ThefirstGroup One of 2015 is up for grabs on Saturday night at The Meadows when an exceptional field of young sprinters lines up for the Silver Chief Classic over 525 metres.
This year’s final is shaping up as one of the best in recent years with a sizzling showdown expected between Dyna Villa (box one), Dyna Double One (three) and Above All (five).
Dyna Villa won last year’s Melbourne Cup, the richest greyhound race in Australia, and looms as the one to beat from the inside. He has good early toe and is expected to be pushing up for the lead on the first turn. He is capable of posting blistering times so, if in front, the other runners would find it near-impossible to run him down.
Dyna Double One is the boom pup on the scene and is unbeaten in four starts. He ran an incredible 29.52 when claiming his semi-final last week, the second-fastest time posted at The Meadows. If he can get room to gallop early, there is no telling what he is capable of.
Above All recently won the Group One Hobart Thousand in track record time and he is a freak in his own right. He can be a touch slow early but he oozes class and can never be discounted.
Away from the three big guns, there are several highly promising chasers contesting the race.
Midnight Flynn (box seven) is out where he wants to be. He ran a commanding 29.84 when winning his heat two weeks ago. If there is any trouble on the inside, he might be the one to swoop around them from out wide and cause an upset.
Emrys (box two) ran a credible second in his semi-final last week. He is a slow beginner but is ideally drawn to hold his position on the rails and sneak into a place.
The remainder of the field is made up of Wheeler-owned greyhounds in Dyna Quirk (box four), Amaro Bale (box six) and Gorham Bale (box eight). They are all rated at pretty long odds, but it is not unlike the Wheeler Dynasty to provide a feature race winner at juicy odds.
The final is race eight tomorrow night and is set to jump at 9:43pm. Let’s hear what the connections had to say:
ARG Opinion – Terrific greyhound which is a genuine star of the sport. He is proven at Group One level and is capable of reeling off sizzling sectionals over the track and distance. He has a good mix of speed and strength and is the one to beat from the coveted inside draw.
Mario Briganti (Trainer) – It was a last-minute decision to put him in the series because I was thinking about stepping him up to 600. He is more destined for a career over the middle distance and further. He is still in there with a chance, but realistically I don’t think he can win. The big guns are in one, three and five and I think one of them will win, I will just be happy to sit behind them and run a place.
George Dailly (Co-trainer) – Dyna Villa has more experience than him and he has a touch more speed [than Dyna Villa] so I think it is pretty even. If he gets caught behind Dyna Villa, Dyna Double One may not be able to figure out how to get past, it’ll be very interesting. He has had plenty of field trials, but against dogs that don’t know what they are doing, the same as him. It is a completely different kettle of fish to going against Group One dogs. Whatever he does, he will improve on.
George Dailly (Co-trainer) – He is a good box dog and he has got very nice early toe. He has got ability and he might give Dyna Double One a hard time early so it is a pity that they have drawn alongside one another.
Robert Britton (Trainer) – It is an outstanding field and he will certainly need a bit of luck to get across from box five. I would like to think that if he comes out well and gets that luck then he will be very competitive. Whether he is good enough to beat the two Wheeler dogs (Dyna Villa and Dyna Double One) I am not certain, but he will be right in it if he gets the opportunity to use his ability.
Michael Carter (Trainer) – The way the field is boxed, I give him a good chance. There is a lot of speed on the inside and they have only got to jam up a little bit on the fence … he should be left alone out where he is. If he can get around them going around the first corner then I think he will take a fair bit of catching.
Steve Collins (Trainer) – It is a tough draw for a slow box dog and a mad railer. He is a pretty smart race dog, one of the smartest I have ever trained, he can hit the handbrake, wait for the opening, and then go through.
George Dailly (Co-trainer) – The dog can really run, given a clear run he can really motor. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him go well if he got a run but he has got to draw near the rails, he isn’t that good drawn off the track.
George Dailly (Co-trainer) – He is stepping up good. He is obviously not going as good as [his brother] Dyna Double One at the moment, but every time he goes out he is improving and figuring out what racing is about. He goes better and better each time, that’s about all you can ask from them.