Featured on a bumper 12 race program the West End Distance Championship heats over the 731m journey had 21 nominations for the series which was significantly up on the 8 that were nominated when the series was last run in January 2011 when Satanic Cash was the victor.
The first heat is race 3 on the program and features impressive Interstate visitors Irma Bale for trainer Graeme Bate shooting for her sixth win in her last eight starts and Full Circle for trainer Keith Lloyd who showed his ability two starts ago with a narrow defeat to staying star Shimaguni at the Meadows. They will be challenged by inform local Miss Woods for trainer Gino Grgurovic who topped of her preparation with a solid win last start and hasn’t missed the place over the staying trip at Angle Park having had 7 starts for 4 wins and 3 placing’s.
The second heat features two of the main local hopes with SA Greyhound of the Year and National Distance Championship placegetter Kalden Mayhem for trainer Troy Murray up against Jessenia Bale for leading local kennel Shaun Matcott who is undefeated over the 731m at Angle Park after two easy victories. They will face strong competition from the Tina Womann trained Double Champ who looks a nice stayer in the making after winning at the Meadows two starts ago.
The final heat looks an interesting affair with New South Wales stayer Cousin Callum for trainer Ray Webster making the trip to the Festival State. He competed in the heats of the Group 1 Association Cup finishing fifth behind super star Miata and was reserve for last week’s final. He won four starts back at Wentworth Park over the staying trip and was invited to compete in the Group 2 Rookie Rebel back in February over the 600m at the Meadows. His main challengers will come from local Kalden Petroni for trainer Troy Murray who has the imposing record of 6 starts for 6 wins over the 731m at Angle Park and Victorian visitor Kiltanon Skye for trainer Martina Whelan who impressed with a solid heat and final victory at Sandown recently over the 715m.
Joint feature on Thursday night is the heats of the West End Anniversary Cup and what an outstanding line up of greyhounds we have with the best sprinters in South Australia up against a quality line up from across the border.
The first heat is race 4 on the program and see’s the undefeated in SA Koombooyana Girl for the Bosco Stamenkovic kennel making the step up to open company after 7 wins straight wins. She will be challenged by Interstaters Allen Hertz from the powerful Graeme Bate kennel who made last Octobers Group 1 Adelaide Cup final, Elmira Bale for Mark Delbridge who ran a nice placing here last week and Went Wooshka for trainer Tina Womann who won easily at the Meadows last start.
Heat 2 see’s the mouth watering clash of SA Sprint Champion Joken Kihael for trainer Petar Jovanovic matched up against Group 1 Top Gun winner Victorian Allen Harper for trainer Graeme Bate. Whilst both will dominate the market they will be challenged by locals Hannah McLaren drawn nicely out of the red, the inform Dancing Jay Lo shooting for 4 in a row and Where’s Pancho who has drawn perfectly out in box 7. Expect improvement from the Mark Delbridge trained Cailyn Bale who walked out of the Angle Park boxes last week and did a good job to run home in quick time. She has plenty of class and just needs some luck from the dreaded 5 box.
The third heat will see the book ends well in the market with the Graeme Bate trained David Bale drawing the red and Johnny Will for Petar Jovanovic drawing the pink. David Bale is no stranger to Angle Park running second in last years Adelaide Cup Consolation and had a solid victory at Bendigo last start while Johnny Will has been racing in career best form returning a sizzling 29.64 victory last week at headquarters stamping himself as one of the best chances for the series. Local favourite Goosebumps returns to the track after a couple of weeks off and with her brilliant finishing speed could provide the upset, however, throw in the likes of Head Turner, Kalden Anastasia, Carol Allen and veteran Random Test and the winner could be hard to find.
The final heat will be race 9 on the card and again there are many chances with outstanding greyhounds in each box. Leading the way looks to be the Graeme Bate trained Allen Lawson who has such an unbelievable finishing burst boxes don’t really matter when you can peel off low 29.60’s at Sandown. He has drawn box 7 and he could top off a big night for the Bate kennel if he can win. Justin Illman returns to SA with his handy greyhound Weekend Rush who looks to be getting back to his best after a couple of months off. He surprised last time he was in SA qualifying for the Group 1 Adelaide Cup back in October however he has had no favours in the box draw Thursday coming up with box 6 when he really needs the inside. Talented chaser Kalden Aurora for Troy Murray will be looking to repeat her heroics from October when she demolished a top line up in the Adelaide Cup Consolation running a brilliant 29.52. She went back to WA in January and had 6 starts before returning to SA and competing in a 388m event last Wednesday where she ran a handy second. With Group 1 finalist Crazy Heart, outstanding sprinter Point Two Over and the lightly raced Vanilla Gorilla in the line up this looks to be another classic contest.
With three heats of the Distance the first two placegetters and the fastest two third placegetters will progress through to the Group 3 Final on Thursday 19th April. The box draw will be conducted on course on Thursday night after the running of race 8.
With four heats of the Anniversary Cup the first two placegetters will progress through to the Group 3 Final on Thursday 19th April. The box draw will be conducted on course on Thursday night after the running of race 10.
Both the West End Distance Championship and West End Anniversary Cup carry total prizemoney of $36,000, with the winner to receive $25,000.
The fields for Thursday night’s Angle Park are here: West End Distance Championship and West End Anniversary Cup Heats.