 8.29pm
Dyna Beth was a sensational performer during the Melbourne Cup series and she loves the 515m at Sandown. She has been set for this series and will be extremely tough to beat in a winnable heat. If Dyna Beth makes any mistakes, the obvious danger looks to be Lethal Three, who led all the way last start going a slick 29.74. If Dyna Beth jumps she should lead all the way.
Dyna Beth (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe is a big chance of the back of her efforts in the Melbourne Cup series. She has been freshened up for this and we expect her to run well.â€ť
Sienna’s Fantasy (Robbie Britton) â€“ â€śShe’s in a tough heat and on present form she might find the going a bit hard.â€ť
Heat Six â€“ 9.55pm
This will be a sensational heat to watch. All eyes will be on the Steve Collins trained distance star Dyna Willow. If she settles on the speed it will be really interesting to see what time she can run in her current form. Watta Good Dee and Maximum Lil are two bitches that could throw a spanner in the works with their early pace. Iâ€™m really looking forward to seeing this heat unfold.
Gemstar (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe has some ability, but has to lead to win. She finds a lot of trouble if she doesnâ€™t lead. If she can find the front then she is some sort of chance.â€ť
Dyna Willow (Tammy Collins) â€“ â€śShe will need a clear run early, but if she gets that will be hitting the line hard.â€ť
Watta Good Dee (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śAnother that needs early luck. Dyna Willow is the class bitch, but our bitch has a bit of pace and goes all right.â€ť
Maximum Lil (Jordan Cooper) â€“ â€śShe was a really good run last start. We would have preferred her drawn on the inside, but she can run a good race.â€ť
Heat Seven â€“ 10.14pm
This heat has the two interstate raiders engaged in what is widely considered to be one of the toughest heats on opening night. Ritza Hattie trialled the house down first look at the track, and with any room this could be a case of times and margins. Liara Allen has a lot of ability and could be the one bitch that could ruin the trip of Mark Gatt, who will be arriving at Sandown chock full of confidence. Booming Bennett has also trialled well in preparation for the heat, and might be one to follow as the series unfolds. Dyna Kayla also has the ability to run the hands off the clock if she can get clear running from the squeeze box. There is genuine class and depth in this heat.
Ritza Hattie (Mark Gatt) â€“ â€śShe trialled really well going 29.40 first look at the track, so we are really confident going into the series.â€ť
Liara Allen (Tammy Collins) â€“ â€śWe have high expectations of her and she would be our best hope to win the series. She has drawn a tough heat though, but is suited from the inside. She is still maturing and if she can step and find the rail, we think she can go very fast.â€ť
Dyna Kayla (Tom Dailly) â€“ â€śShe is quite a promising young bitch and is strong as a bull. We are hoping she gets thru to the next week as we think she will get stronger as the series progresses. She is learning more and more and will only improve.â€ť
Mepunga Tiara (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śShe has drawn a hard heat and needs a heap of luck. She has no early pace and will find it tough from the box.â€ť
Booming Bennett (Adrian Dowdle) â€“ â€śWon her last 3 straight and on the up. She is definitely been thrown in the deep end, but we have a happy healthy dog that is improving with every run, and is trialling very well. Itâ€™s all great experience for all the restricted races in the first half of next year. We just hope she gets through this week as she will improve every look at the track.â€ť
Heat Eight â€“ 10.38pm
Heat eight is an open heat and most connections would be thinking they are a genuine chance of getting through to next weekâ€™s semi finals. The experienced runnerâ€™s Tamâ€™s Wish and You Say Goodbye will both be hard to beat. Both have been racing in far tougher races and will appreciate the drop back to restricted age bitches only company. Tamâ€™s Wish has finished behind Kiss Me Ketut, Marcus Joe, New Tibur and Veetee Express at her last four starts, and You Say Goodbye has finished behind Allen Makoto and Dark Warrior of late. Neither meets that standard of company in the race.
Mepunga Moss (Jeff Britton) â€“ â€śShe has had a spell and is a good box dog. She isnâ€™t overly strong and will have to go to the lead. She is coming into this a little underdone but will improve as the series progresses.â€ť
Tonight we saw some fantastic racing at Ballarat, but it wasn’t confined to the heats of the $70,000 Mega Merch Ballarat Cup. The second heat of the GRV VBIS Maiden Series saw a phenomenal performance from the Brian Petty trained Campaspe Will, who won in an amazing 25.15 and will be extremely hard to beat in the final. This highly talented sprinter will be a dog to watch closely over the coming months.
Coming into the Ballarat Cup there were two dogs with a chance of taking home the GRV Bonus of $50k for winning three country cups in the calendar year, and they didnâ€™t let connections down.
Ronan Izmir absolutely sizzled in the fastest heat win of the night in 25.12. It was a win full of guts and determination after being crossed early by the speedy Magic Diva, who went the clear fastest first split of the night in an electric 6.46.
Paw Licking was also a tough win after being crowded early the race. The Kel Greenough speedster drove through and led all the way in 25.14, which was the second fastest run of the night. The task wasnâ€™t made easy for either runner for the final however, with Ronan Izmir drawing box four and Paw Licking box five.
The first heat of the night was won by the Joe Borg trained Deadly Vane, who gave the more seasoned Ferly Reign a start and a beating. The Vee Man Vane youngster was a very impressive winner in a time of 25.34 at only his seventh start, with the consistent Peter Rocket another good run for third.
There were some shocks on the night though; with the highly fancied Banjo Boy lowering his colours to the honest Andrea Dailly trained Empire Allen in the third fastest heat time of 25.16. It wasn’t all good news for the Dailly kennel however, with star sprinter Spud Regis leading and getting run down in the sixth heat by the Steven Collins trained Allen Malik. The son of Surf Lorian covered the 450m in a slick 25.20, and has an extremely bright future.
Dark Warrior confirmed his liking for one-bend tracks with a workmanlike win in the fifth heat for Darren McDonald, just holding off the consistent Gary Ennis trained Blaster in a time of 25.29. His chances for the final improved considerably when he drew the red box.
The sensational run of the Robbie Britton team continued in the last heat, with star New Zealand import Clone Your Own an impressive winner in a slick 25.20. He was average to begin, but showed amazing drive and mid-race speed that will hold him in good stead for the final.
With the seven winnerâ€™s locked into the final, it was down to timeâ€™s for the last place in the final, and the fastest second place getter was decided by the barest of margins, with the Andrea daily trained Veyron Bale sneaking into the final after his 25.29 run behind Allen Malik. The Darren Brown trained speedster Magic Diva is first reserve after posting a time of 25.30 in her heat run behind Ronan Izmir and Banjo Boy is the second reserve after his 25.31 heat run.
2013 Group 2 $70,000 Ballarat Cup Final Box Draw
- Box 1 – Dark Warrior – Darren Mcdonald – 25.29
- Box 2 – Veyron Bale – Andrea Dailly – 25.29
- Box 3 – Clone Your Own – Rob Britton – 25.20
- Box 4 – Ronan Izmir – Janon Thompson – 25.12
- Box 5 – Paw Licking – Kel Greenough – 25.14
- Box 6 – Deadly Vane – Joe Borg – 25.34
- Box 7 – Empire Allen – Andrea Dailly – 25.16
- Box 8 – Allen Malik – Steve Collins – 25.20
- 1st Reserve – Magic Diva – Gary Ennis – 25.30
- 2nd Reserve – Banjo Boy – Ken Virtue – 25.31
2013 Ballarat Cup Heats Replays
They came and they conquered, the dynamic duo of Jason Thompson and Black Magic Opal put on a dazzling display for spectators, leading all the way in a best of the night 29.41.
In a night full of upsets, next Thursdayâ€™s $350,000 to the winner final will prove most interesting, with the crucial box draw conducted at noon tomorrow.
Plenty of early speedsters have made it into the final, however many winners came from behind in tonightâ€™s heats, providing an array of mixed chasers.
Melbourne Cup Heat One
1st: (3) Iona Seven â€“ Robert Britton ($6.30) 2nd: (2) Spud Regis 3rd: (8) Dashing Man
Spud Regis began fast to lead the field at the first turn. Iona Seven sat right on his heels and shot away in the straight to qualify. Special mention to Dashing Man who found a heap of trouble and only needed a few more strides to secure the win.
Melbourne Cup Heat Two
1st: (2) Peter Rocket â€“ Keith Hellmuth ($3.30) 2nd: (6) Take It All 3rd: Tee Brady
Sveta Monelli exploded out of box four to lead the field to the first turn, before a very talented chaser in Peter Rocket was quickly sitting on his heels. After some interference to his chasers on the home corner, this talented greyhound shot away to win by 3.8 lengths in a sensational time, just 0.01 behind the best of the night.
Melbourne Cup Heat Three
1st: (1) Proven Maddy â€“ Wayne Vassallo ($7.10) 2nd: (2) Buckle Up Mason 3rd: Easton Bale
Proven Maddy began fast to lead the field around the first turn before being rounded up in the back straight by the speedy Buckle Up Mason. Proven Maddy gallantly fought back in the home straight and made a desperate last surge to secure a finals spot.
Melbourne Cup Heat Four
1st: (6) Black Magic Opal â€“ Jason Thompson ($1.70) 2nd: (1) Gold Town 3rd: (3) Empire Allen
It wouldnâ€™t be a Melbourne Cup final without the influence of Jason Thompson and Black Magic Opal didnâ€™t disappoint favourite backers as he rocketed from box six, leading all the way in best of the night figures. Gold Town ran a brilliant second in taking plenty of ground off the leader, bringing the winning margin to under a length and is unlucky not to be starting in the final next week.
Melbourne Cup Heat Five
1st: (6) Hawk Alone â€“ Andrea Dailly ($8.50) 2nd: (7) Farmor Las Vegas 3rd: (4) Dyna Nalin
Yet another upset in heat five with Hawk Alone beginning fast from box six to cross his rivals and sit early behind the speedy Whata Good Size. Taking a risky rails run on the home turn, Hawk Alone got the break and shot away to score in brilliant time.
Melbourne Cup Heat Six
1st: Kiss Me Ketut â€“ David Burnett ($6.80) 2nd: (6) Xylia Allen 3rd: (7) Peloton Bale
Kiss Me Ketut began fast from box three before checking off the heels of the early leader and running very wide at the first turn. Superbly made up a stack of ground and was too good in a solid time. Xylia Allen came from last to run second after finding a heap of trouble, sensational run.
Melbourne Cup Heat Seven
1st: (2) Shifty Sticka â€“ Paul Anderton ($3.20) 2nd: (3) Ferly Reign 3rd: (4) Jordan Allen
The well-supported Shifty Sticka began well and sat behind early leader Ferly Reign. Checking off his heels after a failed attempt at a rails run, Shifty Sticka got plenty of room to move in the straight and bounded away by 3 lengths.
Melbourne Cup Heat Eight
1st: (3) Dyna Beth â€“ Andrea Dailly ($22.10) 2nd: (5) Speed Series 3rd: (6) Marcus Joe
The last heat produced the greatest upset by far as Andrea Dailly secured her second runner into next weeks final with a stunning upset by Dyna Berth. In a roughly run affair, the winner managed to catch a few breaks, as there was plenty of interference behind him, however took advantage of some good fortune to produce a strong performance.