• Home
  • Darren McDonald

2014 Group Three Summer Cup Heats Preview

Group staying racing hits the Harbour City this Saturday night when Wentworth Park hosts two heats of the Group Three Summer Cup.

With next week’s final worth $25,000 to-the-winner, there is a great opportunity for greyhounds to qualify. Only 13 runners will contest the two heats with eight advancing to the decider.

Here is a look at the two heats;

Race 3 – Schweppes Summer Cup Heat 1 – 8:08pm

1 – My Miss Diva (John James) - A winner of six from 34 who has done most of her racing in northern New South Wales. She has only won one race here from six attempts and is likely to need luck to feature.

2 – Joane (Christine Proctor) - A young run on type who has been consistent at Wentworth Park, winning three and placing in five of her nine appearances there. She has been sharpened up for this with a few runs over the sprint trips and could be a rough hope at double figure odds.

3 – My Boy Brodie (Mick Player) - A winner of just two races who comes into this having never raced over the longer trip. He is yet to win in town and faces a sharp class rise here. He looks hard to have based on that data.

4 – Zipping Maggie (Peter Dapiran) - A Wentworth Park Group winner who took out the Chairman’s Cup here back in September. She has the pace to lead and boasts a personal best at the track of 41.78. Her recent performances have been slightly below her very best but she did make the Group One Bold Trease final last week at Sandown Park. She drops in class here and has to be considered as one of the main hopes.

5 – VACANT

6 – Pumped Up Zarr (Neil Staines) - Grand old campaigner who has been in great form of late, winning his last three over this journey. He will be up challenging for the lead early and loves the track with seven wins from 13 appearances there. He is a big hope again in this.

7 – Avondale Maurick (Ron Bell) - Does not win out of turn with four victories from 20 goes at this trip. He is also yet to flatter on the clock with his best of 42.34 unlikely to be good enough to win this. Place chances appear his best hope.

8 – Greta’s Rescue (Rodney McDonald) - An interesting youngster who has been bought along slowly by astute mentor Rodney McDonald. Has done most of her racing in the country with a win and two placings from her four Wentworth Park distance efforts. She is likely to be a fair way back but, with a clear run, could well run into a placing.

Selections: 4-6-8-2

Race 4 – Schweppes Summer Cup Heat 2 – 8:29pm

1 – Sweet It Is (Darren McDonald) - The undisputed Queen of Australian staying races who notched up her fourth Group On win last week. She possesses a freakishly strong finish and will relish the small field. She will start at a very short quote here and should be winning.

2 – Zipping Rory (Bethany Dapiran) - A consistent Victorian chaser who returns after falling in a heat of the Bold Trease a fortnight ago. He did spear the lids to win a heat of the Chairman’s Cup here in a rapid 41.75 and is very capable when he lands on the lure. That has been his only placing in four starts at Wentworth Park which is some sort of concern.

3 – VACANT

4 – Dusty Moonshine (Denice Warren) - Talented local bitch who returns from a six week break for this series. She has won four from eight at the track with a best of 41.86 and is usually very close to the lead in her races. Given the right breaks, she is a knockout chance.

5 – Beks (Patrick Bouchier) - Another Victorian who comes into this after making the final of the Group One Bold Trease last week. His strike rate is only fair and he makes his Wenty debut here so he is the type that would have to be taken on trust in this heat.

6 – VACANT

7 – Luzaka Icon (Marien Sullivan) - A seasoned distance campaigner who only yields moderate results in easier classes than this. She will be well back early and is unlikely to trouble the class dogs in this race.

8 – Raramuri (Ian Morgan) - A young up-and-comer who takes the plunge into Group racing in this event. She has won three from eight over the journey and boasts a best of 42.15. This will be a real litmus test for her but she has the ability to run a place.

Selections: 1-2-4-5

Keybow Claims Time Honours In Brisbane Cup Heats

The 2014 Group One Brisbane Cup looms as one of the most exciting editions on paper after six heats were run and won at Albion Park last night.

Favourite punters got off to a flying start in the first heat with Keybow saluting comfortably for leading Victorian mentor Darren McDonald.

Beginning evenly with the field from box three, the son of Take The Kitty and Key Exit quickly put the paw to the floor and crossed to the rails around the first turn. Once he found the front it was a case of times and margins, with the Perth Cup winner cruising to the line three and three quarter lengths clear of a gallant Cyndie’s Special in a slick 29.81.

Cyndie’s Special qualified for the big final next week, running a top race from box one for trainer Bill Elson.

The second heat saw boom Queenslander Happy Haswell sent out as the $2.20 favourite from box seven.

As he usually does, Happy Haswell came out a fraction behind the field before mustering pace to sit in fourth spot around the first turn.

However, by that time, the Darryl Chapman- trained Exhibitionist had already speared to the front and had a substantial break on the classy field chasing her.

Despite his best efforts, Happy Haswell couldn’t catch her in the run to the line as Exhibitionist scored by just under five lengths in a quick 29.91.

The consistent Bill’s Fantasy and reigning Brisbane Cup champ Kiss Me Ketut duelled for favouritism in the third heat with honours going to the former by the time the lids flew open.

Both were in the top half of the field in the early stages, with Kiss Me Ketut doing the better of the two as he sat second behind the leader Fusaichi Kahn.

It was another race where you had to be on the bunny, with Kiss Me Ketut unable to reel in the lamplighter in the home straight.

Starting at double figure odds, Fusaichi Kahn, a regally bred son of Where’s Pedro and Daydream, clocked a fast 29.96 in recording his eighth win from 31 starts.

Kiss Me Ketut did enough to earn his spot in the feature final where he will be aiming to become just the second chaser to win two Brisbane Cups since its inception in 1972.

Punters only wanted to be on one greyhound in the fourth qualifier and that was the Peter Young-trained Iva Vision which started at a skinny $1.20.

Stepping well from box two, he had plenty of time to find top gear in the run to the line on the first occasion and, once he found the front, it was all over. The son of Ivan Brown and Visualization stopped the clock in a handy 30.15 at what was his first run back in the Sunshine State since claiming the Group Three Sandown Shootout and running second in a heat of the Melbourne Cup.

Gun Victorian chaser Awesome Project was another short priced favourite in the fifth heat, looking to give Darren McDonald two through to the $75,000 to the winner final.

The son of Collision and Honour Phase raced in an ideal third position throughout the race but, just as he was about to start his run approaching the home turn , he was dragged down by another greyhound and lost all chances, ultimately finishing sixth.

His misfortune enabled the leader, Le Sirenuse, to skip away and record a three length triumph in 30.17.

The sixth and final heat lost its star attraction when My Bro Fabio was withdrawn due to injury earlier in the week. This opened the race up for the local stars, all looking to secure their spot in next week’s big one.

Beginning beautifully from box seven, You Can Talk found the front in the early stages and the daughter of Outa Credit and You Say So was never headed from that point onwards.

Race favourite Clash Of Kings tried gamely tried to chase her down but had to settle for second as You Can Talk triumphed by one and three quarter lengths in 30.20.

The box draw for next week’s Brisbane Cup is as follows:

1. Cyndie’s Special
2. Iva Vision
3. You Can Talk
4. Exhibitionist
5. Le Sirenuse
6. Fusaichi Kahn
7. Keybow
8. Kiss Me Ketut
Reserves
9. Happy Haswell
10. Clash Of Kings

It will be a big night at Albion Park next Thursday, with an additional two races added to the card.

ARG will have a full preview of the race prior to the final.

Group Two Ballarat Cup Heats Preview

The Group Two Ballarat Cup series kicks off tomorrow night with eight fantastic heats ensuring a terrific night of racing at the Morshead Park facility. First run in 1960, last year’s race saw an epic battle between one turn champs Paw Licking and Ronan Izmir down the straight with the latter ultimately victorious.

Ahead of tomorrow night’s action, lets have a quick look at the key players in each qualifier. To have a bet on any of the runners in the heats, open an account with Sportingbet for up to $700 in bonus bets.


Heat One – 8:17pm (VIC time)



King Surfa (2) is a litter brother to boom youngster Over Limit and this fellow seems to have plenty of ability himself. Trained by Darren McDonald, he has recorded victories in nine of his 17 career starts including a last start 30.10 triumph at The Meadows. He generally has great early zip and from box two he should be up there early.

Magic Diva (1) is drawn to perfection and will aiming to prevent King Surfa from finding the rails in the early stages. Magic Diva was the winner of this year’s Warrnambool Classic, she relishes box one with five wins and three minors from nine starts and she has enough pace to hold the lead.

Ultima Bale (6) is unbeaten from two starts over the track and distance but can’t afford to do anything wrong from the draw, while Punk Panther (7) boasts a quick 25.12 personal best.

Heat Two – 8:41pm (VIC time)



What a race this will be! Melbourne Cup hero Dyna Villa (3) will jump from box three off the back of his sensational success last Friday at Sandown. He has been stepping much better in his last few starts and appears to be maturing into a serious race dog. The regally bred youngster has had one start here for a third but expect to see a big improvement.

The obvious danger is drawn directly on his outside and that is Luca Neveelk (4). The blue speedster shows blistering early dash and is suited perfectly by the drop in distance on his last start appearance in The Melbourne Cup. He has never seen the track, but that shouldn’t worry him; he went into the heats of both the Melbourne and Geelong Cups without a trial and made both finals, taking out the latter.

Maximum Lil (1) is a last start 30.03 winner at The Meadows from the same draw so she can’t be ruled out, while Shameless Bandit (2) shows tremendous early dash but this is a definite rise in both class and distance.

Heat Three – 8:58pm (VIC time)

Some highly promising youngsters will take part in the third heat with Secret Spell (1) likely to start as favourite. A winner of seven from nine, the daughter of Batrim Bale and Wicked Witch clocked a flying 29.26 at Sandown two starts ago before finishing at the tail of the field in a heat of the Melbourne Cup.She has good early speed and looks the real deal.

Tiggerlong Await (7) faces a big step up in class but has won six from nine around the Victorian provincial circuits and has won one from one over the track and distance.

Ollie Bale (6) mixes his form but could easily feature if he brings his best on the night. The middle alley won’t help, but he is a Group One winner and should never be discounted.

Darcy’s Entity (3) has only missed a place in one of his 12 career starts thus far and he also shows pace once he hits the ground.

Sisco Rage (4) is a classy chaser but this is a big drop in distance from his recent starts.

Heat Four – 9:18pm (VIC time)



The fourth heat will see the return of Walk Hard (4) which has not been seen since September. He possesses freakish ability, having broken the track record at Warragul in January in a heat of the Cup which he won a week later. Box four won’t be much help as he takes a few strides to find top gear but being fresh might help him begin a little bit better. He doesn’t have much speed drawn around him, so that should help too.

Take Charge (1) should be able to go close to leading from the ideal draw while Allen Deed (5) is one of the fastest dogs in the country but will need everything to go his way from box five.

Heat Five – 9:41pm (VIC time)

Hekate Belle (2) is hit and miss at the beginning but if she gets the start right she should blow them away. The inside draw should help, despite the fact that her record from the two is only ordinary. She seems to do her best racing from odd numbers, whether this is a coincidence or the fact that she may need the extra time in the boxes to settle, I’m not sure, but she is definitely the one to beat. Two starts ago she scored a fast 29.29 win at Sandown over Chica Destacada before finishing third behind Star Recall in a Melbourne Cup heat. That is terrific form coming into this race and makes her hard to go past.

Mepunga Armagh (5) has done plenty of travelling lately and has performed solidly at the elite level. His form doesn’t look fantastic but when you consider the calibre of dogs he has been racing he comes right into calculations for this race.

Caustic Bale (4) has only had nine starts but has two BOD performances to his name at Geelong. He isn’t quick early, but with a clear passage he will make his presence felt.

Agent Jack (8) has a 29.27 win at Sandown to his name but he is another that doesn’t always begin well, while Hawk Alone (1) hasn’t won since June but is always thereabouts.

Heat Six – 9:58pm (VIC time)



The speed should come from the inside pair Dyna Nico (1) and Bills Back (2) which are both blessed with blistering early toe.

Bills Back has won his last three starts, all in best of day times, at Horsham, Warrnambool and Geelong and he has won 12 from 19 overall. He has run 25.64 in the past at the track and I think he can improve on that with a favourable draw.

Dyna Nico led but was run down at her last start at Sandown by Awesome Project. The step down to 450 metres should suit and if she can find the front she will go close to winning.

Marcus Joe (7) and Crackerjak Dak (8) have the class edge but neither can afford to give the inside pair too much of a start. Deadly Boy (4) and Quarrel Bale (3) both have claims and have recorded slick times throughout their careers but both are tardy early.

Heat Seven – 10:20pm (VIC time)

National Time (6) is a litter brother to Magic Diva which lines up in heat one and, like her, he is capable of some sizzling early sectionals. He has had a horror run with boxes throughout his 57 start career but has still managed 18 wins and 16 minor placings including six victories and one second wearing green. If he can reproduce his 25.16 performance here from three runs back he is clearly the one to beat.

Musquin Bale (1) mixes his distances but he can still sprint well, winning in 29.29 at Sandown last month. The inside draw should help.

Fleetwood Storm (7) is facing his biggest test to date but he looks to have a fair bit of ability. He can show pace and he should get a nice run into the race on the outside of National Time.

Nockabout Aussie (4) bounced back to his best with a 29.40 win at Sandown last Friday but he still didn’t step well on that occasion and, in a shorter race like this with plenty of early speed, I am prepared to risk him.

Heat Eight – 10:37pm (VIC time)

Blurred Lines (2) has been mixing it well against the top class and is better than his recent starts suggest. His last two runs have resulted in a seventh and eighth at Sandown but those performances were in a Prelude and heat of the Melbourne Cup respectively. In October he went straight to the front in a heat of the Adelaide Cup and returned the following week to run a terrific second behind Allen Deed in the final. He mixes his box manners but should get a good run from the two.

Innocent Til (6) is a superb greyhound and he will give this field a shake if he is at his best, but he hasn’t been seen since August which raises some concerns. Nonetheless, he is in astute hands with Jason Thompson who wouldn’t have him in unless he thought he was capable of winning. The son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly has won three from five over the trip and has a fast 25.11 to his name. Despite the awkward draw he must be respected.

El Grand Seal (1) is drawn to lead and should do so for most of the trip. She could pinch the race if she gets close to her 25.24 personal best.

Dyna Yemin (8) is unproven from out wide but he has been racing against some of the state’s best dogs in recent starts and can’t be left out.

The winner of each heat will progress through to next Wednesday’s $60,000 to the winner final.

Buybacks Blast The Ready 2 Race Sales At Bendigo

The Ready 2 Race sales is a fantastic concept and the day was a credit to the GRV and Bendigo Club from a hospitality point of view. Full race day style catering, a fully stocked bar and an open TAB provided breeders, trainers and buyers with everything they could have wanted.

Except for the opportunity to buy the dogs that they had come to purchase.

Plenty of dogs “went under the hammer”, but plenty didn’t. They might be listed as sold, but when they are being bought back does it really count?

One young bitch with plenty of early pace attracted a stack of attention and was sure to be a good buy for someone. Nup, bought back for $17,250. This is utterly ridiculous on many fronts, but isn’t the fault of the owner in any capacity.

High profile trainer Darren McDonald arrived with quality performers Bremer and Sig Sauer. Both were bought back and remain at Darren’s place according to Fasttrack. These two sons of Kinloch Brae – Great Gunns will now contest the potentially weak $25,000 race next year.

What are the options to make this fairer for those wanting to buy and sell legitimately? There were a few thoughts being thrown around by various people in attendance Saturday.

1 – Buybacks aren’t eligible to race in the series.
2 – Buybacks are charged at 25% instead of 10%.
3 – Make the auction an optional reserve auction. But those that place a reserve can’t race in the series.
4 – Option of withdrawing from auction if unhappy with the performance. Again, can’t race in the series.
5 – Buybacks pay full price of the purchase on the day and receive a 90% rebate the following week from the GRV. Buyers can’t pay 10% on the day, so it should be fair for all.

One thing is for sure, the current system makes it tough for genuine buyers to purchase a dog. There were instances where genuine buyers sat back and didn’t even get to “raise a paddle”. Another instance resulted in a buyer genuinely bidding to $15,000 and copping frowns from a person that was obviously buying back regardless of price.

It’s blatantly obvious that people don’t want to lose a young pup with genuine ability that hasn’t fired a shot in the sales heats. However, there needs to be something in place to separate the genuine buyers from the buybacks.

Also of note is that Dave Burnett was at the sales to buy, but left empty handed. He has been heavily involved in past sales at Bendigo and races group performer Kiss Me Ketut who has won in excess of $200,000 in prizemoney. Linda Britton was at the sales and didn’t buy.

Rob Britton was at the sales and bought one of Robert Crawford’s lots, Zelemar Storm; who he is currently syndicating to potential new clients.

However plenty of industry leaders left without buying despite intending to do so and this indicates a significant problem. If it isn’t broken you don’t fix it, but these sales need some changing. The concept is fantastic, but it’s time to make some adjustments.

2014 Group One Melbourne Cup Is Dyna Villa’s

Dyna Villa (8) has taken out the Group One Melbourne Cup in style, carving across from box eight to streak away for a two length victory in 29.36 at Sandown Park on Friday night.

The Collision and Roxio Bale (Droopy’s Vieri – Francesca Bale) dog came into the race unbeaten at the track. He had also never had his colours lowered wearing the pink stretch vest.

The money had been coming for Dyna Villa all day and at box-rise he was just shy of starting as the favourite. That honour went to Keybow (1) who punters had supported well due to the prime rails draw.

Dyna Villa forged out a fast first section of 5.04 to lead clearly into the first bend, just ahead of NSW bitch Chica Destacada (2). Rounding the turn, there was a little bit of interference between Above All (3) and Luca Neveelk (7), which left space for Keybow to hunt up along the rail into third.

Down the back, Dyna Villa got out to a six length lead and at this stage it was clear we were looking at this year’s Melbourne Cup winner. Chica Destacada tried her heart out, maintaining second position and pocketing connections $120,000 while Keybow filled the last of the minors.

Dyna Villa, trained by Jenny Hunt, has now won his first Group race. Prior to the Melbourne Cup, he had made the final of the Group 2 Geelong Cup. The generous prize-money of $420,000 takes his earnings over $460,000. He has just turned two years of age and the big win takes his career record to 15 wins from 23 starts. He looks to be the next star for the famous Wheeler family and little wonder given he is closely related to the recently retired Xylia Allen.

Full Results

1st: Dyna Villa (8) – Jenny Hunt
2nd: Chica Destacada (2) – Doreen Drynan
3rd: Keybow (1) – Darren McDonald
4th: Above All (3) – Robert Britton
5th: Cosmic Wise (5) – Jeffrey Britton
6th: Awesome Project (4) – Darren McDonald
7th: Star Recall (6) – Jeffrey Britton
8th: Luca Neveelk (7) – Gerald Kleeven

Time: 29.36
1st Split: 5.04 (8)
2nd Split: 18.62
Margins: 2 x 2
Scratchings: Cawbourne Whip (9), My Bro Fabio (10)

Sweet It Is Takes Out 2014 Bold Trease

She has done it again.

The bitch that trainer Darren McDonald described post race as a “Bold Trease re-incarnated” unleashed her trademark run home to clinch the 2014 Group One Bold Trease at Sandown at Sandown Park on Friday night.

A clear run in transit is always the key for the daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) and, while she was slightly hampered leaving the home straight the first time, she could not of asked for a much better trip.

Ever the consummate professional, Sweet It Is took full advantage of the uninhibited run home to give the early leaders a cold and storm away to salute by a cool 5 1/2 lengths in a rapid 41.56.

After leaving the boxes reasonably well, Sweet It Is settled in seventh place as Zipping Maggie (2) took the ascendency, leading from Space Star (4).

Halfway down the back straight, Space Star took over and looked a big hope. Sweet It is began her move as the field passed the 715 metre boxes and made ground in a hurry.

Swinging for home, that familiar lightning turn of foot was as evident as ever as the 28kg black bitch hooked to the outside and put paid to her rivals in the twinkling of an eye en route to her fourth Group One victory.

Space Star hung on for second placing with rank outsider Reap The Benefit (5) working home for third placing.

Of the beaten brigade, excuses could not really be made for any of the runners with the winner simply too good and interference reasonably minimal.

The win was Sweet It Is’ 15th from 47 career outings and sees her career earnings reach a whopping $584,065.

2014 Group One Bold Trease – Full Results

1st – Sweet It Is (3) – Darren McDonald

2nd – Space Star (4) – Robert Britton

3rd – Reap The Benefit (5) – Michael Chilcott

4th – Zipping Maggie (2) – Peter Dapiran

5th – Beks (1) – Patrick Bouchier

6th – Blinker’s On (8) – Brooke Ennis

7th – Mystic Twist (6) – Mark Cauchi

8th – Coulta Rock (7) – David Curtain

Time: 41.56

1st Split: 6.17 (2)

2nd Split: 15.88 (2)

3rd Split: 30.62 (4)

Margins: 5 1/2 x 3 1/4

Scratchings: Dyna Kayla (9), Manila Express (10)

Will It Be Lucky Number Seven For Awesome Project?

Tonight is the night that we have all been waiting for. Tonight one star sprinter will be crowned the 2014 Melbourne Cup champion and one set of connections will walk away $420,000 richer.

Eight superb canines are ready to do battle. For most it will be a nerve-wracking experience, for Awesome Project it will just be like any other race.

The Darren McDonald- trained chaser knows a thing or two about racing at the elite level.

Tonight will be his seventh appearance at Group level where he will be chasing his third victory. 

The veteran of 55 starts has already tasted success in the Group Two Gosford Cup and the Group Two Harrison- Dawson with that all important Group One honour so far alluding him.

His closest finish at the highest level was last month where he finished a gallant third in the Group One Topgun at The Meadows.

His owner and former trainer Brad Canty knows just how special the son of Collision and Honour Phase is. Rarely putting in a bad performance, he goes into the Melbourne Cup as a winner of 28 races with 15 minor placings.

“He is very consistent and he has been consistent all the way through his career since I sent him down to Darren after the Gosford Cup. He has probably only had three weeks off this whole time and if you go right through his form and he has just about made all the big group finals”, Canty said.

“I don’t think I will ever own a better dog than him, not a more consistent one anyway. He is very reliable.”

Awesome Project was an all the way winner of his heat last week clocking a slick 29.39. While he loves the track at Sandown, where he is yet to miss a place from 13 starts, it will be a tough ask to claim the final jumping from box four.

“The draw is not good for him with the six, seven and eight going to be crashing across from out wide with pace.

“He has speared the lids and come out running a couple of times like when he won the Harrison- Dawson and in a heat of the Brisbane Cup he came up two in front, but I think whatever dog leads that race will probably win.

“They are all basically leaders in the race, he is probably the strongest dog in the race, but they are going to be running 29.3 so whatever dog goes to the front will be hard to run down.”



Canty, who is based in New South Wales, has made the trip to Melbourne to cheer on his charge.

While it is going to be a tough race, Awesome Project should never be discounted. 



“Luck is going to play a big part in it, you couldn’t have hand picked a better eight dogs for the race but if he can come out and hold his position to the first turn he will be a big chance.”


And for a rising four year old, a win in the sport’s most coveted feature could lock in a future career at stud.

“It’s the richest greyhound race in the world. I would love to win it for the dogs sake, if he wins this race his stud career is locked in, so it would mean a lot for me for the dog to win it.”

2014 Group One Bold Trease Final Preview

While the Melbourne Cup takes centres stage at Sandown Park tonight, greyhound fans will be treated to a double dose of Group One racing.

Just two races earlier, $100,000 is up for grabs for stayers in the 2014 Bold Trease.

Darren McDonald will rug up the favourite Sweet It Is from box three. Despite having won almost every important race on the calendar, the Bold Trease has been one that has so far eluded the astute Devon Meadows mentor.

Rob Britton will look to make it back-to-back wins in the race after he won the 2013 final with Cheetah Zorro. Britton is the only trainer in the race who has won the event in the past.

The Bold Trease is Race Six on the card and is scheduled to jump at 8:38pm.

Here is a look at each dog in detail with comments from connections;

Box 1
Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
 

Beks

Trainer
Patrick Bouchier
Owner
Patricia Bouchier
Prizemoney
$39,360
Last 10 Starts
3152325241
32 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bekim Bale - Flaming Doll
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,270 Rating 91
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
31 6 6 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
19% 61%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 2 2
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 1 1 2
ARG Comments: Made the most of his opportunities to flash home and score in 42.04 last week. That was his first win at the track in six attempts. He will need to begin well to be an chance of competing here.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.04 42.04 6.34 6.37
Box 2
Race Odds
$10.00
Heat Replay
 
Zipping Maggie
Trainer
Peter Dapiran
Owner
M & F Hallinan
Prizemoney
$90,025
Last 10 Starts
1111432642
30 Months   Dark Brindle   Bitch   by   Turanza Bale - Natalie Rass
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,215 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
28 12 5 3
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
43% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 1 0
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 0
Peter Dapiran (Trainer): “The draw looks to have helped her, it is what you want to be drawn close to the fence with both Sweet It Is and Beks usually reasonably slow away. She should get a good look at the lure. She got a little bit tangled up last week and, by the time she balanced up the run on dogs had a little bit too much momentum and just got her on the line.”


Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last

41.85

42.08 6.13 6.19
Box 3
Race Odds
$2.10
Heat Replay
 
Sweet It Is
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Paul Wheeler
Prizemoney
$484,065
Last 10 Starts
1232221112
36 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Mogambo - Off Springer
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $10,523 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
64 18 10 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
30% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 5 4 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 2 0
Braden Finn (Owner): “I spoke to Darren yesterday and he said the bitch is as good as ever and jumping out of her skin he’s just hoping for a clear run! It looks a very good race with the 2 dogs on the rise Space Star and Blinker’s On improving all the time should be a good final all dogs worthy of their spot in the race. I think the six should come out and lead and give the pink a nice cart over which will make him hard to beat.”

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.46 41.94 6.23 6.23
Box 4
Race Odds
$4.40
Heat Replay
 
Space Star
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Camilla Limon
Prizemoney
$36,800
Last 10 Starts
1111315321

29 Months

  Black   Dog   by  

Bekim Bale

- Tonto Tears
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,840 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
20 12 2 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
60% 85%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 02 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 4 0 0
Robert Britton (Trainer): “It was exciting to have a dog with so much ability come into the kennel, you often get pups who are a little more average so it was great to have him come in. We knew he had a big motor and it was good to see him get off the track last week where he wants to be, that allowed him to show what he can do. It was a good field in his heat but when you are running 41.6 then you wouldn’t be too disappointed if you got beat. To be honest I am not too happy with this week’s draw with the pace on his outside. I am hoping he can get a clear run early but you just wonder how it will happen. It could be a big night for us, but I have learnt over many years to not get too excited, they don’t give these sort of races away, that’s for sure.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.65 41.65 6.20 6.20
Box 5
Race Odds
$101.00
Heat Replay
 
Reap The Benefit
Trainer
MIchael Chilcott
Owner
Geoffrey Collins
Prizemoney
$19,450
Last 10 Starts
4231212252
32 Months   Black   Dog   by   Bekim Bale - Zarbo
Start Moderate Running Rail Finish

Good

Prizemoney Rating $648 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
30 5 7 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
17% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 0 1
Michael Chilcott (Trainer): “He has drawn the worst box and is between the two fastest dogs in the race but you can not do much about that. He has enough pace to be up there but got shuffled back from second to second last in the heat, if he is sitting midfield heading for home, you never know.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 42.81 6.35 6.35
Box 6
Race Odds
$34.00
Heat Replay
 
Mystic Twist
Trainer
Mark Cauchi
Owner
Kim Hollway
Prizemoney
$61,615
Last 10 Starts
1511737371
37 Months   Brindle   Bitch   by   Velocette - Valley Twist
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,760 Rating 81
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
35 12 5 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
34% 57%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 0 0
ARG Comment: Front running bitch who looks the likely leader in the race. Led all the way in her heat, winning in 42.07. That was her first win over the trip in three attempts. She will have to improve on that time to take this race out.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.07 42.07 6.06 6.06
Box 7
Race Odds
$23.00
Heat Replay
 
Coulta Rock
Trainer
David Curtain
Owner
David Curtain
Prizemoney
$40,235
Last 10 Starts
431F341251
27 Months   Black   Dog   by   Velocette - Coulta Sally
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,150 Rating 86
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
35 10 5 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 66%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0

David Curtain (Trainer): “He has a lot of ability and is maturing all the time. I think nearly every dog copped some interference in his heat and he did well coming back but that is why the time isn’t real flash. There is no stress and no expectation, whatever he does is a bonus.”

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.75 42.75 6.30 6.30
Box 8
Race Odds
$3.40
Heat Replay
 
Blinkers On
Trainer
Brooke Ennis
Owner
Troy Little
Prizemoney
$50,590
Last 10 Starts
7123211112
30 Months   Blue   Dog   by   Cosmic Rumble - Good Oil
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,300 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
22 9 5 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 2 2 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 0
Jamie Ennis (Kennel Representative): “If you could draw the field the way you wanted to, this would have to be close to it. He should get a great cart over and be right in the race. He trialled over 600 before last week and was simply outstanding, he was very unlucky last week and probably should have won easily. But you have those nights and it was one where nothing went our way. He should get a lot more luck this week given the way the field is drawn. You can never be too confident with Sweet It Is in the race, she can do freakish things and run down anyone when things go her way.”


Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.71 42.18 6.28 6.28
1st Res
Race Odds
$11.00
Heart Replay
 
Dyna Kayla
Trainer
Andrea Dailly
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$136,285
Last 10 Starts
6411142173
28 Months   Blue   Bitch   by   Surf Lorian - Amity Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,867 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
28 14 4 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG Comments: Quality race bitch who found trouble when crossing to lead last week. She has plenty of Group racing experience and would be far from the worst if she gained a start.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.11

42.16

6.13 6.19
2nd Res
Race Odds
$101.00
Heat Replay
 
Manila Express
Trainer
Captain Abbott
Owner
Captain Abbott
Prizemoney
$23,645
Last 10 Starts
1234121413
32 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Bekim Bale - Flossy
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $430 Rating 80
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
55 15 6 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
27% 53%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 0 1
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG Comments: A run on type who does most of her racing in easier classes. She will be a fair way back in this type of field and looks tested.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 42.32 6.27 6.27

The early pace in the race looks likely to come from Mystic Twist (6) and Zipping Maggie (2).

This should give Blinker’s On (8) a beautiful cart across into the action. Should he be afforded a clear run, he will take some running down.

Champion bitch Sweet It Is (3) will be worse than midfield early and is sure to be running home like a hungry school kid. If she gets a clear run in transit, she will add a fourth Group One title to her impressive curriculum vitae.

Space Star (4) set the time standard in the heats and had tons of ability. He will need to avoid dogs cutting across him early if he expects to use the track as usual.

2014 Group One Melbourne Cup Final Preview

The eagerly anticipated Group One Melbourne Cup is scheduled to jump at 9:24pm (VIC time) tonight at Sandown Park.

A whopping prize-money pool of $600,000 is available for place-getters. The winner receives $420,000, the runner up will receive $120,000 and third grabs hold of $60,000 – not too shabby for a 29 second run.

The Melbourne Cup was first conducted at Sandown Park in 1956. The race has come a long way since. In this year’s edition a number of story lines thread their way into the race.

If Keybow wins, he will break the Australian prize-money record and will make his trainer, Darren McDonald the first trainer to win four Melbourne Cups. If Above All wins he will become just the second greyhound from New Zealand to take out the great event. That feat was last achieved 40 years ago.

Recent winners of the Melbourne Cup include Black Magic Opal, Got A Moment, Dyna Tron, El Grand Senor, Lord Ducal, Surgeon, Betty’s Angel and Closing Argument.

We will soon know who the 2014 winner is. Here is a look at the form of each of the finalists;

Box 1
Race Odds
$3.10
Heat Replay
 
Keybow
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Kelvin Lean
Prizemoney
$343,635
Last 10 Starts
2414153611
35 Months   Black   Dog   by   Take The Kitty - Key Exit
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $9,818 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
35 16 7 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
46% 74%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 3 1 2
       
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Kelvin Lean (Owner): “It is a good draw, it’s unbelievable. I think in these big races you have got to be on the inside and there is so much speed in this race that the inside is definitely the place to be.”

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.36 29.36 5.05 5.11
Box 2
Race Odds
$4.80
Heat Replay
 
Chica Destacada
Trainer
Doreen Drynan
Owner
Dee and Pee syndicate
Prizemoney
$145,655
Last 10 Starts
6311156821
29 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Cosmic Rumble - Eluthra
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,699 Rating 91
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
31 12 5 3
       
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
39% 65%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
       
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 0
Doreen Drynan (Trainer): “It is the same box that she won the National Sprint from but she seems to go better when she is drawn out on the track a little bit. She seems to be able to pace up a lot quicker because she is inclined to step a bit to the right when she comes out of the boxes.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.22 29.22 5.02 5.02
Box 3
Race Odds
$5.50
Heat Replay
 
Above All
Trainer
Robert Britton
Owner
Alison Lee
Prizemoney
$29,510
Last 10 Starts
1F14212111
27 Months   Black   Dog   by   Magic Sprite - Kara Janx
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,951 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 6 2 0
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
60% 80%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 3 2 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Robert Britton (Trainer): “He doesn’t have the early pace that others have in this field. What he has shown me is that he is fearless in taking gaps, so hopefully he can get a soft early run into the first turn and take any gap that may be presented to him.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.33 29.38 5.11 5.11
Box 4
Race Odds
$8.50
Heat Replay
 
Awesome Project
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Bradley Canty
Prizemoney
$297,690
Last 10 Starts
1711163131

43 Months

  Black   Dog   by   Collision - Honour Phase
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $5,412 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
55 28 7 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
51% 78%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
13 8 3 2
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 5 0 0
Bradley Canty (Owner): The draw is not good for him with the six, seven and eight all going to be crashing across from out wide with pace. He has speared the lids and come out running a couple of times like when he won the Harrison- Dawson and in a heat of the Brisbane Cup he came up two in front, but I think whatever dog leads that race will probably win.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.35 29.39 5.00 5.12
Box 5
Race Odds
$34.00
Heat Replay
 
Cosmic Wise
Trainer
Jeff Britton
Owner
Brona Lane Racing syndicate
Prizemoney
$110,645
Last 10 Starts
4131115311
38 Months   Black   Bitch   by   Cosmic Chief - Wise Penny
Start Good Running Rail Finish

Strong

Prizemoney Rating $1,875 Rating 91
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
34% 64%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
19 6 2 1
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 0 0

Justin Wright (Owner): “Box one helped her last week and I would imagine the track was a bit quicker than it normally is but we were still chuffed with how she went. It will be very different this week and I don’t think she has the pace to beat the other seven to the first corner. There is going to be a lot of early speed and she is a mad railer, she will look for the rails straight out of the boxes. I reckon her only hope is if she misses it a little bit and then goes straight to rail and if there is a little bit of trouble on the corner that she can rail up underneath. It is going to be tough but you have got to be in it to win it. She will give 100% and whatever happens, happens.”

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.40 29.40 5.07 5.07
Box 6
Race Odds
$9.00
Heat Replay
 
Star Recall
Trainer
Jeffrey Britton
Owner
Kevin Dover
Prizemoney
$158,305
Last 10 Starts
1221111881
30 Months   Black   Bitch   by   High Earner - No Recall
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,166 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
38 21 7 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
55% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 4 2 1
Kevin Dover (Owner): “Hopefully she can ping the lids and get up with them near the lead going into the first turn. She is not a mad railer, she holds her line to the first turn, so that should help her too.”
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.34 29.34 5.05 5.05
Box 7
Race Odds
$16.00
Heat Replay
 
Luca Neveelk
Trainer
Gerald Kleeven
Owner
Paul Kleeven
Prizemoney
$128,865
Last 10 Starts
1113111131
29 Months   Blue   Dog   by   Talk’s Cheap - It’s A Neveelk
Start Excellent Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $4,772 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
27 22 0 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
81% 93%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 3 0 0

Gerald Kleeven (Trainer): “I reckon he can get across and I like him out there. It depends on what the pink (Dyna Villa) does but he (Luca Neveelk) is a pretty big dog so the pink shouldn’t push him out of the way. He just needs clear room in the first one or two strides and then he has got that massive early pace. Whatever gets out in front will win, there is no two ways about it, because you have got seven other dogs with equal ability behind you and they usually all look to go to the rails and they will be in a bunch. If you are lucky enough to get to the front I’d imagine you would be laughing.”

Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.42 29.42 5.00 5.00
Box 8
Race Odds
$6.50
Heat Replay
 
Dyna Villa
Trainer
Jenny Hunt
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$46,635
Last 10 Starts
4333181311
25 Months   Black   Dog   by   Collision - Roxio Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,220 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
21 13 2 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
62% 86%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 7 0 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0 0
ARG Comment: Dyna Villa is unbeaten at the track and unbeaten from the box. He showed tremendous pace last week from box six to defeat My Bro Fabio by 1 1/4 lengths. He recorded his best time in the process. A repeat of the pace from last week will see him contesting the lead in the early stages. He has to be considered a big chance based on his form.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.21 29.21 5.00 5.00
1st Res
Race Odds
$26.00
Heart Replay
 
Cawbourne Whip
Trainer
Anthony Azzopardi
Owner
Jodie Lord
Prizemoney
$83,305
Last 10 Starts
1124634432
34 Months   Black & White   Bitch   by   Dyna Lachlan - American Spot
Start Moderate Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,136 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
39 16 5 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 64%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 1 2
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 0 1 1
ARG Comment: Does not have the pace to match some of the speedsters in the final and will be well and truly at double figure odds if she gains a start.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 29.29

5.10

5.10
2nd Res
Race Odds
$4.60
Heat Replay
 
My Bro Fabio
Trainer
Brooke Ennis
Owner
Michelle Jones
Prizemoney
$202,075
Last 10 Starts
2111151112
31 Months   Black   Dog   by   Turanza Bale - Flamenco
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,811 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
42 21 9 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 79%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
13 5 2 3
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 3 0
ARG Comment: Will rocket right into contention if he gets a start. Although he is tardy at box-rise at times, he is a freakishly fast dog that is capable of anything.
Best Sandown Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.09 29.29 5.15 5.24

Keybow (1) is currently the favourite from the prized rails alley. He just needs an ounce of luck early to stamp his authority on the race but there will be plenty of others in the field looking to challenge him.

Dyna Villa (8) is boxed out wide and possesses the best record of any dog in the race as he is unbeaten at the track and unbeaten from the draw. He is the fastest qualifier going into the final after stopping the clock at 29.21 in last week’s heats. His sections across the board were great and he will prove hard to beat if he repeats last week’s efforts.

Luca Neveelk (7) will be challenging for the lead early. He needs to be in front at the first turn to be any chance.

Awesome Project (4) has a mile of ability and seems to be flying under the radar a little due to the focus on his kennel mate. He came out last week to lead all the way and he is more than capable of doing that from box four.

Chica Destacada (2) was impressive last week and she is drawn to go well again. Her trainer has indicated that she may step right out of the boxes but she has the form from the box, winning the National Sprint earlier this year from the same draw.

The Kiwi’s will all be cheering for Above All (3). While he will need some luck in the early stages, he has made the final and certainly has a big future ahead of him as he has come into the race with just 10 starts under his belt.

Cosmic Wise (5) and Star Recall (6) both have Western Australian connections and will be aiming to give the West something to cheer for. The draws are not great for either chaser but, as with all the other chasers in this final, they are in with a chance.

It should be a great race so be sure to tune in or get trackside.

What Omens Will The 2014 Melbourne Cup Winner Follow?

Approximately 29 seconds will stand between eight of the country’s best greyhounds and immortality when the lids fly open in the Group One Melbourne Cup tomorrow night at Sandown.

Only the best have won the Melbourne Cup, the races’ honour roll contains more stars than you will see littered through the night sky, and in 2014 another set of powerful paws will carve their name alongside the greats.

Keybow is currently the $3.30 favourite with Sportingbet to take out the race that paw-ses a nation. The son of Take The Kitty and Key Exit will jump from box one, a box he has only started from twice throughout his 35 start career, resulting in one win and one second.

Keybow’s sire finished fifth in the Melbourne Cup in 2009 and, incidentally, both father and son will start from the same draw. Box one has not won the Melbourne Cup since Closing Argument stormed to victory in 2005 however, prior to that year, it had saluted in the previous three runnings.

One of those was in 2004 when the race was taken out by Hallucinate for Darren McDonald, who will put the polish on Keybow in Friday’s $420,000 to the winner feature. McDonald, who also trains Awesome Project in the final, will become the first conditioner to have trained four winners of the Melbourne Cup should either of his charges salute.

Awesome Project is currently rated a $9 shot with Sportingbet and has a tough task ahead of him from box four. The striking black chaser has been ultra consistent throughout his career and relishes the track at Sandown where he is yet to be unplaced from 13 appearances. He also boasts five wins from his draw and if, he can salute, he will join former greats such as Betty’s Angel and Go Wild Teddy to have won the Cup wearing blue in recent years.

Interestingly, the last two Melbourne Cups have been won in a time of 29.37 by greyhounds starting from box two. If this trend continues, your winner will be the Doreen Drynan- trained Chica Destacada which is $4.80 with Sportingbet to taste success. Boasting blistering early sectionals and a 29.22 PB at the track, this bitch means business.

Kiwi chaser Above All is right in contention, rated a $5.50 pick with Sportingbet. Trained by Rob Britton, the classy black greyhound is by Magic Sprite, the same sire as last year’s winner Black Magic Opal. A winner of his last three in a row, he is one from one wearing the white where he will jump from in the final, but box three has not won a Melbourne Cup in 19 years since City Blitz triumphed in 1995.



Rob’s brother Jeff will have two starters in the Cup but they are both drawn awfully in the five and six. Cosmic Wise (5) and Star Recall (6), which are both owned in WA, will both need luck and are rated $20 and $9 with Sportingbet to win the race respectively.

It takes a brilliant dog to win from either box. The last winner of the Melbourne Cup from box five was Classic Capri in 2001, while the most recent to triumph from the six was Shanlyn Prince in 2007.

Luca Neveelk, currently a $16 chance with Sportingbet, should be the early leader and will be hoping for scrimmage on the first turn so he can dart clear down the back. His sire, Talk’s Cheap, is a half brother to Betty’s Angel which took out the Cup in 2006. He also comes into the race as the winner of the 2014 Geelong Cup with last year’s winner, Black Magic Opal, seizing the same double that Luca Neveelk will be aiming to complete tomorrow night.

Last, but certainly not least, is Dyna Villa which is rated a $6 chance with Sportingbet. He is by Collision, who has sired two of the last three winners of the Melbourne Cup, and he will be aiming to score success from box eight where he is unbeaten. If he is to win, he will be the first to triumph from the pink since Surgeon in 2008. If he does, lets hope he has better manners in the home straight.

Australian Racing Greyhound will have a full preview of the Melbourne Cup tomorrow morning. 


Doreen Hoping For An Outstanding Night

Chica Destacada, whose name means ‘Outstanding Girl’ in Spanish, gave veteran trainer Doreen Drynan her first taste of glory at Group One level when she brilliantly claimed the National Sprint Championship at Cannington in August.

This Friday Chica Destacada will be aiming to add to that triumph when she exits box two, the same box which she used to score success in the National Sprint Championship, in the Group One Melbourne Cup at Sandown Park.

The NSW trained speedster was a phenomenal winner of her heat last Thursday. Exploding from box six, the bonny black bitch was too strong for the Anthony Azzopardi trained Cawbourne Whip, winning by just over one length in an airborne 29.22.

Drynan said she was expecting her kennel star to go well in the race, having run a great second in a Melbourne Cup Prelude the week prior, but was shocked to see her perform so dominantly.

“She didn’t trial too bad and then it was a good run when she raced there the week before, but it was a bit of a surprise that she got up for us on Thursday night. It was a very pleasant surprise though, I can tell you that!”, Doreen laughed.

Chica Destacada has been a wonderful performer for Drynan winning 12 of her 31 career starts, including seven triumphs at Wentworth Park, while she also made the final of the Group One Topgun at The Meadows last month.

Since finishing at the tail of the field in that event, Doreen has entrusted leading Victorian trainer Darren McDonald with looking after her pride and joy.

“I left her down there with Darren after the Topgun so she could have a trial at Sandown and a look at the track”, Doreen explained.

“He has done a top job with her. The advantage of sending her to Darren as well is that we more or less do the same thing in regards to the working of the greyhounds and feeding them, so there wasn’t a great deal of change for her as far as that is concerned.”

Doreen also expressed concerns that travelling around the country was starting to take its toll on Chica Destacada, providing another reason to leave her in the care of McDonald for the past few weeks.

“She has done a bit of traveling lately and I think that effects them.

“The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race in the entire greyhound industry so you have got to give her every chance you can to perform well.”

However, Doreen, who bred the daughter of Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra with her daughter Kerry, feels that she is not as well boxed in the two as some may think.

“It is the same box that she won the National Sprint from but she seems to go better when she is drawn out on the track a little bit.

“She seems to be able to pace up a lot quicker because she is inclined to step a bit to the right when she comes out of the boxes.”

As for who she rates as the biggest danger, Doreen concedes that it may be one of two that Darren McDonald has in the race himself.

“I think Keybow (Box 1) is going to be the hardest to beat because all the speed is drawn on the outside. With that being said it is hard to say and a lot of it is having luck into the run to the first turn.”

Doreen waited 48 years for her first Group One win but she may very well get her second within the space of three months if Chica Destacada puts her best paws forward on Friday.

At this stage, the thought of winning the sport’s highest honour still feels like a surreal concept for Drynan, who is already thankful for the excitement ‘Chica’ has given her.

“She has given us a lot of thrills and the biggest thrill is the fact that we bred her too, it makes it even more special.

“If I happened to win the Melbourne Cup I just hope I don’t have a heart attack! It would be the greatest thrill ever, I have been in greyhounds for that long.

“It was an absolutely great thrill when she won the National Sprint final at Cannington but to win the Melbourne Cup as well would just be awesome, I can’t even imagine what it would be like.”

Keybow: Keep Enjoying Yourself

Keybow, trained by champion mentor Darren McDonald, will become Australia’s greatest ever prize money earner if he is to win this Friday’s Melbourne Cup. The $420,000 winner’s cheque would take his earnings to $751,635, almost $8,000 beyond Xylia Allen’s current record.

Keybow’s NSW based owner Kel Lean hasn’t even thought about the prize money record yet, with seven superbly talented chasers standing between his brilliant black speedster and greyhound racing immortality. However, Keybow has been assisted by a favourable draw in box one in the final.

“It is a good draw, it’s unbelievable. I think in these big races you have got to be on the inside and there is so much speed in this race that the inside is definitely the place to be”, Lean said.

“It is everyone’s dream to win the Melbourne Cup but there is eight good dogs in the race and it could go any way.”

The son of Take The Kitty and Key Exit was a dominant winner of his heat last Thursday, scoring by over five lengths in a quick 29.36. Lean said he was thrilled with the performance but was not surprised to see him dispose of the high quality field.

“He has been doing that all of his career since about his fourth start, putting away dogs of a real high quality such as Paw Licking and Phenomenal.

“He has just blown me away. Everything that has been put in front of him he has just kept stepping up to the mark.”

Even more impressive was the fact that his heat performance was just his third run back from over 10 weeks on the sidelines. At his first start since his spell he ran a credible sixth in the Group One Topgun followed by a bold win in the Group Three Silver Bullet just a week later. Lean believes Keybow may have come back bigger and better than ever.

“I think the freshen up that he has just had has made him a different dog. He is not quite three years old so he is just getting to his peak now and I think he may still be on the way up.”

Keybow has already tasted success at the elite level, claiming this year’s Group One Perth Cup at Cannington. In addition to that he has finished runner-up in three other Group finals including the Group One Australian Cup at The Meadows.

Having such an incredible greyhound has been a dream come true for Kel who bred Keybow himself from his handy race bitch Key Exit, which was raced by Hunter Valley legend Ken Cheetham.

“I always liked watching greyhounds race and then a friend of mine Brian Gorton, who was helping me build my house at the time, had a couple of greyhounds.

“He said he knew a bloke that had a litter coming through so I bought a couple and they were my first two greyhounds, Key Exit and Key Guns.

“Those two dogs gave us an incredible ride, she won seven races and he won 12 races. He was a great dog, but injury cut his career short.

“Key Exit also had an injury very young. She could run really good times but she ended up as a pet in my backyard at two years old and that’s where she still is now.”

Lean, who has since taken out his trainers licence, said that he knew very early on that Keybow possessed an immense amount of talent.

“He broke in fairly well and he just did everything right and kept improving and improving. I think when he came out and ran 29.74 first look at Wentworth Park was when we knew that he was going to be something special.”

After just five starts in NSW, Kel made the decision to send Keybow to Darren McDonald where he has well and truly made the step up to the next level.

Lean, who works full time for Sydney trains, said that his whole family will be making the trip to Sandown this week for the final, with the thrill is especially big for his son Eric who picked Keybow out as a puppy.

“Eric picked Keybow out the day he was born. Once that happened there was no way in the world we were ever going to get rid of him, he was going to be a family pet regardless of whatever happened.

“Even when he went to Darren if anything were to happen to him, he is always to come home, that’s the main thing for us.”

Lean, who races all his dogs with the ‘Key’ moniker which represents ‘Keep Enjoying Yourself’, said that no matter what happens this week, the ride that Keybow has taken his family on has already been nothing short of incredible and that, rather than let the pressure get to him, he is just happy to enjoy the experience of racing a star greyhound.

“It is life changing, there is no doubt about it and there is no other word for it. The ride, the excitement and the thrill that goes along with it is once in a lifetime, it will probably never happen again, so I am trying to enjoy it now while it is happening.”

Melbourne Cup And Bold Trease Box Draws Announced

The box draw for the $600,000 2014 Melbourne Cup Final has been conducted at Sandown, with Keybow drawing the coveted red box.

Keybow will not have all the running to himself early though as there will be plenty of pace coming from the outside boxes, with speedsters Star Recall and Luca Neveelk drawing beside each other in boxes six and seven.

Chica Destacada has also drawn very well in box two for Doreen Drynan.

Fatest Melbourne Cup heat winner Dyna Villa has drawn well out in the extreme outside draw in the pink rug. A repeat performance of his equal best of night 5.00 first sectional could see the Jenny Hunt trained son of Collision off and gone on the first corner.

Australian Racing Greyhound expect Keybow to start the clear favourite for the final in Fixed Odds markets. Be sure to check out the different promotions and free bets being conducted on greyhound racing’s night of nights.

2014 Group 1 $600,000 Melbourne Cup Final Box Draw

Keybow – Darren McDonald
Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan
Above All – Robert Britton
Awesome Project – Darren McDonald
Cosmic Wise – Jeff Britton
Star Recall – Jeff Britton
Luca Neveelk – Gerald Kleeven
Dyna Villa – Jenny Hunt
Reserves
Cawbourne Whip – Anthony Azzopardi
My Bro Fabio – Brooke Ennis

2014 Group 1 Bold Trease Final Box Draw

Sweet It Is has drawn box three for the Bold Trease and will be extremely hard to beat with any luck in running.

Space Star appears to have drawn extremely well in box four outside the noted slow beginner, as has Zipping Maggie in box two for Peter Dapiran.

Blinker’s On has drawn the pink for the final after qualifying from that box in the heats.

Beks – Patrick Bouchier
Zipping Maggie – Peter Dapiran
Sweet It Is – Darren McDonald
Space Star – Robert Britton
Reap The Benefit – Michael Chilcott
Mystic Twist – Mark Cauchi
Coulta Rock – David Curtain
Blinker’s On – Brooke Ennis
Reserves
Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly
Manila Express – Captain Abbott

Final Field Determined For 2014 Group One Melbourne Cup

The final field for the Group One Melbourne Cup has been determined after eight hotly contested heats of the event were conducted at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

Time honours went to the Jenny Hunt trained Dyna Villa (29.21) just ahead of Chica Destacada (29.22), trained by Doreen Drynan.

Darren McDonald and Jeff Britton both have a strong hand in the final, qualifying two runners each.

McDonald has a great record in the Melbourne Cup. He has already won three of them with Hallucinate (2004), Surgeon (2007) and Shanlyn Prince (2008). Awesome Project or Keybow could make him the only trainer to ever win four.

Here’s a look at how each of the heats were run and won;

Heat One

The Melbourne Cup heats opened with a win for New Zealand as the Alison Lee owned Above All (5) qualified first for the rich final. Above All is trained by Rob Britton and he had great success with another of Lee’s New Zealand chasers, Clone Your Own.

The Magic Sprite and Kara Janx (Fashion Thief – more Than This) dog had only raced nine times for five wins prior to his heat run. For this event he had drawn the squeeze box and was racing plenty of Group winners.

Lucy Lobster (8) grabbed the early lead while Humphrey Bale (1) was also hunting up on the inside. Above All was positioned nicely in third, advantaged by having the tardy beginner Oakvale Destiny (5) on his inside. Rounding the first turn, Above All squeezed through Humphrey Bale and Lucy Lobster to take the lead and secure a 6 1/2 length win in 29.37. Weston East (10), the second reserve, ran home well for second and Oakvale Destiny (4) was third.

A New Zealand bred chaser last won the Melbourne Cup in 1974, courtesy of Kwik Metal. She was a bitch by Gabriel Mist and Metal Joey (Keen Metal – Russkar).

Heat Two

Class prevailed in the second heat as Awesome Project (3) atoned for his unlucky Shoot Out run to begin well and score by 4 1/2 lengths in 29.38 at the juicy odds of $6. Once the Darren McDonald chaser hit the lead, no other greyhound in the field was going to get him. The Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) dog notched up his eighth win at Sandown while Hostile (1) and Ritza Hattie (5) filled the minors.

Heat Three

McDonald continued with his winning touch in the third heat, handling the Doreen Drynan trained Chica Destacada (6) for a smart 29.22 win. Banjo Boy (1) looked to be beautifully boxed but he dwelt at the start and cost himself valuable ground. Chica Destacada, a diminutive black bitch by Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra (Most Awesome – Buena Sarah), crossed beautifully from box six and was able to stave off Cawbourne Whip (2) by a length on the line. Mepunga Hayley (8) rounded out the placings.

Heat Four

Things could not get any better for McDonald after Keybow (8) came out in the fourth heat to win and qualify for next week’s final, giving McDonald two cracks at winning his fourth Melbourne Cup. The box draw was perfect for Keybow as he stuck outside the pace and worked his way around the tight pack of leaders. Crackerjak Dak (3) just couldn’t get to the lead clearly, hampered by Take Charge (1). While Keybow was making his run down the back Iva Vision (6) was also running strongly into the picture. However, Keybow is a known strong chaser and once he was in front he was not going to go down easily. He stopped the clock at 29.35. The Take The Kitty and Key Exit (Over Flo – Atlanta Belle) dog scored by five lengths over Iva Vision and Oakvale Flyer (4).

Heat Five

WA chaser Star Recall (2) turned a last at Sandown the previous week into a first this week. The High Earner and No Recall (Big Daddy Cool – Bradshaw Girl) bitch is now based in Jeff Britton’s kennels and had failed to impress the previous week at the track. In taking out heat five, she recorded 29.34 to record a comfortable 4 1/2 length win. She was able to lead from go to whoa to make her third Group One final. Tiggerlong Amigo (4) tried his hardest to catch the leader but had to settle for second while Hekate Belle (5) wound up in third.

Heat Six

Unbeaten records at the track are hard to ignore and Dyna Villa (6) proved that by taking out the sixth heat and lowering the colours of the much fancied My Bro Fabio (7) in the process. My Bro Fabio was gallant in his 1 1/4 length defeat but he just had too much ground to make up after a slow getaway. Dyna Villa, a dog by Collision and Roxio Bale (Droopy’s Vieri – Francesca Bale), has now won seven from seven at the track and is a real smokey for next week’s final if he can repeat the early sectionals he clocked in this victory. The Jenny Hunt trained dog recorded a personal best of 29.21 and gives the Wheeler family a runner for the big one.

Heat Seven

As expected, the speedy blue dog Luca Neveelk (2) was quick away, recording early sectionals of 5.00 and 18.60 down the back. He had just enough in the tank to hold off the fast finishing Dream It (4) by just a head in 29.42. It was the first start at Sandown for the Talk’s Cheap and It’s A Neveelk (Nitro Neveelk – Bigbad Leesa) dog, trained by Gerald Kleeven. He is now in with a chance to add a Group One title to his recent Group Two Geelong Cup win.

Heat Eight

In the final heat of the Melbourne Cup, Buckle Up Wes (7) was unable to break his Sandown hoodoo, suffering interference in the early stages and finishing down the track in seventh. Cosmic Wise (1) was able to use the advantage of the rails alley to qualify for her second Group One final in the space of a month, after recently making the final of the Group One Adelaide Cup. The Cosmic Chief and Wise Penny (Bombastic Shiraz – Awesome Berger) bitch keenly contested the lead early with One Dee (2) and eventually won that battle on the approach into the first turn.the Jeff Britton trained chaser was not worried from that point, crossing the line 1 3/4 lengths in front of Joey Valdez (3) and One Dee (2). In the process, she clocked her personal best at Sandown of 29.39.

The box draw for the Melbourne Cup will take place at midday on Friday, 14 November.

The finalists are (in heat order):

Above All – Robert Britton (29.37)
Awesome Project – Darren McDonald (29.38)
Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan (29.22)
Keybow – Darren McDonald (29.35)
Star Recall – Jeff Britton (29.34)
Dyna Villa – Jenny Hunt (29.21)
Luca Neveelk – Gerald Kleeven (29.42)
Cosmic Wise – Jeff Britton (29.39)

Space Star Rockets In 2014 Bold Trease Heats

Space Star made an auspicious debut for the Robert Britton kennel by setting the fastest qualifying time of the four Group One Bold Trease heats at Sandown on Thursday night.

The young son of Bekim Bale and Tonto Tears (Kiowa Sweet Trey – Tears) was having his first start for the Lara based kennel since coming from New South Wales. He clocked a rapid 41.65 for the journey in a 4 1/2 length win.

After jumping midfield from box six, Space Star quickly worked to second and then took over from early leader Flying Twist (1) as they passed the winning post the first time.

From that point on he extended his lead with the only likely danger to be champion bitch Sweet It Is (2) who was finding her share of trouble back in the field.

Space Star proved too good staving off the fast finishing Sweet It Is in a convincing win. The sky could be the limit for this dog if Britton can continue to get him to produce efforts like that.

Earlier Coulta Rock made the most of his opportunities to land the first heat in what was a mixing affair for Longwarry trainer David Curtain. The result was certainly nothing flattering on the clock with the time for the journey being an average 42.76.

After jumping midfield from box four and finding some early interference, the son of Velocette and Coulta Sally (Go Forever – Coulta Tess) found himself second as the field went into the back, some six lengths behind tearaway leader Galloping Rocky (8).

Swinging for home, Coulta Rock railed underneath the tiring leader and plugged home to win in a dour effort. Reap The Benefit (2) ran on well from midfield to grab second and a spot in next week’s final with She Shall Rock (7) a close third.

Beks sprung an upset in the third heat for Dennington mentor Patrick Bouchier when he arrived right on time to claim the race in 42.04.

The son of Bekim Bale and Flaming Doll (Ginger Bread Man – Hot Doll) left box six in seventh placing and slowly weaved a passage through the field to claim Zipping Maggie (2) and Dyna Kayla (3) in the concluding stages.

The fourth and final heat was a rough and tumble affair that saw an all-the-way win to Mystic Twist for trainer Mark Cauchi in 42.06.

The daughter of Velocette and Valley Twist (Surf Lorian – Valley Girl) made her own luck up front when four dogs came down behind her at the first turn leaving her as practically the only runner left unscathed.

She opened up a big break which formed the catalyst for her victory with the favourite Blinker’s On (8) only able to get within two lengths of her on the line.

The qualifiers for the final are listed below in no particular order with the box draw to be conducted at midday on Friday.

Coulta Rock – Dacid Curtain
Reap The Benefit – Michael Chilcott
Space Star – Robert Britton
Sweet It Is – Darren McDonald
Beks – Patrick Bouchier
Zipping Maggie – Peter Dapiran
Mystic Twist – Mark Cauchi
Blinker’s On – Brooke Ennis

Reserves

Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly
Manilla Express – Captain Abbott

2014 Group One Bold Trease Heats Preview

Named after a stayer who is a part of Australian greyhound racing folklore, the Group One 2014 Bold Trease Carnival Cup kicks off with four heats at Sandown Park this Thursday night.

Bold Trease, also known as the Warrnambool Warrior, was a real “dog of the people” who captured the imagination of the racing public in the late 1980’s.

Despite winning 51 of his 104 career starts, Bold Trease will always be remembered for winning four Sandown Cups, a feat that many believe will never be equalled.

It is only fitting that a Group One event over that distance honours the former champion and, with any luck, it could unearth another of his ilk.

The 2014 installment of the race features an eclectic mix of established stayers and up-and-comers in the quartet of heats.

The recent retirement of super star Xylia Allen as well as multiple Group winner Dyna Willow opens the door for the next generation to make their mark.

A year can be a long time in greyhound racing and that is highlighted by the fact that probable series favourite Sweet It Is will be the only finalist from 2013 to contest this year’s heats.

The dynamic bitch entered the final in 2013 with just two wins to her name. She is now a triple Group One winner who could well make it four in this event.

Here is a look at the main chances in each of the four heats;

Race 3 – Solo Bold Trease Heat 1 – 7:43pm

In an open first heat She Shall Rock (7) looks to be the major player. The David Crawford trained bitch has a tremendous record at Sandown winning three from seven with a further three placings. She has a best of 41.90 and has won one of her two starts from box seven. She does her best work on the pace and will be looking to be prominent early.

Mepunga Tiara (3) may not have the most flattering recent form but could well return to form here. She has had four runs back from a five week layoff, all of which have been over sprint or middle distance trips. She returns to her preferred distance now and has a good record at Sandown. If she produces a run anywhere near her best of 41.95, she will be right in this one.

Big Kat (6) looks the best of the rest. She does not win out of turn but boasts a best of 42.13 in her only win at this trip from four attempts.

Race 4 – Solo Bold Trease Heat 2 – 8:08pm

A couple of big guns emerge in the second heat; none bigger than the exciting Darren McDonald trained bitch Sweet It Is (2). The girl with the best run home in the business is in white hot form, winning her last three. She has won five from 10 over this journey including a swift 41.46 effort. Given half a crack at them, she should be right in the finish.

Flying Twist (1) is drawn to land on the bunny and give them something to chase here. She is rarely far away and should get plenty of room early to ply her trade. If she can go near her best of 41.80 from the front, she is going to take some catching.

An interesting runner in this heat is Space Star (6) who has recently landed in the kennels of Rob Britton. He showed enourmous potential very early in his career and was a Sydney Cup finalist earlier in 2014. He gets his opportunity to take the next step and make his mark in the top grade in Victoria now.

Eddie Lieshout will rug up his young bitch Bailey Rose (3) for another crack at Group glory. She has made two Group finals already in 2014 and is a powerful finisher. She is yet to win at Sandown but has placed in five of seven and given the right breaks could be very close at the business end of proceedings.

Race 9 – Solo Bold Trease Heat 3 – 9:55pm

Zipping Maggie (2) looms as one of the main chances in the third heat. The Peter Dapiran trained stayer has made multiple Group finals this year and took out the Group Three Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park in September. She does her best racing from on the speed and looks drawn to get the opportunity to do so here. Her last two runs have been a little below her best but she has won two from five here including a best of 41.85 and has to be considered.

Dyna Kayla (3) resumes here in her first run since late August. She is a maturing type who was making Group finals as a puppy. If she is anywhere near her best she should be competitive in this field.

Sisco Rage (5) has struck a rich vein of form lately and should be suited by his return to distance racing. He has saluted in five of his last six over the middle distances and could find himself in the firing line early over this journey. He has a big motor and is racing as well as ever.

Julie Bale (7) made an impression at her Sandown distance racing debut when she won in 42.31. She backed up two days later to run second over the sprint trip at The Meadows and now comes into this off a five day break. She could be each way value.

Race 10 – Solo Bold Trease Heat 4 – 10:15pm

Brooke Ennis unleashes her exciting type Blinker’s On (8) in the final heat. He has won his last four, all over staying trips, and has stopped the clock at 41.71 from a wide draw here before. He may need a little bit of room in transit to allow him to run home but there can be no doubting his ability.

Zipping Rory (7) has been flying for Bethany Dapiran and comes into this looking the goods. He has a solid record at Sandown including a quick 41.67 win in July. If he can land near the front he will be a massive show.

Rising four-year-old Born Ali (3) has a plethora of big race experience and is a Group One winning race bitch. She has her third run back from a break here and there is little doubt that mentor Rob Britton will have her firing for this. Her record at Sandown is nothing flash but her best of 41.97 would be competitive here.

Shot To Bits (5) rattled home to win his last start at this trip in a handy 41.87. If he can reproduce that effort he may land an upset here.

Zipping Joe (1) is in the strong Darren McDonald kennel and has never missed a place from box one in six outings. He has produced a 42.13 run here in the past and may be capable of improvement on his recent form given the nice draw.

This Week In Racing History

November
12

The first successful full meeting of the newly-opened track at Maitland took place, in 1927. The track had been opened in early October but the meeting had been abandoned after a single race, which was declared a trial after the hare mechanism failed. The successful meeting was run by the Humane Coursing Society, headed by Rufe Naylor.

Eagle’s Banner broke the 580 yards track record at Wentworth Park in 1966, running 31.0 to break the previous mark of 31.1 first set by Saskaview in 1962 and since equalled by Revwood, Best Sun, and Roman Earl.

Cool Train set a new track record of 44.74 over 749 metres at Cranbourne in 1999.

13
Casual Encounter scored by almost three lengths in the 1993 City of Ipswich Gold Cup, downing Harlem Great and Perro Star. The Rick Fall-trained sprinter was sired by New Tears, who had won the 1987 City of Ipswich Gold Cup.

Glen Abbey Doll, trained by Jason Mackay, defeated Kibble Kruncha by a nose to take out the 2006 Summer Cup. Queensland stayer Quidame was just over a length away third.

14
Samantha Queen defeated Essex Court and Don Zero in the 1972 Metropolitan Cup run at Lawnton. The winner received $200 for the victory.

Silver Saul from South Australia annexed the 2002 Sandown Shootout, defeating Thunder Creek of Queensland with Modern Assassin third.

15
National Lee broke the 13-year-old 732 metres track record at Harold Park in 1982, running 42.69 to clip a mere 1/100th off the mark set, on two occasions, by Bunyip Bint in 1969.

The Darren McDonald-trained Cool Effort blitzed the 2007 Sandown Shootout field to score by five lengths from Shanlyn Prince with Betty’s Angel a further four and a quarter lengths away third. Queenslander Miss Hot Gossip was fourth and last.

16
Trained by veteran mentor Ed Tucker, Gold Grotto used box one to perfection to win the 1972 Melbourne Cup, winning by three lengths from NSW contender Benny McGrath with Half Your Luck seven lengths away third. Trouble at the first turn saw the smart Miss Baines come to grief. It was the last time the race was run over 555 yards (507 metres) and the last occasion that times were recorded to a sixteenth of a second. Gold Grotto ran the trip in 30 6/16 which was a new race record.

Street Wise became the last track record holder for the 732 metres trip at Harold Park when he set a new mark of 42.63 in 1985. Although it was hand timed, officials allowed the run to be classified as a new track record, clipping 4/100ths from the previous track and world record of 42.67, set by Shy Julie 11 months earlier.

17
Irish Dragon won the second running of the Frank Kennedy Memorial, in 1978. Harvest Imp, which had won the inaugural running the previous year, finished seventh. Run over 537 metres at Richmond, the race was held to commemorate the memory of the former race caller and commentator who had long been a supporter of the Richmond circuit.

18
Leicester Edie defeated Vic’s Dream by seven lengths in the 1972 final of the Bendigo Cup, the first and only time the race was run over 585 yards (535 metres) as a handicap.

Mr Boswell headed an all-Victorian finish to the 2000 Summer Cup final run over 720 metres at Wentworth Park. The Lauren Gorman-trained stayer downed Valley Cowgirl by a length with Bring The Bacon third.

El Grand Senor scored arguably his most impressive career victory in taking out the 2010 Melbourne Cup by just over six lengths from Symmetry and Dee Winter. Trained by Carolyn Jones, El Grand Senor pocketed $175,000 for connections.

Keybow Proves Too Good In 2014 Group Three Silver Bullet

It is hard to keep a good dog down and Keybow (8) proved that old adage true on Monday night at The Meadows, taking out the Group Three Silver Bullet.

The 30kg chaser by Take The Kitty and Key Exit (Over Flo – Atlanta Belle) came into the race off a sixth in the Topgun the week before. This run was his second one back this preparation and he just proved too good, claiming Luca Neveelk (1) in the run home to score by four and a half lengths in 29.72. His record showed that his form from box eight was credible, with two wins from four attempts and he used the box perfectly to gain the sit behind Luca Neveelk.

As expected, Luca Neveelk motored along early, leading at the first and second sectional marks. However, things looked ominous turning for home as Keybow was in striking distance and Marcus Joe (7) worked himself clear of the pack. As it turned out, Marcus Joe got to second, nabbing Luca Neveelk down the home straight.

Last year’s winner, Farmor Las Vegas (5), sadly broke down coming out of the back straight and couldn’t finish the race.

Keybow, trained by Darren McDonald and owned by Kelvin Lean, has now won 15 races and over $330,000 in prizemoney.

Full Results

1st: Keybow (8) – Darren McDonald
2nd: Marcus Joe (7) – Barry Moloney
3rd: Luca Neveelk (1) – Gerald Kleeven
4th: Musquin Bale (3) – Andrea Dailly
5th: Dream It (6) – Brooke Ennis
6th: Buckle Up Mason (2) – Jenny Hunt
7th: Top Secret (7) – Kelly Bravo
8th: Farmor Las Vegas (5) – Rob Britton

Time: 29.72
1st Split: 5.03
2nd Split: 17.57
Margins: 4 1/2 x 1
Scratchings: Dyna Alchemist (9), Ollie Bale (10)

Coconut Grove Victorious In The Group Two All Star Sprint

Last night Greyhounds WA Cannington saw Paul Stuart’s Coconut Grove named 2014 Group Two All Star Champion.

Favouritism was with hometown superstar On Coin who was paying $2.00 from box one. Coconut Grove sat as third favourite paying $6.00 behind Linda Britton’s My Mate Cobber who wore the green rug paying $4.00.

At box rise On Coin held the lead on the rails and was soon met by Tiggerlong Amigo who crossed from box seven with Coconut Grove camped on the rails. The positioning stayed the same throughout until the field hit the home turn, where Coconut Grove took advantage of a tiring On Coin to win by one and a half lengths over Tiggerlong Amigo and Four Paw Glory in a time of 30.48.

The son of Bit Chili – Smell The Roses has now recorded eight wins and nine placing’s from 32 career starts with last nights Group Two win being his biggest.

A month ago the 36kg chaser made the move West from Brooke Ennis’ Lara kennels and there has been no looking back. On debut at Cannington Coconut Grove clocked a best of the night performance of 30.47 after jumping well out of the boxes. Last week after missing the start he stormed home in the heats to run 30.92 on a slow track. In similar fashion this week he was able to run over the top of On Coin to score the Group win.

With the $40,000 cheque tipping his stake money to over $100,000 it is guaranteed to make new trainer Paul Stuart and the Greyhounds Brokers Australia syndicate very happy.

Ben Abercrombie’s Takahashi stole the limelight temporarily from the Group race in the third event on the cards lowering her personal best time to a sizzling 30.24 from box three.

2014 Solo Group Two All Star Sprint – Full Results

1st – Coconut Grove (2) – Paul Stuart
2nd – Tiggerlong Amigo (7) – Darren McDonald
3rd – Four Paw Glory (4) – Linda Britton
4th – On Coin (1) – John Crossley
5th – My Mate Cobber (6) – Linda Britton
6th – You Can Dream (5) – Dennis Calleja
7th – Cee Sheen (8) – Jase Stuart
8th – Deputy Chief (3) – Max Julien

Time: 30.48
1st Split: 5.70
2nd Split: 13.36
Margins: 1 ½ x 1 ½

Scratching’s: Luba Monelli (9), Astronomic (10)

Cachia In Hope Of Four Paw Glory In Group Two All Star

It’s needless to say that group racing is an exciting time. The atmosphere is full, stakes are high and the competition is fierce and this is exactly what Cannington has to look forward to tonight in the Group Two All Star Sprint.

At headquarters Four Paw Glory and owner Sean Cachia will get to experience the thrill of group racing for the first time.

“It’s pretty exciting! I have been in the dogs for six years and he is the first dog I reared on the property to be in a group race and I am very happy about it”, owner Sean Cachia explained.

Last week in the heats of the All Star Sprint Four Paw Glory rocketed out of box eight to lead from start to finish, recording the second fastest heat time of 30.85 on a slow and heavy track.

In this weeks $40,000 to the winner final, the son of Collision – Pearlee Surprise has drawn closer to the rails in box four under the watchful eye of trainer Linda Britton.

“If he is able to lead and get a clear run he can record good times which puts him in the race. He will need a little bit of room early where he can use his first two or three strides to muster up a bit of early pace. My fingers are crossed, that’s all you can do.”

Cachia is unable to make the trip West to witness his first group performer pull on his blue rug because he will be playing the role of trainer in the heats of the Group One Hume Cup at The Meadows with Ima Fairytale. Cachia holds the daughter of Superman – Bronie Blue Bell in high regards from box three in the sixth heat of the night.

Four Paw Glory, informally known as Rocky, made the trip from Anakie, Victoria to Nambeelup, Western Australia in June this year. Rocky soon made himself at home in the Britton residence where he spent two months on the sidelines recovering from a metatarsal fracture he sustained as a puppy.

“The bigger track at Cannington suits him; once he has his own room he is a different dog. It was a good opportunity to try and get him on the bunny rather then chasing dogs from behind.”

After a total of three months on the sidelines Rocky made his Cannington debut from box three. He led everywhere but on line, tiring to finish second behind Vocal Express. He went on to win his next three races; once he got the taste of Cannington victory there was little stopping the 34-kilo chaser, continually dropping his personal best time, eventually to 30.44.

“I couldn’t have asked for much more. It’s hard enough to get a winner, let alone five from seven.”

From Rocky’s 16 starts he has recorded seven wins and three minor placing’s earning over $18,000. For a dog that spent most of his puppy life running away from a three-legged Maltese Terrier and his sister, he has exceeded expectations.

“I was in the middle of moving from my residential property to the farm when I bought them. I actually brought a bitch first then rung back and brought a second one and that was him.”

“Her name was Ima Pearl, she was the fastest dog I have ever had. I had to retire her due to injury but she managed to win one race.”

“They lived in the backyard for a month while I had the yards set up. He is a great dog, the most relaxed dog I have had. I never heard him bark in the paddock.”

Rocky’s gentleman persona will have to be left in the kennels if he wants a group title to his name. He is coming up against WA’s fastest bred chaser in On Coin who has drawn box one, but On Coin isn’t his only competition. Paul Stuart’s Coconut Grove has proved in his two starts at Cannington that he can record some pretty quick times. Derby winner Tiggerlong Amigo for Darren McDonald has also made it through and is likely to be a very strong contender come box rise.

The Group Two All Star Sprint is set jump at 8.27pm and all prices are courtesy of the Centrebet fixed odds market.

Box 1
Race Odds
$2.50
Heat Replay
On Coin
Trainer
John Crossley
Owner
J & B Crossley
Prizemoney
$228,845
Last 10 Starts
1351114511
40 Months Red Brindle Dog by Primo
Uno
- West
On
Lee
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $3,632 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
63 30 14 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
48% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
11 3 3 2
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 5 0 0
Trainers Comments (John Crossley): “It’s about time he got a decent box in a big race. I would say he is in with a good chance, he is jumping good which is great because he needs to in this race with all the pace around him. He was very tired after his run last week because he was out for so long but in the morning he was good as gold again. My Mate Cobber and Coconut Grove are his main dangers.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.86 30.88 5.61 5.70
Box 2
Race Odds
$4.80
Heat Replay
Coconut Grove
Trainer
Paul Stuart
Owner
Greyhound Brokers Australia
Prizemoney
$26,175
Last 10 Starts
2135856123
35 Months Black Dog by Bit
Chili
- Smell
The
Roses
Start Well Running Rails Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $844 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
31 7 6 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 52%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 1 0
ARG Comments: On Debut two weeks ago he stopped the clock in a best of the night time of 30.47 after he jumped cleanly out of the boxes. Last week he didn’t show the same early pace as the week before which landed him in trouble and saw him chasing down On Coin. If he misses the start again this week it will be a much harder task to run down On Coin who will be fitter from last weeks run.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.47 30.92 5.71 5.83
Box 3
Race Odds
$23.00
Heat Replay
Deputy Chief
Trainer
Max Julien
Owner
M & P
Julien
Prizemoney
$29,915
Last 10 Starts
1432863326
33 Months Black
&
White
Dog by Where’s
Pedro
- Miss
Slick
Start Fast Running Rails Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $747 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
40 6 11 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
15% 55%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
33 5 10 4
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Trainers Comments (Max Julien): “It’s just a matter of who wants to get out first. Last week I expected him to run a place so I am very happy that he is in the race. He is drawn the same as last week so that should probably help him.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.70 30.92 5.71 5.71
Box 4
Race Odds
$8.50
Heat Replay
Four Paw Glory
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Sean Cachia
Prizemoney
$16,825
Last 10 Starts
1516111286
31 Months Black Dog by Collision - Pearlee
Surprise
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $420 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
16 7 2 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
44% 62%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 5 1 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 0 1
Trainers Comments (Linda Britton): “Im expecting the three (Deputy Chief) to run off a bit so Four Paw Glory needs to begin well to clear it because that could bring him undone.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.44 30.85 5.64 5.71
Box 5
Race Odds
$17.00
Heat Replay
You Can Dream
Trainer
Dennis Calleja
Owner
Dennis Calleja
Prizemoney
$54,915
Last 10 Starts
141121122
35
Months
Black Bitch by Premier
Fantasy
- Hot
Puzzle
Start Okay Running Rails Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $1,121 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
49 16 8 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 65%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
47 15 8 8
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 2 2 0
ARG Comments: She will need to improve her first sectional if she is going to win this race. The early pace coming from the inside of the track will make it very hard for her to get a run onto the lure. Running dogs like Coconut Grove and Tiggerlong Amigo down is also going to be a hard task, a much better place chance.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.45 30.56 5.70 5.84
Box 6
Race Odds
$3.20
Heat Replay
My Mate Cobber
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
Kerri Doubikin
Prizemoney
$30,455
Last 10 Starts
1351121114
30 Months Black Dog by High
Earner
- No
Recall
Start Okay Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,691 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 9 1 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 83%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
16 9 1 3
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 1
Trainers Comments (Linda Britton): “He recored the best time last week so hopefully he begins and finds the front early. I am expecting improvement from On Coin so I think he will be a danger in the race.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.33 30.56 5.71 5.82
Box 7
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
Tiggerlong Amigo
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Helen Finn
Prizemoney
$78,655
Last 10 Starts
2818154341
30 Months White
&
Black
Dog by Cosmic
Chief
- Tiggerlong
Petal
Start Running Finish
Prizemoney Rating $2,313 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
34 14 4 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
41% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 1 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 2 0 0
Trainers Comments (Darren McDonald): “He has drawn well in the race. If he comes out and produces his best time he will be competitive.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.31 30.97 5.73 5.85
Box 8
Race Odds
$51.00
Heat Replay
Cee Sheen
Trainer
Jason Stuart
Owner
Jason Stuart
Prizemoney
$19,880
Last 10 Starts
2421723231
33 Months Blue Dog by Cosmic
Rumble
- Right
On
Ruby
Start Running Finish
Prizemoney Rating $662 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
30 5 13 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
17% 87%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 4 7 3
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
Trainers Comments (Jase Stuart): “If he gets a start he will be up against it from out wide, he will be relying on a flying start and trouble behind him. If My Mate Cobber gets the fly it will be game over.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.64 31.37 5.66 5.94
1st Res
Race Odds
Heart Replay
Luba Monelli
Trainer
David Hobby
Owner
M & M Quinsee
Prizemoney
$100,180
Last 10 Starts
3464243134
41 Months Black Bitch by Mogambo - Foolish
Monelli
Start Fast Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,788 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
56 19 8 12
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
34% 70%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
33 9 4 9
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG Comments: If she is to get a run she is a better place chance. Her form of late has been inconsistent but you can’t count her out because if she decides to turn up she could cause havoc.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.43 30.97 5.71 5.81
2nd Res
Race Odds
Heat Replay
Astronomic
Trainer
Paul Stuart
Owner
Paul Stuart
Prizemoney
$68,300
Last 10 Starts
3263433111
33 Months Red
Fawn
Dog by Cosmic
Rumble
- Right
On
Ruby
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $1,897 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
36 13 9 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
36% 81%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
20 8 4 4
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG Comments: Astronomic is a very speedy chaser but failed to get into the race last week on the heavy track. If he is to get a run in the final he will be hoping for an inside box to give him the best chance possible.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.23 31.08 5.63 5.78

2014 Group One Hume Cup Heats Preview

The cream of Australia’s middle distance racing crop will dominate the program at The Meadows on Saturday night when seven heats of the Group One Hume Cup take place.

The final will be held next week with $75,000 awaiting connections of the winner.

The first heat of the night will be Race Three which is scheduled to jump at 7:58pm.

Here is a look at some of the main attractions in each of the heats;

Race 3 – Hume Cup Heat One – 7:58pm

Group winning stayer Zipping Maggie (4) drops back to the 600 metre journey for trainer Peter Dapiran in this opening qualifier. She has won 12 from 25 and has plenty of talent and jumps from box four for the first time in her career. She has enough early pace to be prominent here and will be finishing the race off well.

Tarks Nemesis (1) is first up since July but is a quality middle distance chaser in the astute hands of Angela Langton. She may have been better suited from a wide box but has to be respected.

Texas Titan (7) steps up to middle distance racing for Jeff Britton and gives every impression that he will relish the journey.

Spring Leaf (6) is yet to miss a place over the 600 metre trip at The Meadows in four outings and could be some sort of knockout at double figure odds.

Race 4 – Hume Cup Heat Two – 8:22pm

Musquin Bale (1) looks to hold all the aces in the second heat. He enjoys an inside draw and has been producing some of his career’s best sprint efforts of late. He will go very close to leading this and, if he does, he will take some catching.

Eliza Blanche (6) has won her last six in a row and saluted in her only start over this trip in 34.80 two starts back. She is a versatile type who can lead or come from behind and is in the strong Darren McDonald kennel. She is a massive hope here.

Warrior King (8) has his first crack at middle distance Group Racing for Brooke Ennis. He looks to have drawn well out wide but is yet to prove himself over a trip like this. His best chances will be if he can land close to the speed.

Hailstorm Billy (5) has been racing well below his best but has a great record here. If he replicates his personal best of 34.47 he will be a hope in this.

Race 6 – Hume Cup Heat Three – 8:57pm

The third heat features superstar bitch Xylia Allen (7). She is the track record holder over this journey and has been freshened for her assault on yet another Group One. If she comes out on terms here she is going to take a lot of beating.

Deadly Boy (5) is a very strong type who clocked a swift 34.46 here two starts back. He has to be considered on that effort.

Tweak (8) is always thereabouts and is far from the worst based on the credence of his all-the-way 34.48 victory here last week.

Race 7 – Hume Cup Heat Four – 9:20pm

The classy My Bro Fabio (2) looks to have a mortgage on the fourth heat when he jumps from box two for Brooke Ennis. The Canberra Cup winner, who many consider unlucky not to be contesting the Top Gun, has been sizzling over the sprints of late, winning six of his last eight. He would have to find trouble to not win this one.

Cosmic Wise (1) returns from an Adelaide Cup campaign and looks to have everything in her favour here. She has an imposing record from box one, winning four from five and has also won two from three over this journey with a best of 34.47. She is the obvious danger to the favourite.

Flying Twist (8) has won her last four on the trot and loves The Meadows. She is undefeated at this trip from two attempts and has a best of 34.58. She is far from the worst.

Race 9 – Hume Cup Heat Five – 10:25pm

The fifth heat looks to be a very open affair. The Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Hayley (6) has not won since August but has the runs on the board. She has clocked a zippy 34.36 here in the past and, should she produce something like that in this race, she will be in it up to her ears.

Dream It (5) comes into the race after a fighting second to kennel mate My Bro Fabio last week. He has won here in the past in 34.73 and, if he finds the front, it’s going to take a good greyhound to get past him.

Ralphy Cinel (1) has been racing in terrific heart and has won his last three. He is drawn to land on the bunny and give them something to catch.

Race 10 – Hume Cup Heat Six – 7:58pm

The penultimate heat sees Julie Bale (6) boasting a terrific record over the 600 metres at The Meadows. She has won four from seven with a best of 34.57 which brings her right into calculations here. She has won three of her last six with all of those victories coming at this track.

Ima Fairytale (3) has won both of her starts over this trip and is very hard to run down if she lands on the bunny. She drops back from an attempt over more ground for this but has had a two week freshen up and should be cherry ripe to put her best paw forward.

Bessy Boo (2) is a strong New South Wales sprinter who looks suited to the extra ground. If he can adapt to the track he has to be considered a chance in this.

Know Class (8) is an interesting runner. The veteran Kiwi returned from a spell with a win over 515 metres at Sandown. He is a grinding type who has plenty of strength and could surprise in a race like this.

Can Can Hurrican (1) has managed at least a place in nine of his 12 goes over this journey. He has a love affair with box one, winning five of six when he sports the cherry stretch vest. He is the knockout hope.

Race 11 – Hume Cup Heat Seven – 11:00pm

The last heat will see Bookkeeper (1) looking to recapture his best form. At his best he is simply devastating and has won five from eight at The Meadows with a best of 34.06. His three runs since February have been well below par and he can only be taken on trust.

Kelly Bravo’s Lethal Three (2) is a strong type who has won two at The Meadows with a best of 34.43. Her race will depend a lot on how well she can leave the boxes. If she is near the lead, she is a huge hope.

Maximum Lil (4) is a classy type who won at her only attempt over this journey in 34.62. She should enjoy the return back to 600 metres after recent interstate racing in New South Wales and South Australia at Group level over the sprints.

Gorham Bale (8) gives the impression that 600 metres will be right up his alley based on his recent strong wins over the shorter trip at The Meadows. He faces a rise in grade here but has to be considered.

My Mate Cobber Qualifies Fastest For All Star Final

On Coin proved once again that he still has what it takes, securing a rug in next weeks $40,000 Group Two All Star final. Although On Coin’s return to the winner circle held great importance to the Cannington crowd, My Mate Cobber stole the show and recorded the fastest heat time of 30.56 on a very wet track.

Deputy Chief for Max Julien was the surprise victor in the first heat of the night after flying out of the boxes to lead from start to finish. With favouritism shared between Astronomic (box one), Tiggerlong Amigo (box two) and Takahashi (box four), punters showed little support for Deputy Chief who ending up paying $26.00 for the win.

Victorian Tiggerlong Amigo staggered out of the boxes and that forced him to play catch up to the quick jumping Astronomic and Deputy Chief. He missed out on the victory by three quarters of a length in a winning time of 30.93. Astronomic held on for third, with Living Proof making a run for it late in the race to round out the first four.

The second heat of night went to the Linda Britton trained Four Paw Glory, who led all the way after crossing to the rails out of the boxes. Luba Monelli (box one) and You Can Dream (box two) were his only worries heading into the home straight. You Can Dream snuck in on the rails with Luba Monelli taking the outside route, but both failed to catch Four Paw Glory who went on to win by one and a half lengths in 30.85. You Can Dream held on for second with Luba Monelli finishing third and Ozzie Bullet (box four) retaining fourth place.

The third heat of the night was the one everyone was waiting for. As expected On Coin started as $1.90 favourite from box four with Coconut Grove second favourite starting around the $4.00 mark. On Coin flew out of the boxes meeting You For Real (box one) on the rails. After crossing You For Real as the field hit the catching pen, On Coin asserted his dominance, extending his lead to five lengths in the back straight. Meanwhile Coconut Grove had plenty of work to do trying to find his way past You For Real, Burundi (box seven) and West On Santo (box three). On Coin began to tire in the home straight, allowing Coconut Grove to make ground on him with ease to just miss out on the win by half a length in 30.88. You For Real finished third and a late surge from Houdini Monelli (box six) saw him finish fourth.

The last heat of the night saw favouritism shared between Linda Britton’s duo Te Amo (box two) and My Mate Cobber (box seven). Out of the boxes the duo matched strides until the long legs of My Mate Cobber carried him to lead. From then on My Mate Cobber raced away, leaving Te Amo, Cee Sheen (box one) and Thunder Rama (box six) to sort out the minor placing’s. In the driving rain My Mate Cobber won by eleven and a half lengths in an impressive time of 30.56. Cee Sheen used the outside of the track to run second, leaving Te Amo and Fully Tricked (box four) to finish third and fourth respectively.

The box draw was unable to be conducted on the night due to an injury sustained by Cee Sheen who finished second in the last heat.

The chasers who qualified for the Group Two All Star Sprint final are as follows (not box order).

Deputy Chief – Max Julien
Tiggerlong Amigo – Darren McDonald
Four Paw Glory – Linda Britton
You Can Dream – Dennis Calleja
On Coin – John Crossley
Coconut Grove – Paul Stuart
My Mate Cobber – Linda Britton
Cee Sheen – Jason Stuart

Reserves
Luba Monelli – David Hobby
Astronomic – Paul Stuart

2014 Group Two Geelong Cup Preview

It is hard to remember a more evenly matched field than the one that is set to contest the 2014 Group Two Geelong Cup on Friday night. A case can be made for virtually every runner in the race with quality from the red rug right through to the pink.

$45,000 awaits the connections of the first dog past the post which is contested over the 460 metre journey.

Astute Devon Meadows mentor Darren McDonald took the honours in the heats and has qualified three runners for the final, with all appearing to have their share of winning claims.

The Cup final is the eighth race on the card and is scheduled to jump at 9:27pm.

ODDS COURTESY OF CENTREBET’S FIXED ODDS MARKET.

Box 1
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
Top Secret
Trainer
Kelly Bravo
Owner
Paul Westerveld
Prizemoney
$68,840
Last 10 Starts
2111237111
31 Months Black Dog by Bartrim Bale - Witch Fantasy
Start Good Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $2,025 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
34 10 11 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 76%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0 0
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Kelly Bravo (Trainer)“He is drawn well, he loves the inside and he likes the track too, he won his heat and semi-final of The Great Chase at Geelong. He was drawn up the track a bit more on both of those occasions so he has a bit in his favour here. His first and second sections are his best but he can struggle a little bit at the end so he will need a good break on them.”
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.63 25.63 6.45 6.51
Box 2
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
Dyna Villa
Trainer
Jenny Hunt
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$22,865
Last 10 Starts
1112143331
24 Months Black Dog by Collision - Roxio Bale
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,429 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
16 10 2 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
63% 94%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 2 0 2
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
ARG opinion is – An exciting young dog who is sure to be finishing hard at the business end of the race. He can tend to be a little bit risky at box rise but is drawn to be given some space early.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.56 25.56 6.63 6.63
Box 3
Race Odds
$7.00
Heat Replay
Hallelujah Henry
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Jason McDonald
Prizemoney
$62,625
Last 10 Starts
4137521221
35 Months Fawn Dog by Lonesome Cry - Lily Eve
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,739 Rating 95
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
36 15 6 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 72%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 1 1
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
ARG opinion is – A consistent on pacer who has a good record at Geelong. He will be looking for a little bit of room early and, if he gets it, he could well be in the finish.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.59 25.59 6.52 6.52
Box 4
Race Odds
$19.00
Heat Replay
Dyna Alchemist
Trainer
Steve Collins
Owner
Brendan Wheeler
Prizemoney
$34,730
Last 10 Starts
6251112421
27 Months Black Dog by Superman - Talia Bale
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $1,929 Rating 94
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 6 7 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 83%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 1 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 2 1 0
Steve Collins (Trainer) – “If he can come out with them he is a big chance. He is fearless and will run straight through them. He is going well and is ready to go.”
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.65 25.65 6.60 6.60
Box 5
Race Odds
$3.00
Heat Replay
Luca Neveelk
Trainer
Gerald Kleeven
Owner
Paul Kleeven
Prizemoney
$57,865
Last 10 Starts
1411113111
29 Months Blue Dog by Talk’s Cheap - It’s A Neveelk
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $2,411 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
24 20 0 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
83% 92%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 2 0 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
ARG opinion is - Boom dog with a sensational strike rate who set the time standard in the heats with a 25.47 win. Has terrific early speed after he hits the ground and, if he can find the front early, it could be curtains for his opposition.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.47 25.47 6.43 6.43
Box 6
Race Odds
$3.40
Heat Replay
Awesome Project
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Brad Canty
Prizemoney
$257,930
Last 10 Starts
1114217111
43 Months Black Dog by Collision - Honour Phase
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $5,159 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
50 26 7 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
52% 78%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0
ARG opinion is – Seasoned Group performer who is back to his best. He has won his last three and is likely to land close to the lead early. He is the class runner of this field and looks set to give the race a big shake.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.55 25.55 6.60 6.60
Box 7
Race Odds
$21.00
Heat Replay
Swagzilla
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Allan Tindall
Prizemoney
$14,955
Last 10 Starts
1324121321
25 Months Blue Dog by Cosmic Rumble - Nova Surf
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $997 Rating 92
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 7 4 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
47% 87%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 3 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 1
ARG opinion is – Young dog who is undefeated at Geelong in three outings. This race is one of the tougher assignments of his short career but he clearly has his share of ability.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.58 25.58 6.56 6.59
Box 8
Race Odds
$12.00
Heat Replay
Nockabout Aussie
Trainer
Peter Akathiotis
Owner
Peter Akathiotis
Prizemoney
$87,625
Last 10 Starts
6115113611
39 Months Blue Brindle Dog by Knocka Norris - Aussie Nicky
Start Slow Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,328 Rating 96
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
66 15 12 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 52%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 0 1
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 0 3 1
Peter Akathiotis (Trainer) – “Unfortunately he has drawn the eight again, just like he did in the Victorian National Sprint final. This is a different track and it is about a 160 metre run into that first turn. I’m just hoping he comes out ok and stays straight so he has a bit of room to move. He showed a bit of common sense last week the way he raced so I hope he can again. I hope he can bring home the bikkies.”
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.55 25.55 6.61 6.79
1st Res
Race Odds
Heart Replay
Azza Azza Azza (SCRATCHED)
Trainer
Wayne Vassallo
Owner
Whittington Sprod syndicate
Prizemoney
$45,990
Last 10 Starts
1121111412
29 Months Brindle Dog by Collision - Alotta Mojo
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $2,000 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
17 11 1 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
70% 87%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 3 2 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG opinion is – Did not have a lot of luck in his heat and would come into string consideration here if he gains a start, especially from an inside box.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
25.39 25.62 6.41 6.67
2nd Res
Race Odds
Heat Replay
Marcus Joe (SCRATCHED)
Trainer
Barry Moloney
Owner
Barry Moloney
Prizemoney
$222,130
Last 10 Starts
1172215322
43 Months Brindle Dog by Velocette - Mojo Glory
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $4,271 Rating 97
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
52 16 12 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
31% 65%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 0 1 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
ARG opinion is – Looked to have his heat won last week before being claimed on the line. He is an experienced conveyance and would not be the worst if he gained a start.
Best Geelong Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 25.65 6.53 6.53

The run to the first turn is going to be all-important in this race with at least half the field possessing enough pace to lead.

Top Secret (1) is drawn to find the front but will be under siege late in the race.

Luca Neveelk (5) is not always the first dog to leave the traps but hits the ground with a flurry and is another who could punch through and lead, if he does, he will take a power of beating.

If Awesome Project (6) can exit the boxes rapidly, the race could well be at his mercy, he has plenty of class and only needs to be near the front early to be a huge chance.

Swagzilla (7) has his share of early pace but will need luck to negotiate his way across from the wide draw.

Dyna Villa (2), Hallelujah Henry (3) and Dyna Alchemist (4) tend to be just off the pace early. They will be looking for some space to move to allow them to ply their trade and work their way into the event.

Nockabout Aussie (8) showed how strongly he can finish off his races when he ran down Marcus Joe in his heat win, however is likely to have to negotiate his way past a lot of dogs to win this.

2014 Topgun Field Announced

As Australia’s richest invite-only greyhound race, the Group 1 Topgun is one of the most coveted trophies on the group racing calendar and since it’s inception in 1993 it has been won by some of the greatest athletes our sport has seen.

The 2014 edition has been rocked by withdrawals before the final field was decided. Golden Easter Egg winner Tonk declined his invitation as did Hawk Alone.

NSW representatives Evil Punk and Tommy Brislane were also ruled out of the race with Evil Punk’s career now over after breaking a leg, while Tommy Brislane won’t be seen again in 2014 after chipping a bone in a trial last Friday.

It was also bad news for South Australia’s sole invitee Ernie Bung Arrow. While trainer Ken Gill declined the invitation soon after they were released, the son of Lochinvar Marlow and Slipper’s Tonic later sustained an injury to his bicep and will now head to stud.

Things weren’t much better for the chasers from the West with On Coin, Zelemar Fever, Star Recall and Te Amo all bowing out before the field was decided.

Despite so many connections declining their invitations, the 2014 running will still see eight fantastic greyhounds vying for group one glory and the $150,000 winner’s cheque.

With the field and box draw being announced earlier tonight, lets take a look at the contenders…

ALLEN DEED-The son of Jarvis Bale and Greta Bale has always shown a stack of ability and boasts 18 wins and 11 minors from 41 starts. He showed everyone just how classy he really is in September when winning at Wentworth Park in a slashing 29.43 before heading to Angle Park where he recently took out the Group 1 Adelaide Cup. With such terrific form over the past couple of months it would have been hard to deny this fellow a start.

AWESOME PROJECT- While he is yet to taste success at the highest level, Awesome Project has continued to race competitively against the best in the land. A winner of the Group 2 Gosford Cup and the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson, he deserves his start in this feature and another crack at a big one. He has excelled since joining Darren McDonald’s kennel and boasts a remarkable 26 wins from 50 starts.

BUCKLE UP WES- The pride of Tasmania will be looking for his second Group 1 victory at The Meadows after taking out the Australian Cup earlier this year. Trained by Ted Medhurst, Buckle Up Wes hasn’t been seen since winning the final of the Tasmanian Sprint Championship, having been scratched from the National final due to injury. He is sure to be primed for this and will definitely make his presence felt.

CHICA DESTACADA- There isn’t much of her but she can definitely run and she proved she can mix it with the best of them when taking out the National Sprint Championship at Cannington in August. At her next start she finished midfield in the Group 1 Dapto Megastar behind Tommy Brislane before another luckless finish in a heat of the Bob Payne at her only other race appearance since.

FLASH REALITY- Trained by champion mentor Tony Brett, Flash Reality is a two time Group winner. In 2014 he has taken out Group 2 Queensland Derby and the Group 1 Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park. He also qualified for the National Sprint Championship and finished third in the Group 1 Dapto Megastar. He will have the entire Sunshine State behind him on October 25.

KEYBOW- The son of Take The Kitty and Key Exit gives Darren McDonald two in the Topgun field. A winner of 14 of his 32 starts, he took out the Group 1 Perth Cup in February and finished second in the Australian and Cranbourne Cups respectively.

OAKVALE DESTINY- The Victorian bitch has been a model of consistency for her in-form trainer Jeff Britton, taking out the Group 1 Sapphire Crown and the Group 3 SA Oaks. At her most recent start she finished a strong third in the Group 1 Adelaide Cup behind fellow Topgun finalist Allen Deed.

ZIPPING WILLOW- The star NSW bitch has been in terrific form in the past few months- winning 14 of her past 18 starts. She was off the scene for around a month after a disappointing seventh in the Dapto Megastar before resuming last Friday in a 400 at the Gardens with a second placing. Jason Mackay is sure to have her back to peak fitness in time for the big one and with her dazzling early pace she will be one of the main chances.

The box draw for the Group 1 Topgun is as follows:

Box One – Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan

Box Two – Keybow – Darren McDonald

Box Three – Oakvale Destiny – Jeff Britton

Box Four – Flash Reality – Tony Brett

Box Five – Buckle Up Wes – Ted Medhurst

Box Six – Awesome Project – Darren McDonald

Box Seven – Allen Deed – Andrea Daily

Box Eight – Zipping Willow – Jason Mackay

First Res: Mepunga Hayley

Second Res: My Bro Fabio

The final will be run at The Meadows on Saturday October 25.

Sweet It Is Storms Home To Claim 2014 Sydney Cup

Dynamic bitch Sweet It Is gave her rivals a cold in the home straight to claim the 2014 Group Three Sydney Cup at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.

The Darren McDonald trained daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) was in sixth position when the field passed the post the first time. Despite finding her share of trouble, the 29kg bitch still managed to produce her trademark withering run home and score by 3 1/2 lengths in a time of 41.84 just 0.06 outside her personal best time at the Glebe circuit.

After being sent out $2.20 favourite, Sweet It Is left box six in her usual tardy manner. Zipping Maggie (5) exited the traps swiftly and carved out a formidable first section of 16.00, Space Star (9) was hot on her heels and, for the bulk of the race, it appeared as they had the event between them.

Just when Space Star had drawn level with Zipping Maggie off the back and it looked as though those two would settle down to fight it out, Sweet It Is began to make some ground. In the twinkling of an eye she applied the afterburner’s and careered past her rivals as though they were in reverse to claim the $25,000 winners cheque. Zipping Maggie prevailed to finish second with Space Star in third place.

The Sydney Cup was Sweet It Is’ fourth Group win, the other three all being Group Ones. She has now won 12 career races from 42 outings and amassed over $464,000 in stakes earnings.

2014 Group Three Sydney Cup – Full Results

1st – Sweet It Is (6) – Darren McDonald
2nd – Zipping Maggie (5) – Peter Daprain
3rd – Space Star (9) – Dawn Garrett
4th – Paddles Anderson (7) – Jodie Lord
5th – Zipping Rory (4) – Bethany Daprain
6th – Dusty Moonshine (8) – Denice Warren
7th – Mr. Corsair (1) – Michelle Shambler
8th – Tears Siam (10) – Dawn Garrett

Time: 41.84
1st Split: 16.00 (5)
2nd Split: 29.37 (5)
Run Home: 12.47 (6)
Margins: 3 1/2 x 1 1/4

Scratchings: Ruff Cut Diamond (2), My Asuncion (3). Space Star (9) started from box two, Tears Siam (10) started from box three.

The Signs Are Everywhere

There’s probably nothing new about these two events but it’s worth mentioning them anyway.

On Wednesday, in an ordinary maiden at Bendigo, Bramwell Brown was backed in to $1.20 on the Victorian TAB, came out like a dromedary, ran around the field and ended up swamping the leader near the post in a moderate 24.59. Fair enough, but why would anyone back a dog like that into such a prohibitive price? Especially an inexperienced maiden.

A little earlier in the day, Darren McDonald sent the talented Eliza Blanche over 600m at The Meadows in what are now called city “Provincial” meetings (thereby avoiding better fields but also missing out on three or four times the prize money at a Saturday meeting). She started at $1.04 in Victoria, and a bit better at $1.10 in NSW, and romped in.

The question is – what is the point of it all? The first-mentioned dog is clearly not worth that sort of price, never mind how well it might have trialled. Nor is the second case, despite her known good form. At virtually “money back” the whole episode was a waste of space from the betting angle. Doubly so when coming out of a smash and grab bend start. Why would you bother?

While trainers may have had their own motives, these cases make it obvious that greyhound betting has got to farcical proportions. Perhaps punters were doing no more than following the leader and were hoodwinked by higher prices being displayed in early betting? Yet some of them must have kept on when more up to date information was available.

The implication is that far too many gamblers lack knowledge, experience and common sense. That’s not a good sign. The code’s future demands that we do something about it – like educate them, for example. More than just sticking up a wall sheet in the local pub.

The other issue this highlights is the odd nature of our grading systems. Here we have Eliza Blanche winning her ninth race (plus two placings) from thirteen starts at five different tracks, all in good times. All but the last two wins were over the 500s and those seven were all in 5th grade.

Her last two wins over middle distances of 545m at Ballarat and 600m at The Meadows represent the only change to that pattern, the former in a mixed 4th/5th grade and the latter in these peculiar midweek 5th grades in town (formerly Non Penalty) – both of which return winners around $1,500 or so.

Yet this time, a major reason for the crazy prices bet about Eliza Blanche was not so much her own ability, which cannot be denied, but the ordinariness of her opposition. All that has been made possible by the trainer’s judicious use of the grading system – a complex computerised system that I won’t even try to understand as it makes my head hurt. Suffice to say that a major outcome is that it allows dogs to keep on winning in what is the lowest available grade (outside the T3 events for slow dogs).

In other words, that system is bottom-heavy and is therefore the major reason for the relative shortage of higher grade competitors and races – a trend which, for example, has just caused WA to make significant alterations to its own grading policy in an effort to get full fields for its FFA events.

That trend is not limited to WA by any means. Some time ago I instanced the case of a Queensland dog which entered a 5th grade 600m race after having already won five of them previously. All very legal but possible only because of oddities in the way the system worked.

Taken as a whole, the effect of all these rules and regulations is to downgrade the product in a variety of little ways here, there and everywhere, sometimes hardly noticed. But they all add up to an industry which is now dominated by a “be kind to owners and trainers” policy.

The alternative of seeking excellence to better attract customers to regular week to week racing runs a distant second. There is no upside in $1.04 favourites.

The other major issue with Victoria’s grading system is that it has profoundly influenced industry economics. The ability of a dog to do the rounds of the state winning 5th grades as it goes is one of the major factors causing the migration of better dogs from other states – mainly NSW and Queensland. In turn, that tends to promote more betting interest in Victorian racing, thereby allowing prize money to rise, and so the cycle continues.

Even then, it causes complications. The prospect (and the actuality) of top liners with already big bank accounts taking out lowly 5th grades around the bush led to the addition of yet another rule. Qualification for those 5th grade races now includes a proviso that prize money winners over a certain amount are ineligible. That is, a rule on top of a rule.

It is not just good enough to say that Victoria is doing fine (which may be debatable for other reasons) and challenge other states to catch up. Not when its very success also causes those states to weaken their product to a dangerous degree. We have already mentioned higher grade problems in WA but field quality in Queensland have slipped consistently over the past decade to the stage where sub-standard races are needed to fill top city meetings (including Maidens, Novices and short course events). Much the same is true of NSW while SA would be in dire straits without the support of the second ranking Wheeler dogs.

And in all cases, these policies come on top of an industry which has over-reached itself in creating more races than the dog population and punter’s wallets can sustain. Hence all the empty boxes, including in Victoria, and the provision of small and unusable betting pools.

In short, there is nothing natural about this process; it is all a function of artificial situations created by state bureaucracies to satisfy a perceived short term need. None have considered the long term implications which are now popping up as the pressure increases.

In a sense, medicine offers a quirky comparison: the operation was a success but the patient died.

I also noted another illustration in a letter to the editor recently (The Australian, 2 Oct), when a writer was commenting on the hassles caused by clashing government attitudes, no doubt influenced by empire building: “It is time to stop duplicated responsibilities over all portfolios, between State and Federal Governments, including environmental, hospitals, education, etc. When there is split accountability there is no responsibility. Bureaucracy and ineffectiveness thrive”.

In racing, togetherness is not often evident. State rivalries are legion, taxation varies wildly, national consistency is rare, process is more important than outcomes, innovation is absent, control has devolved to other parties, tracks remain poorly designed, customers are relegated to the background, formguides are second rate and industry efficiency is terrible. And so on and so forth.

How about a single national controlling body with real teeth and complete independence? Too hard? No, it’s not; you just have to want to do it.

It’s may be a long way from a lowly Bendigo maiden to a National Racing Commission but it’s always the parts that make up the whole.

Group Two 2014 Healesville Cup Heats Preview

Eight heats of the world’s richest straight track race will take place amid the Yarra Ranges on the banks of the Watts River this Sunday, when the 2014 Group Two Healesville Cup series kicks off.

The $45,000 to-the winner event is held over the 350 metre loam trip and has attracted plenty of quality in 2014.

Due to changes in the racing calendar, it will be the second Healesville Cup for 2014 with trainer Kel Greenough given the unique opportunity of winning the same race twice in a year. He won the race in February with Frosty Jay Jay and will have High Speed Chase and Unleash De Fear engaged in this Sunday’s heats.

Here is a look at the main chances in each of the eight heats;

Race 4 – Healesville Cup – Heat 1 – 1:25pm

The Darren McDonald trained Harry Keeping (3) heads to Healesville for the first time but looks most suited to the trip. The young dog has never finished worst than second in his 12 career starts and has impeccable box manners. He could well lead all the way.

Darcy’s Entity (4) is another promising youngster with six wins to his credit from eight starts. He comes into this after finishing third behind All Strung Out in the Group Two Great Chase final at The Meadows on Wednesday and should also be close to the speed.

Beckenbauer (2) looks well drawn for trainer Darren Pattinson. He begins well and should be able to cross to the rails and possibly put himself right in the race from that point.

Race 5 – Healesville Cup – Heat 2 – 1:45pm

El Grand Seal (4) is a very consistent sprinter who is in the capable hands of Anakie mentor Jeff Britton. A winner of 10 from 20, she should be able to find the front early and give this field plenty to catch.

The Peter Akathiotis trained Nockabout Aussie (7) is a powerful type who can be devastating when he leaves the traps well. He is a little hit and miss at box-rise but will be finishing the race right off and has to be considered.

Texan (1) is a greyhound with a penchant for the straight track and has plenty of experience at the venue compared with his rivals. He has won seven of his 15 Healesville appearances for trainer Karen Leek and if he can run around his best time of 19.11, he will be in this up to his ears. He is in fantastic form, with a runner-up result in the Waterloo Cup last weekend rounding out his preparation.

Race 6 – Healesville Cup – Heat 3 – 2:06pm

Transcend Time (6) is an interesting runner in the third heat. He has had just three runs back from a break after running in the Healesville Cup in February. All three runs have been at this track and have yielded two wins and a third to Walk Hard here a fortnight ago. He has won three from five at the track and boasts a best of 19.18. He should be thereabouts in this heat.

Dark Warrior (1) has an imposing record from the inside draw with five victories from eight starts. He has never finished worse than second in five starts here and ran second behind Transcend Time here a month ago. If he produces anywhere near his personal best of 19.10 then he will be close to winning.

The Kelly Bravo trained Top Secret (3) is a speedy beginner who led for a long way before being run down by All Strung Out in the Group Two Great Chase final last Wednesday at The Meadows. He could land on the bunny and give plenty of cheek here.

Size Does Matter (8) has recently made his way into the kennel of Brooke and Jamie Ennis and debuted for them with an impressive best of the night 25.16 win at Ballarat. He is no stranger to straight racing having competed at Capalaba in Queensland and could be value in this field.

Early Return (2) is a genuine track specialist with 15 wins from 31 starts at Healesville. He had been a little below his best before a good 300 metre win last time out. He knows this place backwards.

Race 7 – Healesville Cup – Heat 4 – 2:29pm

The fourth heat looks to be a genuine match race and features Walk Hard (1), who was a finalist in this race earlier in the year and has an imposing record from box one. The Nicole McRae trained dog has won a a remarkable seven from eight when exiting the cherry and has a Healesville record to match, with eight wins from 11 attempts up the straight. He is not a speedy beginner but will be motoring home late nailed to the fence.

Luca Neveelk (3) has the near-flawless record of 17 wins from 20 outings which includes four from four at Healesville. While the race appears a match race between him and Walk Hard, he should have the advantage of doing it from in front with impeccable box manners being a feature of his racing style.

Hallelujah Henry (7) has not raced since July but has clocked a fast 18.93 here in the past. He faces a tough test first-up but can gallop and is definitely one for exotics.

Hekate Belle (8) has won three of her last four and was a finalist in Wednesday’s Group Two Great Chase. She has her share of early speed and looks to be an each way proposition.

Race 8 – Healesville Cup – Heat 5 – 2:45pm

The Rob Britton trained Farmor Las Vegas (4) returned to form by taking out the heat and final of the Group Three Townsville Cup recently. He has won three from five at this track with a personal best of 19.16. If he can find a bit of room early on he will take some beating.

Azza Azza Azza (2) has a superb strike rate with 15 wins from 20 starts. he has won his last four starts and also has a best here of 19.16. He could lob on the bunny and lead from go to whoa in this one.

Waymore’s Blues (7) is a regular in quality company with 11 wins from 32 starts. He has his first crack up the straight in this heat and could be some sort of hope if he begins well.

Shameless Bandit (8) is just 20 months old but has won two from two at Healesville including a swift 19.05 which he registered last week. He faces a steep class rise here but has some ability.

Race 9 – Healesville Cup – Heat 6 – 3:08pm

Matt’s Entity (1) is a quality chaser with 40 wins to his name. He has won eight from 11 out of the inside box and has never finished worse than second at his five Healesville appearances. He looks the one to beat in this heat.

Senor Socks (4) is a consistent chaser who has won one from two here with a best of 19.20. He finished second to Zambora Storm here recently and is one of the main threats to the favourite.

Mepunga Armagh (5) could be the sort of dog who will challenge for the lead early if he gets a little bit of space at box-rise. He is a winner of 16 from 38 and should be good enough to be right in the mix here.

Lonesome Jett (8) won her first four career races and has since found it a little harder in tougher city class. She can obviously run and could be one for the exotics from the wide draw.

Race 10 – Healesville Cup – Heat 7 – 3:33pm

The penultimate heat is headlined by the exciting There’s A Earn (2) for Darren McDonald. The black dog celebrated his first race run since April by setting a new track record here last week of 18.80. Anything near a repeat of that will see him winning this heat with consummate ease.

The Brooke Ennis trained Universal Size (7) made an impact at his first outing at Healesvlle last weekend when he won in a zippy 18.92. An encore performance would see him right in this race.

Recent Darwin Cup winner Clash Of Kings (8) has won his last four in a row and seven of his 11 career starts. The main concern may be his slightly tardy box manners but, if he stays straight from the wide draw, he may nullify that.

Race 11 – Healesville Cup – Heat 8 – 3:54pm

The final heat looks to have a number of winning chances. Unleash De Fear (5) has recently found his way south into the care of Kel Greenough. He is a son of Disintergrate, who was a straight-track flyer in New South Wales. He has won nine from 18 and shown plenty of ability in the process. He should be close to the speed early and right in the mix at the business end of proceedings.

Tiggerlong Amigo (4) is undefeated in two starts at Healesville for trainer Darren McDonald and has a personal best of 19.26. He will need to be on his best behaviour at box-rise to avoid trouble early with his usual moderate get-away.

Jaraco (1) has registered two best on day runs in his last three outings at Warrnambool and Ballarat. He can begin well and has a good record from the inside draw, only missing a place once in five starts. He is a definite chance here.

Zambora Storm (3) returned to the winners circle last week for the first time since March with a handy 19.29 win here. He can ill afford to make any errors against this opposition if he is to figure.

Soldier Spy (6) has recorded a quick 19.16 and with early luck could be the knockout dog for trainer Michael Fox.

The Stage Is Set For The 2014 Great Chase Final

One of the more unique finals of the Group racing calendar takes place at The Meadows on Wednesday afternoon when the Group Two Great Chase is run.

The $45,000 to-the-winner event, which started in 2003, takes place over a four week period with the heats and semi finals all being held at various venues around the state of Victoria.

Heats were conducted at Sandown, Warragul, Healesville, Sale, Cranbourne, Ballarat, Horsham, Warrnambool, Geelong, Bendigo, The Meadows and Shepparton.

The unique thing about The Great Chase is the community involvement. Each greyhound throughout the event is registered to a participating community group that cares for the intellectually or physically disabled. Those groups get the opportunity to earn money based on the results of the greyhound assigned to them.

The diversity of the heats also allows these groups the opportunity to get out and see their greyhound race.

The 2014 final sees some very promising young dogs engaged including the boom pups Dewana Result and Darcy’s Entity.

Half the field will also be made up of dogs from just two kennels and litters. Brendan and Matthew Dewan will rug up two runners from the Cosmic Rumble – Wildcard Lass (Primo Uno – Pauline) litter while Lovely Banks mentor Kelly Bravo has a duet of finalists by Bartrim Bale – Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic).

It should be an absolute cracker.

The Great Chase is race eight on the card and is scheduled to jump at 2:08pm.

Here is a look at the field and the current Centrebet fixed odds market;

1 – Rinash ($8.00) – Graham Laidlay - A winner of six from 17 including his last two straight who qualified for the final with a slick 25.71 win at Warragul. He has won three of his six races from box one and, if he begins, he is right in this. His Achilles heel may be his hit or miss box manners but there is no doubting his ability.

2 – Hekate Belle ($3.00) – Kelly Bravo -The only bitch in the field and a winner of six from 20 who comes into this after winning her semi-final at Geelong in 25.72. She is a fairly reliable beginner who has been placed in four of her five starts from box two. She looks an each-way proposition.

3 – Darcy’s Entity ($11.00) – Michael Wallworth - A very promising pup and half brother to Evie’s Entity who has six wins and a second placing to his name from just seven starts. He is a good beginner and won his only start from this box. This is his biggest test to date but it is hard to fault his efforts so far which include a 25.72 semi-final win at Geelong.

4 – Dewana Result ($2.90) – Brendan Dewan - The Warragul track record holder who also won the listed Northern Districts Cup at Shepparton all in the space of just seven starts. Barring one fall he is undefeated and he is capable of running the hands off the clock. The only issue is that he’s never the first to leave the boxes but tends to hit the ground running. He may need a little bit of room early from box four and, if he gets it, the race is his for the taking.

5 – Quicker Than Al ($34) – Alan Hanson - Has plenty of race experience compared to many in this field with 34 starts to his name. The big concern is that he has only won three of those races. He managed to run a close second in his semi-final at Geelong behind Top Secret but will need to improve to be a wining hope here. He appears to be a rough place chance at best.

6 – Dewana Hitman ($16) – Matthew Dewan - A winner of six from 11, including his last two, who took out his Warragul semi-final in 25.90. He tends to be a little tardy early which is the biggest hurdle that he faces from this box. He may find this assignment too tough.

7 – Top Secret ($8.00) – Kelly Bravo - Chasing his fourth win in a row after two slippery efforts at Geelong and a win here at The Meadows. He has won six from 28 and looks like he is starting to mature into a handy race dog. He is the most reliable beginner in the field and could well give them something to catch.

8 – All Strung Out ($8.50) – Glenn Rounds - A winner of five from 15 who has been placed twice in Group finals. Recently finished second in the Group One Peter Mosman at Wentworth Park and also finished third in the Group Three Mega Maiden there at Easter. He is only a moderate beginner and is yet to win from box eight in five attempts. He is likely to need a bit of luck from the draw.

Reserves

9 – Lektra Hawk – ($18) – Ian Cockerell - A consistent run-on type who is never far away. He has won five from 22 but tends to need luck in transit in his races. He is a place hope if he gets a start.

10 – Bremer ($19) – Darren McDonald - An ultra consistent dog who has only missed a place once in 13 starts. Finished second to Dewana Result in his semi-final and could be right in this if he happens to jag a start.

The outcome of this race will depend a lot on how much room Dewana Result (4) can get early.

Top Secret (7) looks the likely leader and could be off and gone if a couple of these find trouble.

Hekate Bell (2) and Darcy’s Entity (3) will be big hopes if they can find the fence and be prominent early.

All Strung Out (8) has the ability but looks poorly served by the draw and will need luck to get through the first turn unscathed.

Selections: 4-7-2-3

Sweet It Is Victorious In 2014 National Distance Final

Sweet It Is has taken out the 2014 National Distance Championship for trainer Darren McDonald. The win tops off a fantastic couple of days for the Cranbourne trainer, who was named trainer of the year.

The daughter of Mogambo – Off Springer was third out of the boxes wearing the seven rug behind a leading Painted Dotty (box one) and Bingle Monelli (box four), with Xylia Allen a little slow to begin in fifth place. It was only a matter of time before Xylia Allen outclassed Painted Dotty and Bingle Monelli, taking the lead and the chance of breaking Miata’s prizemoney record with her at the Solo sign in the back straight. Sweet It Is was at worst in fifth position, not making her run into the race until the dying stages from the outside of the track. In the end it was a battle between the two Victorians who fought it out to the line, with Sweet It Is proving the better stayer on the night by one length in a time of 41.39.

Xylia Allen held onto second place and Miata’s prizemoney record in front Miata’s home crowd, with Queenslander Wag Tail (box two) running on to finish in third place and the WA trained Ash Flash (box three) in fourth.

“I am very very happy with the win, I am just glad to get dogs capable of winning these races.” Trainer Darren McDonald explained.

“I never expect anything, although I was reasonably confident coming into the race. She likes being dictated to and she likes to know where the dogs are in the race.”

The black bitch added her Nationals victory to her list of three group titles including the Group One Association Cup at Wentworth Park and the Group One Sandown Cup.

“All group races are good to win, I can’t compare them one to another.”

Sweet It Is added another $75,000 to her prizemoney, which now stands at over $400,000. She also continued the impressive Perth strike rate for Darren McDonald, with three WA group races for three wins, being the Group One Perth Cup with Keybow, the Group Two Cannington Derby with Tigerlong Amigo and now the Group One National Distance Final.

2014 Group One National Distance Final Preview

The 2014 National’s have brought Australia’s best stayers to Cannington to compete against each other for the $75,000 prize.

Being the home state, WA has two chances of recording a win, with David Hobby’s Bingle Monelli and Paul Stuart’s Ash Flash in the final.

Ash Flash has dominated the staying ranks since she made the trip over from Victoria. The daughter of Velocette – Ashleigh Ella has had nine wins from 15 starts over the distance, and placed on four other occasions.

Her come from behind style leaves onlookers hearts in their mouths. She is almost always last out of the boxes, but manages to find her way through the field convincingly week in, week out.

For owner breeder Trevor Rhodes her racing style is all part of the excitement she brings to the track.

“It’s all in the decisions she makes.” Trevor Rhodes explained.

“She has lead a couple of races from box one early on but her racing style is set now. It’s really exciting!”

Ash Flash’s come from behind style was something Rhodes was hoping would be corrected or improved with a move from Victoria to the West.

“It was to give her some confidence, she was up against some really good dogs over here (Victoria) and I spoke to Darren McDonald and he thought she was the kind of dog that needed confidence because she was just hanging back. We thought she would get over hanging back when she was confident.”

“She is more confident now, but she still hangs back. I thought she might learn to lead.”

As a pup, Ash Flash would run with anything and everything she could. After she exhausted her brother Hillbilly Flash, she would be looking for something else to run with.

“I thought she would have to be a stayer.”

Strength and plenty of luck in running is what she will need to have if she is to rein victory in the 2014 National Distance Final. The field is full of talent, especially from Victorian’s Xylia Allen and Sweet It Is.

“She will have her hands full on Saturday night and I don’t think the box matters to be honest. Obviously Xylia Allen is the best dog we have seen and Sweet It Is is a fantastic dog that comes from behind, which is just as exciting.”

“She has a full field, and she is likely to be behind them. It’s a difficult task but I don’t think it’s beyond her. If everything is to go right for her, things would have to go wrong for other dogs in the race.”

Rhodes has made the trip over to see his special little bitch run in the biggest race of her career.

“The venue is terrific, the people are terrific and the crowds are terrific. It’s a good family track.” Rhodes says of Cannington.

The National Distance Championship is set to jump at 8.52pm Perth time from Cannington’s 715 metre boxes. A WA win would make the event all the more special for the home crowd.

The prices listed are the current Centrebet fixed odds. Centrebet are offering readers a $200 free bet that can be used on the big race.

Box 1
Race Odds
$20.00
Heat Replay
Painted Dotty (TAS)
Trainer
Michael Stringer
Owner
Michael Stringer
Prizemoney
$34,405.00
Last 10 Starts
1111133213
37 Months Black Bitch by Mogambo - Painted
Shaza
Start Well Running Rails Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $929.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
37 13 8 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
35% 73%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 4 0
Comments: Michael Stringer (Trainer) – “She is well drawn in the red. She loves to rail hard and has a good record from the red box. She has done well to get in the race and I just hope she measures up against the two Victorian stayers. Xyla Allen is an out and out champ and Sweet It Is is a very strong stayer. Pained Dotty in new to staying ranks but she has acquitted herself winning three out of four in NSW.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 2
Race Odds
$6.00
Heat Replay
Wag Tail (QLD)
Trainer
Christina Harman
Owner
A Team
Prizemoney
$93,540.00
Last 10 Starts
1251134111
42 Months Black Bitch by Velocette - Bacardi
Cruiser
Start Well Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,948.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
48 18 11 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
38% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 0 2 1
Comments: Christine Harman (Trainer) – “With her inside box I like her chances. Xylia Allen looks to be able to win at all tracks so she will be hard to beat. Wag Tail trialled really well at Cannington on Saturday night, so hopefully she stands up to her trial. Normally she doesn’t travel very well, but this time she seems to have.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 3
Race Odds
$13.00
Heat Replay
Ash Flash (WA)
Trainer
Paul Stuart
Owner
Trevor Rhodes
Prizemoney
$87,615.00
Last 10 Starts
2112112573
34 Months White Bitch by Velocette - Ashleigh
Ella
Start Fair Running Wide Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $2,190.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
40 17 6 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
42% 70%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 9 3 1
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 1 0
Comments: Trevor Rhodes (Owner/Breeder) – “She is a chance, I wouldn’t say she is a big chance but if everything goes right we are in the race.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.75 42.14 15.49 16.18
Box 4
Race Odds
$14.00
Heat Replay
Bingle Monelli (WA)
Trainer
David Hobby
Owner
M Quinsee & M Quinsee
Prizemoney
$68,185.00
Last 10 Starts
1223212111
35 Months Black Bitch by Collision - Joanne
Monelli
Start Fast Running Rail Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $1,894.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
36 16 11 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
44% 92%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 4 4 1
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 3 3 1
Comments: ARG comment – Last week she was more then impressive taking out the WA National Distance, holding off Ash Flash. This week her competitors are of a higher standard and may find it hard to keep up with the likes of Xylia Allen. Saying that if she jumps like she has been and finds herself in the lead there could be enough trouble behind her to sneak a victory.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.04 42.11 15.42 15.58
Box 5
Race Odds
$31.00
Heat Replay
Token McLaren (SA)
Trainer
Donald Foster
Owner
H Foster &
D Foster
Prizemoney
$68,185.00
Last 10 Starts
1121412111
42 Months Blue Dog by Token
Prince
- Stevie
McLaren
Start Well Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,071.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
51 23 9 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
45% 80%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
6 3 1 1
Comments: ARG opinion is - Token McLaren has been in great form in South Australia, but this is a much tougher ask with the likes of Sweet It Is and Xylia Allen.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 6
Race Odds
$2.60
Heat Replay
Xylia Allen (VIC)
Trainer
Jenny Hunt
Owner
Janice Wheeler
Prizemoney
$701,375.00
Last 10 Starts
1141111111
44 Months Black Bitch by Turanza
Bale
- Tayah
Bale
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $9,478.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
74 37 10 11
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
50% 78%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
10 7 2 1
Comments: Max Julien (Caretaker) – “Her record proves that she is going to be very competitive, even flying over at such a late date. She is Australia’s best.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
Box 7
Race Odds
$2.75
Heat Replay
Sweet It Is (VIC)
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Boblex syndicate
Prizemoney
$327,910.00
Last 10 Starts
2112212126
33 Months Black Bitch by Mogambo - Off
Springer
Start Average Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $9,644.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
34 10 5 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
29% 53%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 1 0 0
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 1 1 0
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “She is a very good bitch and has a reasonable box. It’s a hard race with some very competitive greyhounds including Xylia Allen.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.99 42.30 15.95 -
Box 8
Race Odds
$41.00
Heat Replay
Queen Marina (NSW)
Trainer
Noelene Holloway
Owner
Noelene Holloway
Prizemoney
$29,800.00
Last 10 Starts
1263624336
36 Months Black Bitch by Lochinvar
Marlow
- Fascinate
Marina
Start Good Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $634.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
47 7 8 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
15% 51%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
0 0 0 0
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 2 0 2
Comments: Noelene Holloway (Trainer) – Hopefully she gets away early, she will need to be up there early to win the race. There is no reason why she wont love Cannington but she will have to improve on her trial which I have no doubt she will.”
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
- - - -
1st Res
Race Odds
$20.00
Heart Replay
Reverberate (WA)
Trainer
Linda Britton
Owner
T Whittington &
G Sprod
Prizemoney
$145,450.00
Last 10 Starts
3131311216
44Months Black Bitch by Premier
Fantasy
- Surpassing
Start Fast Running Middle Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $1,795.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
81 24 22 16
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
30% 77%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
31 11 9 9
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
Comments: She was unlucky to miss out on second place last week to get her a start in the final. She is in with a chance if she gets a run.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
41.71 42.18 15.62 15.78
2nd Res
Race Odds
$51.00
Heat Replay
Wing It Appeal (WA)
Trainer
James Jeffereies
Owner
J Jefferies & T Ierace
Prizemoney
$28,955.00
Last 10 Starts
4331248313
36 Months White&
black
Bitch by Head
Bound
- Twinkle
Appeal
Start Well Running Wide Finish Well
Prizemoney Rating $877.00 Rating
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
33 7 4 8
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
21% 58%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
12 2 2 4
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
- - - -
Comments: She looks to be out of her depth if she gets a start in the final.
Best Cannington Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
42.19 42.31 15.71 15.72

Next Page »