AFTERagruelling three-week series, Wentworth Park will host an epic conclusion to the Group One National Derby final tomorrow night.
Last month 48 greyhounds stepped onto the metropolitan circuit, hoping to book a place in this week’s $75,000 to the winner final.
Andrea Dailly and her talented team of chasers from Victoria have dominated both series as expected, with fastest final qualifier Fernando Bale to exit from box seven. Leading all the way last week in a blistering time of 29.42, he will be joined by rising star Bad Boy Sniper, who qualified second fastest, clocking a sizzling time of 29.43 for trainer Jason Magri.
Betting agencies have Fernando Bale the $3.00 favourite, slightly ahead of other semi-final winner Topper Road, who possesses genuine early speed that will assist him in crossing from box eight. The Anthony Azzopardi-trained chaser clocked a smart time of 29.80, leading all the way from box five.
The race is scheduled to jump at 9.07pm EDST, with the winner to receive $75,000, second place will take home $18,750 and third will collect $9,375 for their efforts.
Tom Dailly (Kennel Representative): “The box can be good and bad if you miss it. He has run good time at this track and can be competitive with a good start.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Turned in a solid performance in his heat but was still beaten a long way and appears to be well out of his depth in this event. More than handy chaser but taking on the big guns tonight and likely to find the going too tough.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Classy Tasmanian who is armed with brilliant early speed. Has enough speed to settle in the top two but I’m still not convinced he can run a strong 500m against the top liners. His two heat runs have been ok but he didn’t show much improvement in the second round. I dont give him much chance of winning tonight but if he happens to lead them up he might be able to hang on for some minor money.”
Melinda Finn (Trainer): “Will need a lot of luck from this box.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Star in the making and he hasn’t had much luck in recent weeks and that has been due to him missing the kick. Tonight I’m anticipating that he will step a lot better and he should be able to drive through and settle in the top two. On the bunny he is capable of getting down to the 29.50 mark and I think he will step up on the big stage tonight.”
Jason Magri (Trainer): “He’s been improving a lot over the past few weeks at Wentworth Park and with some luck I think he can go well in this race.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Blitzed his rivals last week when scoring in a breathtaking 29.43 and if he steps cleanly he will take a power of beating. He can be very unreliable at times so I’m a little concerned that he may miss away tonight. From the middle pin he will need to do everything right in the first 50m, he is clearly a chance but I would be happy to risk him from the draw.”
Tom Dailly (Kennel Representative): “I actually don’t mind box five at Wentworth Park. He can get a nice run if other dogs miss it and his run last week was good.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has turned in two great efforts in his heats and a victory here wouldn’t totally surprise me. He is a member of a promising litter and he is still learning the caper, last week he was probably a tad disappointing but the leader did get away mid race and that made it hard for him to reel him in. From the middle pin tonight he is going to need a lot of things to go right. I dont think he will feature tonight but he should be competitive in many Group Races to come.”
Jason Mackay (Trainer): “Really badly boxed. Will need a lot of luck to be in it.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Exciting chaser who continues to improve and he is probably going to hit his peak once he steps up over more ground. Last week he turned in a very strong effort to be placed in his heat and there is no doubting that he has the talent to feature here. The concern with him is that his box manners are quite poor and he takes a few strides to get going, with all the speed around him, he is likely to get squeezed out in the early stages. It’s probably best to just include him in your exotic bets.”
Tom Dailly (Kennel Representative): “Really happy with his performances over the past couple of weeks. The eight does have early speed, so i’m hoping he can be up with the leaders and hopefully finish strongly.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has scored two devastating heat wins in recent weeks and on both occasions he has hit the first marker in the low 5.30’s. If he pings away again it should be a matter of times and margins tonight. He has only had the nine starts to date but he has pinged the lids on five occasions and they have resulted in five blistering wins. There is a bit of speed on his outside tonight so that is a small concern but he does have a slow beginner underneath, so he should get sufficient room in the first 50m.”
Anthony Azzopardi (Trainer): “He’s a chance. It’s a great race and a hard one to win, but his got good pace so it puts him in the race with a chance.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Brilliant beginner and he has scored two great heat wins in recent weeks and on both occasions he has gone through the first marker in a blistering 5.34. My concern with him is that the pink draw is a big disadvantage at Wentworth Park and even if he does reel off 5.34 again it probably won’t be enough to cross the seven. His early speed means he has a chance but I dont think he can cross early so it’s unlikely that he will make an impact.”