Anyone with a slight interest in greyhound racing should do their very best to make it to Albion Park on Thursday night, with 5 Heats of the Group 2 Queensland Derby and the final of the Group 2 Futurity for bitches. The talent is immense, and it's a great turn around from last weeks Futurity heats.
Fast Archer for young gun trainer Clay Mullens, has drawn the coverted rails in heat 1 and he comes here after a flying last start victory at Wentworth in 29.65. The son of Collision and Clay Model has quite a remarkable record for such a young dog, with only 15 career starts he has recorded a win from all 7 boxes he's jumped from. Box 2 is the only box the February 11 chaser hasn't jumped out of. He looks very well placed in the first heat, but he certainly won't have it all his own way with Qld trained flying machine Top Story exiting the 7 box. The blue son of Knocka Norris has a blistering 29.77 PB to his name and he will certainly make his presence felt. Nico Bale for Graeme Bate will also threaten with plenty of early toe. They appear to be the 3 main hopefuls, in a tough heat of 7 runners.
Heat 2 doesn't get any easier with the Peter Simpson trained flying machine Raging Obsession exiting box 2. The son of Go Wild Teddy has already posted a fast 30.12 here and he looks like he can easily go much quicker. Dead set speed machine, Hello Good Bye, will be master trainer Kel Greenough's hope and he exits box 6 in this. The Son of Bombastic Shiraz is yet to taste big race success, but it won't be too far off I reckon now Kel has got him beginning much better. Generally a slow beginner he's going to have his work cut out here for him from box 6. Peter Hunt has his charge Pop's Max engaged from box 5 and the son of Queensland sire Surf Lorian comes here as the most experienced runner and he too can't be dismissed; although jumping from the squeeze box. They appear to be the 3 main chances but heat 2 certainly has its fair share of talent, and nearly all the runners can win this with the right run.
Heat 3 will also be a test for form students with many winning chances. Transcend Time for trainer Mark Azzopardi is badly out out of form but the industry blue blood sired by The Bomb cannot be overlooked. He has a big motor and no doubt will be 110 percent for this. Queensland's local hope Hawko's Mistake will be out to make amends for his last start defeat and box 8 will suit the son of Buckingham Chuck. He has a fast PB of 29.94 and he can certainly win this race with his best jump. Hopefully he's 110 percent and ready to fire in heat 3. Sir Hara by Big Daddy Cool also appears a chance in this and although he hasn't posted a fast time he will be well suited to box 7 and can get along if he finds the front. There my 3 mains selections in heat 3.
Heat 4 sees the local hopes take on two extremely fast and talented dogs in Rigs and National Derby winner Jagger Swagger. Rigs is a very smart young dog, and the son of Pure Octane will no doubt have his work cut out in this. Good on his trainer Ryan Tredway, for bringing the smart youngster up here for a crack at the Group 2 Derby. Jagger Swagger, the 2013 National Derby winner; will be mighty hard to beat and the son of Premier Fantasy will get a beautiful run with slow beginners all around. He looks to be the certainty of the heats, and I'm guessing his short starting price will reflect that. Veyron Bale could be the knockout chance and he should get a great unimpeded run from put wide in the pink. If they jam up he could sweep right around the outside as long as he misses Clan Eirann around the first turn; wWho often tries to get wide round the first turn. Jagger Swagger looks home and hosed in this heat.
The final heat appears as if its the best chance for the locals to snare a win in. Musquin Bale has come up with the red box and he looks mighty hard to beat if he can get forward early. The son of Dyna Lachlan and super producer Princess Bale, has so far remained relatively unnoticed as his littermates hog most of the limelight, but this may be his best chance to propel his name under lights. Local charge and home bred Pharmocopia will fly the flag high for home breeders all around the country. The son of Albion Park prolific winner Premier Chief and Kathy's Recall also another Albion Park prolific winner will look to salute here for trainer Margaret Quarrel. The black dog whelped in October 10, has really come of age lately and produced his best effort to score last week racing away to score in a quick 30.17. Captain Clarrie is another classy runner who is also home bred. The black November 10 Whelped son of Elite And Classy and Where Are You will need to produce his best effort to score here. Interestingly enough I have heard reports that Captain Clarrie's mother, Where Are You; has produced the fastest pups Reg Kay has ever put up his straight. They are by new kid on the block Outta Credit. Captain Clarrie can certainly gallop and if he gets the right run he's certainly capable of winning the final heat.
It's going to be a wonderful night with some seriously classed galloper's engaged. It's fantastic to see so many high class dogs by such an array of sires with 20 different sires represented in just 40 dogs. That's 50% of the fields – amazing. With so many different dogs going to stud it just proves you can look outside the box and still produce a quality galloper.
The action gets underway at Albion Park with race one to kick off at 6.44pm.