Trained at Nowra Hill by Steve White, Rare Pearl will need to finish in the top three to qualify for the $75,000 race on September 11, with the first five spots already decided by invitation.
Although missing the kick when finishing fourth at Wentworth Park last start, White is optimistic that Rare Pearl will step better this week, making him a genuine threat in the qualifier.
“Hopefully he will begin ok – apart from his last start at Wentworth Park he has been beginning alright – so if he came come out on Thursday I think he can definitely run in the top three,” White said.
White rates Jason Fletcher’s Fantastic Spiral the one to beat from box six, but is hoping that his greyhound will make an impact with a clear run early.
“Fantastic Spiral would be the dog to beat – so I am just hoping my bloke is at his best and can step well – the box draw is ok because the two dog (Silver Label) normally crosses hard left and the four (Boambee Law) can be a bit slow out.
“If he gets a clear run he will be hard to beat – he is the strongest dog in the race.”
Rare Pearl, a son of Bekim Bale and La Pearl, is currently the $3.00 favourite to take out the Megastar Prelude with online bookmaker Bet365, with Fantastic Spiral the second elect at $3.40. The daughter of Spiral Nikita and Light fantastic has a sizzling 29.60 personal best over the track and trip and comes into the feature as a winner of two of her past three starts.
Also right in contention is Aphorism ($4.60) from box one which will be aiming to bounce back from some luckless performances of late, while Miss Sueko ($4.00), although drawn awkwardly in box five, is capable of matching just about any dog in the event on her night.
Also under the double figure mark is Whittaker, a $9 proposition, which has been mixing his form of late but does own a commanding 29.55 over the Dapto 520 – watch for the son of Mildean Panther and Mrs Trickett to be swooping home late off box eight.
First, second and third will join a tremendous group of chasers in the final including the unbeaten track record holder Fantastic Dotty, recent National Sprint Championship runner-up Bessy Boo, Group 1 Futurity winner Rue De Kahn and top line Queensland duo Keybow and Flash Reality.
The Megastar Prelude is race six at Dapto and will jump at 9:05pm AEST.
6. Fantastic Spiral
3. Rare Pearl