NAMED after two of the most prominent Chairmans of the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club, Henry Harrison and Geoff Dawson, the Harrison-Dawson will be run as a Group 1 event for the first time in 2015 when the lids fly open this Thursday night at Sandown Park.
Arguably the best greyhound in Australia, Fernando Bale, is all the rage in the $100,000-to-the-winner event as he strives for the third Group 1 victory of his career.
Already the winner of the National Futurity and Golden Easter Egg, Fernando Bale set tongues wagging in his heat last week with a scintillating 28.98 win and has since been compared to the great Brett Lee by his co-trainer, George Dailly.
He is at a skinny $1.22 fixed with online bookmaker William Hill, but it is almost impossible to bet against him based on his recent form.
Nevertheless, anything can happen in greyhound racing and AustralianRacingGreyhound.com wants to ensure you know about all the chances in the race.
Our expert form analyst Brad Bugeja has been studying each runner to bring you his predictions for what promises to be one of the best races of the year.
Box One: Fernando Bale
White and Dark Brindle Dog – 29.4kg – March 2013
Kelsos Fusileer x Chloe Allen
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
T/D Best: 28.98
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2015 Group 1 National Derby, 2015 Ballarat Derby.
“Ridiculous talent and he just keeps on getting better with every run. Last week he smashed both sectional records before breaking the 29 second barrier with a 28.98 victory. There isn’t a single chaser in the land that can go with him early when he steps well and from the red tonight he should be winning. At the $1.22 mark he will be the shortest Group 1 winner for quite a while and if the track is in good condition he could give the overall track record a nudge.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $1.22 with William Hill
Box Two: Weston East
Black Dog – 31.7kg – February 2013
Oaks Road x Hot Spur
Trainer: Angela Langton
T/D Best: 29.30
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.30, The Meadows 29.90.
“Strong 29.30 heat winner last week and he loves racing over this track and trip. With the red expected to lead he should be able to get a nice trail through at the first turn. If he can balance up in the first four early he should be able to run home and sneak into the placings.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $9 with William Hill
Box Three: Gangnam Style
Brindle Dog – 31.8kg – January 2013
Kinloch Brae x Liesel
Trainer: Clinton Capuano
T/D Best: 29.70
Career Highlights: WON Sandown 29.70, 34.09, The Meadows 34.46.
“He has always shown good early speed over the 600-metre journey at the Meadows, but last week he flew the lids and reeled off a slick 5.08 to the first marker. If he reproduces that he can make an impact, although I’m not convinced he can.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $23 with William Hill
Box Four: Caustic Bale
Brindle Dog – 35.3kg – December 2012
Batrim Bale x Tonneli Bale
Trainer: Steve Collins
T/D Best: 29.21
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Warragul Cup, WON Sandown 29.21, The Meadows 30.05, Geelong 25.25, Ballarat 25.04, Warrnambool 25.19, Shepparton 25.41.
“One of the most talented chasers in training and if given a clear run early he could give the favourite a little scare. His box manners do let him down on occasions and from the middle pin he is going to need all the breaks. I’m anticipating that he will miss the kick and if the inside division show enough speed that will allow him to find the rail soon after box rise. If he does he is great value for the place at the $3 mark.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $17 with William Hill
Box Five: Sisco Rage
Black Dog – 30.0kg – February 2012
High Earner x Sisco Power
Trainer: John Galea
T/D Best: 29.26
Career Highlights: WON 2014 Group 3 The Racecallers, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Rookie Rebel, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 2015 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2015 Group 2 Warragul Cup, 2015 Group 2 Shepparton Cup.
“Ultra consistent chaser and he has the ability to lead or come from off the speed in his races. Last week he didn’t experience a lot of luck in running and he was far from disgraced when narrowly beaten by Weston East. He is better suited to a rails draw but there isn’t a lot of speed drawn around him tonight so if he can balance up in the top three or four early he should be able to figure in the finish.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $13 with William Hill
Box Six: Usain I’m Nutty
Black Dog – 31.4kg – January 2013
Dyna Tron x Dyna Gillian
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
T/D Best: 29.21
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 2 Launching Pad, Sandown Park 29.21, The Meadows 29.97.
“Exciting talent who in the near future is most likely going to be a top flight stayer. He has scored two powerful wins of late at The Meadows and here last week. I dont like the draw tonight but if he can avoid bother at the first bend he should be able to sneak home into a place. The only concern is that he might be giving some quality chasers a big head start.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $10 with William Hill
Box Seven: Amaro Bale
Red Brindle Dog – 31.3kg – March 2013
Kinloch Brae x Princess Bale
Trainer: Nicole Davis
T/D Best: 29.30
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Silver Chief Classic, WON The Meadows 30.10, Sandown park 29.30.
“He has been racing in consistent style of late and he can show early speed in his races. This is clearly his toughest test to date and I don’t think he is good enough to go with this lot.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $15 with William Hill
Box Eight: Nockabout Aussie
Blue Brindle Dog – 34.2kg – July 2011
Knocka Norris x Aussie Nicky
Trainer: Peter Akathiotis
T/D Best: 29.40
Career Highlights: 3RD 2014 Group 2 Geelong Cup, FINALIST 2014 Group 3 Dillion Memorial.
“Very strong chaser but he can be very hard to follow at times. He will get a long way back early but if they happen to shuffle up behind the red in the early stages he might be able to finish over the top of them late and sneak into the placings. He will be big odds but he is just as talented as most of these chasers and he could be a good place bet if you’re looking for value.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $51 with William Hill
1st Reserve: Keybow
Black Dog – 31.8kg – December 2011
Take The Kitty x Key Exit
Trainer: Kel Lean
T/D Best: 29.36
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Perth Cup, 2014 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, 2014 Group 3 Silver Bullet, 2ND 2014 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2014 Group 2 Cranbourne Cup, 3RD 2014 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Topgun, 2014 Group 2 Queensland Derby.
“Returned to racing after a spell here last week and he showed a heap of speed before getting a little tired in the run home. That was his first 500-metre race for a while and he may have needed the run. If he happens to gain a start he could be the big improver from last week.”
Odds to win the Harrison-Dawson: $8.50 with William Hill
2nd Reserve: Mepunga Armagh
Black and White Dog – 34.1kg – October 2011
Premier Fantasy x Mepunga Harmony
Trainer: Jeff Britton
T/D Best: 29.34
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, WON Sandown Park 29.34, Warragul 25.95, The Meadows 29.86, Angle Park 29.83.
“Great record here and is very honest, led them up last week before being reeled in close to home. Has always found this level a little too difficult and therefore he is unlikely to feature if he gains a start.”
Odds to win the Harrison Dawson: $23 with William Hill
Top Four: 1 – 2 – 5 – 4
Trifecta: 1/2,4,5/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/2,4,5/2,4,5,6,8 ($12 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/2,4,5/2,4,5 ($6 for 100%)
Quinella: 1 to rove with 2,4,5 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 1/2,4,5 ($3 for 100%)