Queen Lauryn is on track to claim her second Group race in seven days when she starts a warm favourite in the $20,000 winner-takes-all Group 3 Shootout at Sandown tonight.
An emphatic winner of the $72,500 Group 1 SOLO Sapphire Crown last week, Queen Lauryn has drawn ideally in box 1 for tonight’s contest. On her day, Queen Lauryn is undoubtedly one of Australia’s fastest greyhounds, holding both the Wentworth Park and Ipswich 520m track records. She is undefeated in her three Sandown Park runs, and while her winning times of 29.72, 29.78 and 29.79 seem modest, each has been Best of Night.
The versatile Mantra Lad gets his best chance to confirm his reputation as one of Australia’s fastest greyhounds after drawing favourably in box 7. A product of National Sprint Champion Pure Octane and multiple Group finalist Al Fresco. Mantra Lad won the 2008 Group 1 National Distance Championship at Wentworth Park in August before reverting to the sprint for the Group 1 Paws of Thunder. After a narrow loss in his heat, Mantra Lad blitzed his rivals to win in 29.73 before running a gallant second in the final. He was an unlucky 5th in the Group 1 Topgun, and went within 0.10 seconds of the 600m record at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Queenslander Made To Size hasn’t raced since August, but has reportedly trialled strongly of late and, if any where near his best, has the talent to run serious times. This is, however, his first start at Lightwood Road and meets three other greyhounds in excellent form.
One Tree Hill completes the four-dog field. The four-year veteran of nine Group finals and winner of over $265,000 is racing in career-best form, having won the Group 1 Paws of Thunder in October before an impressive third placing from an unsuitable box 8 in the Topgun, her second Topgun final. She has won four and been placed in five of her 16 Sandown Park starts, and although not as fast as she once was, is an outstanding race bitch and cannot be underestimated.
The Group 3 Shootout highlights and outstanding card of racing at Sandown Park that also features eight Preludes of the Schweppes Melbourne Cup. The winner of each Prelude guarantees a berth in next week’s heats of Australia’s richest greyhound race, the $250,000 Group 1 Schweppes Melbourne Cup.
Gates open from 6.00pm and the first race will be run at 7.09pm. The Group 3 Shootout will be run at 9.35pm.