2015 Group 2 Launching Pad tips & betting preview

THE 2015 Group 2 Launching Pad will be run at Sandown Park on Thursday night for the first year since the Melbourne-based greyhound club introduced a new concept for the series.

This year, to enter the Launching Pad, you had to purchase one of 64 entry forms that went on sale last September.

The concept seems to have been a success, with eight heats run last Thursday night. There was not much time variety in any of those heats on paper, with just 0.18 seconds splitting the fastest and slowest qualifiers for the $140,000-to-the-winner feature.

In a very open race, Usain I’m Nutty looms as one of the major threats at $3.90 with William Hill despite being drawn awkwardly in box four. The son of Dyna Tron and Dyna Gillian recorded an impressive 29.41 in his heat last week, but has previously clocked 29.21 over the track and distance. He is one of two runners for team Dailly, their other runner being Lektra Concord (box one).The powerful kennel will be aiming to get their long weekend off to a flying start, with three runners engaged in Saturday night’s Group 1 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park.

Ballerino was the fastest qualifier last week, but will have to contend with box six in the decider. The Joe Borg-trained chaser will have to do everything right from the poor alley to score, with one advantage being that he has a good beginner in Fever Pitch drawn directly on his inside.

The most inexperienced chaser in the field is Express Pace (box seven), which goes into the final with just five starts to his name. Owned and trained by former cricketer Darren Pattinson, the son of Kinloch Brae and Punk Rock Lass looks to have plenty of ability having already won a Group 3 event at The Meadows last month.

The Launching Pad final is race eight at Sandown Park on Thursday night and will jump at 9:35pm. To help you find the winner, ARG’s Brad Bugeja has analysed each runner individually.

Box One: Lektra Concord
White and Fawn Dog – 33.2kg – March 2013
Where’s Pedro x Supreme Vision
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 20: 5-3-3
T/D: 10:5-0-0
T/D Best: 29.36
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.36, 29.42

“Has come up with the good draw and was ultra-impressive when leading all the way in his heat and his only five career victories have been here. He reeled off a 5.04 to the first marker last week and three starts ago he posted a similar section, if he can step cleanly he should be able to post a similar sectional tonight and that would be enough for him to hold them out. He is a different chaser on the lure and I think he will turn in a massive performance and you could get around the $3.50 to $4 mark come jump time.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$3.50 with William Hill

Box Two: Gaucho
Black Dog – 34.3kg – March 2013
El Grand Senor x Oh Em Gee
Trainer: Brooke Ennis
Career: 11:5-0-0
T/D: 6:2-0-0
T/D Best: 29.58
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.58

“After a string of luckless performances he finally put it altogether with a strong win last week. He was a tad slow to begin last week but he worked his way through the field nicely and he really powered to the line. From the two draw he should be able to trail the red through early and settle in a prominent position, he is a high speed chaser and he could be the value betting wise.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:


Box Three: Targaryen

Black Dog – 31.9kg – December 2012

Spring Gun x Sierra Lee

Trainer: Rob Britton
Career: 10:4-3-1
T/D: 2:1-1-0
T/D Best: 29.57
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.57, The Meadows 30.13

“Armed with great early speed and he did beat a classy lineup here last week, however this is another step up in class and he would need to lead clearly to win. He normally shows great box manners but I’m a little concerned that he won’t have the speed to cross the red and therefore he can’t really compete at this level.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$14

Box Four: Usain I’m Nutty

Black Dog – 31.5kg – January 2013

Dyna Tron x Dyna Gillian

Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 23:7-5-4
T/D: 9:4-2-2
T/D Best: 29.21
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.21, 29.41, 29.45

“Has an enormous engine and if given a clear run he will most likely salute, the only problem is that he is generally a pretty slow beginner and his racing pattern suggests that he is likely to find bother in the run. He has a terrific record over this trip and he can still win coming from off the speed but he will need a few things to go his way mid-race. I think he could be a great anchor for second and third in your exotic bets.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$3.90 with William Hill

Box Five: Fever Pitch

Black Dog – 34.5kg – March 2013

College Causeway x Drama Queen

Trainer: Rin Divigilio
Career: 9:7-0-0
T/D: 3:3-0-0
T/D Best: 29.48
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.48, Warragul 25.82, Sale 24.79

“Exciting prospect who has won seven of nine and he is also unbeaten in his three runs here. He has generally posted slick times in all of his wins to date and if given a clear run he would be a series contender in this event, however from the squeeze draw tonight I can see him finding a lot of bother and he is likely to find the going tough. He is going to be a contender in big races in the future, however this is his toughest test to date and I am happy to risk him tonight.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$5

Box Six: Ballerino

Black Dog – 35.5kg – November 2012

Premier Fantasy x Come On Luann

Trainer: Joe Borg
Career: 17:7-4-3
T/D: 2:1-0-0
T/D Best: 29.40
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.40, The Meadows 29.97

“Resumed from a spell with a top 29.40 heat win last week and if he can hold the seven out early he should be right in the mix. He can be a tad hit or miss early but he does muster speed at a rate of knots and he isn’t scared to push through and he can take a bump. He was the fastest heat winner last week and if given a clear run again I think he will be able to go even quicker, the draw is a serious concern but if he goes around at silly odds he could be the value bet.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$7.50

Box Seven: Express Pace

Black Dog – 33.5kg – July 2013

Kinloch Brae x Punk Rock Lass

Trainer: Darren Pattinson
Career: 5:3-1-1
T/D: 2:1-0-1
T/D Best: 29.43
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.43, The Meadows 30.11

“Most inexperienced chaser in the final and I think he may find the going a little tough. He recently captured the rich Vic breeders series final at The Meadows and he posted impressive sectionals throughout the series and he also beat a gun NSW speedster in his heat last week. There is no doubting his talent and he is going to be a major player in good quality races in the future, however he will struggle to get across tonight and I can’t see him making an impact.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$9 with William Hill

Box Eight: Rocka Hula Baby

Black Bitch – 27.1kg – April 2013

Premier Fantasy x Brislane

Trainer: Kelly Bravo
Career: 15:6-3-2
T/D: 7:3-1-2
T/D Best: 29.48
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.48, 29.60

“Strong heat winner and she does have a heap of talent, however she has just average early speed and unfortunately I think she will be posted wide for most of the journey so I can’t see her winning tonight. She has a great record here and she will be very strong in the run home so she is a must for your exotic bets.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:


1st Reserve: Bruce Tycoon

Fawn Dog – 31.4kg – June 2013

Cosmic Rumble x New Year’s Punch

Trainer: Rob Britton
Career: 15:4-5-3
T/D: 9-4-3-1
T/D Best: 29.58
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.58, 29.77

“Honest chaser and was far from disgraced in his heat. Last week he showed great dash but unfortunately for him, he had a very strong chaser land on his back so he was always going to struggle to hold him out. Loves racing here and not without place claims if he happened to gain a start.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad


2nd Reserve: Mepunga Treasure

Brindle Bitch – 25.4kg – March 2013

Kinloch Brae x Mepunga Opal

Trainer: Jeff Britton
Career: 21:4-6-2
T/D: 9:4-3-1
T/D Best: 29.52
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.52

“Consistent speedster and has turned in some great efforts here in recent weeks. She has the ability to lead or come from off the speed in her races and if she somehow gained a start I would be including her in my exotic bets.”

Odds to win the Launching Pad:$11

Top Four: 1 – 4 – 6 – 2

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Lektra Concord

Quinella: 1 to rove with 2,4,6 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,2,6/4/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,2,6/Field/4 ($18 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,2,6/1,2,4,6 ($9 for 100%)

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