With the heats of Australia’s richest ever greyhound race, the Group 1 Radio Sport 927 Sandown Cup just one week away, a number of Sandown Cup aspirants will have their final hit outs around the country this week; but one of the main contenders has been ruled out through injury already.
At Sandown Park on Thursday night, exciting Queensland staying prospect Shadow Boxer was to have made his Victorian debut in race seven. But in a bitter blow for connections the promising stayer, who is now in the care of master trainer Darren McDonald, has been diagnosed with a “cracked” shoulder blade and will now miss the Sandown Cup series. Shadow Boxer was a last start third behind dual Group 1 winner Lilley Criminal in the Group 3 Easter Chase at Wentworth Park.
However, in a what should be the one of the highlight’s of the night Thursday, defending champion Chinatown Lad will trial after race 3 at Sandown Park in what will be his first ‘half-mile’ gallop since early December 2008.
Glamour bitch Queen Lauryn will round out her Sandown Cup preparations in a mixed 4/5 over 600m at Albion Park. ‘The Queen,’ already a Group 1 winner at Sandown Park (Sapphire Crown Classic), broke the Ipswich 630m track record at her previous start and with luck could give Oreo’s track record a nudge.
South Australia’s best stayer Risk It has drawn box 1 in his attempt at a third consecutive win at Angle Park on Thursday night. Risk it is no stranger to Lightwood Road where he finished third in the Group 2 Bold Trease Carnival Cup on Melbourne Cup night in 2008.
The Stayers Series final at Cannington on Saturday night will determine whether the improving Disco Girl will travel east to contest the nation’s biggest staying prize.
In other news, kennel-mate Mantra Lad was found to have an internal infection after running fourth in the behind Natalie Rass in the Lizrene final and is on a course of anti-biotics. Trainer Graeme Jose was disappointed with the run of the reigning National Distance Champion in the final, but is hopeful his kennel star will recover in time to take his place in the heats.
Sandown Cup Greyhounds To Watch
Thursday 30 April
7.48pm (approx) Chinatown Lad (Sandown Park, solo trial)
8.44pm Queen Lauryn (Albion Park, race 7)
9.41pm Risk It (Angle Park, race 9)
Saturday 2 May
8.37pm Natalie Rass (The Meadows, race 5)
9.50pm Disco Girl (Cannington, race 3)