THE Nationals head to South Australia this week with the running of three SA Sprint Championships and two Distance Championships.
The first two from each of the sprint heats, plus the two fastest thirds, and the top four from both distance qualifiers will progress through to the respective finals to be run at Angle Park next Thursday night.
The top two from each final will then qualify for the Group 1 National Sprint and Distance Championships to be run at Angle Park on August 27, which will also see runners from each of the other states converging on the Adelaide track for a crack at the $75,000 features.
While the other states all held heats last week, the home state will be holding their qualifiers on Thursday to allow interstate competitors the chance to arrange transport and trial at the track prior to the finals.
SA Sprint Championship – heat one – 7:52pm
It’s hard to tip against Worm Burner (4) in the opening heat of the night, with the Cameron Butcher-trained dog coming into the series having won his past eight starts in stunning fashion.
The brindle dog can be touchy at box rise but he has a vacant box on his inside which should give him a bit of extra room and he only needs to repeat his stunning 29.62 win from last week to be claiming this race.
Wilba Beast (8) is a big talent and he has the most genuine speed in the race. If he can get across from box eight and reproduce his 29.55 personal best he will be hard to catch.
Although he is going to find it tough to beat the favourite, he represents plenty of value for those unwilling to step into the short odds about the four.
Temalor (1) loves the cherry where she has won four of five starts however she has been a little below her best in recent weeks.
It’s Classified (7) is another with a stack of ability but he will have to avoid the speed Wilba Beast on his outside in the early stages.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Wilba Beast at $7.50 with Sportsbet
SA Sprint Championship – heat two – 8:13pm
There is a fair bit of speed in this heat, with Marlow Brown (5) likely to carve across towards the fence from box five. If he can find the front he will prove hard to reel in, with a fast 29.59 PB over the track and trip.
Fabregal (8) comes into the event following two unplaced runs, but she is a genuine star and if she can across from the eight she will make the rest work hard for the win.
Molly Be Nimble (1) has a perfect three from three wearing red and she generally shows good turn of foot. If she can position up on the fence in the early stages she is capable of running a big race at nice odds.
Dyna Keitaro (7) has gone 29.39 over the track and trip but he is a slow beginner and is much better suited towards the fence.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Fabregal at $2.30 with Sportsbet
SA Sprint Championship – heat three – 8:37pm
Lachlan Brown (1) returned to the track in fine style last month, leading all the way to score in 22.62 at Gawler over 400 after nearly 10 months off the track.
He is last year’s Adelaide Cup runner up and he is perfectly drawn in the one, however, he rises in trip at just his second run back and there is a question as to whether he has enough race fitness to hold out some of these. If he is right he should win, but odds-on is a bit short for mine.
Caustic Bale (2) has won three of his past four over the track and trip including a hot 29.77 win last time out. Well placed in box two with a vacant box on his outside to land on the bunny and lead all the way.
Crisis Bale (7) is probably more suited on the fence but he has a great strike rate and holds a quick 29.74 pb at Angle Park.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Caustic Bale at $2.20 with Sportsbet
SA Distance Championship – heat one – 8:58pm
Springvale Bryne (8) is the seasoned stayer of the field and she is in terrific form at the present. Her strike rate of seven wins and four minors from 12 starts over the track and trip speaks for itself and from the ideal draw out wide she should get every chance to race up on the lead and come home with the win.
Mrs Bubbles (1) is making her debut over the staying trip but she has recently put together five in a row here over the 600m and at Gawler over 643m. She has been running home strongly in those races and gives every indication that she will run out the trip. She goes well from the inside and will give the favourite a run for her money.
Danyo’s Tom (2) is the only other runner with decent recent form here over the staying trip, but he is giving away a fair bit in class to the top two picks.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Springvale Bryne at $1.80 with Bet365
SA Distance Championship – heat two – 9:22pm
Luna Jinx (4) is the class runner of the two heats being a group 1 winning stayer and she has won two of her past three starts. There isn’t a huge amount of depth in this race and if she is anywhere near her best she should just be winning.
She’s A Looper (2) put in an improved performance at her past start, finishing second behind Springvale Bryne over the 731m distance, beating Luna Jinx in the process. With a bit of condition over the trip she should be starting to hit her straps and she looks the main danger to the favourite.
Sutton Steele (8) is making his debut as a stayer, but is yet to be unplaced over the 643m at Gawler including a last start 37.73 success. It’s hard to know what he is capable of, but he will have to produce something special to rattle the favourite.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Luna Jinx at $1.70 with Bet365