The best 32 greyhounds nominated for the 484m distance at Casino on Friday will contest the heats of the Group Three Casino Cup.
The first of the four heats kicks off in the Northern Rivers area of NSW at 1:59pm. The first two place-getters in each heat will contest next week’s $25,000 to-the-winner final.
Here’s a look at the top chances in each heat:
Heat One – Group Three Casino Cup (Race 5 at 1:59pm)
The Northfield family is never without a talented chaser and in the first heat Bralyn Stalker (7) gets to show his wares in what appears to be his toughest assignment to date. Coming into the race, the large 38kg chaser by El Grand Senor and Bralyn Maisie (Firefly Boy – Moulamein) has won 9 from 13, including three from four at Casino and a personal best of 27.33. He is a great beginner and has won from the box. Bralyn Stalker’s mother was a handy conveyance, winning the Casino Cup in 2006 and the National Futurity and Ladies Bracelet in 2007.
Sassy Dior (1) has the fastest best time in the race. Back in September last year she stopped the clock at 27.12. She had four months off not long after that run, returned to racing for one month and then was off again for another four months. On her first run back she had a fall but has since recovered from that to be a last start winner at Lismore. She loves box one, winning four from six. She has had three wins at the track.
Trenty’s Rose (2) has had just six starts in her short career but has won four of them. Three of her wins have been over the 411m distance at Casino. She stepped up to 484m last week and won in 27.77. She is likely to improve on that and has been drawn in a position where she can show her early speed.
If you’re looking for dogs that have had plenty of racing experience then you can’t go past Gloria Trick (6) and Wilhelm (8). Both chasers have been racing around Albion Park. Gloria Trick finished second to the flying Miner’s Moss last week over the shorts at Albion Park. The only issue for both greyhounds is that they don’t have great records from their respective boxes.
Heat Two – Group Three Casino Cup (Race 6 at 2:17pm)
Glenda Dart’s Nevaeh Beach (1) has drawn perfectly and will start the likely favourite in the second heat. She has a best of 27.36 at the track, which she recorded when winning last week. The El Grand Senor and Runya Beach (Big Daddy Cool – Little Receiver) bitch has won five from seven wearing the red rug.
Glamour Row (5) hasn’t raced since her win in the heat of the Townsville Cup. On that occasion she led all the way to win at big odds. She will again start at big odds for this race but cannot be overlooked. She has won six from 16 at the track with a best time of 27.09.
Glenreagh Rocket (8) knows what it takes to win the Casino Cup after taking out last year’s final. He has won four of his last six starts and has three wins and four placings from seven starts at the track. He also has a good record from box eight, recording five wins and five placings. His best is 27.18.
I’m A Believer (7) has an overall record of 10 wins from 21 starts but is yet to have a start at Casino. He has been unplaced in his last two runs but prior to that had won three of his last four. He will need to begin well from the awkward draw.
Heat Three – Group Three Casino Cup (Race 7 at 2:34pm)
Paw Licking’s sister Kingsbrae Molly (5) will strut her stuff in the third heat. She has the pace to overcome the box but it will be interesting to see how she goes over the 484m distance as she has done all her recent racing over 411m. She has been lightly raced in her career, with just the 19 starts. She has won 11 of those and that is largely due to her almost faultless performances out of the boxes. She has won nine of her last 10 and is sure to be prominent.
Kikem Shilling (2) is a well-bred chaser by High Earner and Bit Sweet (Solve The Puzzle – Chili Berger). She has won two from three at the track. Last week she ran six and a half lengths second behind Nevaeh Beach. Her best time at the track is 27.23.
Birkdale Beauty (1) has not been out of a place in her last seven starts. She has won three of her last five and those wins have been around Lismore and Grafton. She is coming to Casino for her first race-start.
Heat Four – Group Three Casino Cup (Race 8 at 2:52pm)
Pace Ventura (5) has all the pace that his name suggests. He was gallant in the final of the Townesville Cup, finishing second to Farmor Las Vegas. The Run’s House and Sniveller (Bombastic Shiraz – Georgia Brown) dog has won at the track in 27.14 and can easily overcome the poor draw with his speed.
With the pace on the inside, Stev (6) may get a good cart across. He has won twice at Casino for a best of 27.42. He has been in the money in his last four starts and isn’t the worst chance in this race.
Cosmic Dyrva (3) is the form-dog of the race. She has won her last four straight for trainer Glenda Dart. She is yet to win over this distance at Casino with her recent wins coming at Lismore, Tweed Heads and Grafton. She has begun well in all those wins and if she repeats that she may well prove hard to beat.
Dayseas Jet (4) has a mile of experience at the track. She has been around this distance on 17 occasions and has earned herself five wins in the process. Her recent form is patchy with just the three placings in her last 10 starts but those three placings have been in her most recent race performances.