A big Thursday of greyhounds is headlined by the Sapphire Crown, and we have a big offer!
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Race 1 – 515M Grade 5 – 7:07PM
In what is an open affair, I’ve settled on the favourably drawn Hold On Wincup. In his brief career to date, he has scored four impressive wins, all of them from inside draws. Tonight he has two genuinely slow beginners drawn directly outside him, so he should have no trouble driving to the early lead. If he can hold the lead, I think he can go a bit a faster than his 29.68 win here last week.
Ever Alert has been racing in consistent form of late. After scoring a slick 23.74 Bendigo win, he then posted two top placings over this trip from wide draws. I expect him to get a fairly clear passage in the initial stages. Peter Pettigrew has been racing without much luck of late and he could be the surprise packet. He has shown a distinct liking for this track having been placed in six of seven tries.
Top Four: 1 – 7 – 3 – 6
Suggested Bets: Win bet on Hold On Wincup, rove in quinella with 3,6,7.
Race 2 – 595M Grade 5 – 7:25PM
After falling in a hole late last week, surprisingly Go Mobo is backing up again over the same trip. I can’t see him finding a lot and I’m happy to risk him. Lady Toy has continued to improve with every run of late and she has given every indication that this trip will suit. There appear to be a few chasers with early speed and not a lot of stamina in this event, she should get every chance to run over the top of them.
Zell Bale has been racing in much tougher company of late and he looms as the danger. Two starts ago he really caught the eye when storming home to grab third spot over this trip behind the inform Mepunga Tiara. With an ounce of luck in the early stages, he should feature. I expect Go Mobo to cross and lead, he hit a wall pretty quick last week and tonight place claims appear best again. Miss Society has enough ability to cause a boil over also.
Top four: 4 – 2 – 8 – 5
Suggested Bets: Win bets on Lady Toy and Zell Bale.
Race 3 -715M Group One Sandown Cup Heat One – 7:44PM
This really is a tough race, there are a number of highly talented chasers making their staying debut and there is a lot of doubt as to whether they will get the journey. After having a look over a number of runs, I’ve decided to go with the proven staying form. Hala Belle has won three of her six tries over this journey and that form is accompanied by a sizzling 41.82 PB. She is blessed with enough speed to be prominent early and she may prove too strong for some of the staying newcomers.
Born Ali is another with proven staying form and she has recently been sharpened up with a 515m run here. In recent months she has qualified for numerous Group Race finals, so she definitely has class on her side. Her record from wide draws is solid and she should get a nice cart across from Hala Belle initially. Dyna York, Allen Deed and Zipping Joe are all making their 715m debut, Zipping Joe is most likely to run out the trip best on recent form.
Top Four: 7 – 8 – 4 – 2
Suggested Bet: Win bet on Hala Belle.
Race 4 – 715M Group One Sandown Cup Heat Two – 8:08PM
The ultra consistent Hailstorm Billy looks well placed out wide and he turned in a super performance when runner up at The Meadows over 525M last Saturday night. Four starts ago he won a heat of the Group One Association cup and in doing so he beat a high class field. The 715m journey clearly poses no issues and he appears to have landed in the weakest heat. One of the better bets of the night, if you sight $3.00 or better, load up.
Sisco Rage appears to be the logical leader and his two recent efforts here should see him strip a lot fitter tonight. In the past he has recorded a slick 41.96 here when winning and a repeat of that will see him be a major player again. Cheetah Zorro had little luck in her first run from a spell last week so watch for any big betting moves with her. Know Class hit the line solidly when placed here last time and he appears to be the only other winning hope.
Top Four: 7 – 4 – 5 – 6
Suggested Bets: Have a crack at Hailstorm Billy straight out
Trifecta: 7/4/Field ($6 for $1)
Trifecta: 7/4,5,6/Field ($18 for $1)
Trifecta: 4,5,6/7/Field ($18 for $1, little saver bet just in case he finds trouble).
Race 5 – 715M Group One Sandown Cup Heat Three – 8:28PM
This is one of the more straight forward heats with having only three possible winning chances. The best of those appears to be Sweet It Is. Her last four runs have been enormous since joining the Darren McDonald kennel and I think she can turn the tables on Rocky Bale tonight. Obviously she is going to trail them early, but in recent times she hasn’t dropped out as much in the early stages and tonight I believe she can stay in touch early and off the back straight she will unleash her powerful finish. At around the $2.40 mark she looks a solid investment.
Clearly Rocky Bale is the main danger, he has continued to improve with every staying effort and two starts ago he looked ultra impressive when scoring here in a sizzling 41.73. My only concern with him tonight is that he may get shuffled back in the early stages and for him to be a winning chance, he must have a solid lead over Sweet It Is mid race. South Australian visitor Luna Jinx is the only other winning chance in my opinion. She has won six of her ten tries to date with one of those being here in an impressive 41.94, the only knock on her is that she doesn’t like to be crowded in her races.
Top Four: 8 – 1 – 7 – 4
Trifecta: 8/1,7/1,2,4,6,7 ($8 for $1)
Race 6 – 515M Group One Sapphire Crown Final – 8:52PM
In what is a quality line up, I found it hard to find the winner. I have settled on the WA star Te Amo. Last week in her heat she pinged the lids and scored a dominant win. The time of 29.71 doesn’t look too flash but I would expect her to improve dramatically as it was her first look at the track. The thing that really caught my eye was the five seconds flat she recorded to the first marker. If she can reproduce that, she will cross to the early lead and she definitely has the ability to get down to the 29.30 mark.
Oakvale Destiny although beaten in her heat, was probably the most impressive of the finalists last week. After getting tightened early, she unleashed a strong finish and only went down by a length in handy time. Tonight there are a few front runners and if they happen to crowd up early she may find herself a lot closer to the lead than expected. Prue Bale has come up with the gun draw and if she can step cleanly she should find herself fighting out the finish, my concern with her is that she has missed the kick in her past two runs.
Top Four: 6 – 5 – 1 – 8
Suggested Bet: Win bet on Te Amo.
Race 7 – 715M Group One Sandown Cup Heat Four – 9:22PM
Gun chaser Xylia Allen added another track record to her resume with a 38.04 Traralgon win last week. Tonight she should have no trouble firing to the early lead and she has drawn the weakest heat of the night, so it’s hard to see anything reeling her in late. I think if she can get a cheap lead and the track is spiced up she will post an eye popping time.
Outside of the favourite the race appears to be quite open. There are a few chasers who are doubtful to get the journey and that is why I have settled on Break O’day as my second pick. He doesn’t have the speed to go with them early but he is extremely strong and if you invest your hard earned on him, you won’t have to worry as he will definitely run the trip right out. If you are looking for another runner to include in your exotics, both Mimicking and Boris Sent Me appear to be great place chances.
Top Four: 5 – 1 – 7 – 8
Trifecta: 5/1/4,6,7,8 ($4 for $1)
Trifecta: 5/1,7,8/1,7,8 ($6 for $1)
Race 8 -515M Group Two Harrison/Dawson Final – 9:49PM
Another quality line up is ready to do battle, however I think the winner looks quite straightforward. With slow beginners drawn either side, the explosive Banjo Boy should get every chance to capture his second Group Two win. After a fairly lacklustre win at Warragul, the Ken Virtue trained star smashed his rivals with a sizzling 29.34 heat win and he set it up with a quick 5.03 first section. Tonight I am expecting him to step cleanly again and he should drive to the lead as they head through the first bend and from there on it should be a matter of times and margins. If you find $2.60 or better, empty the wallet.
Texas Titan has taken all before him in recent months and his record of four wins from ten tries here is hard to ignore. From the red draw he should be able to settle a little closer to the lead tonight and with his strong finish he should be a major player. Musquin Bale and Cornelius Fudge look to have a chance but I’m really keen on Banjo Boy, so place claims best for those two.
Top Four: 7 – 1 – 2 – 5
Suggested Bets: Win bet on Banjo Boy, rove in quinella with 1,2,5.
Race 9 – 515M Free For All – 10:17PM
In a race which appears to lack early speed, the inform Warrior King looks to be well placed. In late April he was placed in the Group One Easter Egg final and in that series he produced three brilliant efforts. In the past he has recorded a smart 29.25 here and a repeat of that will see him get the cash tonight. The empty box draw underneath is also a big advantage, everything points to Warrior King.
Kennelmate Dream It has also been in great form of late and he too should be suited by the lack of early speed. Whilst competing in the Warrnambool Classic last month, he appeared to show much better box manners and he was able to show his true ability with back to back wins in 25.01 and 25.05. If he steps on terms he should find himself in the firing line throughout. Walk Hard is a ridiculous talent who has them all covered on shear ability, however his poor box manners tend to bring him unstuck quite a lot.
Top Four: 6 – 7 – 8 – 2
Suggested Bet: Win bet on Warrior King.
Race 10 – 515M Grade 4 – 10:37PM
Fast beginner Take Charge finally returned to form with a handy 30.20 Meadows win on Saturday night. Tonight he has a keen railer drawn directly underneath and this should allow him to gain a clear passage in the early stages. The last 50m is always a challenge with this bloke, but with a clean beginning I’m expecting him to build a big lead in the middle stages and that should be enough for him to find the line.
Wise Ella is much better than her recent form suggests and she tends to do her best racing at this venue. Prior to her past three starts, she was always noted as a reliable beginner and if she can recapture those box manners she will find herself in contention as they head through the first bend. She has the ability to lead or come from off the speed, so with a clean beginning she will be in the mix.
Top Four: 5 – 4 – 7 – 8
Suggested Bet: Win bet on Take Charge.
Race 11 – 515M Grade 5 – 10:56PM
The Speedy Godric Gryfindor has been posted wide in his past two starts and never been a chance. Tonight from his rails draw he should be able to punch through and hold a forward spot in the early stages. He has won here previously in handy time and he looked ultra impressive when scoring at Warrnambool recently in 25.15. I think if he can lead them up he should be running around the 29.40 mark and that should be enough to salute.
Hellyeah Bolt is a gun Tasmanian chaser and was luckless in his Sandown Park debut last week. He drops significantly in class and he should find this more to his liking. His record over 500m in his home state is impeccable but my only concern is that he may be under the odds tonight. Allen Zentax has found his best form of late and if he can avoid early bother he should be thereabouts.
Top Four: 2 – 3 – 4 – 1
Suggested Bets: Win bet on Godric Gryfindor, rove in quinella with 1,3,4.
Race 12 – 515M Grade 5 – 11:15PM
Little Regus appears to have finally found a suitable race in town, after three luckless efforts here, he finds himself in a race which he should have no trouble leading and on the bunny he is one fast animal. During March/April he scored four devastating provincial wins and I firmly believe tonight is the night in which he brings that form to town.
Giddy’s Star has won six races here and she finally has a favourable draw. I’m expecting her to settle on the speed with Little Regus but I expect her opponent to have a little more zip off the back straight. There won’t be a lot separating them at the finish, great quinella prospect. Strange Wish and Sky Fighter appear to be the two other winning chances. Stranger Wish appears well drawn and he may be worth a saver bet if he gets out to double figure odds.
Top Four: 3 – 1 – 2 – 8
Suggested Bets: Win bets on Little Regus and Strange Wish (more on Little Regus).
1,7,8/1,5,6,8/5/1,7 ($24 for $1)
8/1,5,6,8/5/1,7 ($8 for $1)