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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

McDonald And Britton Double Up At Lang Lang

With sunshine a plenty we headed down the South Gippsland highway on Sunday to Lang Lang for the GOTBA Cup and other supporting events. The Lang Lang track looked a treat and dogs and their trainers were ready to rock n roll at this year’s Waterloo Cup venue. I will take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all of the sponsors and also to all of the volunteers who make sure everyone had a great day, from the canteen to the catching pen and everywhere in between, well done!

The first event was the 2014 GOTBA Cup. Today we saw a fantastic field come to try their luck and by the afternoon tea-break it was Dark Warrior for Darren McDonald and Texan trained by Karen Leek in the final. Both of these dogs coursed hard all day, with the final being taken out by the Warrior! He was having his first start at the coursing and I am sure you will see him in the Waterloo Cup fields along with Texan who tried hard all day.

Next was the Amstel All Aged Stake and again a couple of high class circle dogs were in the field, however their coursing counterparts showed that it takes a bit more endurance to keep coming up, as by the time we got to the final it was Why Not Oscar trained by Wayne Gray and Olliemax trained by Matt Height who headed to slips for the final. Both of these dogs have coursed before and know what it takes to go up three times in day. The final in this event saw Why Not Oscar go one better than his last time at Lang Lang with the win.

Many of you older coursing folk would remember Max Johnston, who trained his team from his property at Warneet. Today we held an event in Max’s honour, the Max Johnston Two Win Limit and this event was won by a young pup that has been doing very well both on the coursing and around the corner, Forheza, trained at Bass by Rob Colpoys. Runner-up in this event was Baines Park, trained by Lang Lang Secretary David Dawson. I am sure that Max was watching from above and was smiling down on all of us today at Lang Lang.

The first of the Maiden Dog events was won by Foot Tapper, who at the grand age of 5 showed you can teach ‘an old dog new tricks’, as he had never coursed before and from all accounts seemed to be loving it. Well done to Allan Britton and his team on the win. Unfortunately another newbie to coursing George Delaker had to be withdrawn from the final due to injury, so we all wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back soon.

The Dog Maiden No. 2 brought up a double for Darren McDonald, with Tiggerlong Amigo too good today for Casboult, trained by Valda Rose. Both of these greyhounds were having their first crack at coursing so I’m thinking they will be back!

The Maiden Bitch stake was won by another from the Dawson team, Dublin Down, who was too good today for Plea For Beer, trained locally at Lang Lang by Geraldine Debono.

First of our Dog Puppy events was taken out by Dallas Massina’s Zulekha, who has been coursing brilliantly all season but found today a little strange at first being his first time behind a drag lure. He cottoned on pretty quickly and was too good in the final for a young pup Broden Rain, trained at Devon Meadows by Aaron Setford who was having his first crack at coursing, so well done to all concerned.

Dog Puppy No. 2 was won by Rylee’s Bandit who made the trip from Yarram with his trainer Graham Whitford. Runner-up in this event was Ima Lonely Boy for Del Vigor.

The last of the dog puppies was taken out by High Market who was another pup having his first go at coursing. He is trained by Mark Grima from Devon Meadows. Runner-up was Kallara Tipene trained at Warneet by Steve Colpoys. Don’t worry Steve I am sure his luck will change soon.

The final event on the card was the Bitch Puppy stake and this was won by another from the Britton kennels in Soul Maker. She proved too hard to catch today for Laquita Lass who took home the runner-up prize on this occasion.

Wow how fast has this season gone by? I really hope to see you all back here at Lang Lang in a fortnight for the running of the 2014 Waterloo Cup, which this year is once again sponsored by the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club.

There is lots planned for this weekend apart from the Waterloo Cup. There are three consolation events – The Waterloo Plate and The Waterloo Purse on the Saturday, plus The Silver Eagle Challenge (for greyhounds defeated in their third course on Saturday) on Sunday. There is also a junior handler event, a lady trainers event, plus other maiden and puppy events conducted over an action packed weekend of racing.

We will also be having raffles with prizes aplenty and will be auctioning off a Stud Service to Bit Chili. So bring your wallets and get behind the NCA. All funds raised from the auction will go to the NCA, which will help us continue to assist all of you trainers and provide an alternative to track racing for you and your greyhounds.

There is camping available at Lang Lang across the Waterloo Weekend so bring your caravan, tent, or camper trailer and join in the fun at this year’s Waterloo!

Safe racing and happy travels to you all.

Bingle Monelli And Ash Flash To Represent WA In The National Distance Final

WA’s Nationals night was a night for the red box, with both the sprint and the distance winners jumping from the cherry. Bingle Monelli for trainer David Hobby took out the WA Distance race paying $4.10 for the win. $2.60 favourite Ash Flash finished in second place and also received a spot in next weeks National Distance Final.

James Jefferies’ Wing It Appeal (box three) and Linda Britton’s Reverberate (box four) jumped a length in front of the field, with Freeway Ace (box five) and Ash Flash (box seven) last out. Bingle Monelli railed hard and found herself in the lead on the bend after Wing It Appeal ran characteristically wide. Obama Keeping (box eight) also found room on the rails in third positioned as the field went into the back straight and as anticipated Ash Flash began to make her run through the field. The lead changed between Bingle Monelli and Reverberate on multiple occasions and Obama Keeping wanted in on the action, checking itself and Reverberate almost out of the race. This allowed Ash Flash to lunge late and finish in second place, half a length from Bingle Monelli in a best of the night time of 42.11.

The daughter of Collision – Joanne Monelli has had just nine starts over the 715 metre distance, for three wins and five minor placing’s. She was close to her personal best time of 42.04 that she set seven starts back from box eight.

It’s his second year that one of David Hobby’s greyhounds has taken out the WA National Distance Championship. Last year Magpie Bob went onto represent WA in Victoria; finishing second behind Smart Valentino from box eight. Hobby will be hoping he can do one better this year, aided by the home track advantage.

Paul Stuart also received a rug in the final with his come from behind stayer Ash Flash.

Two exhibition trials were run for visiting stayers Queen Marina from New South Wales and Queenslander Wag Tail. Queen Marina stopped the clock at 42.40 and Wag Tail went 41.77.

The National Distance box draw is as follows:

1 Painted Dotty (TAS) Mick Stringer
2 Wag Tail (QLD) Christina Harman
3 Ash Flash (WA) Paul Stuart
4 Bingle Monelli (WA) David Hobby
5 Token McLaren (SA) Donald Foster
6 Xylia Allen (VIC) Jenny Hunt
7 Sweet It Is (VIC) Darren McDonald
8 Queen Marina (NSW) Noelene Holloway

Reserves
9 Reverberate (WA) Linda Britton
10 Wing It Appeal (WA) James Jefferies

2014 Victorian National Distance Final Is An Absolute Cracker

It is being billed as a clash between two of Australia’s most exciting stayers, but in reality it is much more than that.

This Thursday night Sandown Park will host the final of the AGRA National Distance Championship Victorian Final. It is likely to be the most anticipated of all of the state finals in both the sprint and distance events.

If nothing else, it is most definitely equal of the quality of any group one event over the longer trip that you are likely to see in the next 12 months.

A quick snapshot of the field shows champion bitch Xylia Allen, multiple Group One winner Sweet It Is along with other Group winners Born Ali, Dyna Willow and Mepunga Tiara, what a race!

The winner will collect $12,000 and book their place in the national final at Cannington on August 23rd.

Here is a look at the field and the current fixed odds prices at Sportingbet;

1 – Mepunga Tiara ($5.50) – Jeff Britton - A very consistent bitch who had made multiple Group finals before she finally broke through by winning the Group Two Victorian Distance Championship at The Meadows recently. Loves to do her work from in front and has finished in the top two in six of her eight appearances from box one. She registered a personal best of 41.95 in her heat win. She has not missed a place in her four starts at Sandown Park and should she find the front early, she will be a major player here.

2 – Xylia Allen ($2.60) – Jenny Hunt - Australia’s champion sprinter/stayer who is nearing the all-time stakes earnings record set by Miata. She was back to winning form in her heat with a swift 41.70 win which was her 10th win in her last 11 starts. She is the one to beat and if she is anywhere near her best, she is unstoppable.

3 – Looby Lu – SCRATCHED

4 – Sweet It Is ($2.40) – Darren McDonald - A dual Group One winning bitch who’s racing style has thrilled race-goers in recent times. She is yet to break the 42-second barrier at Sandown Park in winning four of her eight starts there. If she gets a clean crack at them then she will be flying home late. Luck in the running is everything to her chances.

5 – Dyna Willow ($8.50) – Steve Collins - Possibly the forgotten dog of the field who has her fourth start back from a three-month layoff in this race. She has won four of her seven starts from box five and has a personal best winning time of 41.99. She has been a bit slow away from the boxes in her three second-placings since her return and will need to be closer to the pace to be a winning hope.

6 – Born Ali ($34) – Robert Britton - The Group One Galaxy winner who has been racing well below her best of late. She has not won since late March and has a less than flattering record at Sandown Park with just one win from seven starts. This race looks too tough for her on current form.

7 – Zipping Rory ($10) – Bethany Daprain - The youngster of the field who speared the lids and set the time standard of 41.67 in last week’s heats. He is yet to salute in two goes from box seven but if he can come out again like last week he will not be far off the pace. He looks to be the knockout chance.

8 – Liara Allen ($34) – Steve Collins - A consistent bitch who has only recently graduated to top-tier racing. She is yet to win beyond 700 metres which is a concern in this sort of company. It would be a surprise to see her winning this.

9 – Echelonic Action ($41) – Robert Camilleri - A brother to Sweet It Is who has been racing constantly over the middle distances but is yet to win beyond 700 metres. This looks like a very tough assignment for him.

10 – Zipping Joe ($20) – Darren McDonald – A Sandown Cup and Victorian Distance Championship finalist who would not be out of place in this final. Needs a bit of luck during his races due to his lack of box manners but has a big motor and will be running on.

Selections: 2-1-4-5

Victorian National Sprint Heats At The Meadows

In a strong showing, The Meadows will host five sprint heats of the Victorian leg of the Nationals.

The winners and three fastest seconds will make the final to be conducted the following Saturday at The Meadows.

Heat One – Race 4 at 8:20pm

There’s plenty of strength in this race so it should make for an interesting finish. If Group race winner Awesome Project (4) can overcome the draw and be near the lead he looks the one to beat. The Darren McDonald trained dog by Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) has won one from three at The Meadows and has a best of 29.92. He is a last start winner at Sandown in a best of night 29.38.

Dream It (1) and Great Spartacus (3) have both started over the middle distance trip at Sandown in the last month and have just dropped back to the sprint trip. Each is well performed at The Meadows but Dream It looks to have the better draw. Great Spartacus is yet to win from box three and has a better record from a wider draw.

Crackerjack Dak (2) is drawn between Dream It and Great Spartacus and can show some speed when he wants. He has four wins at The Meadows but finished last in his last start here from box seven. The move closer to the fence should help.

El Grand Seal (8) is having her first start at The Meadows. The El Grand Senor and Sealin’ The Deal (Talk’s Cheap -Trusta Rush) bitch has won nine from 15 career starts and has been racing well at Ballarat and Healesville. This is a big step up for her and she will need to do everything right from the wide draw.

Of the others, Peloton Bale (7) is a consistent chaser with six wins at The Meadows. His best is 29.83 but he is yet to win from box seven. Prue Bale (6) is out of form. She has run just one placing in her last eight starts and had her last win back in April this year.

Heat Two – Race 5 at 8:40pm

Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow (8) has had just the six starts at The Meadows for three wins and three placings. He has recorded a flying 29.58 wearing the pink rug so the form is on the board for him in this race.

Marcus Joe (6) shows his best at The Meadows. The 2013 Group One Maturity winner has won seven at the track with a best of 29.66. He has won four of his last eight but will have to overcome the poor draw to factor.

Humphrey Bale (1) performed well in the recent Maturity series, finishing third in the final. He won from this box two starts back in 30.19 and is a solid each-way chance.

Crawf’s Bread (5) has the early pace to lead and put himself in the race. He has won three of his last four races (all around Sandown) and comes to The Meadows with five wins from 17 starts at the track. His best is 30.03.

Blurred Lines (2), Grand Faith (3), Allen Malik (4) and Wise Ella (7) will all need luck based on their current form.

Heat Three – Race 7 at 9:20pm

Musquin Bale (6) has made a number of Group finals and has a great record from box six (four wins). The Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale (Hallucinate – Gold Rush Bale) dog has four wins at The Meadows for a best of 29.90.

Mepunga Moss (1) has drawn her box and has been good around The Meadows, winning three from five. She ran her best time of 30.34 back in October last year. She will need to be at her very best to take this out.

Dyna Beth (8) ran second in last year’s Melbourne Cup but hasn’t really gone on with it in other a Group races. She has recorded six wins at The Meadows from 19 starts and gone 30.15. Her form coming into this is patchy with her last win recorded four starts back.

Sisco Rage (7) was a recent finalist in the Maturity, running fifth to Mepunga Hayley. He is a run on dog that needs plenty of room early. The draw hasn’t helped his chances.

The other runners in the race are Tyronimo (2), Nockabout Aussie (3), Grand Legacy (4) and Superstar Magic (5). All have won at The Meadows with Nockabout Aussie having the best time of 29.83. Grand Legacy was a recent finalist in the Maturity, finishing last. Prior to that, he had won his semi-final in 30.17.

Heat Four – Race 9 at 10:05pm

Gimme Fuel (2) loves box two and has been competing well amongst this class of dogs. The only query is his last three starts, where he has run unplaced. Prior to that, he had been in the placings consistently. He has three wins at The Meadows for a best time of 29.92.

Group race winner Hawk Alone (8) has won two from a wide box but its always touch and go when he is drawn wide as he doesn’t have the early pace to cross the field. He has four wins at The Meadows and his recent form has been good. He may be helped by the greyhound in box seven. Spring Leaf (7) can show early pace when she wants. She failed in the recent semi-finals of the Maturity after a bad getaway but before that, won in 30.10. Her best is 30.01 and in her short career she has won six from nine at The Meadows.

Mepunga Fearon (1) is boxed well and has never been unplaced wearing the red rug. He is a last start winner in 30.08 so should be in the firing line.

Buckle Up Mason (6) has raced at The Meadows in 31 of his career starts and has won 12 of those. He isn’t ideally drawn but has gone 29.74 so if he gets a clean run he may take some catching.

Of the others, Amadeus Strikes (3) has been racing and winning at Mt Gambier. Rob Britton will be hoping it gives the Bombastic Shiraz and Forgetful Lucy (Larkhill Jo – Sensation Lee) bitch some much needed confidence. She will need to do everything right to win. Cosmic Wise (4) is a last start winner over the 600 metre trip at The Meadows. She has gone 29.94 over the sprint distance here back in April. The draw works against her. Lastly, Athos (5) is facing a tough ask as he is rising in class and has just the two wins at the track for a best of 30.28.

Heat Five – Race 10 at 10:25pm

Innocent Til (2) is very talented but is always unlucky with box draws. However, he has been lucky and drawn the stripes for this heat so he is drawn to do his best. He has five wins at The Meadows and has stopped the clock at 29.79.

Seasoned Group race performer Ollie Bale (5) looks one of the main challengers. He has gone 29.84 at the track and notched up four wins from 13 attempts.

Campaspe Will (1) has struggled with his form since early May and hasn’t won since early April. The return to a decent box may see him bring out his best.

Beckenbauer’s (7) statistics indicate he is capable of running a place. He only has two wins from 14 at The Meadows but has been placed second on eight other occasions. He has a best of 30.26 and has won from box seven.

Zipping Snoopy (4) won a heat of the Maturity in 30.11 from box two here at the track a fortnight ago but then failed in the semi-finals. He recently made the final of the Bendigo Cup, finishing seventh to Warrior King. It all depends what happens at box-rise as to whether the Mantra Lad and Cho Chang (Whisky Assassin – Pacific Style) dog will feature.

Woodnear (3), Dyna Geldof (6) and Mepunga Armagh (8) were all unplaced in each of their last respective starts. They look to need a little bit of luck to come up trumps.

2014 Group Three Darwin Cup Preview

The rich red loam of Winnellie Park will play host to the 2014 Group Three Darwin Cup final on Friday evening.

A field littered with interstate raiders will vie for the $25,000 winners cheque over the testing 537 metre trip.

Three trainers will each rug up two dogs in the final with Victorians Robert Britton (Highbury and Engine Alley) and Darren McDonald (Rumbling Rick and Where’s The Surf), along with Queenslander Tom Tzouvelis (Le Sirenuse and Tee Brady) all qualifying a pair of runners.

Stephen Whyte (Clash Of Kings) and Jeffrey Cumming (Rumble Street) make up the field of eight.

Here is a look at each runner in detail;

1 – Clash Of Kings ($2.25) – Stephen Whyte - Set the time standards in the heats when flew around Winnellie Park in 31.33. His pedigree suggests that he can take the race out. He is a son of Fear Zafonic and the 2009 Darwin Cup winner Queen Lauryn (Token Prince – Cheeky Sprite) who will be hoping to replicate his mothers triumph here. Last week was his first start from box one and it looks to suit him perfectly. He is the one they have to beat.

2 – Rumbling Rick ($10) – Darren McDonald - A winner of 17 from 48 who was beaten 8 1/2 lengths by Clash Of Kings in his heat run. He should have some improvement in him this week but he will need to.

3 – Le Sirenuse ($5.00) – Tom Tzouvelis - A well performed Queensland youngster who finished second to Rumble Street in her heat. She may need to find a few lengths on that performance to trouble these.

4 – Where’s The Surf ($4.00) – Darren McDonald - One of the big guns in this race who could not quite mow down Highbury in his heat. He is likely to improve and if he comes out in the first couple, he will be right in contention when it matters the most.

5 – Tee Brady ($18) – Tom Tzouvelis - A seasoned interstate campaigner who lines up in his second Darwin Cup final here. Finished third to Highbury last week but was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths. He has finished in the top three at eight of his last ten starts including three wins. He could be the knockout at big odds.

6 – Highbury ($6.50) – Robert Britton - Speedy customer who staved off some strong challengers to win his heat in 31.63. He will be hoping to find the front early and do the same again in this race. He has handled wider draws in the past including last week’s effort from box seven.

7 – Rumble Street ($6.50) – Jeffrey Cumming - Returned to winning form last week with a 31.67 heat win from this box. Almost all of her wins have come from outside boxes which has to bring her into calculations here.

8 – Engine Alley ($18) – Robert Britton - An injury plagued greyhound who had his first run for 374 days last week when he finished third to Clash Of Kings from this box. If he recaptures anywhere near his best career form he could surprise a few of these but it is very hard to draw a form line from that one run. Take him on trust.

Reserves

9 – Saleen ($51) – Graeme Ferns - A consistent local who has been placed in 30 of her 51 starts but only managed to win seven of them. She will be tested if she gains a start.

10 – I’m Ziva ($51) – Kerry Perrett - A winner of four from 21 who would need luck to feature in this class.

Selections: 1-4-7-5

The above odds can be found at Sportingbet who are offering a $700 free bet. When asked about the Darwin Cup, Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown provided the following opinion –

“Clash Of Kings looked outstanding running the fastest heat and the red box is perfect for him. Where’s The Surf must be respected and Le Sirenuse hit the line well in her heat after copping plenty of trouble so she certainly wouldn’t surprise.”

The Darwin Cup fixed odds market can be found here.

Elite Fields To Contest Victorian National Distance Championship Heats

This Thursday evening sees the beginning of a frenzy of qualifying races Australia-wide for the National Distance and Sprint titles in each state.

Greyhounds will attempt to win through to their own state finals before then earning a crack at qualifying for the big national finals in Western Australia on August 23.

There is likely to be few series anywhere in the country that rival the Victorian stayers event, which takes place at Sandown Park this Thursday night.

Four heats overflowing with Group One performers will form a terrific night of racing which is sure to please the most fastidious of half-mile aficionados.

Despite Victoria being well regarded as the premier state when it comes to depth in the staying ranks, the last winner of the National Distance Championship to come through the series in the Garden State was Jarvis Bale back in 2009.

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

AGRA National Distance Championships Victoria Heat 1 – 7:44pm

Last weekend’s Victorian Distance Championship winner Mepunga Tiara (8) headlines the first heat. The Jeff Britton trained daughter of Premier Fantasy and Mepunga Opal (Hallucinate – Mepunga Spark) now boasts a Group Two win as well as multiple Group One final appearances in her 34-start career. She has a personal best of 42.46 at Sandown and is yet to miss a place in three outings there. She is the one to beat.

Coral (1) has earned a crack at top-line racing with some sensational efforts of late. The Amanda Scott trained daughter of Bombastic Shiraz and Daintree Lady (Light Of Fire – Honchytonk Girl) has won her last five races including an all-the-way 42.12 effort at Sandown. She has won two of three at the track and also won two races out of box one from five attempts. She will give them something to catch.

Born Ali (3) is a Group One winner who has been a little below her best in recent times. She has not won since late March and comes into this on the back of a three-week spell. If she can recapture her best she will be right in it, but it’s a big “if”.

Arejay Smokey (4) made the Victorian Distance Championship final last week where he finished seventh to Mepunga Tiara. He is yet to win here in four attempts and will need to improve to win this heat.

AGRA National Distance Championships Victoria Heat 2 – 8:08pm

A cracker second heat features triple Group winning bitch Dyna Willow (8). The Steve Collins trained daughter of Collision and Horizon Bale (Stately Bird – Vodeena Bale) stormed home to run second in the Victorian Distance Championships last Saturday night at The Meadows. That was just her second run back from a three-month layoff and she should be ready to fire here. If she goes anywhere near her best of 41.99, she is going to take some beating.

Zipping Joe (3) is a consistent type who also made the final of the Victorian Distance Championships last Saturday night. He has a best of 42.14 and is in the hands of the astute trainer Darren McDonald. If he is prominent early he could pose a huge threat.

Zipping Rory (4) may only be 30-months old but he is already stamping his name in the elite staying ranks. He ran a credible third to Mepunga Tiara in the final of the Victorian Distance Championships last Saturday night at The Meadows where he loomed large on the home turn. He has produced a very quick run of 41.89 here in his only win over this trip and if he finds the front, he could make things interesting.

Tarks Nemesis (1) could be the knockout dog in the race. The Angela Langton trained blue bitch finished second in the Sandown Cup here in May and has won three from seven over this journey. It would be no surprise to see her right in the race throughout.

AGRA National Distance Championships Victoria Heat 3 – 8:28pm

The third heat features the much-awaited return of the exciting dual Group One winning bitch Sweet It Is. The daughter of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) captured the imagination of greyhound fans with her eye-catching last-to-first wins in both the Association Cup at Wentworth Park and the Sandown Cup. The Darren McDonald trained black bitch only needs to find a passage through this field to be winning this heat.

Lethal Three (3) led the Victorian Distance Championship final for a long way last Saturday at The Meadows. She has a best of 42.25 and if she can find the front again this Thursday, she may be there for a long way.

Infinite Wish (7) is a Group placed bitch that has also made multiple feature finals. If there is a query over her, it is the fact that she has only won one race over this trip in 12 attempts. She has not missed a place in her last six outings and should be thereabouts.

AGRA National Distance Championships Victoria Heat 4 – 8:52pm

Champion sprinter/stayer Xylia Allen (1) headlines the fourth-and-final heat. Her run of nine straight wins came to an end last Saturday night in the Group Two Victorian Distance Championship final. The Jenny Hunt trained daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) has made a career out of winning Group races and won the National Sprint Final in 2013. She is the one to beat in this race.

Luby Lu (2) may not have the experience of some of her rivals in this race but she has proven she can carve out time at the track with a best of 41.90. She is yet to prove herself at the top level but gets her chance to lead from box two here.

Zipping Maggie (5) is a youngster who looks to have a big future. She reached the final of the Victorian Distance Championships after a quality second placing behind Mepunga Tiara in the heats. She is an improver.

Gold Affair Two (3) is a four-year-old veteran who has won 20 races in her 95-start career. She has a best of 41.91 at the track but has only won one race in 2014.

Clash Of Kings Dominates 2014 Darwin Cup Heats

Bunyip trainer Stephen Whyte holds all the aces heading into Friday night’s Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup final after the regally bred Clash Of Kings (1) qualified fastest in the three heats held at Winnellie Park on Monday night.

Whyte will have plenty of challengers with three trainers managing to qualify two dogs each for the final. Robert Britton, Darren McDonald and Tom Tsouvelis all qualified a pair for Friday’s $25,000 to-the-winner event.

Class Of Kings is a son of Fear Zafonic and 2009 Darwin Cup winner Queen Lauryn (Token Prince – Cheeky Sprite) and he took out the second heat in emphatic fashion, scoring by 7 1/2 lengths from Rumbling Rick (2) and Engine Alley (8) in the time of 31.33.

It was Clash Of Kings’ fifth win from just nine starts and he will be a force to be reckoned with after drawing the coveted rails alley for Friday’s final.

Earlier in the night, Robert Britton justified his trip north when Highbury (7) took out the opening heat. The son of Collision and Apology (Bond – Temperance) stopped the clock at 31.63, defeating Where’s The Surf (4) by a head with Tee Brady (8) filling third place.

The final heat of the night was taken out by Rumble Street (7) for Queensland mentor Jeffrey Cumming. The daughter of Hallucinate and Rumble Charm (Spiral Nikita – Rumble Spirit) registered the time of 31.67 en route to defeating Le Sirenuse (2) by four lengths with Saleen (1) in third.

The box draw for the Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup is as follows;

1 – Clash Of Kings – Stephen Whyte
2 – Rumbling Rick – Darren McDonald
3 – Le Sirenuse – Tom Tsouvelis
4 – Where’s The Surf – Darren McDonald
5 – Tee Brady – Tom Tsouvelis
6 – Highbury – Robert Britton
7 – Rumble Street – Jeff Cumming
8 – Engine Alley – Robert Britton

Reserves
9 – Saleen – Graeme Ferns
10 – I’m Ziva – Kerry Perrett

RIP Elektra – One Of The All Time Greats

One of Australian Greyhound Racing’s true great stayers passed away today. Elektra was one of the true champions of the modern era and will be greatly missed.

ARG was lucky enough to catch up with her proud owner and long term friend Philip Lenehan to discuss the life and career of an all-time favourite.

“There was two stages to her career. Firstly was her time with Bate and then post-Bate with Keith Harding in WA. It’s funny, Batesy (Graeme Bate) actually announced her retirement to GRV and NGF and looked silly when we sent her to WA. He wasn’t real happy when I pulled her out of retirement, but we thought she would be suited going around the one track consistently at Cannington. She won the Galaxy and was the 2008 WA greyhound of the year, so I think the decision was justified.”

Philip, or Red Eye to his mates, laughed whilst telling a story involving ARG’s own Kevin Pitstock.

“Kevin trialled her one night at Warrnambool before she had raced. He had a black bitch that was similar and we had everyone convinced she was Kevin’s bitch Pitch n Putt. One of Warrnambool’s large punters backed Pitch n Putt off the map at Horsham and of course she ran nowhere.”

“The funny thing is that the plan worked beautifully until we backed her at her first start for a fair whack. Batesy was training for us at the time and had one in the race of Wheeler’s. It was also having its first start and we were told it was just a dog. It had box one and was Dyna Redbull and bolted in. We later found out that Batesy had put a lazy $800 on his and was too smart for us. Dyna Redbull went on to win over 90k in prizemoney. The shame was that 450m was too short for her, or else we might have had the last laugh.”

Whilst speaking to “Red Eye” the passion was obvious when discussing Elektra.

“Jill basically ran the show. She would always bark at strangers and was always a bit different. But we loved her regardless and loved having her around the place. She would just roam and enjoy the property daily. She started everything with the Lektra name and really put our name back on the map.”

When I asked Red Eye what his favourite memory was of this superstar bitch, the answer surprised but made perfect sense.

“It was before the 2006 Sandown Cup final and we were first reserve. Texas Gold was scratched and I was training her myself and was in my first and only group one race as a trainer. Darren McDonald offered 25k and then Dennis Trewin chimed in with a 30k offer before the final and we really ummed and arred about it. My dad wanted to sell, but we decided that we would keep her and the rest is history.”

Elektra wasn’t the only talented bitch to come out of the Primo Uno-Natural Class litter, with the highly talented Speedy Lino also flying the flag for the litter.

“Speedy Lino was meant to be Speedy Uno and the GRV couldn’t read my shithouse handwriting. Everyone wondered where the Lino came from and when she won 80k in prizemoney I didn’t care what she was called. We actually ended up calling one of the others in the litter Speedy Uno and I got my wife Sue to write the papers.”

When we look at a bitch of the ilk of the great Elektra we are instantly drawn to the breeding barn and what she has thrown and what the remainder of the line can produce.

“Lektra Jay was the best of the racedogs. Lektra Radiant also had a lot of ability and Lektra Johnson was a favorite of ours. Elektra and her pups cracked a million in prizemoney and we hope the line can continue. Lektra Scarlett has had a litter to Cosmic Chief and we are hoping that she might carry on the flag for her mum.”

When asked what the favourite Elektra run was, Red Eye was definite and instant.

“The Galaxy win and the racecall when she crossed the line sent tingles up my spine. She could do it and she did.”

Watch the replay below and remember one of the all-time greats who is still locked in the top echelon of prizemoney earners in Australian Greyhound Racing history. RIP champion.


Elektra In One Of Her Scintillating Wins – 2008 Galaxy (3)

Upsets Continue In Semi’s Of 2014 Group One Maturity Classic

Upsets have been the flavour of the 2014 Group One Maturity Classic so far and that didn’t stop on Saturday night; with two of the four semi winners at double-figure odds while the other two winners were not sent out as favourites.

Lamia Bale set the time standard into the finals, stopping the clock at 29.99 and paying a very juicy $22.90. The Steve Collins trained bitch by High Earner and Maple Bale (Spiral Nikita – Vista Bale) narrowly defeated Sisco Rage (1) who unleashed her customary finish to miss victory by a nose. Lamia Bale was fast away and this worked to her benefit as race favourite Spring Leaf (4) was slow away and never fired a shot. The Darren McDonald trained Sisco Rage, a bitch by High Earner and Sisco Power (Sisco Buzz – Sisco Yep) joins Lamia Bale in the final next week.

The other long-odds winner was Grand Legacy (5) for Peter Dapiran. The El Grand Señor and Premier Babe (Premier Fantasy – Ikari Babe) dog saluted at odds of $17.30 as he pulled off a win from a bad draw. It was also his first win at the track. Favourite Eliza Blanche (8) was beaten by the box and the other dog in the market, Luca Neveelk (7), demonstrated that he really needs to lead to show his best work. When the lids opened, Crackerjack Rose (2) showed the best speed, leading into the first turn. Take Charge (3) also got away well and took the lead turning into the back straight. Grand Legacy was third at this stage and down the home straight he put in the long strides to secure a two and a half length win in 30.17 over Take Charge. The Stephen McKenna trained Take Charge, a dog by Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic), will take a spot in next week’s final with Grand Legacy.

The other two winners, Mepunga Hayley (5) and Humphrey Bale (1), both saluted at odds of $6.00. Mepunga Hayley, a bitch by Bekim Bale and Mepunga Harmony (Pure Octane – Mepunga Shiraz) lowered the colours of $1.80 favourite Hooksy. The Jeff Britton trained Mepunga Hayley led easily, crossing other noted beginners Rue De Kahn (4) and Push It (2) quickly and shooting away to win in 30.00. Hooksy was pushed wide at the first turn but he managed to put himself into second and finished two and a half lengths behind Mepunga Hayley. The Tanya Auld trained Hooksy has scraped through all series but the black dog by Hondo Black and Uno Witch (Primo Uno – Proven Tops) may well just peak in time for the final.

In Humphrey Bale’s race, Shoulders (3) and Where’s The Surf (2) vied for favouritism. Humphrey Bale trumped them all, leading all the way in 30.18 for trainer Andrea Dailly. The Bartrim Bale and Pindari Bale (Collision – Maple Bale) dog won his seventh race at the track and is considered something of a track specialist at The Meadows. Where’s The Surf and Shoulders squeezed each other for room early with Where’s The Surf worst affected. Shoulders finished impressively to finish second, grabbing Samus Allen down the home straight and in turn, snaring himself a spot in the final. Shoulders, a black dog by Cosmic Rumble and Bit Stressed (Bit Chili – Stresa) will be the only NSW trained dog in the final for trainer Anthony Azzopardi’s

The box draw for next week’s final is:

Box 1 – Sisco Rage – Darren McDonald (30.00)
Box 2 – Shoulders – Anthony Azzopardi (30.20)
Box 3 – Take Charge – Stephen McKenna (30.33)
Box 4 – Lamia Bale – Steven Collins (29.99)
Box 5 – Humphrey Bale – Andrea Dailly (30.18)
Box 6 – Grand Legacy – Peter Dapiran (30.17)
Box 7 – Hooksy – Tanya Auld (30.16)
Box 8 – Mepunga Hayley – Jeff Britton (30.00)

First Reserve: Trail Blazing – Tina Womann 30.12)
Second Reserve: Wind Whistler – Angela Langton (30.29)

Xylia Allen Dominates Victorian Distance Championship Heats

Champion race bitch Xylia Allen has set up a date with destiny after qualifying fastest for the final of the 2014 Group Two Victorian Distance Championship at The Meadows on Saturday night.

The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) stopped the clock at 42.47 in the third and final heat en route to a four length win. She now has the opportunity to become the sport’s greatest prize-money earner of all time if she can take out next week’s final.

After exiting box two in sixth place, Xylia Allen found the rails and bided her time on the fence. She then exploded down the back straight to make her way to second before zooming past early leader Unix Bale (3) in the home straight and racing away to win.

Lethal Three (4) chased home Xylia Allen well for second place while Zipping Rory (7) filled third.

Just as she did in the recent Group 2 McKenna Memorial Final, Xylia Allen will exit box one in the $40,000 to-the-winner event next Saturday night.

Earlier in the night, Anakie mentor Jeff Britton took out heat one when Mepunga Tiara (8) returned to her front running best to score by 1 1/2 lengths in 42.72.

After being sent out and odds-on favourite, the dual Group One finalist opened up a big break early before she had to dig deep to stave off the strong challenges of youngster Zipping Maggie (6). Arejay Smokey filled third position.

The second heat went the way of the Darren McDonald trained Zipping Joe (4). The regally bred son of Bombastic Shiraz and Or Catra (Brett Lee – Gold Serenade) displayed his customary strong finish to register the time of 43.00, winning by 3 1/4 lengths.

After jumping mid-field, the 29kg dog made his way to third as they passed the post the first time as Galloping Rocky (8) made the pace up front as a tear-away lamp lighter.

It was not until the field swung around the home turn that Zipping Joe’s superior strength became evident as he overhauled the early leaders to win.

Dyna Willow (7) ran a quality race to finish second and qualify for the final. In her first race start since April, the Steve Collins trained bitch began well and found trouble when attempting to cross to the fence. She still managed to find the tenacity to run on again and grab second. Early leader Galloping Rocky clung on to third place.

The box draw for next Saturday night’s $40,000 Group Two Victorian Distance Championship is as follows;

1 – Xylia Allen (Jenny Hunt)
2 – Zipping Maggie (Peter Daprain)
3 – Lethal Three (Kelly Bravo)
4 – Dyna Willow (Steve Collins)
5 – Zipping Joe (Darren McDonald)
6 – Mepunga Tiara (Jeff Britton)
7 – Arejay Smokey (Bob Iredale)
8 – Zipping Rory (Bethany Daprain)

Reserves
9 – Galloping Rocky (Robert Conway)
10 – Liara Allen (Steve Collins)

The Meadows Greyhounds Tips & Betting Preview July 19th 2014

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Race 1 – 525M Grade 5 – 7:18PM

Very even affair to kick off the meeting but i think the promising Capullo Bale can make amends for his luckless run here last week. After beginning fairly he showed a good turn of foot before then losing his way through the first bend. I think with the benefit of seeing the track last week he should be able to find plenty. His three provincial wins in June where brilliant and i have a fairly big opinion of this one.

Roy Galo is a very hard dog to follow but he is ideally drawn out wide and he should appreciate the enormous drop in class. He has contested FFA events for quite some time and although it was a while back, he did record his sizzling 29.82 PB here from this draw. Frank Furter must also be considered in this event, he is armed with smart early speed and he should go with Capullo Bale for most of the trip, his last 50m is always a worry but he has got a little stronger in recent times.

Top Four: 6 – 8 – 5 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Capullo Bale

Trifecta: 5,6,8/5,6,8/1,3,5,6,7,8 ($24 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 5,6,8 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 2 – 600M Grade 5 Final – 7:40PM

Another open race but i think the box draw is going to play a major role in the result. Reen’s Fabian has come up with the gun draw and he looked very impressive in his strong 34.90 heat win. He was quite slow to begin last week but from the better draw he should be able to find a couple of lengths to the first marker and on the bunny he should be able to get down to the 34.40 mark.

Ima Fairytale is highly talented and she too overcame some difficulties in her strong 35.16 heat win, however the box draw hasn’t been too kind to her. She is likely to settle back in the field early but with some luck in running she won’t be far away at the finish. Morningside is the smokey in the event, she can make a lot of mistakes in her races and she tends to lose concentration at times but if she remains switched on she will run a big race at odds.

Top Four: 1 – 4 – 5 – 2

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Reen’s Fabian (very keen on this one)

Trifecta: 1,4/1,4/Field ($12 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/2,4,5/Field ($12 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/2,4,5/2,4,5 ($6 for 100%)

 

Race 3 – 725M Distance Championship Heat One – 7:57PM

The perfectly drawn Mepunga Tiara has been racing in good company of late and she has been far from disgraced. She is probably better suited to a middle distance but she is still more than capable over this journey. Being a very reliable beginner, i would expect her to be able to carve across to the early lead and she should prove too hard to reel in.

Know Class has been racing against the likes of Xylia Allen in recent times and he should appreciate the drop in class. He can be a little slow to begin at times but if he can get through the first bend untouched he won’t be far away at the business end. Zipping Maggie is showing promise over the staying journey and this is clearly her toughest test, im still not convinced that she is a genuine stayer but this event isn’t overly strong and she can play a major role.

Top Four: 8 – 4 – 6 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Mepunga Tiara

Trifecta: 8/4/Field ($5 for 100%)

Trifecta: 8/3,4,6/Field ($15 for 100%)

 

Race 4 – 725M Distance Championship Heat Two – 8:20PM

Star stayer Dyna Willow is making her long awaited return to racing and if she is anywhere near peak fitness she should make light work of her opposition. Prior to going for a spell she had recorded two breathtaking 720m Wentworth Park wins and on both occasions she came from off the speed and powered to the line. Being first up from a spell she should show a little more early dash and therefore she will find herself in a much more prominent position early.

Luna Jinx is a huge talent but she can make a lot of mistakes in her races. Back in may she scored a scorching 41.68 Sandown Park win and she looked as though she was going to take the staying world by storm, however she has shown that she doesn’t like to be crowded in her races and she tends to ease when she feels pressure on her outside. If she can get into some open space she will put some pressure on the favourite. Zipping Joe rounds out the winning hopes, he has been racing in rare form of late and he should be suited by the empty box on his outside.

Top Four: 7 – 3 – 4 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Dyna Willow if you can find even money or better

Trifecta: 7/3,4,6/2,3,4,6 ($9 for 100%)

Trifecta: 3,7/3,7/Field ($10 for 100%)

 

Race 5 – 525M Maturity Classic Semi Final One – 8:40PM

He was a little disappointing here last week but i think super star sprinter Hooksy can make amends tonight. Drawn perfectly in the pink he should get plenty of room early to show his explosive turn of foot and he should be off and gone as they head through the first turn. This bloke is an absolute star and i can’t wait to see what the clock shows if he goes around untouched.

My Bro Fabio was enormous here last week when scoring in 29.79 and he is clearly a danger again, however in his heat he was able to settle very close to the speed and i don’t think he will be afforded those favours tonight. There is a fair bit of speed in this race and im guessing he will settle in the last three, he is still good enough to score but i think the quinella spot looks best. Mepunga Hayley is another tremendous talent and if she can find her best box manners she may give Hooksy a run for his money.

Top Four: 8 – 7 – 5 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Hooksy (if you get evens or better)

Trifecta: 8/3,5,7/3,5,7 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 8/3,5,7/Field ($18 for 100%0

Trifecta: 8/7/Field ($6 for 100%)

 

Race 6 – 525M Maturity Classic Semi Final Two – 8:58PM

This is easily the most open of the four semis but i think i have found the winner with the Darren McDonald trained Where’s The Surf. He has scored a hat trick of wins and he looked ultra impressive when scoring here last week in 30.05. He was fair to begin in his heat but he showed a great turn of foot and he assumed control soon after the start. His first section of 5.13 would see him settle in the first three early and he will prove very hard to hold out.

Shoulders looms as the obvious danger based on his two sub 30 second wins here in June, last week he missed the kick a little and wasn’t really a factor, tonight im anticipating that he will step a little better and he should make his presence felt. Humphrey Bale is the other genuine winning hope, whilst Dyna Alchemist can cause an upset with some luck early. I’m a big fan of Dyna Alchemist but i would have preferred him to have drawn much closer to the rail.

Top Four: 2 – 3 – 1 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Where’s The Surf

Trifecta: 1,2,3/1,2,3/1,2,3,6,7,8 ($24 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 1,2,3 ($3 for 100%)

Exacta: 2,3/1,2,3,6 ($6 for 100%)

 

Race 7 – 525M Maturity Classic Semi Final Three – 9:20PM

I think we have found the best value of the night in this event with the perfectly drawn Summer Wages. Last week he showed tremendous early speed before tiring in the concluding stages. If he can step cleanly he should be able to hold the early lead again and i think he will be much better for the run. At present you can find $14 fixed with some betting agencies and that is a great each way investment.

Eliza Blanche is going to start quite short but i think she is the lay of the night, her box manners aren’t great and she is desperate for the fence. There is quite a bit of early speed drawn underneath her and I’m anticipating that she will be posted wide for most of the trip. Dyna Ostrander is a promising up and coming chaser and if he can reproduce his 30.05 effort from last week he should be in the mix, he can miss the kick at times but he does have an explosive turn of foot. Grand Legacy could be another value bet, he will be big odds but he was far from disgraced when placed here last week.

Top Four: 1 – 6 – 5 – 7

Suggested Bets:

Win bets on Summer Wages and Grand Legacy

Boxed Quinella: 1,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,5,6/1,5,6,7 ($9 for 100%)

 

Race 8 – 525M Maturity Classic Semi Final Four – 9:42PM

The final semi appears to be another wide open affair but the well drawn Sisco Rage looks poised to make a big impact. In recent times he has been bombing the start and he has then had to work overtime during the race to get into a competitive position. From the red he should be able to anticipate the start a lot better and he will find himself in a more prominent position early. Some of his performances have been massive of late and he is great value at the $5.50 mark.

All Strung Out is a star stayer in the making but at present he is flying over the sprint trip. He didn’t have a lot in his heat last week but he still hit the line hard for a strong placing and prior to that he did post a powerful 30.11 win here. His chances hinge on whether or not he gets a clear crack through the first turn but with an ounce of luck he will be in the mix. Lamia Bale could be the smokey in the event, she led for a long way last week and she appears to be improving with every run.

Top Four: 1 – 3 – 7 – 5

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Sisco Rage

Boxed Quinella: 1,3,5,7 ($6 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,3/1,3,5,7 ($6 for 100%)

 

Race 9 – 725M Distance Championship Heat Three – 10:02PM

The great Xylia Allen gets to strut her stuff again tonight and she should make it eight wins in a row. She is yet to win over this trip but her 700m form of late has been spectacular and realistically bad luck is her only danger. It’s worth noting that if she can win next week’s final she will be the greatest ever prize money earner in the history of greyhound racing.

Zipping Rory looms as the main danger, in recent weeks he has scored two brilliant metro wins and he continues to get better with every run. I don’t think he can go with the champ but he should have no trouble filling the quinella spot. Hala Belle rounds out the place chances, she has been placed in two of three here and she has been racing in this type of class for quite a while now. She is drawn to settle near the speed and she should plug on for third.

Top Four: 2 – 7 – 8 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 2/6,7,8/6,7,8 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2/7/6,8 ($2 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2/7,8/7,8 ($2 for 100%)

 

Race 10 – 525M Free For All – 10:22PM

Dream It has been racing over the middle distances of late but he should be suited by the drop back to 525m. Prior to rising in distance he had posted two brilliant wins here with the latest being in a slick 29.91. From the red draw he should be able to punch through and lead at the first bend and he should prove too strong in the run to the line.

Hailstorm Billy is a super consistent chaser and he tends to race very well here. Three starts ago he hit the line strongly when placed behind the then in form Gimme Fuel and this race looks to have similar depth. Prue Bale is the interesting runner, she has had three weeks off and the freshen up could be just what she needed, when she is on song she is brilliant and she can show explosive early speed in her races.

Top Four: 1 – 4 – 7 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 1,6,7/4/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,6,7/Field/4 ($18 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,7/1,4,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 1,4,7 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 11 – 600M Mixed 4/5 – 10:42PM

Go Mobo is an ultra consistent chaser and he should be able to lead from go to whoa tonight. He has been placed in seven of his past eight which includes three impressive victories. Tonights event is a lot weaker than what he has been facing and if he can step on terms he should get the cash.

Ever Alert is a promising stayer in the making and he scored two impressive middle distance wins in June. He is a wide runner so the pink draw suits but his lack of early speed means that he may get posted wide in the early stages. If he gets through the first bend without a lot of interference, he should make his presence felt. Hougenie is a smart QLD chaser and he didn’t have a lot of luck in his Meadows debut, he should be much better for the run and he has the ability to cause a boil over.

Top Four: 5 – 8 – 4 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Go Mobo

Trifecta: 5,8/5,8/Field ($12 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 4,5,8 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 12 – 525M Mixed 4/5 – 11:00PM

Good race to finish the night and i think the in form Dyna Kayla should send us home on a winning note. She has won her past two starts in impressive fashion and she has won three of five over this track and trip. She should get a nice sit on probable leader Fort Allen and she will prove too strong in the run home.

Fort Allen has the good draw and he should be able to hold the lead at the first bend. He has been racing in consistent fashion and he has been placed in 16 of his 24 tries here, i dont think he is strong enough to hold on but he should be able to hold on to a minor spot. Warrior King recently won the Group Two Bendigo Cup and he is always a chance, the draw is a big concern tonight but if he gets away on terms he will surely make his presence felt. Heidi Go Seek could be the blowout chance and she must be included in your exotic bets.

Top Four: 2 – 1 – 7 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Dyna Kayla

Boxed quinella: 1,2,7 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,2/1,2/Field ($12 for 100%)

 

Quaddie:

Leg 1: 8
Leg 2: 1,2,3,6
Leg 3: 1,5,6,7
Leg 4: 1,3

$32 for 100%

 

Best Bet:

Race 2: Reen’s Fabian

Race 5: Hooksy

Best Roughie:

Race 2: Morningside

Sandown Park Greyhounds Tips & Betting Preview July 17th 2014

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Race 1 – 595M Novice Grade 5 – 7:08PM

Dewana Angel is showing plenty of potential and she finds herself in a very weak race. Earlier in her career she scored a brilliant 30.15 Cranbourne win and it looked as though she was going to onto much better things. Unfortunately she was rushed into a staying campaign and it didn’t seem to work for her, from the pink box tonight she should get a clear run in the early stages and with her great mid race pace she should put them to the sword as they past the post the first time. It really is a weak race and if you can grab even money or better that is great value.

Buckle Up Axel has shown significant improvement of late and although he doesn’t win very often, he appears well placed in this event. Three starts ago he hit the line solidly when scoring here in 29.95 and he should be suited by the step up in distance. Starlight Ruby is another who steps up in journey and based on her recent Cranbourne performances she should have no trouble with the extra journey. Dyna Treason rounds out the winning chances, had he drawn closer to the fence he would be more fancied, however he can miss the kick at times and he will need the breaks early.

Top Four: 8 – 7 – 6 – 5

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Dewana Angel

Trifecta: 8/5,6,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 5,6,8/7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 5,6,8/Field/7 ($18 for 100%)

Quinella: 8 to rove with 5,6,7 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 2 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 7:25PM

Very tough race as there are a number of quality front runners, with this being said I have no option but to go with Elite Devil in the red. From the red draw he should be able to punch through and hold them out at the first bend. Two starts ago he finished just outside the placings in the Bendigo Cup Final and he followed that up with a handy placing here last week. Last week he appeared to miss the kick a little and he has to work hard in the run. If he gets away on terms tonight he will hold them out and I can’t see them reeling him in when he is running sub 29.60 on the bunny.

Sooty Lee didn’t have a lot of luck here last week but prior to that she had scored three brilliant provincial wins and they were all in quick times. From the two box she should be able to follow Elite Devil through at the first bend and she will make her presence felt off the back straight. Alotta Luck is the run on dog in the event and she isn’t that poorly drawn in the middle. I’m anticipating that she will miss the kick and that should allow her to find the rails in the early stages. She is very fast when given galloping room and she can really run time with a trouble free run.

Top Four: 1 – 2 – 5 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Elite Devil

Exacta: 1,2/1,2,5,8 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,2,5/1,2,5/Field ($30 for 100%)

Quinella: 1 to rove with 2,5,8 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 3 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 7:44PM

Another open race but I think we can find a bit of value in this event. See Him First has been doing most of his recent racing over the staying journey of late but I think he is better suited back to this trip. He is capable of pinging the lids in his races and after a couple of weeks off he should be ready to fire. Prior to stepping up to the staying trip, he had posted some explosive wins at The Meadows over 525m which proves he has the speed to match it with this lot.

Dynamo’s Gift is another who will go around at over’s and he appears suited in this line-up. In recent times he hasn’t experienced a lot of luck but if you look back through his form he has won here in a sizzling 29.46. To make an impact he just needs an ounce of luck early and he will go around at nice odds. Hold On Wincup has been racing in consistent style and he drawn to probably hold the lead, he has scored some fast wins over this distance range and he may give a sight out in front. Dello Bale is the most talented chaser in the race but he will get a long way back early from the middle draw.

Top Four: 3 – 2 – 1 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Win bets on See Him First and Dynamo’s Gift

Boxed Quinella: 1,2,3,6 ($6 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,2,3/1,2,3,6 ($9 for 100%)

 

Race 4 – 595M Grade 5 – 8:08PM

Rumbling Rick is stepping up in distance and he has given every indication that it won’t pose any problems. Luckily he finds himself in a race which lacks depth and provided he steps away cleanly he should lead throughout. In his recent placings here over 515m he has appeared to hit the line solidly and he looks to be getting stronger each time. The red has a bit of pace early and might worry him for the first 100m but he should have no trouble burning her off as they past the post the first time.

Rumero Reason has been finding a lot of trouble in his recent racing and he is facing a considerable drop in class. Once again the draw hasn’t done him any favours but he should be able to find the fence soon after the start and he will run home into the quinella spot. Stylish Baroque has been pinging the lids of late and she should give the favourite some trouble early on, however she lacks the class to keep up with him and she should wilter into third spot. Ema’s Princess is quite well drawn in the three box and she has enough talent to cause a boil over.

Top Four: 2 – 4 – 1 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 2/1,3,4/1,3,4 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2/1,3,4/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2/4/Field ($6 for 100%)

Quinella: 2 to rove with 1,3,4 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 5 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 8:28PM

Good race to open up the quaddie and I think the Darren McDonald trained Quick Succession can get the job done. She has been racing in good style of late and she is normally a very reliable beginner. There is a little pace drawn on her outside but the inside division all lack speed and she shouldn’t have too many issues in the finding the fence. She has a handy 29.64 PB here but I think she is a little better now and she should be able to go sub 29.50 on the bunny.

Ollie Bale looks as the obvious danger after scoring at Geelong in 25.82 last week. The draw helped in his last start win but he did record his sizzling 29.36 PB here from an awkward draw and he should get a nice cart across from Quick Succession in the early stages. Deadly Boy appears to be the only other winning prospect, after a string of luckless efforts he returned to his best with a smart 31.31 Ballarat win last time and he appears well drawn again tonight.

Top Four: 5 – 6 – 2 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 5/2,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)

Exacta: 2,5,6/2,5,6,8 ($9 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2,5,6/2,5,6,8/1,2,4,5,6,8 ($36 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 2,5,6 ($3 for 100%0

 

Race 6 – 515M Grade 4 – 8:52PM

Wide open affair and I think the down on confidence Lektra Hawk may put his best paw forward. He is likely to start double figures tonight but he is one of the more talented chasers in this event. When on song he is able to show tremendous early speed and with a clean getaway he would have no trouble crossing at the first turn. He is clearly no standout but at the double figure odds he is worth an each way ticket.

I was never a fan of Beckenbauer but his effort last week behind Crawf’s Bread impressed me. He is normally known for being an on the bunny dog but he continued to hit the line well last week after settling second last week. From the red he should be in contention throughout, the only knock on him is that he will be under the odds. Pappa Gallo scored a brilliant 29.45 win here last month and he is likely to be over the odds tonight. He can be a tad hard to follow at times but there is no doubt that he has the talent to match it with these. Crawf’s Bread loves this track and he must be included in all exotic bets.

Top Four: 7 – 1 – 5 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Win bets on Lektra Hawk and Pappa Galo

Boxed Quinella: 1,5,7,8 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,5,7/1,5,7/Field ($30 for 100%)

 

Race 7 – 595M Mixed 4/5 – 9:11PM

Untraceable has an enormous engine and he looks perfectly placed in the three hole tonight. Last week he was narrowly beaten by My Boy Snoop and I think he can turn the tables on him. Especially is expected to lead from the two and he should be able to drive through at the first bend and sit on her heels for most of the journey. I am expecting My Boy Snoop to be a little further back in the run than last week and therefore Untraceable should get his chance to salute.

Although I think he is going to get further back in the early stages tonight, I still believe he is the main danger. After a slow start he worked his way through the field nicely last week and he really only needs an ounce of luck early to feature. Especially made her middle distance debut last week and she led for a long way, she is likely to lead again and she should have derived a lot of benefit from last week’s performance. Great Spartacus will be well fancied and is in good form, however I don’t think is well suited in the pink tonight, there is a lot of speed underneath and he is likely to be posted wide for most of the trip.

Top Four: 3 – 4 – 2 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Untraceable

Boxed Quinella: 2,3,4 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 2,3,4/2,3,4/Field ($30 for 100%)

 

Race 8 – 515M Free For All – 9:35PM

Very even affair and the super consistent Hawk Alone is bursting to break through again. After winning at The Meadows in a smart 30.04, he recorded three consecutive placings with the latest being here last week when going down narrowly to gun sprinter Marcus Joe. Once again he isn’t drawn very favourably but there is plenty of speed underneath and that should allow him to glide across to the rail in the early stages with limited interference. He is very good in a field and he should be able to weave his way through the field off the back straight.

Mepunga Armagh was probably a little disappointing after leading here last week, however he is lid pinging at present and if he finds the bunny again he will definitely prove hard to reel in. Awesome Project is going to be well supported but h e has a fair bit of speed drawn either side and I don’t think he will be afforded a lot of favours in the early stages. Clone Your Own could be the blowout chance, his form looks ordinary at present but he has the perfect draw for him and if he happens to come out cleanly he has the talent to cause an upset.

Top Four: 6 – 5 – 4 – 7

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Hawk Alone

Trifecta: 5,6/5,6/Field ($12 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 4,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

 

Race 9 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 9:55PM

Even affair but if the classy Peloton Bale is afforded an ounce of luck he should make light work of these. He has drawn poorly in the six box but his racing pattern suggests he is going to settle back in the field anyway. Two starts ago he stormed to the line when scoring at The Meadows in 29.92 and if he repeats that effort he will take a power of beating. His record here isn’t great but most of those efforts where in much stronger company.

Lektra Bianca is the smokey in the event, she is a reliable beginner and I would expect her to punch through and lead at the first turn. She isn’t a star but she always puts in and she will give a great site at big odds. Al Moran has been racing in great form of late and he has a tremendous turn of foot. The wide draw is a little disadvantage but his box manners are generally pretty good and he should find himself in a prominent position early. Ready To Riot is a gun NSW speedster but she has proven to be costly and very unreliable in recent times. If she can find the form which saw her win at The Meadows in 30.10 she could be a major player tonight.

Top Four: 6 – 2 – 7 – 4

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 6/2,4,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Place bet on Lektra Bianca

Boxed Quinella: 2,6,7 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 10 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 10:12PM

Very intriguing affair with the two likely favourites drawn on either side of the track. Hostile is a genuine up and coming star, whilst Cosmic Wise has been racing in brilliant style of the middle distances of late. I think Hostile gets his best chance to open up his Sandown Park account. Three starts ago he pinged from the red box and led throughout when scoring at The Meadows in 29.94, his second section and run home times where ultra impressive. If he gets through the first bend unscathed tonight he will be running some serious time on the bunny.

Form says Cosmic Wise it the danger, however I think the talented Searle Bale can cause the biggest problems. She has a tendency to ping the lids from wide draws and her effort behind Xyllia Allen two runs back here over 595m was massive. If she can ping away again she will definitely make the two favoured runners work hard for victory. Cosmic Wise should feature if Searle Bale doesn’t get in her way mid race but I don’t really think this is her race. Astronomic must also be respected, this former WA star had little luck in his Victorian debut here last week and I’m sure his trainer will have him cherry ripe for tonight’s race.

Top Four: 1 – 7 – 4 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Hostile if $2.20 or better

Trifecta: 1,4,7/1,4,7/Field ($36 for 100%)

Boxed Quinella: 1,4,7 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/4,7,8/Field ($18 for 100%)

 

Race 11 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 10:32PM

Duchess Bale hasn’t been afforded a lot of luck in her recent efforts but when on song she is brilliant. Tonight she has a heap of early speed drawn directly underneath and that should allow her to get a nice cart across as they head into the first turn. I reckon she will be able to burn off Hallelujah Henry as they head for the back straight and she will prove too strong in the run to the line.

Hallelujah Henry as mentioned earlier, is armed with explosive early speed and he will be looking for the fence soon after box rise. I am expecting him to carve up the inside division and he should match motors with Duchess Bale for most of the trip. Kiltah Magic has the good draw and she is showing loads of promise, however this is an enormous rise in class for her and I think she may need another run or two before being competitive in this company. Grand Faith could be the surprise packet in the event, he is capable of pinging the lids on occasions and he has won here previously in a very zippy 29.49.

Top Four: 7 – 6 – 4 – 1

Suggested Bets:

Exacta: 6,7/1,4,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

Win bet on Duchess Bale

Trifecta: 6,7/1,4,6,7/1,3,4,5,6,7 ($24 For 100%)

 

Race 12 – 515M Grade 5 Heat – 10:52PM

Very tough race to finish but I think Dyna Glinda will get her chance to show her true ability. Three starts ago she scored a strong 30.56 Cranbourne win but since then she has continued to miss the start and find bother. Tonight she has a very slow beginner drawn underneath and she should be able to find the rail soon after the start. With a trouble free run she is probably a 29.50 chaser and if she gets anywhere near that she will take a power of beating.

Reckless Brown is a faultless beginner and he should lead for a long way. His last 50m is always a worry but if there is any shuffling at the first turn he may just pinch a big enough lead to hold on in the straight. Zipping Felix is an improving type and I think in time he will make a nice stayer, at present he still has enough zip to be a major player in these type of events. Bogner Bale is the real interesting runner, prior to his recent poor form he had showed tremendous promise and he has some sizzling metro wins to his credit. With some luck early he may be a major player in this.

Top Four: 3 – 1 – 8 – 5

Suggested Bets:

Win bets on Dyna Glinda and Bogner Bale(if he is over the odds).

Boxed quinella: 1,3,5,8 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 3,5,8/1/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 3,5,8/Field/1 ($18 for 100%)

 

Quaddie

Leg 1: 5,6
Leg 2: 1,5,7,8
Leg 3: 2,3,4
Leg 4: 5,6

$48 for 100%

 

Best Bets:

Race 1: Dewana Angel

Race 4: Rumbling Rick

Best Roughie:

Race 3: See Him First

Group One Maturity Series Kicks Off At The Meadows Tonight

Centrebet has a fixed odds market for each heat posted. Open an account and take advantage of a $200 free bet to launch with on tonight’s Maturity heats.

The Maturity Classic begins on Saturday night at The Meadows with twelve heats of the age-restricted 525 metre Group One event on the program.

The best 96 greyhounds whelped on or after 1 January 2012 were eligible for the event which has a grand-prize of $100,000 to the winner. The series is conducted over three weeks so these 96 will be whittled down to 32 with those 32 competing in the semi-finals next week.

Here is a look at the best chances in each heat:

Heat One – Race 1 at 7:14pm

Mepunga Hayley (2) is fresh off a fourth placing in the Group Two WA Oaks and returns to The Meadows where she has two wins and a placing from four attempts at the distance. She has a best of 30.01 and seven career wins overall. She will need to make amends for her last appearance back at The Meadows in June when she finished fourth after beginning slowly from box two. Prior to that, she had been on fire at Sandown.

White Spyro (7) is coming off a third-placing in the Group Two Bendigo Cup. The speedy white and black bitch is a quick beginner so she gets her chance in this race. She has won at the track in 30.21, but she is yet to win from box seven.

Fully Charged (6) has a great record at the track, running unplaced just once in six starts. His best time to date is 30.33, so he has to do everything right from box six.

Grand Faith (6) looks to have his share of ability but his recent form has been inconsistent. The son of El Grand Senor and Test Of Faith (Bombastic Shiraz-Charlsyn) is unbeaten at The Meadows from two starts and has a best time of 30.14. In both wins at The Meadows he has led all the way from box eight both times.

Heat Two – Race 2 at 7:38pm

A number of dogs in this race have experience at the track. Yodeller (5) has a great record with six wins and six placings from 14 starts. The Lonesome Cry – On Shore (Waterview Star – Bally Kay) dog has recorded a best of 30.13. Prior to last start eighth at Sandown, he had not been out of a place in six starts.

Living Proof (4) has one of the fastest times in the field of 30.04. He ran second to Hooksy at Shepparton at his most recent start. He is strong but will need some luck in the early stages.

Capullo Bale (2) has won five from 12 career starts and has been impressive around tracks like Sale, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat. This is the dogs first start at The Meadows and he has drawn well.

Hot Whirl (1) has broken 30 seconds at The Meadows and has the coveted rails draw. She is a risky beginner but if she can lead she will be in this a long way.

The interesting runner in the race is Queenslander Angvella (7). He was a finalist in the Group Two Queensland Derby and has found his way to Peter Dapiran’s kennels. He goes well from the outside and is capable of putting on a good show if things go his way.

Heat Three – Race 3 at 7:57pm

Samus Allen (5) has had an outstanding start to her short career, notching up seven wins from nine starts. The black bitch by Bekim Bale and Blachura Bale (Most Awesome – Hanicka Bale) has won four from five at The Meadows and has stopped the clock at 30.11. She has found trouble her last two starts so she needs to bounce back from that to return to the winner’s circle.

Dyna Glinda (4) hasn’t raced at The Meadows since she won there in May. Since that win her form has been very patchy but she came out and scored a good win at Cranbourne last start. She has two wins and two placings at The Meadows and as such, can’t be ignored.

Take Charge (6) recently competed in the Group Two Bendigo Cup series and finished fourth in his heat behind eventual Bendigo Cup winner Warrior King. He is a consistent beginner and has won at The Meadows in 30.20.

The favourable box draw brings Moot Point (1) into the race. The El Grand Senor and Jacinta Bale (Fortified Rush – Sunray Bale) dog has a top record from box one. He is strong and looks a great each-way chance.

Heat Four – Race 4 at 8:20pm

This is a tough race on paper, with plenty of talented young chasers engaged.

Push It (1) ran third in the Group One Peter Mosman Classic final. She is a smart beginner that has four wins from five starts out of box one. She ran sixth at her first look at the track last week but she had the unfavourable box six draw. She should improve on that.

Frank Furter (5) enjoys racing at The Meadows and has three wins at the track and a best time of 30.18. He is yet to record a win from box five but if he can begin like he has shown in the past, he may be able to overcome the draw.

Ennis Bale (7) also has a good record at The Meadows, winning twice and placing four times from six attempts. His best is 30.11 and he has a good record from wide draws.

Joey Valdez (4) has been unplaced just once in his 14 start career. He has started once at The Meadows for a second placing and that was last week behind All Strung Out. He is one of the chances based on his career form.

Heat Five – Race 5 at 8:40pm

NSW chaser Cosmic Angel (5) found his legs at The Meadows last week, streaking away to score a seven length win in 30.18. That win came from box one and he moves to the squeeze box for this event. He has four wins overall from eight starts and looks to have his fair share of ability.

Wind Whistler (1) is a slow beginner but likes box one. He hasn’t won at The Meadows but has been knocking on the door with two seconds and a third from three starts at the track. The Premier Fantasy and Seminole (Big Daddy Cool – Call Collect) bitch has scored strongly at Sandown Park in recent times.

Connections will be hoping Rue De Kahn (7) gained some benefit from her 30.44 trial at The Meadows last week. She has a steady beginner on her outside so should get some room to move in the early stages of the race. If she can get near the lead, she will be hard to beat.

Bekim Hatrick (8) has been racing over the longer trips with great success. He drops back in distance for this event and he will be powering home at the finish.

Heat Six – Race 6 at 8:57pm

Group Two Bendigo Cup victor and Group One Easter Egg winner Warrior King (1) is the drawcard in this heat. The step back up to 500 metre racing will suit him and he should go well as he has a best of 29.89 at the track.

Boxed next to Warrior King is Shoulders (2) who has had a very successful introduction to racing at The Meadows with two wins and two placings. Both wins have been sub-30 and he just keeps improving for trainer Anthony Azzopardi. He has led all the way in both wins and should be able to give Warrior King a run for his money.

Spring Leaf (6) has won five of her eight career starts and has won five from six at The Meadows. The Spring Gun and Scarlett Cath (Premier Fantasy – Scarlett Spy) bitch has two wins from box six at The Meadows so she is well in contention.

Heat Seven – Race 7 at 9:20pm

Hooksy (2) headlines this heat and after a slick win at Shepparton, he will be the short-priced favourite for this event. He has won at The Meadows in 29.95 and looks hard to beat. He would be considered as one of the favourites for the series.

Deadly Clear (8) has speed to burn as indicated by his 29.12 win at Sandown three starts ago. This is his first start at The Meadows. Overall, he has won six from 17.

Question Bale (5) has not been unplaced in his last eight starts and is a safe beginner. He has three wins from five goes at The Meadows and a best of 30.25. He could very well lead this race.

Heat Eight – Race 8 at 9:40pm

Group One Sapphire Crown winner Oakvale Destiny (6) arrives at The Meadows for her first start at the track. The strong bitch recently finished third in the Group Two WA Oaks and looks like she should handle racing at The Meadows. She just needs a little luck early to put herself in a good position to win the race.

The lightly raced Kerrigan Bale (4) is a last start winner at The Meadows in 30.17. The High Earner and Maple Bale (Spiral Nikita – Vista Bale) bitch has good speed early and if she leads she will prove hard to catch.

Eliza Blanche (8) for the Darren McDonald kennel has been outstanding in her only two career starts. The Radley Bale and Jackpot Return (Bombastic Shiraz – Call Me Cash) bitch has won both her attempts at The Meadows in a heat and final of a maiden event. This will obviously present a big test for her but she has broken 30 seconds both times and has won from box eight.

Lady Goldenpaw (1) has been out of the placings in three of her last four starts but she will relish the return to The Meadows, where she does some of her best work. She has placed in eight of nine at the track. She is yet to win from box one though.

Heat Nine – Race 9 at 10:05pm

Duchess Bale (7) has an unbeaten record at The Meadows, winning six from six and clocking a best of 29.95. With a record like that, she’s hard to go past.

Luca Neveelk (3) will face a new test in his short but exciting career. He has 12 wins from 14 starts and recently made his first Group race final, finishing fifth in the Group Two Bendigo Cup. This is his first start at The Meadows.

Waymore’s Blues (6) has been freshened for this event. His last start was in NSW back in June. The Collide and Casey’s Angel (Spiral Nikita – Leprechaun Yap) dog had been racing well in NSW and now returns back to Victoria, where he first started his career. He has got two wins at The Meadows to his credit and a best of 30.32. The poor box draw may work against him.

Heat 10 – Race 10 at 10:25pm

My Bro Fabio (6) is a litter-mate to Warrior King and has had his fair share of success. He has three wins at The Meadows for a best of 29.69 and if he can go anywhere near that, he looks the winner. He is very strong and will need some luck in the early stages, but he is fast.

Bayman Bale (4) is a consistent type that has two wins at The Meadows. He is capable of showing early speed and should get some room early with a slow beginner on his inside.

Stilton Blue (2) is a NSW chaser that has turned up in Rob Britton’s kennels. In Britton’s astute hands we may see this dog go to the next level. The draw in this heat however, may not suit him. The Where’s Pedro – She’s A Player (Go Wild Teddy – Nimuay) dog likes to use the track and doesn’t have a good record from an inside draw. He is also having his first look at the track under race conditions.

If Stilton Blue elects to use the track it may bring the steady beginner He Isn’t Really (1) into the race. He has been racing over the 600 metre distance at The Meadows with success so clearly likes the track. He is strong and the room early may be just what he needs.

Heat 11 – Race 11 at 10:42pm

Dyna Orion (1) had been out of form until his 30.02 win at The Meadows last week from box one. He has won five from nine at the track and is unbeaten from box one.

Campaspe Will (4) is another with a good record at the track. He is returning from a spell, which was needed as his form had dropped off. He has won 11 from 22 overall and has clocked 29.96 at The Meadows.

Jubilea Bale (6) could surprise from box six. She has recorded a solid 29.98 at the track. Her only issue is that she can be hit and miss at box-rise but if she leads she will get her chance.

Highbury (8) has a perfect record from box eight; two starts for two wins. He has won just one from five at The Meadows but he is racing in good form having won his last two (Healesville and Bendigo).

Heat 12 – Race 12 at 11:00pm

Lonesome Jett has had a flawless start to her career and gets the chance to take the next step here. The Lonesome Cry – Seize The Moment (Awesome McLaren – Flashy Fool) bitch has faced the starter three times for three wins and has led all the way in each. She has recorded the wins at Shepparton, Geelong and Bendigo. This is her first City start but she looks up to the challenge.

All Strung Out (8) possesses a flying finish but will need some luck from the wide draw. He won at The Meadows last start in 30.11 and has never been unplaced in his nine start career.

Humphrey Bale (3) has been around The Meadows 21 times for six wins. So, if experience counts for anything, he should be in contention. The inside draw suits him and he has been able to find the lead in other races.

Seabrook Sam (5) has won four of his last six starts and had his first start at The Meadows last week. He found trouble to finish 19 lengths last. He obviously has ability but has to overcome the squeeze draw.

Dyna Ostranda (1) has only managed three wins from 15 starts but has placed on 10 other occasions. He has been a consistent place-getter around Sandown and Cranbourne in recent starts so should be considered an each-way chance.

2014 Group Two McKenna Memorial Heats Preview

Sandown Park plays host to six heats of the time honoured Group Two McKenna Memorial tonight with some of the countries best middle distance greyhounds assembling for a crack at the cool $40,000 first prize.

The race is run over the 595 metre journey that requires dogs to overcome a tricky bend start and also possess the ability to run out a trying middle distance trip.

The race had been held over the longer 715 metre trip up until 2009 with Flash Of Light’s 2010 win being the first time the race was run over the shorter distance.

Some of the more recent winners of the McKenna Memorial include Kobble Creek (1999), Osti’s Joker (2000), Pearl Larricki (2001), Boomeroo (2002), Arvo’s Junior (2003), Malfoy (2005), Fallen Zorro (2008), Mantra Lad (2009) and Irma Bale (2012).

The 2013 final was taken out by Proven Impala.

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

Race 4 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 1 – 8:08pm

The first heat features the return of the classy Bookkeeper (2). The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Smashing Amy (Collide – Amy Grace) has not raced since mid February and is capable of carving out lightning times if he is right. He has won four of his 10 attempts at this trip and has a best of 34.04. Should he be anywhere near his best then he is the one to beat.

Tarks Nemesis (7) has been racing over the longer trips and has had a slight freshen up after finding plenty of trouble in a heat of the Group One Albion Park Gold Cup on the 5th of June. The Angela Langton trained bitch has her share of early and mid-race pace and if she can put herself in the firing line early, she looms as a major player in this heat.

Cosmic Wise (8) has been racing consistently over the middle distance trips for trainer Jeff Britton. She registered a slick 34.17 here two starts back and has performed well from outside draws in the past.

Ever Alert (4) has recently stepped up to middle distance racing and has impressed by winning his first two outings. He won at the Meadows over 600 metres in 34.64 two starts back before running a swift 34.24 over this journey last time out.

Race 5 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 2 – 8:28pm

Supersonic Hawk (2) looks well boxed to improve on recent efforts in the second heat. The Jeff Britton trained son of Westmead Hawk and Shelby Shiraz (Bombastic Shiraz – Proper Shelby) had no luck just after the start last time out and it may pay to overlook that effort. He is always thereabouts over this journey and has a best of 34.41. He is capable of a big run here.

Sisco Rage (3) returns to the more suitable 595 metre journey after a couple of flashing finishes over sprint trips in recent times. He stopped the clock at 34.40 in his only run over this trip which was back in late February. If he can manage a clean getaway he will be in this up to his ears.

Prue Bale (4) is an enigmatic type with more than her share of ability. She has not won since April when she flew around this trip to register a fast 34.14. It would take a form reversal for her to win but she definitely has the talent.

Great Spartacus (1) has come up with a nice box for trainer Kelly Bravo. The fawn dog should be the early leader and loves the rails alley, he could be in the race for a long way.

Born Ali (7) is a Group One winning bitch over the longer trips who steps back in distance for this heat. She has class on her side and has gone 34.21 here in the past. She is likely to need a bit of luck in the run to feature.

Race 6 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 3 – 8:52pm

The third heat boasts some top quality chasers, none more so then Surf Mail (6) who loves the 595 metre trip at Sandown Park. The Darren McDonald trained son of Surf Lorian and Hybrid Theory (Bond – Renee’s Special) has won four of his six starts at this journey including a rapid 34.10. He has been flying over the sprint distances recently and won here last week in 29.55. He is the one to beat in this race.

Group One Rookie Rebel winner Hawk Alone (3) chases his second middle distance crown when he steps back up for this race. The Andrea Dailly trained dog has been racing well over sprint trips and has won two of his four over the 595 metres with a best of 34.41. If he can begin on terms he looms as the main danger.

Recent Bulli Gold Cup winner My Boy Snoop (1) is an interesting runner from the rails alley. The Anthony Azzopardi trained long strider has had three recent starts in Victoria over the sprints and looks like he will relish the step up in distance. He looks a genuine each way chance.

Kelly Bravo rugs up Lethal Three (7) and she could very possibly lead the race from the wide box. She has won two from five here and posted a best of 34.25. She meets a hot field in this heat but is not without her chances.

Race 7 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 4 – 9:11pm

The speedy Go Mobo (1) looks perfectly boxed in the fourth heat for Lara trainer Rob Camilleri. The regally bred son of Mogambo and Off Springer (Flying Penske – Skullring) is the probable leader and has the imposing record of three wins from four starts out of box one. He has also finished in the top two at his last seven outings and boasts a best of 34.32. He will take some catching.

Musquin Bale (6) is the winner of the Group Three Bert Bryant Memorial and tuned up for this nicely with a 34.61 win at the Meadows last week. He should be able to find a position somewhere near the lead early and with a clean run, he will be right in the firing line at the business end of proceedings.

My Bro Fabio (5) is a relative newcomer to the middle distance journey but gives the impression that it is right up his alley. He overcame early trouble to flash home for an eye catching second to Go Mobo last week. He will be hoping for early luck to be a chance here.

Race 9 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 5 – 9:35pm

Superstar bitch Xylia Allen (8) headlines the fifth heat. She returns to the 595 metre journey after a successful trip north where she took out the Superstayers over 710 metres at Albion Park. The daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale (Droopys Vieri – Francesca Bale) has plenty of early toe which should mean that the drop back in distance is not a concern. She is undefeated in two starts here including an airborne 33.79 effort in February. She is a freak and easily the big gun in this one.

Gimme Fuel (1) has his first go at the Sandown 595 metre journey in this heat. He is a consistent performer who should be close to the speed early and poised to strike in the run home.

Searle Bale (5) can be a little risky at box rise but has a big motor and can figure in the finish with a clean run. She registered a zippy 34.08 here a fortnight ago and a repeat of that would have to see her given serious each-way consideration.

Cornelius Fudge (4) is a strong finisher who should be doing his best work late in the event. The worry for him is whether or not he gets room to move in transit during the race. If he does he is a definite contender for exotics.

Race 10 – Macro Meats McKenna Memorial Heat 6 – 9:55pm

The final heat features the continuation of talented bitch Dyna Kayla’s (6) return to racing. In three runs back from a two month let up, she has won two over shorter trips and shown some of the form that led to her starting in multiple Group staying events at her very first preparation. She has a personal best of 33.99 here and is undefeated in two starts over the journey. She looks a huge hope in this heat.

Luby Loo (1) is an exciting youngster who has taken to middle distance racing like a duck to water. She has won her last three at three different tracks and stopped the clock at 34.05 here last week. If she can handle the class rise she can go very close in this one.

Tick Bale (5) is well performed over this trip but has been done no favours by the draw. He has won two of his three starts here and has a best of 34.32 but he is likely to only be away fairly and as a result is going to need luck.

Dream It (4) is a very talented conveyance but he is yet to fill a place in two appearances over this journey. Should he manage to come out running he could spring an upset at each way odds.

Mepunga Tiara (8) has not won for over a month and has struggled from the outside draw in the past but has a fast 34.15 to her credit over this journey which she recorded in May. She has won two from six at the trip and should be prominent early.

2014 Group One Winter Carnival Cup Preview

Eight speedy greyhounds from four different states will line up for a shot at the $75,000 first prize in this Thursday night’s Group One Winter Carnival Cup at Albion Park.

Master Queensland trainer Tony Brett, who has won the race for the last three years running has two dogs engaged in Flash Reality and Benarkin.

The interstate charge is led by Tasmanian Buckle Up Wes who won the Australian Cup earlier in the year. Darren McDonald will rug up Victorian Awesome Project from box one as a likely short priced favourite, while Brian Partridge and Love Kills will be the lone representative from New South Wales.

It’s a terrific blend of class, form and local knowledge which should make for an engrossing final. The race is scheduled to jump at 8:44pm.

Here is a look at the field in depth with comments from connections;

Box 1
Race Odds
$1.95
Heat Replay
Awesome Project
Trainer
Darren McDonald
Owner
Bradley Canty
Prizemoney
$236,715.00
Last 10 Starts
1112113111
40 Months Black Dog by Collision - Honour Phase
Start Good Running Rail Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $5,505.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
43 22 6 6
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
51% 79%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 1 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 5 0 1
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “He has been jumping a lot better lately and is racing with a lot of confidence, hopefully he can do that again on Thursday night. Flash Reality will be hard to beat racing on his home track.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.82 29.82 5.52 5.52
Box 2
Race Odds
$35.00
Heat Replay
Gumlow Star
Trainer
Sandra Hunt
Owner
Bradley Belford
Prizemoney
$22,680.00
Last 10 Starts
5226315411
33 Months Black Bitch by El Galo - Jackpot Return
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $515.00 Rating 85
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
44 10 7 7
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
23% 55%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
24 6 4 3
Box 2 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 3 2 0
Comments: Sandra Hunt (Trainer) – “We are boxed ok again, that is one good thing, but she is probably a 30/1 shot. In saying that I guess we were a 30/1 shot last week and we won. It would be nice to lead again but there is some fast dogs in there, it is just great to be in the race. I think she is the only bitch in the race so hopefully all the boys do the gentlemanly thing and let her go first.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.07 30.11 5.58 5.58
Box 3
Race Odds
$31.00
Heat Replay
Love Kills
Trainer
Brian Partridge
Owner
Rate Race syndicate
Prizemoney
$16,830.00
Last 10 Starts
412F111222
40 Months Black Dog by Surgeon - London Lizzie
Start Good Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $935.00 Rating 88
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 6 4 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 72%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
8 4 3 0
Box 3 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
4 1 2 0
Comments: ARG opinion is – Lightly raced dog who has won four from eight at Albion Park. He is yet to break the 30 second barrier at the track and will probably need to improve to worry to big guns in this final. Place hope.
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.11 30.15 5.60 5.60
Box 4
Race Odds
$3.70
Heat Replay
Buckle Up Wes
Trainer
Edward Medhurst
Owner
Johnson Sutton syndicate
Prizemoney
$344,535.00
Last 10 Starts
1112471111
37 Months Black Dog by Collision - Everlong Bale
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $8,012.00 Rating 99
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
43 26 6 4
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
60% 84%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
1 1 0 0
Box 4 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
5 1 1 1
Comments: Ted Medhurst (Trainer) – “He is going as well as ever and his form has held up well right through. He had only had one trial at the track before last week but he still looked to be a bit lost going around the first turn and through the catching pen. He has to lead if he wants to win it.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.09 30.09 5.53 5.53
Box 5
Race Odds
$23.00
Heat Replay
Benarkin
Trainer
Tony Brett
Owner
Velocity Lodge Partnership
Prizemoney
$109,395.00
Last 10 Starts
2112122332
44 Months Black Dog by Path To Power - Velocity Cloud
Start Slow Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $2,104.00 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
52 19 15 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
37% 83%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
20 7 8 2
Box 5 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 0 3 0
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “He had a split webbing just before the Gold Cup so he had an enforced break. The way he ran on last week given the small amount of work he’s had was terrific. He will be back early but it is incredible the way he weaves through a field. He is not as fast as the top dogs but will be running on if he gets a clean crack at them.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.01 30.22 5.71 5.73
Box 6
Race Odds
$51.00
Heat Replay
Winged Elite
Trainer
John Hutchinson
Owner
John Hutchinson
Prizemoney
$18,590.00
Last 10 Starts
54483627F2
32 Months Blue Dog by Elite Size - Mellifluous
Start Risky Running Rail Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $885.00 Rating 81
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
21 7 4 1
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
33% 57%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
18 5 4 1
Box 6 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
3 2 0 0
Comments: ARG opinion is – A winner of five from 18 over this trip who snuck in to this final with a second placing last week. His form has not been too flattering of late and he will more than likely find this field a little bit too slippery.
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
30.09 30.12 5.64 5.64
Box 7
Race Odds
$31.00
Heat Replay
Yogi Blue
Trainer
Peter O’Reilly
Owner
P and A O’Reilly syndicate
Prizemoney
$78,745.00
Last 10 Starts
8312312111
39 Months Blue Dog by Cool Effort - Opal Assassin
Start Good Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $1,175.00 Rating 93
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
67 21 12 9
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
31% 63%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
35 10 5 5
Box 7 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
7 2 2 2
Comments: Peter O’Reilly (Trainer) – “He seems to handle box seven pretty well, I think he is used to it since he has drawn there so often. He is racing close to his best and if he runs that sort of time he has to be a chance, I would love to see him win a race like this.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.89 30.16 5.49 5.49
Box 8
Race Odds
$2.70
Heat Replay
Flash Reality
Trainer
Tony Brett
Owner
Marlene Ellis
Prizemoney
$65,290.00
Last 10 Starts
7221111131
31 Months Black Dog by Premier Fantasy - Orara Flash
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Strong
Prizemoney Rating $5,022.00 Rating 100
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
13 7 2 3
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
54% 92%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
9 6 0 3
Box 8 Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
15 1 5 2
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “He has always shown a lot of promise and if he gets that clean getaway then he will be hard to beat. You always want box one in a big final but if you can’t get it then eight is the next best thing. He is good enough to compete with the really good dogs so hopefully it all goes well on Thursday night.”
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.58 29.71 5.53 5.46
1st Res
Race Odds
$21.00
Heart Replay
Cyndie’s Special
Trainer
William Elson
Owner
Cynthia Elson
Prizemoney
$43,185.00
Last 10 Starts
2616223212
32 Months Black Bitch by Premier Fantasy - Regal Silver
Start Excellent Running Middle Finish Fair
Prizemoney Rating $1,136.00 Rating 90
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
38 12 10 5
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
32% 71%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
28 8 8 4
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Consistent bitch who always manages to put herself in the picture and is capable of running slick time. Would not be the worst if she gained a start.
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
29.88 30.28 5.60 5.64
2nd Res
Race Odds
$16.00
Heat Replay
Rue De Kahn
Trainer
Dean Swain
Owner
Michael Laffey
Prizemoney
$101,770.00
Last 10 Starts
4114227522
29 Months White and Blue Fawn Bitch by Where’s Pedro - Shelbourne Dawn
Start Risky Running Middle Finish Good
Prizemoney Rating $4,626.00 Rating 89
Career Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
22 8 5 2
Strike Rates
Win % Place %
36% 68%
Track & Dist.
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
2 0 1 0
Box Record
Starts 1st 2nd 3rd
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Comments: Handy New South Wales bitch who ran into a hot Awesome Project last week. Can be a little hit or miss at the start but when she is at her best she is very quick. Would be a place chance if gaining a start.
Best Albion Park Times
Best Last Sect. Best Sect. Last
NBT 30.43 5.65 5.68

Awesome Project (1) looks to hold all the aces in this race. Should he leave the boxes rapidly then he will take a power of beating.

Flash Reality (8) is an improving youngster who has gone close to lowering the track record over this trip. If he gets a clean run to the first turn then he could blow them away.

Buckle Up Wes (4) is a proven big race performer who could easily win this race on his best form. He is yet to show it at Albion Park, but given his relative inexperience at the track he has plenty of scope for improvement.

Yogi Blue (7) is in stellar form and regularly produces sub-thirty second runs here. He looks to be the knockout chance outside of the “big three”.

Group One 2014 Winter Carnival Cup Heats Preview

Some of the best sprinters from Queensland and interstate will converge on Albion Park this Thursday night for the running of five heats of the Group One Winter Carnival Cup.

The race is conducted over 520 metres and competitiors will vie for a $75,000 winners cheque in next week’s final.

Queensland mentor Tony Brett has dominated the race in recent times, winning the last three with Glen Gallon (2013 and 2012) and Iso Octane (2011).

Other recent winners include Trew Millions (2009), Made To Size (2008) and Fenceline (2006).

With plenty of interstate raiders from New South Wales and Victoria all keen to take out the Cup, the Queenslander contingent will have their work cut out to maintain their superb recent record in the race.

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

Race 4 – Winter Cup Carnival Heat One – 7:41pm

Darren McDonald returns to Albion Park with his Queensland Derby runner-up Keybow in the first heat. The son of Take The Kitty and Key Exit (Over Flo – Atlanta Belle) is a winner of 13 races, including the Group One Perth Cup and looks to have plenty of class on this field. He will exit box eight which should suit his penchant for using the track, provided he gets a clean run to the first turn.

Cyndie’s Special (1) is a speedy bitch who is drawn well and could go close to leading this field. The Bill Ison trained conveyance registered a personal best of 29.88 here last week from this box and could give them something to catch.

Auriga Legend (4) has been consistent without winning in recent times, but has a great record at Albion Park. The winner of six from 28 at the track has a personal best of 29.94 and should be thereabouts.

Rose Of Galo (3) is a winner of 12 from 31 at Albion Park and is another with plenty of early toe. She is yet to break the 30 second barrier and has been a little below her best in recent efforts.

Race 5 – Winter Cup Carnival Heat Two – 8:05pm

It is not often that you are blessed with two Australian Cup winners in the one race but that is exactly the case in heat two.

2014 Australian Cup winner Buckle Up Wes (2) headlines the heat. The son of Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) will be making his Albion Park debut but has proven ability to adapt to many tracks. He is sure to take a power of beating here.

The interesting runner in the race is the 2013 Australian Cup winner Spud Regis (5). The winner of 17 races has not raced since late February and in that time has found a new home in Tony Brett’s Grandchester kennels. He too makes his Albion Park debut and will be one to keep an eye on.

Late Angel Lee (1) comes back from racing over staying trips for this event. She has recorded a sizzling 29.57 here in the past but may find the sharp drop in distance within seven days a little too much.

Maid For Ron (3) has a handy record over this trip winning five of her 12 attempts. She has a best of 29.92 but looks a little below her best on recent runs.

Race 6 – Winter Cup Carnival Heat Three – 8:25pm

Master Victorian trainer Darren McDonald produces another flying machine in Awesome Project (3) for the third heat. The son of Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) is a multiple Group winner and boasts an imposing career record of 20 wins from 41 starts. He has won his last three at Sandown, all in very slick times. Barring bad luck, it’s hard to see him getting beat.

Duchess Bale (5) is another Victorian who makes the trek to the Sunshine State with a good record. She has won 10 from 21 and is a powerful type. She has been done no favours by the box draw and will be hoping for some room early.

Rue De Khan (2) is a regular top-line performer in New South Wales for trainer Dean Swain. She meets a quality field here but there is no doubting her talent.

Top Story (1) has won 16 races over this trip including a flying 29.65 effort back in February. He is drawn to give the big guns plenty of cheek here.

Race 7 – Winter Cup Carnival Heat Four – 8:44pm

The fourth heat features plenty of depth with Queensland Derby winner Flash Reality (8) taking the star billing. The Tony Brett trained son of Premier Fantasy and Orara Flash (Bond – Sweet Elite) has won five of his eight starts at Albion Park including a near-record 29.58. He has performed well from wide boxes in the past, but will be afforded no room for error early in this field.

Magic Display (1) was a finalist in the Group One Golden Easter Egg and is blessed with plenty of early pace. She has the advantage of having raced at the track in the past and is drawn to get the fly here.

Mepunga Armagh (6) is a winner of 14 races in Victoria and has gone very fast at Sandown in recent weeks. If he can cross the field early he is capable of landing an upset.

Peter’s Pick (7) is a consistent local performer who is sure to be doing his best work in the concluding stages of the race.

Race 8 – Winter Cup Carnival Heat Five – 9:08pm

The 2013 Brisbane Cup winner Kiss Me Ketut (7) makes his return to Albion Park in the final heat looking to keep his undefeated record at the track intact. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Spiral Siyan (Spiral Nikita – Flight And Life) has won two from two at the track with a personal best of 29.82. His recent form has not been anything special and this run will be just his second back from a five-week let up. He’s one to take on trust.

The Kelly Bravo trained Gimme Fuel (2) may be better know for his exploits over slightly longer trips but he has been in sparkling form over the sprint distances recently. If he gets a clear run around the first turn, he may be very hard to hold out.

Local sprinter Yogi Blue (1) is very consistent and looks drawn well here. He has won nine from 34 at the track with a best of 29.89. He is one for the exotics.

Benarkin (5) is another stayer dropping back to the sprints for this feature event. He has been given a month freshen up by trainer Tony Brett and could be the smokey in this field.

Signs Of The Times

In a remarkable move, Racing Victoria is set to increase Saturday thoroughbred races from eight to nine and reduce the gap between races to 35 minutes. The aim is simply to bring in more cash. It says it will provide “more opportunities” to owners but you can forget that – it is the dollars that count.

While this has no direct effect on greyhound racing, it is consistent with the pattern being pushed by Tabcorp/SKY to ram more races into every 24 hour period, regardless of any “unintended consequences”, of which there are plenty. That’s why we are seeing all sorts of strange French and Swedish trots and oddball gallops from South Africa (a country which bans greyhound racing), to be followed before long by American races, all of which will contain unknown runners at unknown tracks. These are the classic “four-legged poker machines” which Tabcorp favours to repair its ailing tote business.

Some of these do directly impact on greyhound turnover – the South African gallops in particular, so it’s not hard to see that the clear and distinct priorities of betting operators are, first, more turnover to please their shareholders and, a distant second, progressing the Australian racing industry. They are happening on top of an already overcrowded local program which is splitting the race by race betting chunks into smaller and less usable pieces.

Unfortunately, greyhound racing itself has assisted the trend, starting mainly in 2010, when extra meetings were added to an already busy Saturday night. The immediate result was a reduction in turnover on the two biggest betting attractions in the country – Wentworth Park and The Meadows greyhound meetings – which continues to this day. Their volumes are still usable for betting purposes, but only just, and only in the state of origin, especially with more turnover going across to corporate bookmakers. All of which reduces the integrity of the trend-setting TAB prices. Other than the big two, pools of $10,000 or so are the best you can hope for. So don’t put more than $10 on your Quinella choice as you will then be buying back your own money.

To rub salt into the wound, last Saturday night GRV put on an all-maiden meeting at Bendigo to do battle with prime greyhound and harness races. What sort of future does that promise? What were they thinking?

Maybe one fresh idea might come from other sports. Rugby Union is about to get a strong proposal from a group of businessmen (also supporters of the code) to buy up the NSW Waratahs and take them to greater heights. Clubs in Rugby League have already gone down that road – Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne. Many others in all codes are effectively controlled by related social clubs anyway.

Maybe a better plan would be to privatise the entire greyhound code, just as happened with the TABs, and gain the weapons to fight fire with fire. Alternatively, with the benefit of hindsight, it is plain that governments would have achieved better results by retaining ownership of the totes and selling off all the codes. If you have to have a monopoly, far better to have the government handle it, thereby offering the opportunity for the public to have a stronger voice. Or any voice, actually.

AROUND THE BETTING RINGS

Day of the Week

At Wenty, pools on Friday night are often shading those on Saturday, although the class of fields on the latter must be a good 30% better. Only the Peter Mossman final broke the pattern with $28,295 on the NSW Win tote. GRNSW is to shift half the Friday dates to provincial tracks in the coming year. Will they do as well? Doubtful.

Who Are Those Guys?

Sisco Rage (WPK R9) was sent out as an extraordinary $2.40 favourite from box 8. Who on earth could have done that, other than die-hard Darren McDonald supporters? It had no special form to speak of, its last good run being back in April when it won a 500m race at Bendigo. It has generally done better from the inside, too. I made it a 20/1 chance and it ran a mediocre 2.5 lengths to a slow 30.34 after coming out stone motherless last and then crossing to the rail. It finished in 2nd place only because of huge disruptions on the first turn.

Not the Real Reason

Notable at Wenty on Saturday were the runs of Keybow (R3) and Lochinvar Impact (R4). Both had box 8, both were favourites, both began poorly, both put their paw on the accelerator and whizzed around the field to lead in the back straight. Tops dogs? Well, yes, although Lochinvar Impact was pipped on the post, but the reason they were able to do that was not just due to their abilities but because the inside division bunched up, slowed down and therefore made space for outside dogs. It’s the nature of that awful run to and around the turn. Many others have done likewise. Anyone for a track re-build?

Clerical Error

Still at Wenty, how is it possible to publish race results with every sectional time wrong (R2, Saturday)? It happens every so often in Victoria, too. Does nobody actually look at these things before they send them off?

And Still No Change

Tasmania continues to tell lies by deliberately posting sectional times against the wrong dogs, while Tabcorp and Tattsbet continue to publish imaginary First Four dividends. When will the truth come out?

Stayers continue to take turns in winning and recording times ranging from ordinary to poor – the latest a miserable 42.48 by Zipping Joe at Sandown last Thursday (record 41.17 by Miata) beating dogs that have previously run much faster. I wonder if trainers have ever thought of giving their charges a month off to roam the paddock and freshen up. Horses and humans do it all the time but not greyhounds, it seems.

And we still have four states, soon to be five, where you are unable to print out a decent copy of the race results – all of which are in the care of GRNSW. Formguides are almost as inaccessible.

Error Firmed Up

The latest plans issued by RWWA and GWA confirm that its Cannington replacement will have a bend start for 600m races. This continues the muddled thinking present in virtually all other Australian clubs to produce designs which make life even more difficult for dogs and punters. Plans for the new track at Logan in Queensland do likewise. Together, that’s around $30 million of punters’ cash being spent badly.

But here’s a suggestion; put all track design in the hands of an experienced jockey. There is no way one of them would make a racing animal suffer a start like that.

Wentworth Park Greyhounds Tips & Betting Preview June 21st 2014

It’s Peter Mosman night and we have promotions galore. Sportsbet is offering a happy hour. Place a $20 win or place bet between 5pm and 6pm to receive a $20 matched free bet.

Sportingbet is offering a 25% trifecta bonus on the Peter Mosman. Sign-up and take advantage of this huge promotion.

Race 1 – 520M Grade 5 – 7:30PM

Although he let me down last week, I’m willing to give None Of Them one more chance. Tonight he exits the red box and if he can reproduce the run which saw him break 30 seconds at Bathurst in May, he should prove too hard to reel in. He has been missing the kick of late but from the inside alley he should be able to anticipate the start a little better.

Breaker Kahn has been racing in consistent style of late and he looms as the logical danger. He has been slow to begin in his past couple but he has won here previously in a sizzling 29.77, so if he can mend his box manners he will be right in the finish. Oh So Striking is an up and coming star but he can make a lot of mistakes in his races. He is obviously a winning hope with some luck in the early stages.

Top Four: 1 – 8 – 6 – 7

Suggested Bets:

Quinella: 1 & 8

Trifecta: 1,8/1,8/Field ($12 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/6,7,8/Field ($18 for 100%)

 

Race 2 – 520M Grade 5 – 7:50PM

Lacey Lois has been racing in great style of late and with her early speed she looks to be the top pick. She has been placed in four of her past five here and five starts ago she turned in a big effort to be placed behind gun sprinter Zipping Willow. There isn’t a whole lot of depth in this event and if she can lead she should have enough in the tank to hold on.

Army Surplus looks perfectly placed out wide and he should be able to atone for his luckless runs of late. He has missed the kick in his past two, but from box eight he should get a clear run in the early stages and he can utilize his great turn of foot. Asia’s Babe is also a contender but my concern with her is the box draw, she normally takes a few strides to get going and she is likely to be crowded soon after box rise.

Top Four: 4 – 8 – 7 – 2

Suggested Bets:

Each Way bet on Lacey Lois

Boxed Quinella: 4,7,8 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 4,7,8/4,7,8/1,2,4,7,8 ($18 for 100%)

 

Race 3 – 520M Grade 4 – 8:07PM

Keybow is a champion sprinter and tonight he looks perfectly placed out in the pink box. In the past couple of weeks he has never been a chance soon after box rise. On both occasions he was slow to begin and was immediately crunched. With the speedy Avondale Zena drawn underneath, he should get a nice cart across in the early stages and he will assert his authority as they head for the back straight.

Avondale Zena has been pinging the lids of late and two starts ago she posted a scorching 5.36 first split before going on to score in a smart 29.86. Obviously the last 50m is a bit of a concern for her but she will be out in front early and avoiding trouble. Electro Storm could be the surprise packet in the event, he has a top record here and he just needs an ounce of luck to feature.

Top Four: 8 – 7 – 3 – 1

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 8/1,3,7/1,2,3,5,7 ($12 for 100%)

Exacta: 8/1,3,7 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 4 – 520M Special Event – 8:30PM

Lochinvar Impact is an exciting speedster and he looked super impressive when scoring at The Gardens recently in a blistering 29.34. On that occasion he pinged to the lead and never looked back, he has been known to miss the kick on occasions but from the pink box he should have sufficient room to muster speed. You will be asked to take even money which is quite short but you will be taking even money about a classy animal.

Magic Diore can be a hard dog to follow at times but he has won here previously in 30 flat and that was from a wide draw. He has been beginning a lot better of late and he should find himself in contention early. Usaine returned to form with a smart 26.17 Temora win and he has experience at this track. He should get plenty of cover from the three in the early stages, so he should figure prominently.

Top Four: 8 – 7 – 2 – 1

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 2,7,8/2,7,8/1,2,4,6,7,8 ($24 for 100%)

Trifecta: 8/1,2,7/1,2,4,6,7 ($12 For 100%)

 

Race 5 – 520M Free For All – 8:50PM

Zipping Willow showed blistering early speed in her 29.82 win here last week and being her first 500m race in just under a month, she is sure to be improved by the run. She has won here in a blistering 29.44 in the past and if she can get down to the 29.65 mark tonight that should be enough to get the cash.

Rue De Kahn has had no luck in her past two runs here but prior to that she turned in a monster effort when placed behind Double Twist. She meets Double Twist again tonight, but Rue De Kahn is drawn to get the gun run behind Zipping Willow in the early stages. Obviously Double Twist is a chance in this event but from box seven she will need to do everything right in the early stages. Gradence will hit the line hard and he is a great dog to anchor for third and fourth in your exotic bets.

Top Four: 1 – 2 – 7 – 4

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 1/2,4,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/2/4,7 ($2 for 100%)

 

Race 6 – 720M Non Graded – 9:12PM

Dusty Moonshine is an exciting staying prospect and she recently broke the 731m Gosford track record with a 43.07 win. On that occasion she won by a mammoth 17 lengths. She is making her Metropolitan debut but I’m sure that she would have seen the track in a trial previously.

Shoe Laces Lady is racing in strong form at present and with some luck in the early stages she should pose a threat to the favourite. She has a steady 43.06 PB here but she is capable of going much faster. Little Red returned to form here recently with a slick 42.24 win and on that occasion she exited a wide draw.

Top Four: 6 – 3 – 7 – 4

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 6/3,4,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Exacta 6/3,4,7 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 7 – 520M Mixed 4/5 – 9:35PM

In a very tough race I have settled on the talented Ritza Raider. Two starts ago he recorded a handy placing here behind Kobi Jay and on that occasion he didn’t experience a lot of luck as he was posted wide for most of the trip. He meets some classy types here but I think he will get a clear run in the early stages and that should allow him to run a big race.

Queen Esther looms as the logical danger based on her sizzling 29.67 win here earlier this month. In that event she recorded a ridiculous 5.32 to the first marker and my only concern tonight is that she has a fair bit of speed drawn directly outside her. Zipping Tarn is showing great potential and last week she caught the eye with a strong 29.85 win here. Although she has won from the red, I don’t think this draw will suit her. She is clearly a winning chance but she is likely to be under the odds. Worth noting that former star sprinter Take It All is resuming from a long spell and it may be a good idea to watch for any betting moves.

Top Four: 6 – 2 – 1 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Ritza Raider

Quinella: 6 to rove with 1,2,8 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 8 – 520M Peter Mosman Classic Final – 9:57PM

In a race which is packed full of fast beginners, I’ve decided to go with the strong finishing All Strung Out. Presently he is around the $9.00 mark fixed and that is enormous overs considering he is probably the fastest chaser in the race. He has been slow to begin in both heat efforts but on both occasions he turned a big finishing effort to go down by slim margins. He will be relying heavily on luck at the first turn but at the big odds it is worth the risk.

Stilton Blue has continued to impress throughout this series. After a clean beginning he went through the first marker in 5.38 and he then showed great acceleration to break up the field as they headed for the back straight in his Semi Final. I believe he has enough speed to burn off likely co-leader Push It and he should give a great sight. Bessy Boo will be hitting the line hard and he probably should have won his heat, he is likely to get a long way back again and its probably worth anchoring him for third and fourth in your exotic bets.

Top Four: 8 – 3 – 1 – 5

Suggested Bets:

Each Way All Strung Out

Boxed quinella: 1,3,8 ($3 for 100%)

First Four: 3,5,8/3,5,8/1/Field ($30 for 100%)

First Four: 3,5,8/3,5,8/Field/1 ($30 for 100%)

 

Race 9 – 520M Grade 5 – 10:17PM

The speedy Droopy’s Bay was a little unlucky here last week. After a fair getaway he showed a great turn of foot and was a half length away from getting across to the rail, unfortunately he was pushed a little wide at the first turn and that cost him the race. Tonight’s event doesn’t seem to feature a whole lot of early speed and he should be able to get across quite easily. He has had four 500m runs of late and he appears to be getting stronger with every run.

Sisco Rage has recently joined the Darren McDonald kennel and he appears perfectly drawn on debut for his new kennel. He is having his first look at Wentworth Park but he should get a nice cart across in the early stages and he should get through the first turn unscathed. Pumped Up Zarr will be hitting the line very hard and he looked sharp when scoring at Bulli recently in 29.16, on that occasion he made up a heap of ground late. Joe Hanley has claims if he can lead, however, when he doesn’t lead he tends to weaken right out of the event.

Top Four: 7 – 8 – 4 – 5

Suggested Bets:

Win bets on Droopy’s Bay and Sisco Rage

Boxed Quinella: 4,7,8 ($3 for 100%)

 

Race 10 – 520M Grade 5 – 10:37PM

Bobby Blanco finally broke through for a win at headquarters last week and he did it in impressive style. After a slow start and then copping a knock at the first bend, he balanced up and went into overdrive off the back straight before scoring in a handy 30.18. Tonight’s event features a number of front runners who really struggle in the closing stages, so if he can settle just off the speed he should prove far too strong in the run home.

Sugar Ray Lee was solidly placed here last start and prior to that he had recorded a hat-trick of fast wins. If he can step on terms he should have sufficient pace to drive to the early lead, his last 50m is a concern but his mid race pace should allow him to set up a nice lead and he may have enough in the tank to hold on. Midnight Owl has been hard to follow of late but she may appreciate the drop in class, whilst Booming Bennett rounds out the winning chances.

Top Four: 4 – 2 – 6 – 7

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 4/2,6,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Boxed quinella: 2,4,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

 

Quaddie

Leg 1: 1,2,4,7,8
Leg 2: 6
Leg 3: 1,2,6,8
Leg 4: 1,3,5,8

($80 for 100%)

Upsets Galore In Group One Peter Mosman Semi-Finals

Group One Peter Mosman series favourite Hooksy bowed out in last night’s semi-finals at Wentworth Park after stumbling at the start and finding a stack of trouble from box three. The Philip Goodsell trained Stilton Blue continued his outstanding run of form, stepping beautifully from box five to lead throughout in a time of 29.93 by a length. Christine Proctor’s $28 outsider and first reserve Bessy Boo finished a gallant second and consistent chaser My Awesome Opal for Marie Burton finished in third position.

In-form chaser Push It recorded her fifth straight win at Wentworth Park last night taking out semi-final two for trainer Dean Swain after leading all the way from box two in 29.93. Notching up her tenth career win last night, the daughter of Collision and Low Gee Eye scored by nine and a quarter lengths and is a genuine chance in next week’s final, coming up with a favourable box two draw. Victorian greyhound Access for trainer Ian Garland finished second, providing a massive thrill for connections, and Fire Elusive for Mark Moroney wound up in third position. Favourite runner Zipping Delta unfortunately took a heavy tumble at the first turn, along with Aurora Girl and Smashing Sally.

Group One winner Keybow was all the rage at $1.90 in the last semi-final, however he failed to fire again from box two, missing the start and running home to finish in fourth place. Highly consistent chaser Tommy Brislane continued his winning ways after beginning brilliantly from box four to streak away by two and a half lengths in a best of the night time of 29.76. Trainer Steve White has prepared this greyhound to perfection, winning seven of eight career starts. The son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia also recorded his fifth straight win last night and is a star on the rise, his notable early pace will be a key factor in next Saturday night’s final. Glenn Rounds’ All Strung Out ran a sensational race to finish second and cement his spot in the final, whilst Darren McDonald qualified Where’s The Surf for the final after he finished in third place.

The box draw for Saturday night’s $75,000 to the winner final is:

1. Bessy Boo – Christine Proctor
2. Push It – Dean Swain
3. Stilton Blue – Philip Goodsell
4. Access – Ian Garland
5. Tommy Brislane – Steve White
6. Where’s The Surf – Darren McDonald
7. My Awesome Opal – Marie Burton
8. All Strung Out – Glenn Rounds

Reserves
Fire Elusive – Mark Moroney
Keybow – Darren McDonald

Hooksy To Headline Peter Mosman Classic Semi Final Night

Victorian star chaser Hooksy will be the centre of attention this Saturday night at Wentworth Park, with three star-studded heats of the Group One Peter Mosman Classic to be conducted.

The son of Hondo Black and Uno Witch was all the rage in his heat last week, starting at skinny odds of $1.60. He didn’t disappoint an array of punters, clocking best of the night figures of 29.47. The Victorian first caught the eye of enthusiasts back in March. Tanya Auld and husband Jim made the testing trip up to the Glebe circuit from their base in Victoria and claimed their first Group win with Hooksy, the $25,000 Group Three New Sensation.

Hooksy will be a short-priced favourite when he steps out in semi-final one from box three. He has brilliant acceleration once he balances up and should secure a spot in next week’s $75,000 to the winner final. My Awesome Opal from box six is the only other heat winner in this semi-final after upsetting a hot field last week at huge odds, recording a time of 30.08 for trainer Marie Burton. Stilton Blue has been very consistent of late and finished a gallant second last week behind Tommy Brislane in a fast 29.71 by three and a half-lengths.

Semi-final two contains Jason Mackay’s talented chaser Zipping Delta, who put in her best performance at the track last week, clocking a sizzling 29.49 over the 520m journey. The daughter of Bekim Bale and Scarlett Spy began beautifully from the inside alley to record her third consecutive win and will be hard to hold out again from a favourable box three.

Another in-form chaser Push It upset hot favourite Keybow in her heat last week, securing her fourth consecutive victory at Wentworth Park when clocking a smart 29.81 from box eight. The Dean Swain trained chaser pinged from the outside box and was never headed in an impressive three-length win. Aurora Girl put in a brave performance last week from box two, finishing three and a half lengths behind Cawbourne Whip in a fast 29.70. Marie Burton’s chaser will need to begin well from the middle draw this week, but has speed to burn and should challenge this field from box-rise.

The final semi contains two highly talented greyhounds looking to keep their winning streaks alive, with Tommy Brislane and Cawbourne Whip having won their past four straight. Steve White’s Tommy Brislane now has six wins from seven starts and is starting to emerge as one of the hottest young prospects in the state. He blew his rivals away last week in a hot run of 29.71 after stepping well from box three. The son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia shot away to claim victory by three and a half lengths and is a model of consistency on the race track.

Cawbourne Whip has also stamped her authority as one of the brightest starts on the NSW racing circuit, recording another flying time of 29.50 in her heat win last week. The Jodie Lord trained greyhound will have to overcome a difficult box five draw, however she has brilliant early acceleration and can outstep her rivals to the first turn.

Group One winner Keybow failed to fire in last week’s heats, finishing second to Push It, recording a time of 29.99. After missing the start, the Darren McDonald speedster left his run too late, reducing the winning margin to just three lengths. Coming up with box two on Saturday night is a huge positive for this greyhound; however the son of Take The Kitty will need to improve at box-rise with some speedy greyhounds engaged on his outside that will cross hard in the early stages.

Semi final one kicks off at 9.12pm, with the winner and second placegetter guaranteed a spot in next week’s final. The two fastest third placings will make up the remainder of the field.

Tiggerlong Amigo Wins The Group Two WA Derby

Darren McDonald has made it two group races in a week after taking out Cannington’s Group Two WA Derby with Tiggerlong Amigo. The white and black dog missed the start, but quickly outclassed his WA rivals when he took the outside route to run down the leading Full Of Beans in a time of 30.51.

“I’m very pleased with my kennels this week!” Trainer Darren McDonald explained.

“It was a different race last night because he had pressure and a check to overcome, so the time was irrelevant to me. I was very happy with his run last night.”

The son of Cosmic Chief – Tiggerlong Petal made the Group Two Derby his ninth career win from 18 starts, stretching his prizemoney to over $58,000. The 32kg dog jumped as the $1.80 favourite, with Ben Abercrombie’s Full Of Beans starting second favourite at $3.90.

“He was suited by the box because the four dog wanted the rails. My only concern was the eight and it did come across me at the start. In the end he was still able to get around them and it turned out he was just too good on the night.”

Tiggerlong Amigo wasn’t the only one of McDonald’s chasers to come away with a victory at Cannington on Saturday night, with derby heat participant Where’s The Surf winning impressively in the second event on the card in a personal best time of 30.49.

“Both of the dogs runs were good last night.”

“Where’s The Surf improved on his run from last week. For him it got down to the boxes and luck in running. That’s why I always try to bring two or three dogs over. I always have a contingency plan because if one of them doesn’t get through, or something like what happened to Keybow last week occurs, there is still a chance I get into the race.”

In the past year McDonald has successfully conquered two of WA’s biggest races, the Group One Perth Cup with Keybow and now the Group Two Derby.

“As long as they can run 500 metres fairly strongly I love bringing them over here.”

Much to the relief of WA trainers, McDonald doesn’t have a bitch for the upcoming Group Two Oaks and his next venture back to the West looks to be the Nationals.

“I’m on the lookout for a bitch for the Oaks.”

“Hopefully there is three or four I can run in the Victorian part of the Nationals. Sweet It Is and Keybow will be my two best chances if they make it through to Perth, because they have both seen the track.”

McDonald is looking at taking Tiggerlong Amigo to Sydney for the Peter Mosman heats if he pulls up sound from his Derby win. He is also hoping that his star chaser Keybow will have recovered in time for the heats after splitting his webbing prior to the Derby heats.

“The Peter Mosman is in about two weeks time. If Tiggerlong Amigo pulls up well I will take him up and trial him. Hopefully Keybow is right for me to take him up there as well.”

For now, Darren McDonald will go back to Victoria a very happy man with two group races under his belt in the last week.

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