The Country Motor Company Puppy Classic series moves into the second stage at Dapto this week, with the semi-finals being conducted over four races on the card this Thursday night. The fastest heat winner, Gold Hunter, is engaged in the last semi-final and has drawn the coveted rails alley. Gold Hunter is by Vapour Whirl ex. Molly’s Gold and pups from that litter were sold for between $700 and $1400 at the 2012 Dapto puppy auction.
The top two from each semi-final will advance through to the big final next week, racing for $75,000.
SEMI-FINAL 1 – Race 1 at 7:28pm
Little Elsie (Box 1) has drawn much better this week. She started from Box 4 last week and led all the way in 30.23. She clocked a first split of 5.40, which is the best in this race and should see her leading again. Mango Lassie (Box 2), on Little Elsie’s outside, isn’t a great beginner so she should be assisted by the extra room. Obee One (Box 3) was the beneficiary of luck last week when the favourites in his heat knocked each other out of the race. He didn’t finish the race off strongly when clocking 30.42. It was only the second win of his 16 start career and he may need luck again to feature in the top two.
Alderley Riot (Box 6) didn’t put a paw wrong for Ron Bell last week, leading to score in 30.36. He moves to the outside draw now and this may cause some concern. He has won from Box 5 but failed twice from Box 7, this is his first start from Box 6. However, he does possess the early speed to put himself in the race.
Of the others, Spikey Boy (Box 7) tried hard last week but doesn’t appear to be able put fast times on the board and High and Mighty (Box 8) had every chance to win after Exhibitionist found trouble but Exhibitionist still managed to run past him and win. Elite Arena (Box 4) and Ello Reg (Box 5) will need to improve off their heat runs in order to feature.
SEMI-FINAL 2 – Race 2 at 7:53pm
This looks to be the toughest semi on the card with a number of variables to consider. The early speed machine My Bella Rose (Box 5) will be again looking to carve out fast early sectionals to pinch a race winning lead. She was run down by a nose in remarkable circumstances by Gold Hunter last week in 30.16. Lana Banarni (Box 1) placed in a solid run behind Little Elsie last week, clocking a time of 30.28. The black bitch has a personal best of 30.08 at the track and has placed once from the box, when she ran third here at Dapto back in September. She is capable of running a 5.41 first split and can give this race a good shake if she puts herself into the race early.
The greyhounds outside of My Bella Rose are all class runners. Buckled (Box 6) ran third last week and will be benefited by her first look at the track in race conditions. Encosta Deplente (Box 7) won his heat leading all the way in 30.27 and Paua to Charge (Box 8) unleashed a powerful burst mid race to win his heat in 30.30. It will be a charge of early speed into the first turn with Lani Banarni, My Bella Rose and Encosta Deplente.
If Paua to Charge can avoid trouble coming across from the outside, he will be looking to run down the leaders. What happens at the first turn will determine the outcome of the race. If things get messy then the other greyhounds in the race, So Swanky (Box 2), Grand Hombre (Box 3) and Miss Bo Jangles (Box 4) may just get the good fortune they will need to qualify for the final.
SEMI-FINAL 3 – Race 3 at 8:12pm
Jawlaa (Box 4) will need to step better to overcome the disappointment of being defeated as the $1.40 favourite last week. On paper, she has everything going for her; a fast 29.72 best time and three wins from four starts at the track. The shadow hanging over her is that she hasn’t begun well since her win at Richmond back in early October. Connections will be hoping she can return to her best in order to make the final. Shimmy Shim Sham (Box 6) defeated Jawlaa last week to win her maiden from Box 1. Unfortunately for Shimmy Shim Sham, she has failed to place in a start from the outside so the move to Box 6 may bring her undone.
Tough chaser Exhibitionist (Box 8) will again get a chance to show her tenacity, drawing the outside for this semi. Her win last week was exceptional in the circumstances and she is clearly capable of running better than the 30.52 she recorded last week. She has form from the box, winning the only start she has had from the draw. If she misses the trouble she encountered last week, she will be a top chance of making the final.
Of the others, Magic Shuffle (Box 1) will be worth keeping an eye on. She handled her first look at the track with aplomb, running third. The Magic Sprite ex. High Performance bitch moves to the suitable inside draw and is the natural improver. Paua to Thrill (Box 3) may also show improvement as he was only having his first start last week but had recorded a quick performance trial at Canberra in the lead up. He was also well supported in betting last week, suggesting he has run good trials at the track. Spring Creek Kev (Box 2), Black Beach Girl (Box 5) and Emerald Vapour (Box 7) will need to create some luck to feature.
SEMI-FINAL 4 – Race 5 at 8:55pm
Last weeks fastest heat winner, Gold Hunter (Box 1), features in this semi. The win last week was his first ever race win and came at his eleventh start. He produced a withering finishing charge to run down My Bella Rose. He had the advantage of plenty of room last week from Box 7. His record shows that the early stages of his races aren’t the best and the move to the inside may not be to his advantage as his best first split is only a moderate 5.64. The leader of this race looks to be Lachlan Bomber (Box 4). He led last week in a split of 5.42 and has recorded a split of 5.38 previously at the track. He was run down by the strong finishing Paua to Charge last week.
If Gold Hunter was able to get an early sit on Lachlan Bomber, one would imagine that Gold Hunter would run him down here. Genetic Jenny (Box 6) will also be attempting to make claims on the race. She bungled the start last week and can’t afford to do the same again from this box. She is a little hit and miss but is capable of running time when she is up for it.
Macgallen (Box 2) ran third last week recording 30.29 behind Little Elsie. He has only won one from 16 so looks a place chance at best. Ping King (Box 3), Tommy Wong Turn (Box 5), Mr Goulash (Box 7) and Cocktail Party (Box 8) have not managed a win at the track and haven’t run any eye catching times elsewhere and will be rough chances of making the final.
With competitors just one week away from a crack at the big prize there’s sure to be action aplenty at the iconic South Coast venue this Thursday evening.