Shesa Felon to cause havoc in Group 3 Laurie Healion Memorial

AGNES Banks trainer Caroline Hughes is hopeful that her talented youngster Shesa Felon can put her best paws forward on Friday when she contests the Group 3 Laurie Healion Memorial Maiden at The Gardens.

The daughter of Hesa Felon and Camilla Rose, $12 with Bet365, clocked the fastest heat win on July 18, jumping brilliantly and leading all the way in a sizzling 29.56.

“We only had her for three weeks prior to the heats,” Hughes told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“We bought her off a lovely guy, Gary Wilson, and he told us when we got her that we would probably want to take some weight off her, so we did – we worked her and took a kilo off.

“She came out that day in her heat and surprised us all. We knew she was quick because we had trialled her at other tracks, but we didn’t know what she would run there as we hadn’t trialled her at The Gardens ourselves.”

Shesa Felon followed up that performance with a credible third in her semi-final last week behind Jason Mackay’s boom pup, Chevy Prince. Although she was beaten by eight-and-one-quarter-lengths at the finish, Hughes said she was still happy with the performance.

“For some reason she missed the start last week – she normally comes out of the boxes quick in her trials, but she is only young and she is still learning what to do.

“I thought it was still a good run. It was her first time under lights and it had rained there all afternoon and I think the wet weather put her off a little bit – she had a lot of sand thrown in her face being back in third position.

Shesa Felon will exit box six on Friday afternoon, with her main rivals Chevy Prince and Good Odds Angel drawn in boxes one and seven respectively.

While the draw will make things slightly more challenging for Shesa Felon, Hughes isn’t too concerned.

“She had box two last week and it didn’t help her when she didn’t jump – we will just have to see how it all pans out because there a lot of good dogs in this year’s final.

“Whoever jumps and gets an uninterrupted run into the first turn will probably win it – if she can jump she will be right in the mix.”

Hughes, who only resumed training two years ago after a lengthy year break, said it would be the biggest win of her career if Shesa Felon could land the $22,500 first prize.

“I was training greyhounds 20 years ago, but then I got out of it because I opened up a few childcare centres,” Hughes explained.

“When I met my partner, Glen, two years ago he had racehorses, including a Group 1 winner over in New Zealand.

“He heard about my history with greyhounds and suggested that we get a couple and have a go – and here we are today

“It would be exciting to win it – I have never won a big race like this – but it doesn’t come easy, you have to have a bit of luck as well.”

The Group 3 Laurie Healion Memorial Maiden is race eight at The Gardens and will jump at 6:07pm.

To help you find the winner, below is form and latest odds for each runner in this year’s final, with comments from our resident form analyst, Brad Bugeja.

Box One – Chevy Prince
Black Dog – 33.0kg – June 2013
Fabregas x Chevy Princess
Prize money: $1,140
Trainer: Jason Mackay
Career: 2: 1-0-1
T/D: 2: 1-0-1
T/D Best: 29.64

“Chevy Prince is an exciting chaser and he really caught the eye when scoring here last week in a blistering 29.66. The small concern is that his box manners have looked a little scratchy as he did miss the kick when on debut, however he did make amends by recording a speedy 5.04 to the first marker in his second start. If he can reproduce that type of sectional again he should be able to hold them out early and I can’t see them reeling him in.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $1.50 with Bet365

Box Two – Zipping Comet
Black Dog – 30.4kg – October 2013
Magic Sprite x Pink Bandanna
Prize money: $435
Trainer: Jason Mackay
Career: 2: 0-2-0
T/D: 2: 0-2-0
T/D Best: 29.98

“Yet to break through but he has recorded two solid heat placings to date and he appears to still be learning how to race. He is going to get back in the early stages but if the red does everything right and moves up the track, he might get a nice run through at the first bend and he could threaten for some minor money.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $10 with Bet365

Box Three – Inks Honour
Black Dog – 29.6kg – December 2013
Kilty Lad x Spiral Ballerina
Prize money: $215
Trainer: Ronald Lambert
Career: 4: 0-0-2
T/D: 2: 0-0-2
T/D Best: 30.16

“Steady type who appeared to have every chance in his heat last week. He has drawn quite awkwardly in this event and with the speed drawn out wide he is likely to get spat out the back early. Great job to qualify but I can’t see him making an impact.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $51 with Bet365

Box Four – Zipping Sasha
Black Bitch – 25.9kg – October 2013
Magic Sprite x Pink Bandanna
Prize money: $435
Trainer: Jason Mackay
Career:  2: 0-2-0
T/D: 2: 0-2-0
T/D Best: 30.00

“The third finalist for the powerful Mackay kennel and she isn’t without a hope. In her two starts to date she has shown solid early speed and her personal times overall have been quite good. If she happened to ping the lids tonight she could settle in the top two and she might hang on for some minor money.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $12 with Bet365

Box Five – Basque
Blue Bitch – 26.0kg – September 2013
Where’s Pedro x Mckew
Prize money: $810
Trainer: Anthony Duggan
Career: 4: 1-2-0
T/D: 2: 1-1-0
T/D Best: 29.97

“In her two efforts in this series she showed slick early speed and in the first round she looked very impressive when posting a speed 29.97 overall. I’m expecting her to lead tonight or at worst settle in second spot. If she finds the top she will then be a strong place prospect, however if she lands second she might have to work too hard and she will struggle in the run home.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $21 with Bet365

Box Six – Shesa Felon
Brindle Bitch – 27.1kg – July 2013
Hesa Felon x Camilla Rose
Prize money: $810
Trainer: Caroline Hughes
Career: 3: 1-1-1
T/D: 3: 1-1-1
T/D Best: 29.56

“Clear second pick and if she reproduces her scorching 29.56 heat victory she will definitely make the red work hard for victory. Prior to making her debut, she had always shown loads of talent with some fast trial wins, my only concern for her tonight is that she can be a tad slow to begin at times and from box six she might find a bit of trouble. With a clear run she will fill the quinella spot but if she is short odds it might be worth risking her and looking elsewhere for some value in the exotics.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $12 with Bet365

Box Seven – Good Odds Angel
Red Brindle Bitch – 27.7kg – October 2013
Spring Gun x Punk Angel
Prize money: $1,200
Trainer: Frank Hurst
Career: 2: 1-1-0
T/D: 2: 1-1-0
T/D Best: 29.64

“In the first round of heats she really impressed when narrowly beaten in fast time behind Shesa Felon, however when winning her semi final she didn’t really put the time on the board. If she can ping and land in the top two early she should show a good turn of speed mid race and she could upset the red. The worry is that from box seven she will need to do everything right in the run to the first bend. If she goes around at silly odds she could be worth an each way ticket.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $8.50 with Bet365

Box Eight – Unpretentious
Black Bitch – 24.6kg – April 2013
Oaks Road x She’s The Goodes
Prize money: $1,320
Trainer: Dean Swain
Career: 9: 1-1-0
T/D: 2: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 29.88

“Hard to get a gauge on this runner as she was quite ordinary in her first six starts, however she was desperately unlucky in the first round of heats and she then followed that run up with a slick 29.88 semi final win. If she reproduces the semi final run, she is a genuine chance but I think this is a big step up for her and she might find this task a little difficult.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $5.50 with Bet365

1st Reserve – Heir Of King
Red Fawn Dog – 31.7kg – June 2013
Bogie King x Bogie Angel
Prize money: $570
Trainer: Beau Hedley
Career: 3: 1-0-1
T/D: 3: 1-0-1
T/D Best: 29.76

“Never out of trouble in his semi final and he turned in a great performance to charge home into third spot. If he happens to gain a start he is a genuine winning hope.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $6.50 with Bet365

2nd Reserve – Heard ‘Em Say
Black Dog – 35.2kg – August 2012
Yahoo Omar x Osti’s Myth
Prize money: $400
Trainer: Christopher Carl
Career: 10: 0-2-1
T/D: 2: 0-1-0
T/D Best: 30.29

“Soundly beaten in both rounds to date and unlikely to feature if he gains a start. Had 12 tries to break through and will definitely need it easier.”

Odds to win the Laurie Healion: $51 with Bet365

Top Four: 1 – 7 – 2 – 6

Suggested Bets:

Win bet on Chevy Prince

Quinella: 1 to rove with 2,6,7 ($3 for 100%)

Exacta: 1,7/1,2,6,7 ($6 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1/2,6,7/Field ($18 for 100%)

Trifecta: 1,2,7/1,2,6,7/1,2,4,6,7,8 ($36 for 100%)

Sign-up with Bet365 for up to $200 in free bet bonuses.

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