Rough semi final results upend 2023 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg series
The 2023 Golden Easter Egg series betting was turned on its head last night when none of the favourites managed to progress through the semi finals to next week's Group 1 Golden Easter Egg final.
To add insult to injury, two of the four semi finals were won by rank outsiders paying official starting prices of +5000 with greyhound betting sites.
The first of the Golden Easter Egg semi finals was a preview of the carnage to punters that was to come when bolter Belmont Bullet was able to push up from box three, hold the lead and stack the field up for the entire duration of the 520m journey in 29.82.
Reserve greyhound Reflections managed to navigate the traffic to run on in to second and qualify for the $300,000-to-the-winner final over a desperately unlucky Yuko Girl.
2023 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Semi Final 1 – Belmont Bullet (29.82) T: Joe McFadyen
The Joe McFadyen-trained Belmont Bullet, by Fernando Bale out of Belmont Belle; has had 32 career starts for 10 wins and seven minor placings.
Even including last night's first place prizemoney of $10,000, Belmont Bullet's total career earnings amount to just $34,000, so the prospect of racing for a $300,000 first prize next week will surely lead to some sleepless nights for connections in the lead-up to Easter Saturday night.
Reflections is owned and trained by Kerry Drynan and has established group racing credentials having been Group 1 placed in the 2023 Paws Of Thunder behind She's A Pearl.
The daughter of Aston Dee Bee and Steal The Glory has previously made the finals of the 2023 Group 2 Richmond Oaks and the 2023 Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup but will be searching for her first group race win on Saturday night.
Simply Limelight took out the second of the Golden Easter Egg semi finals restoring some sense to the results when he used the most of box two to come from fifth early and rail up under the field and run down tearaway leader Custard Monelli in 29.44.
The Peter Rodgers-trained son of Kinloch Brae and Guiding Light was sent out a +240 second favourite with greyhound bookmakers, while Custard Monelli was the +600 third favourite in the race.
2023 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Semi Final 2 – Simply Limelight (29.44) T: Peter Rodgers
Simply Limelight made the final of the 2022 Group 3 Magic Maiden series at Wentworth Park and has been placed in the 2022 Group 3 Bob Payne Sprint and the 2022 Group 1 National Sprint Championship both at Wentworth Park, but a group race win has eluded him.
Simply Limelight has had 43 starts for 17 wins and 15 placings and earned connections $140,745 in prizemoney.
West Australian visitor Custard Monelli (Barcia Bale x Flake Monelli) qualified for Saturday's final finishing second for WA trainer David Hobby.
Custard Monelli, who has been placed in all three black-type races he has contested; has had 23 starts for 10 wins and eight minor placings earning $67,610 in prizemoney.
Victorian greyhound Baby Jaycee (+400) took out semi final three from box six after stalking early leader Wyndra All Class until the home corner then rushing on to win in 29.59 over roughie Ritza Donna who was sent out at +7000.
Despite the +400 odds on offer about the Bobby Douglas-trained daughter of Bernardo and Leprechaun Storm, the multiple Group 1 finalist was on the fourth line of betting.
2023 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Semi Final 3 – Baby Jaycee (29.59) T: Bobby Douglas
Baby Jaycee has been placed in the 2022 Group 2 Laurels Classic at Sandown, the 2023 Group 1 National Futurity at Wentworth Park and the 2023 Group 1 Australian Cup at The Meadows but a group race win has so far escaped her.
Baby Jaycee has had 33 starts for 18 wins and eight minor placings and collected $236,048 in earnings.
In next week's final Bobby Douglas will be searching for his second Golden Easter Egg having won the prestigious race with Carlisle Jack over 20 years ago in 2002.
2021 Group 1 Dapto Megastar winner Ritza Donna (Orson Allen x Ritza Millie) will give trainer Mark Davidson a chance at winning a Group 1 race after only taking over the dog's training in February 2023 from Mark Gatt.
The change to the Davidson kennels is the greyhound's fifth transfer having also been previously under the management of Jodie Lord and Joseph Scerri.
Ritza Donna has contested 71 races for 16 wins and 35 minor placings earning $238,720 for connections.
The rough results kept coming in semi final four of “The Egg” when Elle Yeah capitalised on the box two draw to steal the lead early and fell in at the post to win in 29.59 paying +5000 with bookies.
Victorian visitor and second favourite Elite Alex (+180) did all the chasing from box one to get through to Saturday's final.
2023 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg Semi Final 4 – Elle Yeah (29.59) T: Allan Manwaring
Elle Yeah, who is a daughter of Fernando Bale and Hill Top Belle; is owned and trained by Nowra-based husband and wife team Allan and Eloise Manwaring who acquired the greyhound as a gift from breeder and neighbour Steve Fitch.
The Manwaring's will be hoping for a fairy tale finish next week with Elle Yeah contesting her first group race final considering her most notable prior feature race win has been a 5th grade final at Nowra.
Elle Yeah has had 42 starts for 13 wins and 11 placings earning $62,380 in the process.
Elite Alex (Fernando Bale x Suffragette) chased determinedly all the way to only go down by 0.13 of a length for Victorian trainer Mark Delbridge.
Elite Alex will be searching for his first group race win having previously been unplaced in the 2022 Great Chase final at The Meadows and the 2023 Launceston Cup final.
Elite Alex has had 25 starts for 12 wins and nine placings amassing $86,420 in earnings.
The box draw for the 2023 Golden Easter Egg was conducted after the four semi finals were run and has delivered the visiting greyhounds the prized boxes with Victorian Baby Jaycee to start from box one and WA greyhound Custard Monelli to start from box two.
Victorian Elite Alex has drawn box eight for the final.
Fastest qualifier Simply Limelight should get every chance from his box three draw.