The final of the richest greyhound staying race in the world, “The 715”, will be run tonight at The Gardens in New South Wales, as we continue this wonderful period for the industry, where, week after week, we are witnessing first class racing. The winning connections tonight will receive $500,000, plus the honour of winning the inaugural running of this event, a race that has already attracted the attention of all within the industry. There has been no better time than now to be involved in the greyhound industry. On Thursday night at Albion Park, five heats of the Group 2 Flying Amy Classic (520m) were run and it was the West Australian visitor, Panama Pepper, trained by Steve Withers who also put the lead on the recently retired superstar Tommy Shelby. Despite being tardy leaving the boxes, Panama Pepper drove hard underneath the favourite, Respectability, at the winning post the first time, assuming control to then establish a race winning lead down the back, before winning comfortably by almost six lengths in a very fast 29.65, an outstanding run given it was his first start at the track. Other heat winners were French Martini (29.96), Photo Man (29.76), Shipwreck (29.70), and Pazienza (30.02). The win of Pazienza in the final heat brought up a training double for Victorian Gavin Clifton, who also puts the polish on Photo Man. The final next Thursday promises to be a very exciting race.
Meanwhile down in Victoria the heats and semi-finals of the rich Pink Diamond Vic Bred series have been completed at Shepparton, Warragul, Bendigo and Geelong have been completed, with all twelve finals to be run this coming Friday night, 17 June, at Ballarat. The series, only open to Victorian greyhounds and being run for just the second year, carries total prize money of $1.175m, and caters for dogs of various abilities over a range of distances. The three major races, the Champion Short Course, the Champion Sprinter, and the Champion Distance, all carry a winners cheque of $75,000, with the quality of the finalists being outstanding. The box draws for all twelve finals will be conducted on Monday morning.
The Gardens “715 Final” Race 10 No 8 Cawbourne Magic $11.00 at PlayUp – Such a tough race, we have landed on the well drawn Cawbourne Magic, at very good each way odds. We are expecting Miss Ezmae (1) to lead, but she will not get her own way in front with pressure expected from Oh Oh Range (2), Jarick Bale (3), Sound Of Silence (5) and Cawbourne Magic (8). If this occurs, something will give, so we like the dog drawn out of trouble to be able to circle the field into a forward position and then let his strength get him home. Selections: 8-3-7-5.
The Gardens Race 6 No 8 Ruff Shot $1.70 at PlayUp – In the very strong, and in form, kennel of Jason Mackay, this greyhound was an excellent winner last week at this track and distance in very fast time. If she brings that form again tonight, he simply wins. We think he is the best bet of the night, and your banker for your multi bets tonight.
The Meadows Race 6 No 4 Whatever I Say $3.80 at PlayUp – Very consistent performer who has still been in the money without winning in recent starts. This does look a winnable race for her, as she should position in the leading couple early. She is a better chaser than leader, so her run last week we are prepared to ignore, and this race does lack depth.
The Gardens Race 7 No 2 Explosive Venom $10.00 at PlayUp – Experienced no luck last start at Dapto in similar field. Races very well at this venue, where she has won four races and is drawn much better tonight. Expect significant improvement on her last two runs. Excellent each way value.
The Meadows Race 7 No 4 Husking Dust $3.00 at PlayUp – Kennel is on fire at the moment. Down in class and does race very well at this venue. Has the speed to find the lead early and should be able to establish a winning break and hold off all challenges.
Cannington Race 2 No 2 Tsar Bell Bet Now at PlayUp – Ex Tasmanian chaser who had first WA start last week when finishing a close up 4th after having little luck in the run. We expect him to have derived much benefit from that run, and against a similar field tonight, he should be able to get the money. Promising stayer.