The Lee Wylie-trained dog, who ran third in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup in December last year, clocked in at a solid 30.19 from box four in his heat and after drawing the stripes in the final, is expected to be the top contender.
The Greyhounds Queensland Young Guns series attracts Queensland’s best young greyhounds, all vying for the $14,700 in prize money, of which $10,000 goes to the winner.
Intelligence will not be without his challengers, however, with the top qualifying time belonging to Strong Breeze, who will jump from box three.
Running in at 30.14 in her heat, including a first sectional of 5.74, Strong Breeze and Intelligence are sure to battle it out for the lead heading into the first turn.
Straight Wicked (box six) will also contend the early stages, impressively dominating his field to win his heat last week in 30.26. The Ron Ball-trained performer also has a strong record of chasing down leaders, so sitting behind the quick starters will not be an issue for him.
Another trophy race on Thursday night, will be the Best Eight Surf Lifesavers Trophy over 520m.
Group One dog, and contender for the Queensland Greyhound of the Year, Size Can Matter, will head the betting in this field, jumping from box eight.
At home at Albion Park, Size Can Matter will be the one to beat, but several quality greyhounds will be ready to capitalise on any hesitations including Sangio King (box six), Sleek And Smart (box seven), and Watts Wise (box three).
Another outsider to keep an eye on is Eskimo Dancer, who draws box one after a string of placings from box three.
Race four, the fourth grade Valentines Day Trophy over 600m, will see On The Ropes take on Surfin Silence.
On The Ropes, trained by Dianna Buxton, will favour the inside box draw showing solid form last week to beat Texas Ranger from the same box.
Surfin Silence makes a return to Queensland after finding one win in three starts at the Gardens. The Mal Dawson-trained dog has a short but perfect 600m history over the distance at Albion Park, winning two races from two starts.
Sam Beau Stanley is also a strong chance in this race from box five, boasting a strong 35.16 at Albion Park on February 2.
In other racing on Thursday night, Nikita Beriman, owned by Greyhounds Queensland board member and trained by Kathie Evans, makes a return to the track in race three after a short spell.
Jumping from box one, the quick bitch was improving substantially before having a rest, including winning with a best time of 30.28 in mid-December.
Another dog to keep an eye on is Royston Renegade in Race Nine, the fifth grade Burleigh Heads/Mowbray Park 520m.
The Peter Roy-trained dog had an unlucky run last week from an awkward box three, and will be looking to make amense from box five tonight.
Andy Albion’s Best Bets :
- Race 3 Number 1 Nikita Beriman
- Race 4 Number 4 Surfin Silence
- Race 6 Number 8 Size Can Matter
- Race 8 Number 2 Intelligence