2016 Group 1 Paws of Thunder free tips and betting preview

THE Group 1 Paws of Thunder (520 metres) will hold the greyhound racing spotlight on Saturday night, with a sensational field set to assemble for the $100,000 feature at Wentworth Park.

The favourite for the event is the Anthony Azzopardi-trained Zambora Brockie, which scored a dazzling 29.60 heat victory last weekend. Exploding from box one, the son of Nitro Burst and Flying Liddy gave nothing else a chance, scoring by nine-and-three-quarter lengths over the ultra-consistent Bessy Boo.

Following the performance, online bookie Crownbet installed Zambora Brockie as the $2 top elect to take out the final despite being drawn awkwardly in box six. Azzopardi spoke to Australian Racing Greyhound about his star performer’s chances in the final, with the leading trainer exuding confidence that the black dog will put his best paws forward on Saturday night.

Next best in the market is another freakishly talented son of the underrated sire Nitro Burst in Smart Missile. Rated a $5 shot to take out the event, the Jason Mackay- trained sprinter has an enormous engine and has run a scintillating 29.43 over the track and trip, with a repeat performance sure to see him right in the finish.

While NSW may look to have the upper hand in the race, some quality Victorians have also made the journey north for the Harbour City final. Team Dailly will be represented by two runners, Elfen Bale (box seven) and Helga Bale (box eight), with the former the winner of the Group 3 Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park last year, while Rob Britton will be aiming to secure his second ‘Paws’ within three years when he lines up the in-form Tap Out Rose from box two.

The Group 1 Paws of Thunder final is race six on the card this Saturday night and is set to jump at 9:13pm AEDT.

To help you find the winner, Australian Racing Greyhound has previewed each runner individually, with each dog’s form and a comment on their chances in the final.

Box One – Nangar Flame
Black Dog – 34.5kg – August 2013
Collision x Flash Fancy
Prize money: $26,710
Trainer: Dennis Barnes
Career: 21: 8-10-2
From box: 3 starts: 1 win, 2 placings
T/D: 11: 3-6-1
T/D Best: 29.77
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic

“Is hit and miss at the start but has a stack of ability when he does everything right. He faces a tough task in this race, but from the good draw he is capable of finding a nice spot and finishing in the minor money.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $4.60 with William Hill

Box Two – Tap Out Rose
Black Bitch – 27.2kg – January 2013
Cosmic Rumble x Sweet Fenoir
Prize money: $68,153
Trainer: Rob Britton
Career: 46: 13-10-7
From box: 9 starts: 2 wins, 3 placings
T/D: 21: 6-2-4
T/D Best: 29.81
Career Highlights: WON Wentworth Park 29.81, 29.86, Sandown Park 29.45, The Meadows 30.13

“Has been racing in terrific fashion since joining the kennel of Rob Britton, winning four of her last six starts. Last week she turned in a solid effort when scoring in 29.96, but she is going to need to step a lot better to figure in the finish on Saturday night against some much harder opposition.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $12 with Bet365

Box Three – ASA Flying Spur
Black Dog – 30.1kg – January 2014
Kinloch Brae x Cawbourne Shine
Prize money: $24,018
Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi
Career: 29: 7-6-6
From box: 4 starts: 0 wins, 3 placings
T/D: 13: 4-2-3
T/D Best: 29.89
Career Highlights: WON Wentworth Park 29.89, 29.96, Maitland 25.30, Canberra 25.76

“Caused a boilover in his heat last week and looks to be a talented greyhound in the making. He has drawn well on Saturday night and could probably run a cheeky race if he lands in a nice spot, but due to his box manners it is too hard to tip him with any confidence.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $19 with William Hill

Box Four – Smart Missile
Black Dog – 36.4kg – July 2013
Nitro Burst x Oh Cee Ya
Prize money: $55,670
Trainer: Jason Mackay
Career: 23: 12-3-1
From box: 4 starts: 2 wins, 0 placings
T/D: 10: 5-1-1
T/D Best: 29.43
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Speed Star, FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Black Top, 2016 Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup

“An absolute beast of an animal which is capable of just about anything on his night. His biggest downfall is that he is a slow beginner, but he does possess tremendous field sense and should be able to work his way through the field and into a prominent spot.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $5 with William Hill

Box Five – Paloma Lago
Black Bitch – 25.7kg – April 2013
Fabregas x Us Five
Prize money: $31,438
Trainer: Ron Bell
Career: 36: 11-5-5
From box: 4 starts: 1 win, 0 placings
T/D: 21: 5-3-4
T/D Best: 29.77
Career Highlights: WON Wentworth Park 29.77, 30.09, The Gardens 29.66

“Speedy little bitch which has been mixing it with the best of them in her recent starts. If she had drawn closer to the fence I would have given her a top place chance, but she will have her work cut out for her from the squeeze box in this.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $34 with Bet365

Box Six – Zambora Brockie
Black Dog – 31.2kg – September 2013
Nitro Burst x Flying Liddy
Prize money: $111,423
Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi
Career: 20:12-3-1
From box: 2 starts: 1 win, 0 placings
T/D: 10: 7-1-0
T/D Best: 29.56
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic, Wentworth Park 29.56, 29.63, 29.66

“Star chaser and it is hard to see them beating him if he can repeat his run from last week. He is normally a brilliant beginner so he should have no trouble crossing this field in a race that lacks a lot of pace. If he hits the front the only chaser capable of matching him is probably Smart Missile, but even then I think Zambora Brockie would be too good.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $2 with Crownbet

Box Seven – Elfen Bale
White and Dark Brindle Bitch – 26.9kg – March 2013
Kelsos Fusileer x Chloe Allen
Prize money: $156,673
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 48: 18-11-7
From box: 6 starts: 0 wins, 3 placings
T/D: 6: 4-0-1
T/D Best: 29.78
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 3 Ladies Bracelet, 2015 Group 3 SA Oaks, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Sapphire Crown, 2015 Group 3 Collins Memorial

“Litter sister to the mighty Fernando Bale and she is blessed with plenty of her own ability. Last week she battled on gamely to score a solid 30.24 win, however this week she moves off the track and into box eight. She should get a nice run into the race on the outside of Zambora Brockie, but I do think her chances are limited to the place.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $12 with Sportsbet

Box Eight – Helga Bale
Red Brindle Bitch – 25.3kg – October 2013
Taylors Sky x Zambola Bale
Prize money: $20,633
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 35: 5-9-4
From box: 2 starts: 0 wins, 0 placings
T/D: 1: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 30.15
Career Highlights: WON Wentworth Park 30.15, The Meadows 30.40, Geelong 22.60

Bred to be able to run and last week she ran a nice race when clocking 30.15 from box four. This week the challenge is much tougher and it is hard to see her getting into the finish.”

Odds to win the Paws of Thunder: $34 with Crownbet

Top Four: 6-1-4-7