2016 Group 3 Mandurah Birthday Cup – tips & full betting preview

THE feature race spotlight heads to the west on Friday night with the final of the Group 3 Birthday Cup (405 metres) to be run and won at Mandurah.

The short priced favourite for the event is the ultra consistent Astrophysic, $1.50 with Crownbet, which looks poised to score after drawing the coveted rails alley. The son of Cosmic Rumble and Right On Ruby has the terrific record of 39 wins from 54 starts and only needs to begin to win.

Astrophysic is trained by leading WA trainer Paul Stuart who also has the classy Winsome Mission, $10, in the event. The black dog bounced back to form in his heat with a dominant 22.67 win, but will need to do everything right from the poor box five draw.

Outside of the favourite, bookmakers have identified Westeros, $4, as the main chance of claiming the $25,000-to-the-winner race. The Jamie Marsh-trained dog comes into the final as the winner of his past four starts including a slick 22.53 over the track and trip and is boxed well in the three.

The Group 3 Birthday Cup is race six on the card at Mandurah this Friday and is set to jump at 11:37pm AEDT.

Lets check out the form of each runner in this year’s final, with tips and comments from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s expert form analyst, Brad Bugeja.

Box One – Astrophysic
Dark Brindle Dog – 32.4kg – January 2013
Cosmic Rumble x Right On Ruby
Prize money: $108,575
Trainer: Paul Stuart
Career: 53: 39-5-4
From box: 7 starts: 6 wins, 0 placings
T/D: 44: 35-4-3
T/D Best: 22.29

“Amazing chaser who has won 39 of his 54 starts and he appears drawn to add another victory to his name. Last week he stepped well and from this draw he was able to shoot through and lead and from there on he was never going to be beaten. There is a little more early speed engaged in this race but with an even getaway he should be able to fire through and if he holds them out that should be the end of the section. All class and deserves to win a race of this calibre.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $1.50 with Crownbet

Box Two – Oldmate Lara
Brindle Bitch – 28.7kg – August 2013
Razldazl JayFKay x Scotch Bonnet
Prize money: $12,800
Trainer: Terry Erenshaw
Career: 19: 5-2-4
From box: 2 starts: 0 wins, 0 placings
T/D: 10: 5-2-1
T/D Best: 22.74

“Fairly inexperienced chaser and she is facing an enormous rise in class. Prior to winning her heat last week, she had done the majority of her racing in Grade 5 class and although her record her reads well she only has a solid 22.74 PB here. Great effort to qualify but she is likely to find the going tough in this event.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $23 with Crownbet

Box Three – Westeros
Black Dog – 29.9kg – January 2013
Kinloch Brae x Natural Sapphire
Prize money: $34,110
Trainer: Jamie Marsh
Career: 40: 14-5-1
From box: 4 starts: 2 wins, 0 placings
T/D: 28: 11-4-1
T/D Best: 22.53

“Fastest heat winner last week and he is another with a brilliant record over this track and trip. He had the red draw in his heat however his previous two wins were from this draw, so if he can do everything right at box rise he should be able to make an impact. There isn’t a lot of speed drawn on his outside, so he should get a fairly clear passage in the initial stages and he should be there to apply pressure to the red early on. It’s going to be hard to beat the red but he is definitely one of the main dangers.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $4 with William Hill

Box Four – Ollie Bale
Black Dog – 32.0kg – October 2011
Go Wild Teddy x Zambola Bale
Prize money: $236,100
Trainer: Enzo Crudell
Career: 98: 21-16-9
From box: 19 starts: 3 wins, 7 placings
T/D: 4: 1-2-0
T/D Best: 22.99

“Probably a little lucky to win his heat last week and from the awkward draw he is going to find things difficult. Likely to trail them early and he can’t afford to give these type of chasers a head start. Just making up the numbers.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $26 with Crownbet

Box Five – Winsome Mission
Black Dog – 34.0kg – April 2013
El Grand Senor x Ramblin’ Ruby
Prize money: $61,085
Trainer: Paul Stuart
Career: 40: 14-4-7
From box: 6 starts: 1 win, 0 placings
T/D: 3: 1-0-1
T/D Best: 22.67

“Enormous talent and he turned in an eye catching performance to score in his heat last week in 22.67. With a clear passage I would happily declare him the winner, however he can bomb the start and he will want to hook very wide. There isn’t a whole heap of speed drawn on his outside, so if he can step on terms he might get a chance to push through in the run to the first turn. Clearly has the talent to win but will need a lot of things to go his way.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $10 with Crownbet

Box Six – Crashing Packs
Black Dog – 31.5kg – February 2013
Knocka Norris x Rock Pool
Prize money: $92,990
Trainer: Max Julien
Career: 51: 21-12-6
From box: 4 starts: 1 win, 2 placings
T/D: 5: 5-1-0
T/D Best: 22.38

“Great chaser who has won five of his six tries over this track and trip and last week he really hit the line well when posting a smart 22.80 win. I would have preferred him drawn nearer the inside but if he can step well he should show enough speed to be able to get across into a prominent position early. He is going to be nice odds and he definitely is capable of causing an upset.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $9 with Crownbet

Box Seven – Burundi
Black Dog – 33.3kg – March 2012
Bekim Bale x My Black Bess
Prize money: $93,405
Trainer: Chris Halse
Career: 78: 19-19-13
From box: 12 starts: 1 win, 4 placings
T/D: 7: 3-0-3
T/D Best: 22.64

“He had been struggling for a little while, however last week he was able to ping the lids and he showed tremendous early speed when posting a slick 22.64 heat win. On that occasion he was able to hold out the classy Yunderup Dozer, who had every chance to reel him in. It is going to be a lot tougher for him from the wider draw but if he does ping away he can run a cheeky race at big odds.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $17 with William Hill

Box Eight – Emily’s Sweet
Black Bitch – 27.4kg – December 2011
Lochinvar Marlow x Assassin Gal
Prize money: $43,570
Trainer: Chris Halse
Career: 63: 17-12-13
From box: 11 starts: 2 wins, 3 placings
T/D: 3: 1-0-2
T/D Best: 22.78

“Ultra consistent chaser and she normally begins very well in her races, however tonight she is taking on some star chasers and she can’t afford to make any mistakes from her wide draw. She turned in a strong effort to score here last week in 22.78 but I’m expecting them to go a lot quicker than that this week and she is likely to be posted wide for most of the journey.”

Odds to win the Birthday Cup: $23 with Crownbet

Open an account with William Hill and claim up to $700 in bonus bets.