We had some wonderful racing last night around the nation, especially at Richmond where we witnessed the finals of both the Group 2 Oaks (520m) and the Group 2 Derby (520m), and also at Horsham with the running of the Group 2 Horsham Cup (485m) heats. The Richmond Derby was won brilliantly by the Jason Magri trained Zipping Novak, who took control of the race in the run to the first corner before streaking away for a commanding victory, by almost five lengths, in a flying 29.32, one of the fastest times recorded at the redeveloped Richmond venue. This greyhound has always displayed outstanding talent and when given a clear run in a race, he is very near unbeatable. We have no doubt he will feature deep into the upcoming Golden Easter Egg series at Wentworth Park commencing later this month. In the Oaks final, it was the Sam Sultana trained Yoko Girl, overcoming her box four draw, to lead throughout in 29.57, to win by over two lengths from a gallant Wyndra All Class. Yoko Girl has been a model of consistency over the last twelve months, making numerous group finals without tasting success, so the win last night was thoroughly deserved. Despite what initially appeared disappointing nominations for the heats if the Horsham Cup, the four heats produced some quality racing, and the eight greyhounds that have qualified for the final are all very worthy group greyhounds. The fastest heat was won by the Jeff Geall trained Jungle Panther, a greyhound who loves the big track at Horsham especially when he is drawn wide, who bolted in the opening heat in a flying 26.83, almost two lengths quicker than the time recorded by Panadero Warrior (26.95) in winning the final heat. Australian Cup runner up Baby Jaycee (27.04), and Melbourne Cup finalist He’s No Slouch (27.09), were successfully in the other two heats. The all important box draw will be very crucial when trying to determine who will take out next weeks final.
Tonight we have racing at Wentworth Park, Dubbo, The Gardens, The Meadows, Ipswich, Shepparton and Cannington. Finals of the Shepparton Matchmaker and the Shepparton Classic, both run over the 450 metre distance, hold a lot of interest, whilst at Dubbo, the last heat of the GRNSW Country Classic for middle distance greyhounds will be held, following heats being held earlier this week at seven other tracks around the state. Next Saturday, four semi finals of this race will be run at Dubbo, culminating in the rich final seven days later. This event continues to grow in statue and is already regarded as one of the premier middle distance races in country at only the second running of the event.
Wentworth Park Race 2 No 1 Inside Dart $2.40 at PlayUp – We are very keen on this greyhound as we think he will be very well suited from this inside draw. Very nice run last week when a close up second from a wide draw, after he did receive a couple of checks in the run. In very good kennel. Can lead and win.
The Meadows Race 3 No 3 Trending Yale $2.15 at PlayUp – Recently won a prelude of the Group 1 Australian Cup, at this track and distance, and now finds himself in a Grade 6 event. Excellent second last start at Sandown, narrowly beaten in good time. Looks a class above this field. Clearly the best bet of the night anywhere, so make her your banker in all your multi bets this evening.
Dubbo Race 5 No 5 Ailee Bale $6.00 at PlayUp – Very talented Victorian greyhound who is having her first run here but does handle new tracks well as evidenced by her great second in the recent Launceston Cup. First start at this distance also but gives every impression it will suit her. Rails well so track should suit. Again, nice each way odds are on offer.
Wentworth Park Race 5 No 1 Garden Party $5.00 at PlayUp – Resumed from long break with a fast win at Maitland two starts back. Forget she went around here at her latest start when she had zero luck in the run. Does like an inside draw and has raced well at this venue in the past. Genuine each way chance in this event.
The Meadows Race 6 No 2 Whitley Bale $6.00 at PlayUp – Third and final chance for this greyhound but, at the great each way odds on offer, we cannot let her go around without us. Last two runs have been excellent without winning. Just needs an ounce of luck in the run to the first bend and she will be right in this finish. Has plenty of ability.
Dubbo Race 11 No 7 Wade Keeping $1.95 at PlayUp – Only faced the starter three times but has showed very good ability. His win here at his second start in a race was very impressive, that being from this same box draw as he had tonight. Short enough in the market but looks a clear stand out in this field.