THE biggest greyhound racing carnival in NSW gets into full swing on Saturday night with the running of 10 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg (520m) heats at Wentworth Park.
The best chasers from across the country will converge on the Harbour City for the lucrative feature, run over three weeks, with the eventual series winner set to receive a massive $250,000.
Despite the final being over two weeks away, there are already a stack of odds available – with many contenders representing excellent value to win the final on April 15.
To help readers out, Australian Racing Greyhound has analysed the chances of each runner contesting the Golden Easter Egg series, featuring the latest odds available.
If you think you can spot some value, be sure to load up on free bet bonuses to get some extra bang for your buck when placing a wager on the Egg.
Golden Easter Egg – heat one – 7.48pm
Box 1 – Eisenhower (Ruth King) – $101
A former WA chaser, Eisenhower has been racing well of late, winning three of his past six starts including a 29.82 win at Wentworth Park. Box one is ideal and he is beautifully drawn to qualify for the semi-finals, although punters will be relying on him to draw well throughout the remainder of the series as he can be hit and miss early.
Box 2 – Astrozone (Paul Stuart) – $13
Very exciting youngster in the care of Paul Stuart. He dominated in the lower grades in WA, winning 12 of his first 13 starts. He has been unplaced a few times since stepping up to FFA and open company, however he did showcase his best two starts back with a blistering 29.49 run at Cannington. Generally, shows good early dash which he will have to use to win on Saturday. First look at the track this week which is a concern, but does have plenty of ability. One to watch throughout the series, but odds are a bit skinny for mine.
Box 3 – Brad Hill Billy (Ray Smith) – $81
Runner-up in last year’s Easter Egg, but he is getting on in age now and probably not as good as he once was. However, he is drawn on the right side of the track and will be hoping to get a run into the race behind Astrozone. He is still a class animal and racing in great fashion, however I am willing to risk him to win the final at the big odds.
Box 4 – Vintage Power (Ken Chappelow) – $301
Nice young pup which has won a couple of races here in handy time, but this is a quantum rise in class for him and it is hard to see him winning the final.
Box 5 – Matt Machine (Jamie Ennis) – $41
Massive fan of his dog and I think he is a better greyhound than his recent form reads. He isn’t brilliant out of the boxes but can run fast time when he hits the ground and is sure to improve off his first look at the track two runs back when finishing second behind Tap Out Axe. He will have to bring his best to win the heat from box five, but should make it through to the semis and is good enough to feature if drawn well.
Box 6 – Explosive Range (Daniel Flanagan) – $301
Racing in brilliant form of late, but he doesn’t have the early speed to cross from box six against this class of dogs. Should be running on in the closing stages, but can’t picture him making a genuine impact throughout the series.
Box 7 – Mack Tux (Bruce King) – $31
Sensational beginner and is racing in great fashion. Ran second in the Richmond Derby two runs back after nearly breaking the first section record in his heat and the final. Will appreciate the drop in distance and isn’t badly boxed out wide. If he can lead he will be running around the 29.80 mark and they will have to be flying to catch him. Certainly not the strongest dog in the series, but his early speed makes him a threat.
Box 8 – Shell Shocked (Enzo Crudeli) – $301
Goes well from wide boxes and should get every chance to get into the race on the outside of Mack Tux. Can be very slow out of the boxes which is the main concern moving on through the series.
1st Res – Kyah’s Comet (John Little) – $501
Down on form and unlikely to threaten if she gains a start.
2nd Res – Fimple Allen (Andrea Dailly) – $81
Big talent but unlikely to get a run as second reserve.
Golden Easter Egg – heat two – 8.05pm
Beautifully drawn in box one and should be the leader. Not overly strong to the line but boxed to run a big race and is capable of going around the 29.80 mark. Early pace puts him in contention for this series.
Box 2 – Black Hole Sun (John Little) – $51
Pup with a big engine which has mixed it with the best at group level for a few months now. Boxed ok in the two and, despite not having much early speed, he has plenty of field sense and a big heart which helps him over the line.
Box 3 – Up Hill Jill (David Geall) – $18
Has plenty of early toe which should see her vying for the lead. If she can sit just behind Invictus Rapid she is probably capable of running him down. Either way I expect her to make it through to the semis where she is sure to feature if she draws well.
Box 4 – Vintage Rox (Craig Chappelow) – $301
Won his last start in 29.77 at headquarters, but is still very slow out of the boxes. Should get a nice run into the race on the outside of some speed, but he would have to draw well in his heat and semi to be a genuine chance against the top class of greyhounds.
Box 5 – Chaser (Mark Gatt) – $201
Racing well – broke the 30 second barrier at Wentworth Park on the weekend but he will find it hard against the top greyhounds in the country.
Box 6 – Miss Abbeyvale (Kerry Drynan) – $201
Has shown ability in her short career, but she has been thrown in the deep end for this series and is probably a little bit too inexperienced to make an impact.
Box 7 – Kilkee May (Shannon Kirby) – $81
Mixes her form but has ability on her night. Ran fourth in the Group 2 Richmond Oaks two starts back but can’t see her winning the Egg.
Box 8 – Magic Spring (Noelene Holloway) – $67
Showed his brilliant dash for the first time in five starts last weekend and cruised to the line in 29.83. He seems to be stronger than he once was and he has the pace to lead which he will need to do to win the heat. Can make it through the series and is a smokey.
1st Res – Patch Adam (Max RImmer) – $81
Very talented dog which is unlucky not to have gained a start in the series. Despite a poor record at the track, if he gets a run he definitely has the ability to feature.
2nd Res – Ethla Allen (Andrea Dailly) – $301
Nice little bitch which has been racing well in Victoria. Big odds, but she is unlikely to get a run.
Golden Easter Egg – heat three – 8.30pm
Box 1 – Cosmic Bonus (Evelyn Harris) – $21
Exciting youngster which has been racing well at Wentworth Park, with four wins including a 29.65 personal best. Looks poised to win his heat, although he may find it tricky winning moving forward if drawn poorly as he is risky at box rise.
Box 2 – Lagoon Jazzy (Sharron Webster) – $81
Won two of her past three and has been competing well against some top class performers such as Ritza Lenny, Fanta Bale and Falcon’s Fury. Can run a cheeky race, but I don’t think she can win the final.
Will be having his third run back from ‘retirement’ this week and appears beautifully boxed to lead. Over four years of age so the legs are probably not as fast as they once were, but he is a classy dog and must be respected.
Box 4 – Hugo Boss (Ray Webster) – $251
Stepping up from 400m to tackle this series so he should be on the fresh side. Can show good pace on his night so expect him to run a bold race, although he may be susceptible late at his first 500 since January.
Box 5 – Shima Song (Andrea Dailly) – $26
One of the best bitches in the country which drops back in trip for the Egg after winning over 595m at Sandown Park last start. Box five does her no favourite but she should be running on late and can progress through the series.
Box 6 – Where Art Though (Kayla-jane Coleman) – $41
Slow beginner but she has a massive engine once she hits top gear. Probably going to be giving these dogs too much of a start to win, but watch out for her in the exotics as she aims to sneak through to the semi finals.
Box 7 – Winsome Mission (John Finn) – $51
Bounced back to his best with a 29.72 win at Wenty last start, but probably going to find it tough to make an impact from box seven against this lot.
Box 8 – Big Daddy Bee (Ray Smith) – $101
Group 1 winner but he is better drawn on the fence and will struggle from the pink.
1st Res – Zinzan Brooke (Brooke Ennis) – $51
Flying Victorian which would be a massive chance if he gains a start.
2nd Res – All A Blaze (Pam Braddon) – $101
Racing well below her best and not really a contender for the final.
Golden Easter Egg – heat four – 8.52pm
Box 1 – Wicked Warrior (Jason Magri) – $18
Gun NSW chaser capable of running flying times. Has a great record at the track and should relish being drawn on the fence. Massive chance of winning and featuring prominently throughout the remainder of the series.
Box 2 – Penny Monelli (David Hobby) – $26
Flying WA sprinter which trialled in slick time last week. Has proven she is a genuine group class performer when running second in a heat of the Australian Cup. Should be leading and will give a great sight out in front.
Box 3 – Aston Ebert (Geoff Grimwood) – $201
Racing well but this is a massive rise in class which will make things tough.
Box 4 – Pantera Nera (Gavin Burke) – $21
Far from disgraced when running second in the Maitland Cup last start. Brilliant early speed which is a big asset and he is proven at this level. Genuine chance of winning the final.
Box 5 – Costin (Shaun Evans) – $301
Awkwardly drawn and up in class. Not for me.
Box 6 – Kruggerand (John Finn) – $201
Hit and miss at box rise but has a massive engine. Sure to improve off his first look at the track last week, although I don’t think he will be winning the final.
Box 7 – Barking Bad (Michael Eberand) – $31
Well drawn out wide and can qualify for the semi-finals. Can be moody, but has a stack of ability
Box 8 – Big Flood (Jason Thompson) – $21
One of the fastest pups in the country and whatever he does this week he should improve moving forward throughout the series. Based on his experience, $21 is a skinny price to be winning the final, but he is in the best kennel in Australia and there is no doubting his ability.
1st Res – Pippy Dippy (Robert Britton) – $101
Nice youngster but this is a massive rise in class based on her recent runs and it is hard to see her winning a heat let alone the final.
2nd Res – Allen Gable (Andrea Dailly) – $151
Unlikely to gain a start but even if he did he would be facing a stern challenge to qualify for the semi-finals.
Golden Easter Egg – heat five – 9.15pm
Box 1 – Aeroplane Bob (Jason Thompson) – $101
Probably better suited over the middle distance, but he is still more than capable of mixing it with the best greyhounds over the sprint trip. Box one is an advantage and he realistically needs to draw close to the fence to have any chance later through the series if he makes it through.
Box 2 – Striker Light (Brett Bravo) – $26
One of the best female greyhounds in the country which will be having her first start since finishing down the track in the Group 2 Richmond Oaks final earlier this month. Much better drawn closer to the fence and she should be leading and running time. She holds a 29.74 personal best at the track and a repeat of that would see her going close to winning this heat and would put her in good stead for the entire series.
Box 3 – Allen Kempo (Andrea Dailly) – $301
Goes well from the inside three boxes, but would probably need to lift on his recent form to be a serious threat.
Box 4 – Blazin’ Bomber (Darren Pattinson)- $31
Class chaser which is better than his recent form suggests. Box four is no help for him, but he is good enough to overcome the draw and play a part in the series.
Box 5 – She’s Grand (Rodney O’Brien) – $301
Ultra-consistent bitch but she doesn’t have a very good record at Wentworth Park. Up against some hot greyhounds in this race so willing to risk her.
Box 6 – Crackerjack Choc (Anita Courts) – $301
Winner of the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup last month, but he is debuting at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and is drawn poorly. Capable of progressing through to the semi-finals, but a win in the decider is probably beyond him.
Box 7 – Fanta Bale (Robert Britton) – $26
Classy bitch which rarely runs a bad race. Better drawn on the fence, but won the Group 1 Australian Cup from box eight so it is hard to rule her out. Will probably be giving them a start but should run on and qualify for the semis. Will improve on what she does this week and with a decent draw she is a massive chance of winning the whole thing.
Box 8 – Lucky Chap (Anthony Azzopardi) – $15
Boom youngster which was flawless last week when winning in 29.68. Can handle a wide draw and should give a good sight. He is fast enough to win the final, but lacks experience which makes me wary of backing him at $15.
1st Res – Tiggerlong Cruz (Samantha Ferguson) – $201
Consistent girl which is racing in great form, but this is a massive class jump and she would have to draw well if she gained a start to be any chance of featuring.
2nd Res – Enrage (Craig Chappelow) – $301
Does have ability but this seems beyond him.
Golden Easter Egg – heat six – 9.35pm
Box 1 – Full of Rust (Allan Manwaring) – $301
Has a good overall record and is a two-time winner over the track and trip. However, he lacks early pace and is probably better suited over the middle distance. Can sneak into the placings from the good draw but hard to see him making an impact on the final.
Box 2 – Clock’s Ticking (Jason Magri) – $26
Better than his recent form reads. Capable of pinging the lids and running scorching time – not much pace drawn around him tonight so he should get every chance to land on the bunny and run a cheeky race. If he draws well in the semi-finals he is a great chance of making the final and represents a bit of value.
Box 3 – Eminent Reality (Kel Greenough) – $26
Slow out of the boxes but when he hits the ground he is one of the fastest dogs in training. Ran second in the Australian Cup two runs back and hasn’t started for a few weeks since finishing sixth at Sandown Park on March 9. With a bit of a freshen up he may begin a bit better – one to watch throughout the series.
Box 4 – Helga Bale (Andrea Dailly) – $51
Grand campaigner which has run some nice races at The Meadows in recent weeks. Should be punching up towards the lead in the early stages and will be hoping to pinch a break and hold on. Can make it through to the semis, but can’t see her winning the final.
Perth Cup winner which has been missing the start in recent weeks. Box five does him no favours but he should get a nice run into the race on the outside of Helga Bale and will improve on whatever he does this Saturday night.
Box 6 – El Magnifico (Julie Fletcher) – $67
Hit and miss at box rise but has a massive engine. I have been a massive fan of this bloke for a long time, but his box manners are really letting him down at group level so I won’t be backing him to win the final.
Box 7 – Star Torana (Shaun Evans) – $301
Down on her best form and better drawn towards the fence so she will struggle to progress through the series. Not for mine.
Box 8 – Aston Dee Bee (Jason Thompson) – $31
One of the most exciting pups in the country, having clocked 29.19 at Sandown Park four runs back. Can handle himself from wide boxes and will improve after a look at the track this Saturday night. Genuine chance of winning the series.
1st Res – Centrico (Mark Gatt) – $501
Consistent dog but this is a massive rise in class and he can’t win the final.
2nd Res – Spring Solomon (Noelene Holloway) – $501
Unlikely to get a run in the heats and even if he does he is not up to this level of racing.
Golden Easter Egg – heat seven – 9.57pm
Box 1 – Royal Turbo (Glen Mckinley) – $51
Back to his best with a 29.88 win at Wenty last start. Box one should give him every chance in his heat and if he draws well throughout the remainder of the series he is a rough hope of pinching the main title.
Box 2 – Pedro Cerrano (John Little) – $101
Far from disgraced when finishing sixth in the Group 2 Maitland Cup last start. Can be ordinary out of the boxes but is drawn well and can run a cheeky race on Saturday night, although he is probably not going well enough to win the final.
Box 3 – Reckoning (Jason Thompson) –
Exciting young pup in the care of Jason Thompson and he is sure to improve after two looks at Wentworth Park. By no means explosive out of the boxes but from the draw he can make an impact and can feature throughout the series at nice odds.
Box 4 – Zipping Bruiser (Matthew Lanigan) – $151
Superb run at Wenty last start, but his box manners will let him down at this level of racing, particularly from the middle. Has the ability, but can’t see him making the final let alone winning based on his lack of early dash.
Box 5 – Ando’s Mac (Jason Mackay) – $10
Melbourne Cup champion which should be nearing peak fitness at his third run back from a spell. Box five isn’t ideal, but there is little pace drawn directly around him so he gets his chance to lead and run a blinder out in front. He is the favourite to win the entire series and rightly so, but with that being said the $10 on offer is a bit short for me.
Box 6 – Runway Bono (Dean Swain) – $67
First up in more than a month and drops back to the sprint trip for this assignment. Could probably run a cheeky race first up on Saturday night, but he is going to find this series tough to win.
Box 7 – Eddie Eagle (Brooke Ennis) – $101
Victorian which broke the 30 second barrier here two runs back. Is let down by his lack of early speed which will make it hard for him to win the final.
Box 8 – Goodwin Terry (Bryan Young) – $101
Ran sensationally at Maitland three starts back and has a terrific record from box eight, but his is a whole new class of dog in this series and he will be facing an uphill battle.
1st Res – Flying Eamon (Andrea Dailly) – $301
Racing well over the middle distance trip but probably not suited over the sprint and would struggle against this class.
2nd Res – Two Jay (Jeff Chapman) – $51
Has a good record in the Northern Rivers area, but would be taking on a tougher challenge here. No thanks.
Golden Easter Egg – heat eight – 10.20pm
Box 1 – Nangar Bear (Dennis Barnes) – $67
Racing really well and is drawn to run a good race in his heat. Slow out of the traps, however, which will make it hard for him moving on throughout the series.
Box 2 – Lorenzo Blue (Andrea Dailly) – $151
Another greyhound which has been racing nicely over the middle distance and looks out of his depth dropping in trip against this class.
Box 3 – Ritza Lenny (Mark Gatt) – $13
More than capable of winning his heat and progressing through the series and onto the final. However it would surprise me if he were able to win the final as he is a slow beginner and would need a lot of luck.
Box 4 – Lowanna’s Son (Sharron Webster) – $101
Litter brother to Ritza Lenny – probably not as quick overall as his litter mate but still a handy dog. Can sneak into the placings in his heat but can’t see him doing much in the semi-finals.
Box 5 – Slamming Thunder (Neil Staines) – $151
Capable of running fast times but he is another greyhound which lacks early dash. Box five does him no favours.
Box 6 – One Thing (Mary Wright) – $101
Has plenty of ability but is drawn poorly in box six and will need a lot of things to go his way in order to qualify for the semis.
Box 7 – Buck Forty (Jason Thompson) – $31
Drawn on the wrong side of the track but he is a multiple group winner so must be respected. If he can make it through the heats and draw a decent box in his semi he is a massive chance of featuring in the final.
Box 8 – Mumma Josie (Jeff Britton) – $31
Has a heap of early speed and, although better boxed on the fence, this race lacks a lot of early speed, which should give her every chance of leading and progressing through the series.
1st Res – Rubelly Magic (Rodney O’brien) – $501
Has had more than 100 starts and has won 26 races so clearly she has been a terrific dog for connections. However, she is down on her best form and this looks beyond her.
2nd Res – Prevail (Craig Chappelow) – $501
Has run fast times at Wentworth Park but is too inconsistent to back with confidence.
Golden Easter Egg – heat nine – 10.42pm
Box 1 – Chief Jetpilot (Ted Medhurst) – $51
Multiple group placegetter from Tasmania which will be aiming to mix it with the big boys in this series. His biggest issue is his lack of box speed, but he is drawn to run a good race on Saturday night and should qualify for the semi-finals.
Box 2 – Alpha Demeter (Jeff Britton) – $67
Stepping back from the 600m trip for this series – probably doesn’t have the speed to match it with the top sprinters in a group 1 series.
Box 3 – Tap Out Axe (Rod Metselaar) – $151
Racing really well of late, having won three of his past four over the track and trip, but probably does not have genuine claims of winning the final.
Box 4 – Aqua Cheetah (Jason Thompson) – $31
Group 1 Adelaide Cup winner which has plenty of experience around Wentworth Park. Can be hit and miss at box rise but there isn’t an abundance of pace in this heat. Can never count him out of these big finals – roughie to watch out for.
Box 5 – Celica Bale (Andrea Dailly) – $81
Doesn’t have much speed over the sprint trip so will need a lot of luck in the early stages. Will be running on late in the race but it is hard to see her having a major impact from the draw.
Box 6 – Single Sticka (John Carmody) – $101
Hit and miss at box rise but if he can nail the jump he is a massive chance. Has clocked some flying times at Cannington including a 29.59 win in a heat of the Perth Cup earlier this year. Box six does him no favours but he has proven he can mix it with the top class greyhounds at this level.
Underrated dog which constantly rises to the occasion against top class company. Boxed ok out wide and has the pace to put himself in the race and run a handy race. Not saying he is good enough to win the final, but wouldn’t surprise to see him making the semis.
Box 8 – Falcon’s Fury (Paul Braddon) – $15
Limited genuine pace in this heat so he gets his chance to return to the winner’s list. A class animal which will need luck with the box draws throughout the series but is definitely capable of landing the win.
1st Res – Justa Grant (David Grant) – $301
Broke the 30 second barrier at Wenty last start but doesn’t have genuine early pace which is often needed at this level.
2nd Res – Long Spring Neck (Harry Sarkis) – $501
Unlikely to gain a start and this looks a bit too hard for him.
Golden Easter Egg – heat 10 – 11.02pm
Box 1 – Cosmical (Craig Chappelow) – $31
Has early speed but this is a massive step up in class so he will need plenty of luck to make a serious impact throughout the series.
Box 2 – Virouette (Ronald Lambert) – $151
Has been a terrific money spinner and has been racing against some nice dogs quite competitively. Hit and miss at box rise but if she nails the jump she is more than capable of pinching her heat and making the semi finals.
Massive opinion of this bitch and I think she is better than her form indicates. She has had a few looks at the track now so expect an improved performance. Not without a chance in the series.
Box 4 – Gaucho (Brooke Ennis) – $51
Iron chaser which has been so consistent at the top level for many years. Ran a flying 29.26 at Sandown three runs back and although he is probably a little past his prime he could still run a cheeky race on Saturday night.
Box 5 – Don’t Kid Me (Steve White) – $51
Looks to have the main speed in the race although he has never seen the track which is a slight concern. However, he has been racing some of the best in Victoria and comes into the series following a fourth in the Group 2 Traralgon Cup. Smokey throughout the series.
Box 6 – Better Call Sloy (Darren Sultana) – $31
Has been racing well of late and taking on some slick dogs. Should get a run into the race on the outside of Don’t Kid Me and is a big chance of winning the heat and progressing throughout the series.
Box 7 – Topper Teretto (Anthony Azzopardi) – $41
Better drawn on the fence and is probably going to find this a tough assignment against some classy greyhounds.
Box 8 – Rippin Hayne (Robert Britton) – $101
Very capable greyhound in good hands and he holds a fast personal best at Wentworth Park. Stepped up to the 600m distance last start and led all the way which should give him plenty of confidence stepping back down to the sprint. Box eight not ideal but still capable of performing well and with a good draw in the semi-finals he could star again.
1st Res – Almost Black (John Chapman) – $151
Consistent dog but facing some tough opposition in this series.
2nd Res – Mighty Muzza (Mario Abela) – $151
Unlikely to gain a start – has a lot of natural ability but would be giving away plenty of experience to his rivals.