Group racing continues tonight at three different venues across Australia, with the running of the heats of the Group 2 Maitland Cup (450m), the Group 2 Shepparton Cup (450m), and the Group 3 Murray Bridge Cup (455m). This is the first occasion that the Murray Bridge Cup has held group status, but it is certainly very well deserved as they have a wonderful track that promotes safe racing. The fields at all three venues lack nothing in quality and we anticipate that the fields for the finals will be of the highest quality. On Saturday night, we witnessed the running of the heats of the G1 Perth Cup (520m) and the G1 Galaxy (715m) at Cannington, plus the new middle-distance event in New South Wales, the heats of the Country Classic (605m) at Dubbo. The cream certainly rose to the top in all three events, the result being, the finals will be outstanding races.
Recent Australian Cup winner, Lala Kiwi, and the locally trained ex-Victorian Rostered Off, shared time honours in the Perth Cup, both recording 29.65, whilst Paddy Wants Pats, runner up to Lala Kiwi in Australian Cup, ran 29.76. These three looks to be the major chances in the final. Boom West Australian stayer Mambo Monelli, trained by Steve Withers, will start a short priced favourite in the Galaxy final after he recorded the fastest heat time when winning comfortably in 41.55. Other heat winners were Zipping Virginia (41.76), Mepunga Ruby (41.95) and Knicks Bale (41.97), and despite there excellent records in group races in the eastern states, it is hard to see them beating the local star in the final. The Mick Hardman trained Chase Me Honey stole time honours at Dubbo in the Country Classic semi-finals when she narrowly defeated Zipping Kyrgios in a fast 34.57, leading all the way. But she will not have it all her own way in the final, as the heat wins of Aston Ulysses and Immunity were both outstanding as it was there first look at the track, whilst Jarick Bale was again excellent in finishing second to Aston Ulysses. What a final this promises to be on Saturday night. Let us try and find some winners for punters tonight in these group heats.
Maitland Race 7 No 1 Modern Talking $7.00 at PlayUp
Trained by the maestro Peter Lagogiane, this dog has only had two race starts in the last six months, but he is drawn to be right in the race. Does have excellent speed and he will be improved by his run here last week over the 400 metres when he was a heavily backed fourth. Look for huge improvement tonight. Nice each way odds.
Maitland Race 8 No 2 Orana Dan $3.10 at PlayUp
Fantastic race record winning 16 from his 27 race starts. First start at this track but excels at Grafton which is a very similar track. Loves an inside draw so is well suited in box 2 here. This heat is not overly strong, so he gets his chance here.
Murray Bridge Race 2 No 8 Earn The Answers $2.05 at PlayUp
Victorian trained greyhound with a great overall record despite always competing at the highest level. Will find this race a drop in grade from what he has been racing against. Very well drawn in Box 8, a draw he has won six races from to date. Looks the best bet of the night for us, make him your banker in your multi bets tonight.
Murray Bridge Race 6 No 1 Weblec Flame $2.80 at PlayUp
Locally owned but trained in Victoria by Jeff Britton, this dog is simply drawn to win. Recorded fast time last start at Sandown when he won with ease. Has the speed to take advantage of the inside draw. Yes.
Shepparton Race 4 No 4 Substantial $4.80 at PlayUp
This dog is much better than his recent form reads. On his night he can run as fast as any dog in this series. Yes, is taking on potential superstar Paua Of Buddy (7), but we think he is a huge chance to cause an upset. Can’t see him missing a place.
Shepparton Race 9 No 8 Rotten Ronnie $2.00 at PlayUp
Winner of the Group 2 Warragul Cup recently, leading throughout. Very speedy so this draw does look perfect for him. We expect him to lead and that should be the race. Star galloper.