Tonight the lids will fly for the group one Peter Mosman after an arduous three weeks of racing that has seen slashing times posted by some serious athletes- many of whom took spectators by surprise when upsetting the series hotpots.
BOX ONE JOHNNY FIRE
In a race dominated by Victorians the Trevor Hagney prepared greyhound is shaping up to be NSW’s best hope after his emphatic triumph in last week’s semi-final. The son of Knocka Norris and Gunna Oz exploded from the boxes posting the fastest early split of 5.38 seconds before devastating his opposition when scoring by four and three quarter lengths in a blistering 29.63 seconds. Being a young sprinter who has always shown talent, Johnny Fire has proven in recent starts that he is a genuine group class greyhound by improving his box manners and early sections dramatically. If he can maintain this trait in the final he is a massive threat and should go close to landing the prize. The black speedster is certainly experienced around the track with seven starts for four wins and two minors whilst he has a perfect four from four from box one.
BOX TWO XYLIA ALLEN
Xylia Allen will start the deserved favourite in the $75,000 to the winner event. Although she has not posted the fastest time in either the heats or semi’s, the way she claimed both starts is what makes her hard to go past. The daughter of Turanza Bale does not have much early toe which is a concern but she is known for her ability to be knocked around in the early stages and still get the job done. Xylia Allen is a winner of fourteen races from thirty starts whilst she is also a recent group one winner. She has drawn well to follow Johnny Fire and Schroder Bale into the race and if she gets to sit behind them, they will find it very difficult to hold her out.
BOX THREE SCHRODER BALE
Fastest qualifier Schroder Bale has drawn well in box three for the decider. Trained by the master of champion greyhounds, Graeme Bate the black and white dog has been ultra-impressive with the Mosman the third group final that he has contested in his last seven starts alongside the group two Warrnambool Cup and the group two Harrison-Dawson. Beginning brilliantly in his heat last week, the son of Dyna Lachlan took advantage of raging favourite Black Magic Opal’s poor beginning to score a strong one and a half length victory over Clockwise in a scintillating 29.61 seconds. Schroder Bale should relish the draw closer to the rails and with kennelmate Xylia Allen a moderate beginner and drawn on his inside, he should get every opportunity in the race.
BOX FOUR TRIGGSY
The first of two runners for Castlereagh trainer Jane Carruthers is the powerful Triggsy who has come up with an awkward draw in the blue. The Magic Sprite youngster ran a phenomenal race in last week’s semi-final to wear down tearaway leader Quiz Bale to just half a length on the line. Triggsy has developed a liking for the Ultimo Circuit with five wins and six placings over the Sydney 520 metres including a sensational 29.78 seconds win last month. The one thing going against the 32 kilogram greyhound is the fact that he is often tardy at box-rise, however he can time it right albeit rarely. If he jumps with the field there is no telling what he will do and regardless of how he begins he will be charging home.
BOX FIVE SHADOW LANE
Another Victorian lines up from box five with Shadow Lane trained in Violet Town by Michael Carter. Carter has already had a successful week with the promising pups Jimmy Lane and Jack Silver collecting the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup and the Simaroo Lodge Cup Consolation respectively at Wagga. Shadow Lane is a roughie of the field but still looks to have a chance with two strong seconds in the heats and semi’s at his only two starts at Wentworth Park. The son of Where’s Pedro has clocked an exhilarating 29.29 seconds at Sandown Park so is definitely capable of running the times but will need to jump and avoid congestion from the poor draw.
BOX SIX CLOCKWISE
The second runner for Jane Carruthers has also drawn poorly in box six with Clockwise looking to have it all against her from the draw. The little black bitch has plenty of gusto demonstrated last week when finishing just one and a half lengths behind Schroder Bale in her semi. The litter sister to Triggsy has won two from eleven with seven minors with one of those victories occurring in the Group Three Magic Maiden in March. Much alike her brother, Clockwise does not have a lot of pace in the early stages but is as tenacious as they come and is capable of claiming a big race however she is not helped at all by lining up from box six.
BOX SEVEN QUIZ BALE
The last of Bate’s terrific trio lines up from box seven with Quiz Bale stamping herself as a genuine threat after a blowout victory in her semi-final last Saturday. The 27 kilogram bitch is also the second finalist for up and coming sire Dyna Lachlan with the daughter of Princess Bale certainly bred to run which she did last week clocking a slick 29.87 seconds. Quiz Bale has won eleven from twenty two and is transforming into quite a little performer for Bate and breeder Paul Wheeler and comes into the event with a good record around Victorian tracks including wins at seven of the tracks down South including The Meadows (30.18 seconds), Sandown (29.86 seconds), Horsham (27.10 seconds), Geelong (25.51 seconds), Warrnambool (25.40 seconds), Shepparton (25.29 seconds) and Sale (24.82 seconds). Whilst she will be the least fancied of the Bate/Wheeler combination, it is not unlike the dynamic duo to produce a group winner at big odds.
BOX EIGHT IONA SEVEN
Last but not least is Victorian Iona Seven trained by the astute Robert Britton. The daughter of Swift Fancy qualified for the final after running third and second in her heat and semi-final respectively with both performances showing obvious potential particularly last week when just one and a half lengths off Xylia Allen. The tiny speedster has only had fourteen starts but has won six and placed on a further six occasions and has shown her talent in Victoria clocking a fast 29.42 seconds at Sandown. The biggest obstacle will be the wide draw, although she has won from the eight before it is a different scenario when placed in the top class. She will have to put her best paws forward at the beginning to be in the race but she is capable if she can time the start correctly.
FIRST RESERVE FERLY REIGN
The Anthony Azzopardi trained chaser was unlucky not to make the final when a close third behind Xylia Allen. He has a chance if he gets a run
SECOND RESERVE VEYRON BALE
Comes from the Andrea Dailly kennels so must be respected on that alone. If he gets a run from an inside draw definitely consider.
TIPS: 1ST JOHNNY FIRE 2ND XYLIA ALLEN 3RD SCHRODER BALE