Fifty-three invitations have been sent out for the three Group 1 races on February 21: the Temlee (525m), Rookie Rebel (600m) and Zoom Top (725m), all of which will be run and won at The Meadows.
Twenty-six greyhounds have been invited to compete in the $100,000-to-the-winner Temlee, the list containing some of the best sprinters from across Australia (and New Zealand).
Group 1 Temlee invitees:
Above All – Winner of the Group 1 Hobart Thousand and Group 1 Silver Chief Classic. The Kiwi-owned son of Magic Sprite and Kara Janx is one of the most exciting youngsters in the country.
Allen Deed – The Andrea Dailly-trained powerhouse, which won last year’s Adelaide Cup final, is an absolute freak when he gets some clear galloping room and is the track record holder at The Meadows.
Avondale Porche – Extremely consistent bitch which was on the sidelines for nearly a year with seasonal issues. She returned in fantastic style winning the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup earlier this year.
Awesome Project – Darren McDonald’s ultra-consistent charge which is yet to salute in a Group 1 but does have two Group 2 features to his name – the Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup and the Group 2 Harrison-Dawson.
Blitzing Mayhem – Top-class New Zealand greyhound which has won 35 of his 55 races including two Group 1 races and one Group 2.
Chica Destacada – Flying NSW bitch which scored a memorable victory in the 2014 Group 1 National Sprint Championship at Cannington. She also ran second in the Melbourne Cup behind Dyna Villa.
Dream It – Honest dog which has some top wins around Victoria and has saluted in 19 of his 49 starts for trainer Brooke Ennis.
Dyna Double One – Freakish animal with just six starts to his name. He clocked an incredible 29.52 in his semi-final of the Group 1 Silver Chief Classic before running third to Above All in the final.
Dyna Villa – Rarely puts a paw wrong in his races and at less than two-and-a-half years of age has already tasted success in two of the sport’s biggest races – the Group 1 Melbourne Cup and the Group 1 Paws of Thunder.
Flash Reality – Talented Queensland sprinter which won the Group 2 Queensland Derby and made the final of the Group 1 National Sprint Championship and the Group 1 Dapto Megastar before being sidelined through injury. Has resumed racing in recent weeks and should be nearing his peak.
Iva Vision – Boom youngster from the Sunshine State which took out the Group 3 SA Derby and the Group 2 Sandown Shootout. While he can be tardy early, he has a massive motor and excellent field sense that tends to find him in the money.
Keybow – Dual Group 1 winner which has been a model of consistency throughout his career for Darren McDonald. He is blessed with a mix of speed and strength and is rarely too far away in feature races.
Lamia Bale – Won two Group races in the space of 10 days late last year for Steve Collins. She is also invited to compete in the Rookie Rebel which may be a better fit for her.
Luca Neveelk – One-turn specialist which has limited experience on two-turn tracks but has proven he can match it with the best of them, making the final of last year’s Group 1 Melbourne Cup.
Marcus Joe – Group 1 Maturity Classic winner which is never in the spotlight but rarely puts in a bad effort.
Maximum Lil – Is in career-best form. She recently won a heat of the Group 1 Paws of Thunder for trainer Andrea Dailly before running fifth in the decider.
Musquin Bale – Old-timer with 22 wins from 74 starts which is still capable of matching it with the youngsters on his night.
My Bro Fabio – Absolute machine when he is on song which has put in some dazzling performances around Sandown and The Meadows while he also won last year’s Group 3 Canberra Cup the week after smashing the track record in his heat.
Oakvale Destiny – The blue bitch oozes class and makes up for her lack of early speed with her excellent navigation. She was a winner of last year’s Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic.
Ride The Rails – Has been flying since coming into Kelly Bravo’s kennels, making the finals of the Group 1 Hobart Thousand and the Group 2 Warragul Cup.
Ritza Hattie – After a string of luckless runs, things finally turned around for the Mark Gatt-trained bitch when she took out this year’s Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup. She has experience in Victoria and is capable of holding her own against the top dogs.
Shoulders – Gun speedster which ran a cracking second in the Group 1 Maturity Classic and has posted scintillating times around Wentworth Park.
Spring Leaf – Another from Andrea Dailly’s kennels which has been in top form of late, making the Paws of Thunder final.
Star Recall – Extremely versatile bitch which was placed twice at Group 1 level in 2014 before finally breaking through for a deserved win at the top level in the Sale Cup on Boxing Day.
Winsome Prince – Won his first 11 starts and looks to be one of the most promising youngsters in New South Wales. Would be interesting to see how he stands up against the elite class away from home.
Zipping Willow – Pin-up Sydney greyhound which has won 20 races at Wentworth Park and 34 overall from 52 starts.
Group 1 Rookie Rebel invitees:
Allen Deed – Also invited to take his place in the Group 1 Temlee. Would be right in the race if he were to accept.
Awesome Project – Looks like he would be suited nicely by the middle-distance run, even though he is a dual Group winner over the sprint trip.
Blinkers On – Handy stayer trained by Brooke Ennis which will be targeted towards the Zoom Top.
Come On Fantasy – Has a handy record over the middle distance for Joe Borg and is a winner of six from 27 overall.
Cornelius Fudge – Ultra-consistent dog which rarely puts in a bad performance. Deserves a shot at a big feature such as this.
Cosmic Wise – Made the Melbourne Cup final over the sprint trip but is much better suited to the middle distance and would make her presence felt in a race like this.
Echelonic Action – Litter brother to Sweet It Is which is nowhere near as fast as his superstar sister but has his share of ability.
Eliza Blanche – Looked like being a superstar when she broke her maiden at The Meadows and she has indicated she has the potential to become a genuine middle-distance campaigner once she matures.
Hostile – Hasn’t been seen so far in 2015 but is a massive talent when on song.
Lady Toy – Recently won the Listed Maidment Memorial, indicating she has plenty more to offer over the longer trip.
Lamia Bale – Well suited over the middle trip. She won the Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial over 595 metres at Sandown last year and this looks to be her caper.
Lillycette – Tassie bitch which held her own over the middle distance when she had a three-week stint in Victoria late last year/early this year.
Mullaway – Queenslander that mixes his form but could feature if he brought his best
My Bro Fabio – Is better known as a sprinter but he would be a massive player if Brooke Ennis decided to accept for the Rookie Rebel rather than the Temlee.
My Mate Cobber – WA sprinter turned stayer which would represent the West well if he were to get his chance to line up.
Ralphy Cinel – Has a serious engine, particularly when drawn on the inside, and is capable of matching it with most on his night.
Ride The Rails – Has been in dazzling form recently and despite being predominantly known as a sprinter, he is another which looks as though he would be suited by the rise in trip.
Sisco Rage – Consistent dog which has won 20 races for trainer John Galea.
Space Star – One of the best stayers in the country, but he holds two track records over the middle trip so he would be right in this race, too.
Star Recall – Scored her Group 1 win over 650 metres at Sale after two placings at the top level over the sprint. It will be interesting to see which race Jeff Britton opts for.
Waymore’s Blues – Another in-form greyhound which is really hitting his straps at present for Kelly Bravo. He always looked to be a super talent and he is finally showing it off.
Group 1 Zoom Top invitees:
Ash Flash – WA stayer which made the final of the National Distance Championship last year and would hold her own if given the chance to start.
Blinkers On – He is capable of a feature win over the staying trip. The son of Comic Rumble and Good Oil is a winner of 10 races from 27 starts.
Flying Twist – Perhaps not of the same class as some of the other invitees but has been racing well enough to deserve an invite for Andrea Dailly.
Lady Toy – Also invited for the Rookie Rebel but she would probably be more suited for the Zoom Top as she tends to get back in her races and charge home.
Luna Jinx – SA stayer which has a handy record in her home state.
My Mate Cobber – The WA dog has put together some excellent performances over the staying trip at Cannington in recent weeks and looks ready to be tested. He is also invited to the Rookie Rebel, but this race looks a better fit.
Opec Bale – Has only just stepped up over the staying trip for Mark Delbridge but he looks like he could be a genuine top stayer in the making.
Psychotic Gold – Reasonable distance runner from South Australia which has done enough for an invitation.
Pumped Up Zaar – Has put in some handy runs at Wentworth Park during his career and has been racing against Group company at his past few starts. Wouldn’t be without claims in a race such as this.
Shall She Rock – Recently broke the track record at Warragul over 680 metres. Can definitely run and would not be out of place in this.
Space Star – Looks to be Australia’s next top stayer and has really made the step up to Group class since joining Rob Britton’s kennel.
Starc – Has been mixing it with some top-grade stayers and he recently led for most of the way in the Group 2 Summer Distance Plate. May be short of top class but is as honest as the day is long.
Sweet It Is – Australia’s staying sweetheart which is an absolute freak. She will have no problems making the cut.
Takahashi – Has an excellent record of 21 wins from 33 starts and appears ready for the challenge of the rise in class.
Zipping Maggie – Excellent stayer on her night which can put in some breathtaking performances.
Zipping Rory – Has been down on his best form recently but is a talented greyhound and deserves a crack at a Group 1 win.