2015 Group 3 John Dillon Memorial Final – free tips & best odds

LAMIA Bale will be striving to go back-to-back in the Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial Final (595 metres) when she lines up in the $25,000 feature at Sandown Park on Thursday night.

The daughter of High Earner and Maple Bale took out last year’s edition, clocking a slick 34.09, and has since gone on to win a further three Group events including the Group 1 Sapphire Crown (515 metres) in May this year.

Lamia Bale, which is the $4 favourite with Bet365, qualified with a terrific 34.10 heat win from box eight last week and will move into box seven for the final, a draw from which she has won three times and been placed on a further five occasions.

Next best in the market is Lithgow Panther ($4.50) which will be looking to break his feature race hoodoo when he jumps from box one.

The son of Mildean Panther and Flamingo Sands has placed in three Group finals and has qualified for five in total, including a fifth in the Group 1 Bold Trease behind Bourbski Fever two starts back, before returning to Sandown with a top 34.15 heat win from box five last week.

Secret Spell represents great value at $5.50 with Sportsbet and is sure to improve after her second placing behind No Donuts ($7) in her qualifier.

The Brett Bravo-trained chaser scored a tremendous victory in the Group 1 Hume Cup (600 metres) at The Meadows last month before going on to qualify for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (515 metres), finishing down the track behind Dyna Double One.

The Group 3 Sir John Dillon Memorial is race six on the card at Sandown Park and will jump at 8:48pm AEDT.

Lets check out the form of each runner in the final, with comments and tips from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s resident form analyst, Brad Bugeja.

Box One – Lithgow Panther
Black Dog – 32.7kg – November 2012
Mildean Panther x Mrs Trickett
Prize money: $104,566
Trainer: Rob Britton
Career: 53: 18-12-8
From box: 6: 3-0-1
T/D: 1: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 34.15
Career Highlights: 2ND 2015 Group 3 Topcat Video Cup, 2ND 2015 Group 3 Sydney Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 2 Topgun Stayers, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Bold Trease, 2015 Group 2 Richmond Derby

“Lithgow Panther can be a very hard chaser to follow and he is extremely risky at boxrise, however from the red draw I think he will step a lot better than normal and he should enter the straight the first time in the top three. Last week he copped a big knock in the initial stages and his effort to score and still record 34.15 was extremely impressive. He should get a clear passage tonight and he should be able to go under the 34 second mark. He is my top pick and I suggest you snap up the $4.50 available nice and early.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $4.50 with Bet365

Box Two – Beckenbauer
Fawn Dog – 31.8kg – October 2011
Batrim Bale x Coulta Gold
Prize money: $76,260
Trainer: Darren Pattinson
Career: 88: 23-22-8
From box: 11: 7-3-1
T/D: 1: 0-1-0
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Silver Chief Classic

“Beckenbauer is a reliable beginner and he should be in the top two or three for most of the journey, however his last 50m isn’t the greatest and he is likely to be picked off late in the race. He is going to be big odds and although I don’t think he can win, however he has the speed to put himself into contention and he could hold on for a place.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $13 with Sportsbet

Box Three – Ryno’s Raider
Black Dog – 31.9kg – April 2013
Collision x Others Quoted
Prize money: $81,320
Trainer: Thomas O’Donovan
Career: 35: 9-7-8
From box: 5: 2-1-2
T/D: 8: 3-3-0
T/D Best: 34.26
Career Highlights: 2ND 2015 Group 1 Bold Trease

“Better suited to a longer journey but he did unleash a powerful finish to win here last week in 34.26 and if the leaders happen to bunch up mid race, he could swoop over the top in the closing stages.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $10 with Bet365

Box Four – No Donuts
Black Dog – 30.7kg – June 2013
Fabregas x Chevy Princess
Prize money: $84,952
Trainer: Brad Canty
Career: 32: 16-9-2
From box: 2: 1-0-1
T/D: 1: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 34.23
Career Highlights: WON Maitland 31.41TR, 2ND 2015 Group 2 Richmond Derby, 2015 Group 2 QLD Derby, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic, 2015 Group 3 New Sensation

“This chaser really is in rare form having won seven of his past eight and he has been running the hands off the clock in some of those wins. Of all the heat winners, I think he will be the one to improve the most as he appeared to get a little lost through the corners. The middle draw isn’t great but he has been boxing extremely well in recent weeks and with another clean getaway he should be able to drive across and assume control at the first bend. There is some speed on his outside but he has enough dash to hold them out and he appears to be a nice bet at the $7 quote.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $7 with Sportsbet

Box Five – Secret Spell
Black Bitch – 29.1kg – January 2013
Bartrim Bale x Wicked Witch
Prize money: $264,605
Trainer: Brett Bravo
Career: 41: 22-3-2
From box: 1: 0-0-0
T/D: 2: 0-1-0
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Hume Cup, 2014 Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic, 2014 GRV VBIS Final, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Melbourne Cup, 2015 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, 2014 Group 2 Ballarat Cup, 2015 Group 1 Maturity Classic

“Another who is racing in career best form and she is armed with great early speed. If she can follow No Donuts across in the run to the first turn, she should be able to settle in the top three and she should be able to finish in the money. My only concern with her is that she appeared to have every chance to reel in No Donuts last week and she will be giving him a head start again.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $5.50 with Sportsbet

Box Six – Blazin’ Bomber
Black Dog – 32.7kg – November 2013
Kinloch Brae x Absolute Stunna
Prize money: $83,160
Trainer: Darren Pattinson
Career: 19: 12-3-3
From box: 7: 3-2-1
T/D: 1: 0-1-0
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 3 Cranbourne Puppy Classic, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic

“Exciting talent when on song but in recent times he has been racing a little one paced and for mine he has been a little disappointing. Last week he used his rails draw to advantage and he was able to balance up in a threatening position. For most of the journey he always looked like he was going to reel in Lamia Bale but he just couldn’t bridge the gap. Tonight he exits a tough draw and I can see him getting squeezed out and spat out the back and based on last week’s effort he won’t be able to reel them in.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $5 with Bet365

Box Seven – Lamia Bale
Brindle Dog – 27.3kg – July 2012
High Earner x Maple Bale
Prize money: $383,055
Trainer: Steve Collins
Career: 79: 23-16-13
From box: 12: 3-3-2
T/D: 6: 3-1-1
T/D Best: 34.09
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Sapphire Crown, 2014 Group 2 Laurels, 2014 Group 3 Dillion Memorial, 2015 Group 3 Ambrosoli, 2ND 2015 Group 1 Rookie Rebel, 2015 Group 3 Collins Memorial, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Australian Sprint, FINALIST 2014 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 2015 Group 1 Australian Cup, 2015 Group 1 Topgun, 2015 Group 1 Melbourne Cup

“Star sprinter/middle distance chaser and she has amassed nearly 400k in prize money. She had been struggling in recent months but she has happened to ping the lids in the races that count, namely her Melbourne Cup heat and then again last week. The wide draw would normally suit her, however tonight’s race does feature quite a bit of speed underneath her, so she may get posted for most of the journey and for her to win this she will need to cross and lead. Going to be well fancied but definitely worth taking on tonight.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $4 with Bet365

Box Eight – Bring Sexy Back
Black Dog – 29.4kg – June 2013
Kinloch Brae x Harbour Gift
Prize money: $15,742
Trainer: Rebecca Romyn
Career: 31: 5-4-3
From box: 4: 0-1-0
T/D: 2: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 34.70
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.83, 29.90, 30.21

“Enormous rise in class and will find the going tough. He was soundly beaten in his heat and he has struggled to compete in weaker class of late. Will be wide for most of the journey and just won’t make an impact.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $51 with Sportsbet

1st Reserve – Margins
Black Dog – 36.8kg – February 2013
Bekim Bale x Gogo Sutro
Prize money: $131,100
Trainer: Jamie Ennis
Career: 42: 13-9-6
From box: N/A
T/D: 2: 0-0-1
T/D Best: NBT
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 2 Horsham Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 3RD 2015 Group 3 Silver Bullet, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 National Sprint Championship

“All class on his night and hasn’t had a lot of luck in his couple of middle distance efforts. Unlikely to gain a run but if he did from an inside draw, he would be a serious threat.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $6 with Bet365

2nd Reserve – Quasi Bale
Black Dog – 31.6kg – December 2012
Bekim Bale x Amanda Bale
Prize money: $85,450
Trainer: Mark Delbridge
Career: 36: 14-3-3
From box: N/A
T/D: 7: 2-0-1
T/D Best: 33.89
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 2 Richmond Derby, FINALIST 2015 Group 2 QLD Derby

“Enormous talent when on song and he has resumed from an injury enforced spell in great style with a slick 450m Warrnambool win and a top placing here last week. Unlikely to start but has the talent to cause an upset if he did.”

Odds to win the Sir John Dillon: $15 with Sportsbet

Top Four: 1 – 4 – 5 – 3

Suggested Bets:

Boxed Quinella: 1,3,4,5 ($6 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,4/1,2,3,4,5 ($8 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,4/1,4,5/1,2,3,4,5,6 ($16 for 100%)

Win bets on Lithgow Panther and No Donuts

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