The name Bold Trease is synonymous with staying races in Victoria. The champion, renown for his withering finishing burst, was the undisputed king of Sandown Park, winning four consecutive Sandown Cups in the late 1980’s. It is only fitting that when the elite greyhounds of that racing genre do battle this week, it is in the heats of a group one race named in his honour, the Solo Bold Trease.
The 2013 installment of the 715 metre event will be the fifteenth time the event has been run and it boasts four top quality heats featuring the cream of the crop when it comes to Australia’s best half milers. The heats will provide the perfect companion to eight Melbourne Cup heats also run on a superb card of racing that would please the most fastidious of greyhound racing connoisseurs.
RACE 3 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 1 – 7:43pm
The first heat looks an absolute clanger for punters with a good blend of class and form providing plenty of value. The race looks to rest between the four dogs drawn closest to the fence with luck in the running sure to play a part.
The Brooke Ennis trained Major League (Box 3) has the most consistent recent form in this heat. The son of Velocette and Gogo Sutro produced a personal best of 42.11 when winning here two runs back and has to be considered a major player on the credence of that. Major League does have the propensity to get back in his races so may need the virtue of a little bit of space in the run. With two decent beginners drawn inside him, that could well provide him a nice sit on the fence during the race.
The class of the race rests undoubtedly with the Emilio Rinaldi trained veteran, Destini Fireball (Box 4). The son of Where’s Pedro and Grey’s Destiny has an imposing strike rate with 23 wins from just 51 starts but looks well below his best on recent form. He has only had two runs back from a month layoff and could only manage a fifth at this track and distance beaten five lengths by Major League at his most recent effort. He appeared to knock up a little in that run and should be better for the hit out. He has registered a quick 42.04 here in the past, so if he finds anywhere near his best, he’ll be in this up to his ears.
Madison Dee (Box 2) loves the Sandown Park circuit and has produced consistent form of late for her Heathcote based trainer, Michael Chilcott. The daughter of El Galo and Oh Behave has finished in the top four at her last six outings including two wins, one of which was at this track over 595 metres. She has won two and been placed in a further four races from her eight efforts at this track and distance and could well get a nice sit in transit, just off the pace.
The possible leader in the heat could well be Infinite Wish (Box 1). She won in 42.27 at her only attempt here back in early September, which was from this box, on that occasion she led for the bulk of the event. She has since exhibited her versatility by winning over the longer trips at Cranbourne, Wentworth Park and The Meadows, she also managed a second placing in the group three Sydney Cup. She did miss the start at Geelong last week which was out of character for her. If she can atone for that, she could well give them something to catch.
The outside division look a little tested in this event. Newfire Riley is another runner that tends to get back in the running. He did manage to win in a zippy 42.11 at Sandown a month ago and will just keep on coming, but he will be reliant on some luck during the event. Czar (Box 8) has been racing over middle distances and finding trouble midfield. He could land himself a little more handy in this race but will need to get across from the wide draw. Another runner that may play a vital role in how the race pans out is the Robbie Britton trained New Tibur (Box 7). New Tibur can show early toe on his day but is a bit of a query over the journey at this level. Should he find the front early, it could add a few more variables into the race.Sweet It Is (Box 6) has only won one race from thirteen starts and looks outclassed.
RACE 7 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 2 – 9:12pm
The second heat looks to be a gem with some flying machines engaged. It also features the presence of the two Tasmanian superstar litter mates Bell Haven and Jethro.
The Robbie Britton trained Lucy Wires (Box 2) is a very exciting staying bitch. She landed the Group three Sydney Cup at her last outing which was just her sixteenth start in a race. She has won eight career races and sizzled around Sandown Park in 41.88. Lucy Wires is a product of U.S breeding, being a daughter of Flying Penske and Okgo Box To Wire. She has steady box manners and should be found in the first half of the field early on from this draw. She looks very hard to go past. She may also represent some value in pre-post markets for the final.
The first of the Tasmanian litter mates by Head Bound out of It’s A She is Jethro (Box 4). This veteran has been racing successfully over the middle distances of late and steps up for another crack at a group one event over the longer trip. Trainer Kel Greenough looks to have aimed Jethro at this series and will have him cherry ripe for the race. It was in these heats last year that Jethro broke both the first and second sectional records en route to running 41.93. He went on to run a gallant second to the champion Miata in the final. With such a wealth of experience and class, he cannot be discounted in this field.
Jethro’s sister, Bell Haven (Box 8) looks the other hope in this event. The Ted Medhurst trained conveyance has been racing solidly around Wentworth Park without winning. She has a terrific record from the pink alley, winning four of her five starts from the extreme outside, so that certainly won’t hurt her chances. She was a finalist in this race last year, finishing fourth. The query is whether she is anywhere near that form at the moment.
It would be a surprise if the winner came from outside of those three dogs. The best of the rest looks to be Defib Daryl (Box 3) and Hala Belle (Box 5). Defib Daryl has managed 42.29 around this circuit but has shown his best over middle distances. Hala Belle is yet to win over the staying trip too but has good form over the 600 metre journey.
RACE 9 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 3 – 9:55pm
Heat three looks another challenging event, with the early speed battle sure to be vital.
Gold Affair Two (Box 5) is a veteran of some 83 starts but has not lost any of her early toe. If she can cross to the rails early she will give them plenty to chase. Martin Hanke puts the polish on this daughter of Texas Gold and Olger’s Affair. Gold Affair Two recently finished a close second at this track and distance to Major League who is one of the main chances in Heat 1. She then came out and led her rivals a merry dance over 680 metres at Geelong. She is one of the most reliable beginners in the game and it will be no surprise to see her lead them past the post the first time, nor the second.
Proven Impala (Box 1) is drawn to do plenty in this race. The daughter of Velocette and Thanks Blue has won an incredible six of her ten starts from the cherry and finished second in a further three of those races. Her tidy box manners could prove to be the key to the race. If she prevents Gold Affair Two from crossing to the fence, it could well decide her winning chances. If there is a question mark over her, it may be the fact that she has only raced twice in the past six weeks. No doubt, Maryborough based mentor Joe Borg will be doing all he can for her to sizzle in this heat.
Amity Flame has been scorching around the Meadows over the longer trip of late and has produced a fast 41.91 run here before. If there is a concern with him it is probably the fact that he has only managed one win from five attempts at this trip and track. He is also a moderate beginner so will need a bit of space early from the squeeze alley.
Mimicking (Box 6) is a grand old campaigner who, at is best, would be more than competitive with this lot. His form suggests he is still going ok and, given the luxury of some clear running, he may be finishing hard at the business end of proceedings.
Of the rest, Dyna Werribee (Box 8) has been racing well but has an average strike rate on this track and is yet to impress on the clock. Where’s Keroma (Box 2) has strung three middle distance wins together in a row and has ran some fast times at Wentworth Park over 720 metres in the past.
RACE 11 – SOLO BOLD TREASE HEAT 4 – 10:36pm
The final heat features a couple of interstate raiders, including the group one national distance winner from New South Wales as well as a smart Western Australian chaser.
Smart Valentino (Box 8) is already a group one winner and has a terrific record over the longer trips. The son of Where’s Pedro and Smart Betsy won the National Distance final at the Meadows back in August and has ran plenty of handy races since. Two runs back he sizzled around Wentworth Park in Sydney in 41.88, around a length outside the great Miata’s track record. He was unsuccessful in his only attempt at Sandown Park but gets his chance to atone here from a box that he has never missed a place from.
Magpie Bob (Box 1) is an ultra consistent Western Australian chaser who is drawn to lead here. The David Hobby trained son of Cosmic Rumble and Amanda has 24 career wins to his credit, albeit mostly in an easier class. This draw looks ideal for him and he may well be giving them something to chase when heads turn for home.
Dyna Willow (Box 2) has made a good impression in the staying ranks in a relatively short career. The daughter of Collision and Horizon Bale enjoys the Sandown track and has posted a fast 41.99 here. She also has a penchant for this draw, winning two of her three races from the alley. Her last two starts over middle distances have been below par and that is the main concern for this Steve Collins trained conveyance coming into this race.
Set To Shine (Box 7) is a handy beginner who defeated Bell Haven last start at Wentworth Park in a slick 42.25. She is yet to win from box seven but has a good record overall from wide boxes. She may have trouble crossing Magpie Bob which may be the key for her.
Of the other runners, Cheetah Zorro (Box 3) is probably the pick, she is racing consistently and loves Sandown. She is yet to flatter on the clock and may find this class a little too much.
There is certainly plenty to like about these four quality heats of this time honoured event. This year the race looks as wide open as it has in sometime with no Miata’s in the race. That should ensure a top betting series and some very competitive racing.