New South Wales retained the State of Origin trophy last night at Albion Park in what was a sensational night of greyhound racing. With three races to be contested in the series, NSW took the lead in the opening event, the Origin Distance, when the Dave Richardson trained Barsandi led all the way in recording a comfortable two and a quarter length victory over the local stayer, Missy Moo Moo, in a fast 41.98. The locals bounced back in stunning fashion in the Origin Sprint, when the Tony Brett trained youngster Orchestrate led throughout in recording a quick 29.66 in his three-length victory over Zipping Kyrgios from NSW. Orchestrate split the field open with his dazzling early pace, recording a lightning 5.42 first section, and once in front, he never looked in danger.
So it all came down to the Origin Match Race, and the locals were cheering loudly when their star sprinter Extra Malt led clearly to the post the first time, to the surprise of most good judges. But the NSW representative, the Jack Smith trained Jungle Deuce, displayed his class and speed by railing underneath the leader through the catching pen and into the back straight. /!; once on the lure it was going to take a herculean effort to reel him in. As hard as Extra Malt tried, the task was beyond her and Jungle Deuce prevailed by a length this allowing NSW to retain the title. Congratulations to all involved, this is a wonderful concept and again created great interest for the sport.
Tonight all eyes will be focused on Bendigo in Victoria, where twelve finals of the rich Pink Diamond series will be contested. With prize money in excess of $600,000 up for grabs to greyhounds of all levels, it is sure to produce some closely contested events. Much emphasis is placed on breeders in this series, and the connections of all winning and placed greyhounds will be on the receiving end of a good percentage of the $600,000. Now let us see if we can find some winners for the punters tonight.
Bendigo Race 5 No 1 Aussie Secret $4.40 at PlayUp – Brilliant winner from a wide draw at Geelong in his heat in quick time. He does like to use plenty of the track in the early stages but he begins so well, we think he can be clear of the field and allow him to lead all the way.
Bendigo Race 6 No 3 Mepunga Warrior $5.00 at PlayUp – Newcomer to the staying ranks who has been performing at a high level in sprint races in the city in recent months. Bred to get the trip and in a strong kennel. Can get the gun run from this draw and establish a winning break mid-race.
Bendigo Race 7 No 1 Koblenz $2.00 at PlayUp – One of the hottest dogs in the state, winning his last eight starts to make thirteen wins from his eighteen career starts. Drawn to lead as has tremendous early speed. Once on the lure, he is nearly unbeatable.
Bendigo Race 8 No 1 Shima Shine $2.70 at PlayUp – What a race this promises to be and the race could well be decided in the first five metres. Shima Shine begins he wins, but he can be risky at times, but from the inside draw on the bend start over this 500-metre trip, we think he will nail the jump and lead throughout.
Bendigo Race 9 No 5 Sweet Petit $2.35 at PlayUp – Racing in career-best form, winning in fast times at her latest wins at Ballarat. She is very strong so only has to be within striking distance of the lead to prove too strong in the closing stages.