THE Group 3 Magic Maiden series always manages to produce some highly-talented pups and this year is no different as we look forward to 11 exciting heats this Sunday at Wentworth Park.
The final will be held on April 4 – the same night as the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg – and will offer victorious connections a $25,000 winner’s cheque.
It can always be hard to find a winner with so many unproven youngsters going around during the one meeting, but we have picked out some of the brightest and regally bred prospects for you to keep an eye on.
Number Three: Miami Demon
Miami Demon comes into the series with four starts for four placings after recording a 23.12 performance trial at Richmond on January 24. The white and black dog is a son of Velocette and Fantasy Parade, a litter sister to dual Group winner Tuiaki.
Number Six: Dream Mender
Dream Mender is the most experienced greyhound in the first heat with six starts to her name to date. She has been placed on five occasions, her most recent effort a second at Bull over 515-metres. The daughter of Barcia Bale and Hidden Assets is a litter sister to Group 1 National Futurity finalist Jingjing.
Number Five: Remember Irene
Remember Irene showed enough ability to be competitive in a race like this last week, clocking a handy 30.33 in a performance trial at Wentworth Park. The daughter of Magic Sprite and Florinda Belle is bred to be able to run, coming from the prolific ‘Habit’ line. Florinda Belle’s first litter by Fabregas are going great guns on the track, with notable performers being Wuxi and Opus Forte, a 29.41 Wenty winner.
Number Seven: Avondale As
Avondale As comes from the successful Beau Hedley kennel and is beautifully bred being by Mogambo out of a former track record holder at The Gardens, Avondale Miss. Avondale As is a litter brother to Avondale Al, which smashed the Gosford track record at just his second start.
Number Six: Direct Joel
While he didn’t clock a flash time in a performance trial earlier this month, Direct Joel has breeding on his side being out of nine-time Wentworth Park winner, Direct Jolie.
Number Seven: Zambora Dynamo
By Mildean Panther out of Secret Powers, there isn’t much to dislike about the breeding of Zambora Dynamo. Secret Powers is a proven broodbitch, with Zambora Blueboy, Zambora Magic, Zambora Storm and Zambora Ace all quality pups which she has thrown. Zambora Dynamo enters the series with two seconds from two starts, both in September last year, while he had a steward’s trial at Richmond last month clocking a speedy 22.83.
Number Two: Breaking Mad
Breaking Mad looks a tough dog to beat in heat four after his solid 30.15 Wentworth Park performance trial. The black dog is by Kinloch Brae out of Mighty Elite – a daughter of track record holder and Group 1 finalist, I Love Lucy.
Number Five: Shady Ace
Shady Ace is a half sister to 2013 NSW Greyhound of the Year, Double Twist, and has had two starts (five all up) for two placings at Wentworth Park. She hasn’t had much luck in her races, but it looks like she can run a bit, with a notable 26.38 Steward’s Trial at Bulli in January to her credit.
Number six: Princess Sophia
The blue bitch was well beaten in her performance trial at Bulli, with the winner clocking a fast 26.36. It was a tough assignment up against a quality greyhound like that at her first public appearance and she probably faces an easier assignment against this line-up. Her pedigree suggests that she could have plenty of improvement in her, being out of a daughter of Smart Betsy – the mother of 2012 National Distance Champion Smart Valentino.
Number Five: Winsome Amanda
Winsome Amanda may not have the status of her well-known brothers, Winsome Mission and Winsome Jacko, but she does look to have some ability of her own. She clocked 25.61 in a performance trial at Maitland over 450 metres last October and ran a handy second in a heat of the Future Stars at her first start. She has missed the kick in her last two outings but is right in this if she can get away cleanly.
Number Eight: Fantastic Blaze
The January ’13 whelp has only had one start for a third at Bulli but comes from an outstanding litter which includes Fantastic Mick and Fantastic Sid. Her mother, Light Fantastic, is a litter sister to former star sprinter El Brooklyn and the breed continues to produce quality chasers.
Number Eight: Miss Sweetness
This girl has been knocking on the door for a win with four placings from six career starts. She is one of the bluebloods in the series being out of a full sister to Kiacatoo Pearl – the mother of Shakey Jakey which set this series alight last year when smashing the Wenty track record during his heat at his first and only race start, running 29.07.
Number Two: Zipping Meg
Marty Hallinan will be looking to win the Magic Maiden for the fifth time in 2015 and he will be represented by Zipping Meg in the seventh heat. So far, she has had two starts at Shepparton for one second placing, but she would have plenty of ability for Marty to bringing her up for a series such as this. She also has breeding on her side, being a half sister to Group 3 Summer Cup winner, Zipping Rory.
Number Four: Prince Omar
Mark Gatt is rarely without a good dog in his kennels and he has Prince Omar right in contention for this race. The son of Yahoo Omar is out of the well-performed bitch Bananarama which was a multiple city winner and has since become a handy broodbitch since retiring – throwing handy performers One Banana, Thunder Rama, Encosta Deplente and Squashed Banana.
Box One: Good Odds Rick
Owned and trained by Frank Hurst, Good Odds Rick is by Oaks Road out of the lightly raced Tarmik, a full sister to Group 1 Vic Peters winner Dancing Surf and a half sister to Iona Habit, the mother of Group 1 Paws of Thunder winner, Iona Seven.
Number Seven: Reichenbach
Reichenbach is bred to be a stayer but finds himself in the state’s best maiden series over the sprint trip. Nonetheless he has done enough to warrant consideration, with one second from two starts. He has clocked 22.84 and 26.37 respectively at Bulli so certainly has some ability. He is by Bekim Bale out of Ebby Miss, a runner-up in the Group 3 Sydney Cup behind Bell Haven.
Number Eight: Redline Overkill
The daughter of Collision and Redskin was unplaced at her only start to date but commands attention on breeding alone. Redskin is a daughter of Kiowa Sweet Trey and She’s Hot, a full sister to Bit Chili, Did I Entertain and Tifi, the mother of Double Twist.
Number One: Aqua Phoenix
The unraced bitch looked impressive in her Wentworth Park performance trial, clocking 30.11 over the 520-metres. She will be the one to beat in the ninth heat and is daughter of boom sire Fabregas and Chins, a litter sister to superstar stayer Forty Twenty.
Number Three: Queen Audrey
There will also be plenty of attention on Queen Audrey from box three, which has had three performance trials including a fast 22.77 at The Gardens over 400-metres. She is a half sister to Wentworth Park specialist Queen Esther and National Distance Championship finalist Queen Marina, being by Spring Gun out of Fascinate Marina.
Number Nine: Black Bear Lee
You won’t find too many better pedigrees than that of Black Bear Lee in the tenth heat. The youngster is by the great Brett Lee out of Paua To Love – a daughter of champion bitch and hall of fame inductee Paua To Burn. On top of that, Black Bear Lee looks like he can run with times of 26.31 and 29.93 at Bulli and Wentworth Park respectively.
Number Two: Zipping Nora
Zipping Nora is a veteran of just three starts thus far for a third placing at Gosford over 400-metres. A sister to National Futurity winner Zipping Midge, Zipping Nora is a beautifully bred pup by Fabregas out of Zipping Jewel.
Number Three: Paua Shot
Another Fabregas youngster, Paua Shot is out of Paua To Terrify, a daughter of Spiral Nikita and Paua To Burn, and has had two starts so far in his career for a second placing at Ipswich on debut.
Number Four: Down Every Road
The Glenn Rounds-owned powerhouse greyhound looks very hard to beat despite being drawn awkwardly in box four after an emphatic 26.36 performance trial at Bulli. A son of World Title, Down Every Road is out of Miss Bel Air, a half sister Less Strung Out and Anything Less, which won the Magic Maiden last year for Rounds.
Number Eight: Scramble
Scramble will be aiming to break her maiden status at start number five after string of luckless runs to start her career. The daughter of Where’s Pedro and Surpassing, a half sister to freak sprinter Goodesy, does have potential, with a quick 30.04 Dapto performance trial to her name.
The first heat of the Group 3 Magic Maiden will be run this Sunday at Wentworth Park and is set to jump at 6:01pm.