The richest greyhound race in the world will be run tonight at The Meadows in Melbourne, the $1.65 million The Phoenix (525m), with the winning greyhound to receive $1 million. In just the second running of this unique event, individuals and organisations were invited to submit an application for a $100,000 slot in the race, upon which an Independent Assessment Panel were given the task of selecting the eight successful slot holders. It then is the responsibility of the Slot Holders to negotiate and enter into private deals and commercial arrangements with the relevant greyhound connections to finalise the eight runners. The field that will face the starter is simply outstanding, with three of the runners looking to create history by becoming the first greyhound to break the $2 million barrier, a figure that seemed unthinkable not so long ago. She’s A Pearl, Wow She’s Fast and McInerney are already existing members of the exclusive club of millionaires, so success tonight will escalate their earnings past the $2 million figure and into the history books. Selecting the winner looks a very tough ask, so many scenarios could be played out, but we will endeavour to provide some guidance for our loyal followers who should be very happy after Thursday where five of our six selections were successful including one at double figure odds.
Victorian sprinter, Fernando Mick, confirmed on Thursday how unlucky he was to have not been selected by one of the slot holders for The Phoenix, when he comfortably won the Group 1 Hobart Thousand (461m) in a fast 25.71, defeating his fellow Victorian Paua Of Buddy, leading throughout in doing so. Trained by David Geall, Fernando Bale despite approaching four years of age, has been racing in career best form in recent months and was coming off a narrow defeat in the Melbourne Cup. Another big win is not beyond him in his present form. Kelsey Bale, trained by Daniel Gibbons at Lara, proved too classy for a hot field of female sprinters in the final of the Group 2 Sandown Laurels Classic (515m). After an average get away from the boxes, she managed to weave her way into the clear down the back straight, grabbing the lead coming off the back, then darting away to win by 2.5 lengths from Baby Jaycee. This greyhound is certainly one of the most consistent in training, and she will clearly be on the top fancies in anything she contests.
The Phoenix at The Meadows Race 9 No 1 She’s A Pearl $3.30 at PlayUp – We have finally settled on She’s A Pearl as our selection, based purely on the fact we believe she will lead to the first turn. She is a super fast beginner who can run outstanding sectionals in her races. Despite not having previously raced at the track, it is well known she has trialled on two occasions, both in fast time. Her main dangers would appear to be Amron Boy (4) and Wow She’s Fast (6), but both have to overcome poor draws to put themselves in the race. We do give McInerney (8) a chance to place at nice odds from his suitable box. Selections: 1-4-8-6.
The Meadows Race 3 No 4 Zara’s Ivan $3.90 at PlayUp – Has proved costly for punters of late, not winning in any of his last ten starts. But his last start, at Sandown Park, was super when finishing a close up second to the talented Salad Dodger. Had he drawn more favourably he would be a lot shorter in the markets tonight, but we think that is a bonus for our followers. Does race well at this venue. Yes.
Wentworth Park Race 5 No 1 Not Wanted $2.20 at PlayUp – Does her best racing from inside draws. Galloped on heels of the leader a couple of times during the run when finishing second here last week, from box 3. We expect her to hold the lead tonight and once in front she is capable of running good time. Looks a very winnable race for her.
The Meadows Race 5 No 2 Kai Bale $4.20 at PlayUp – This greyhound does have a huge motor but can be awkward around other dogs at times. But the box draw really suits him tonight as we expect the red runner to lead and provide our selection with a passage into the race. The second half of the race is his strength, and we expect him to prove to strong for his opposition here.
The Meadows Race 8 No 1 Punter’s Bandit $2.10 at PlayUp – New South Wales visitor and a kennel mate of She’s A Pearl. Huge run last start at Wentworth Park after almost falling at the first corner. She is a reliable beginner with good speed so she should be able to hold the lead in the short dash to the first corner. Prior to Wentworth Park she had been racing well at Dapto in quality fields over the 600 metres so the trip is not a concern. Looks the best bet of the night, so the banker in all your multi bets.
The Meadows Race 10 No 2 Aston Suzette $4.00 at PlayUp – Gets her chance tonight in this race. Her last two starts, at this track and distance, have both been excellent, finishing second on both occasions and both times making ground late. Very talented and has the ability to mix it with better greyhounds than in this field. She is strong late.