A huge night of greyhound racing awaits punters tonight, especially at Sandown Park where the finals of two Group 1’s will be run, the Sapphire Crown for the girls and the Harrison-Dawson for the boys, both over the sprint journey. Supporting these two races will be four heats of the richest greyhound staying race in the world, the Sandown Cup, with first and second dogs from each heat qualifying to compete in the big final next Thursday night.
Let us also not forget about Murray Bridge tonight, hosting the main South Australian city meeting during the temporary closure of Angle Park for track upgrading, where they will be running three heats of the SA Distance Championship for the stayers, plus three heats of a Mixed Grades 4 & 5 Series for the sprinters. Another highlight tonight will be at Albion Park, where the rising star, Ninetymile King, steps out over the staying trip of 710 metres for the very first time. Punters have been waiting for this to happen, and with a number of major group-staying races scheduled for Albion Park in the coming months, we should all get an idea tonight to see if he can take the next step. We think he can.
Sapphire Classic – Sandown Race 6 No 6 Qwara Bale $2.70 at PlayUp – Fastest heat winner and recent winner of the Group 2 Warrnambool Cup, she looks likely to start favourite in this and we expect her to win. Can run the hands off the clock when on the lure, and has the speed to lead here. Yes.
Harrison-Dawson Sandown Race 8 No 2 Shima Shine $2.45 at PlayUp – Flew here last week in his heat when recording 29.00. Generally has a poor record in the major group finals but this draw is his best for a long time. Unlikely to hold out the speedster Fernando Bluey in the drive to the first corner, but providing he can get the trail workout meeting trouble, he should prove far too strong and confirm he is Australia’s best greyhound.
Sandown Race 3 No 1 Stanley Road $2.30 at PlayUp – Has been Australia’s best stayer in recent months and, despite it being his first start at the track, he looks well placed in this race. He did trial well at the track over the weekend, and with the benefit of that run, we think he is the best bet of the night.
Sandown Race 4 No 1 Zack Monelli $1.35 at PlayUp – West Australian star who sets up huge leads in his races with blistering early sections. Continues to get stronger with each staying run. Will lead and win.
Sandown Race 5 No 1 Not Happening $4.00 at PlayUp – Very even and open heat with all runners considered some chance. This fellow has shown very good form over sprint and middle distances and from this draw has the chance to be in the race throughout. Each-way value.
Sandown Race 7 No 3 We The People $2.25 at PlayUp – Another West Australian greyhound who recently has transferred to the strong Jamie Ennis kennel specifically for this race. Two recent starts at the track and distance will have benefited this dog greatly. Very strong in the run to the line.