Saturday evening at the Meadows sees a bumper card of chasing. which features twelve heats of the $100,000 Group 1 AJS Corporation Silver Chief. The race is a time honoured event first held in 1964. The event, held over 525 metres, is for male greyhounds helped on or after 1 June 2011. The series will be run over three weeks, with semi-finals on the 28th of December and the final on the 4th of January 2014.
The race has produced some fantastic winners in the past, including Chariot Supreme, Tempix, Awesome Assassin and Light Of Fire, who have also all gone on to sire winners of the event as well.
The top two from each of the twelve heats, as well as the eight fastest thirds, will gain a berth in next week’s semi finals.
Race 1 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 1 – 7:13pm
The first heat features the precocious Zipping Brock in box four. Zipping Brock debuted earlier this month with a slashing 29.65 win at Sandown and followed it up with a 24.03 win at Bendigo. The son of Mantra Lad and Cho Chang has plenty of early toe and will give them something to catch. Allen Eryk in box five is another dog who looks set to give this heat a shake. The son of Jarvis Bale and Greta Bale has won four of his six outings, with two of them at this track, including a solid 30.02 win. He is not always the fastest beginner so he will be looking for a little bit of space early. Oscar Keeping, who is drawn out in box seven, has sprouted wings since coming to the garden state and is thriving under the tutelage of mentor Jason Thompson. He has won two from two since entering Thompson’s Pearcedale kennels including a rapid 29.96 win here two starts back. Hailstorm Billy in box three is the most experienced dog in the race with 33 starts to his credit. He has won six of those, but is yet to win at this track and distance in two attempts and drops back from a couple of 600 metre runs, look for him to be running on late.
Race 2 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 2 – 7:35pm
Peloton Bale will exit box one in the second heat and this exciting 33kg dog has a flawless record at the Meadows in five attempts. He flew home two starts back to record a sizzling 29.88 win. If there’s any concerns with him it is his propensity to get back in his runs and the fact that he has not won from box one from four goes. Elite Devil could hold the keys to the race if he can begin well from box four. He is fresh off a second behind Black Magic Opal in a heat of the Hobart Thousand which isn’t bad form. If he can hold out the outside division early he may be able to pinch a break on the field. He has won one from two at the track in 30.35. Velocemente in box five has a solid record at the Meadows and hasn’t been far away of late. He has won four of nine at the track including a best of 30.06. Top Innings, part owned by former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, will exit box seven. His three career wins include a 29.78 at Sandown and he possesses some good early speed. Cut Me Off, in box six, is a promising dog from New South Wales who has won three from five in his short career. He backed up two best of the day wins at Maitland with a 30.10 victory at Wentworth Park.
Race 3 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 3 – 7:57pm
The third heat will see Hooksy start from box six in a heat where there are plenty of chances. Hooksy is a winner of five from nine and won his only start at the Meadows in 29.95 last Saturday. I’m A Pedro in box three is an interesting runner in this heat. He has not started since winning three on end in New South Wales back in September. Since that time he has moved to the astute Kel Greenough kennels so he may be one to watch. Ride The Rails in box one has a quality record at the track with four wins from nine attempts, including a 29.92 effort. The fact that he is a moderate beginner and has not won from box one in three tries are two hurdles he will need to overcome. Mepunga Fearon will exit box eight and has won seven of nineteen career outings. He has been placed at both attempts here and loves the wide draw, where he has a perfect record. Deadly Boy is another who comes into calculations after winning his last two at this track. He managed a 30.04 win here last week when he began very well and he will start from box five.
Race 4 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 4 – 8:22pm
Veetee Turbo has won four of his last five starts and comes under notice on the credence of his last start win here in 30.00 on the 11th of December. He will start from box three where he has won two from two, and could have the pace to find the rails early. Empire Allen in box four has eight career wins to his credit and is the most experienced runner in the field. He has won two races at the Meadows with a personal best of 30.21. Tonk, who starts from box six, has found a rich vein of form of late winning four of his last five. He has plenty of early speed and has never missed a place at the Meadows in four starts which include one win in 30.13.
Race 5 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 5 – 8:40pm
Astute Devon Meadows trainer Darren McDonald has the regally bred Where’s The Surf in another open heat here. Where’s The Surf has seven career wins from seventeen starts and has strung two together coming into this at Warragul and Cranbourne. He has won here in 30.38 and gives the impression that he can improve on that. Whata Good Size is a zippy beginner who will exit box two for trainer Jason Thompson. He comes into this fresh after a three week break from racing; expect him to be prominent early. My Bro Fabio in box six has an imposing career record and is undefeated in three starts at the Meadows. He has scorched around this track in 29.69 and looks the class runner if he can stay out of trouble early. Deadly Vane is another who is worthy of consideration from box one. He is a recent Ballarat Cup finalist who is undefeated in two outings at the Meadows, which includes a best of 30.25.
Race 6 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 6 – 8:58pm
Heat six features the recent winner of the Group One Brisbane Cup, Kiss Me Ketut who will start from box seven. Already earning over $187,000 in prize money, he is a winner of 17 of his 37 career starts, many of which have been in top company. He has a personal best of 29.96 at the Meadows and is definitely the one to beat here. Allen Deed is a promising chaser who will start from box two. He is a winner of four from six career starts, including three at the Meadows, where he boasts a 29.85 run to his credit. Zambora Power has only missed a place once in seventeen career starts and will jump from box six. He is undeniably up in class but does have the pace to be prominent early. West Lad is another speedy customer in box four who has registered 30.20 at the track, whilst Cosmic Station is another who could give some cheek from box three.
Race 7 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 7 – 9:20pm
Talented chaser Innocent Til heads the billing for heat seven. A winner of 19 from 32 career starts, the son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly has two wins at the Meadows, with a best of 30.03 and looks the one to beat. Billy Rocket in box seven is on the crest of a winning wave after stringing three wins together, which have included 29.55 at Sandown and 29.95 at the Meadows. Keybow starts from box two and boasts a win over Paw Licking at the Meadows back in November in 30.33.
Race 8 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 8 – 9:38pm
The headline act in heat eight is undoubtedly Hawk Alone who will start from box eight. Hawk Alone has won 14 of his 36 career starts and amassed over $150,000 in prize money in the process. He has not missed a placing in nine starts at the Meadows, with a personal best of 30.06. He looks a standout in this field. The main danger, if there is one, sits in box one, by way of See Him First. See Him First has saluted the judge on 10 occasions from just 23 starts. He has won three at this track with a best of 30.10. Tiggerlong Chief is an improving type in box four who faces a class rise here but has produced some zippy wins on provincial circuits.
Race 9 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 9 – 9:57pm
The ninth heat looks to be another open affair with many taking their first step into top tier racing. Billy Higgs in box one produced a quality 29.94 win here last start, leading all the way. Waymore’s Blues in box eight has won four of his six career starts, including three at the Meadows. He has won two from three out of box eight and has registered 30.32 at the track. Allen Malik will exit box seven and already has six wins in his short career. He was a finalist in the Group Three RIP John Stollery Christmas Gift at Wentworth Park last week where he finished fourth. Before that he made the Ballarat Cup Final, where he also finished fourth. He has a best of 30.33 at the track and looks right in this one. Of the others, Zambora Boy has won three at the Meadows including a best of 30.20 and will appreciate box three, a box which he has never missed a place in four attempts. Beckenbauer in box four is consistent and can begin well, he is up in class but in the care of top trainer Darren McDonald.
Race 10 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 10 – 10:20pm
Heat ten features Group One Melbourne Cup finalist Shifty Sticka in box six. At just 24 months of age, the Paul Anderton trained conveyance looks like he has a big future. He is a winner of 11 from 21 career starts and has a best at the Meadows of 29.99. He certainly looks good enough to be winning this heat. Owen Bale has won his last two at the Meadows in 30.08 and 30.09 respectively and will be storming home at the finish, however he is not the fastest of beginners and box four does him no favours. Kid Maximus in box seven has seen the Meadows no less than 22 times in race conditions. He has only produced two wins at the circuit with ten further placings. The experience around the track should help him in this field.
Race 11 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 11 – 10:40pm
In a race seemingly void of super stars, Mepunga Armagh looks to have good form leading into the eleventh heat. He has won four of his last six, including a 30.42 here and a sizzling 30.10 at Cranbourne. The Jeff Britton trained dog will exit box two and is a consistently fast beginner who looks in this up to his ears. Right next to him in box three is the consistent Sonic Pirate. He has finished in the top two placings at nine of his sixteen starts and has registered a 30.47 win here. Great Spartacus is drawn out in box eight and has the fastest time at the Meadows of this field (30.14), albeit from box one. He has some form from wide boxes and looms as a major player. Rocky Bale makes his Meadows debut from box seven and has exhibited plenty of promise, winning five of his eight career starts. He isn’t a great beginner but with a clear run will be doing his best work at the finish.
Race 12 – AJS Corporation Silver Chief Heat 12 – 10:57pm
The final heat of the evening looks like it could be a battle of the inside boxes. The Darren McDonald trained Hallelujah Henry starts from box one. He is a last start winner at the track in 29.95, and has won at his only go from this box. If he can hold them out at the first turn, he could be off and gone. Dream It will exit box two for Lara mentor Brooke Ennis. Dream It has an imposing career record, boasting 10 wins from 15 starts. He has registered a fast 29.92 at the Meadows and has won three of his four starts at the track. Of the others, Accelerant in box six has won at the Meadows in 30.13 back in October and in 30.31 a fortnight ago. He may put himself in the picture if there is any trouble on the inside. Dundee Toro in box seven has won seven of his fifteen starts around provincial tracks but failed at his first try at the Meadows last week. He may improve on that effort.