What a wonderful sight it was, after an absence of almost seven years, to witness the return of straight track racing to New South Wales last Saturday morning when Richmond conducted their inaugural meeting. The early start of 8.30 am saw the pools on the early races quite low but had grown significantly by the time the running of race twelve occurred. The former straight track at Appin held their final meeting in 2013, and participants have had to endure a long wait since. With Murray Bridge in South Australia, Capalaba in Queensland, and Healesville in Victoria, all racing twice a week, with full coverage by the TAB for the last two years, NSW trainers had been left on the shelf to a degree, but that has all changed now as reports from Saturday indicate that straight racing has returned with great success.
Last Thursday, the final of the Maitland Gold Cup was won by the Michael Eberand trained Ebby Jet Power who snatched a last stride victory from the favourite, More Sauce, providing some compensation for Eberand who had to settle for second with Ebby Infrared last year. It was win number 21 for Ebby Jet Power, taking his career earnings past $120,000, and providing another major race win to an offspring of the dam Ebby Miss, whose progeny have now amassed an amazing $1.4 million in prizemoney.
At Geelong on Friday night, it was the Jeff Britton trained Weblec Jet who led all the way in recording a very comfortable four length victory in a time that was only marginally outside the long standing track record. One can expect this dog to continue to improve, given it was just his third run back from injury, and a win in a Group One before the end of the year would not surprise.
Heats of the Warrnambool Cup tonight, sees many of Victoria’s sprinters engaged, seeking a place in the $50,000 to the winner final the following Wednesday night. Greyhounds the calibre of Yoso Bale, Weblec Jet, Tiggerlong Tonk, Shima Shine and Ferdinand Boy are among the entries for the heats in what promises to be a great night’s racing.
Warrnambool Race 7 No 3 Mepunga Isla $4.80 at PlayUp – Successful for us last week at this track and distance and we are looking for a similar response tonight. Will need to establish a good break on the favourite Equaliser, as he will be finishing hard. Isla loves this track, and we believe she can establish that winning break.
Warrnambool Race 12 No 8 Zeeba’s Legacy $2.25 at PlayUp – Raced very well during the recent Gold Rush Maiden series at Bendigo when he was runner up in the final, before being a touch unlucky when second here two weeks ago. Loves a wide draw and has the pace to lead throughout from this box.
Dapto Race 3 No 7 Rockstar Newbold $2.50 at PlayUp – Very strong winner of a maiden here at the beginning of April and has since performed well during the three week Nowra Puppy Classic series, finishing an unlucky 5th in the final. This field lacks the depth of that final and with a good beginning he looks the bet of the night for us.
Sandown Race 8 No 1 Music Event $2.20 at PlayUp – This should be a great clash between Music Event and Lakeview Walter, with the boxes reversed from last week and we believe that can result in a reverse of the placings on last week which saw Walker record an easy win. Both strong dogs and good chasers, Walter does tend to use a bit of the track and that should be enough to allow Music Event room on his inside and race to victory.
Albion Park Race 9 No 1 Ava Wine $2.40 at PlayUp – Now in the powerful Darren Russell kennel, the 600 metre trip looks ideal for this dog. Led a long way in a heat of the Association Cup at Wentworth Park earlier in the month before compounding in the home straight. Has the speed to lead throughout.