Crudeli has two chances in the feature, with youngsters Bundles Galore (Dyna Nalin x Saving Bundles Jul ’15) and Black Bombshell (Barcia Bale x Tearsabout Tears Aug ’15) qualifying for the final when running second in their respective heats last week.
Bundles Galore, a winner of five from 16, finished 11 lengths behind Mepunga Blazer (Barcia Bale x Mepunga Nicky Jun ’15) in his heat, with the winner clocking a breathtaking 29.25 for Victorian trainer Jeff Britton.
Despite being beaten by a big space, Crudeli was happy with his greyhound’s effort at what was just his second look at the Adelaide venue and second start at a racetrack away from Cannington.
“Mepunga Blazer got a beautiful run around the outside without getting touched and Bundles Galore got held up a bit,” Crudeli told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“He isn’t the same class as Mepunga Blazer, but he holds his own and he tries his little heart out every week.
“He is still learning what its all about and I think he is going to improve, but that will come with more racing and experience.”
Later in the night kennelmate Black Bombshell stepped out and put in a massive performance, leading most of the way before being pipped on the post by star Queenslander Maurice Minor (Cosmic Rumble x Shabeky Jun ’15).
Although beaten, Black Bombshell still managed to record a fast 29.65 – making him the third fastest qualifier for the $25,000 to the winner race.
“It was a huge run – he improved off his trial by a long way,” Crudeli said.
“His first two sections in his heat weren’t far off Mepunga Blazer and I have quite an opinion of him – he is a pretty handy dog and I think he will benefit from that run last week.
“You have got to get out in front in these types of races and one thing he has going for him is that he has good early speed.”
Bundles Galore will start from box one in the final while Black Bombshell is also well drawn in the three.
Mepunga Blazer remains the greyhound to beat out in box seven, but has drawn in between fellow heat winners Maurice Minor (box six) and Mr Pupparazzi (Djays Octane x Pie Thief Sep ’15) in box eight.
Britton has three finalists all up with Mepunga Tycoon, a litter brother to Mepunga Blazer, drawing box four, and Alpha Aion (Magic Sprite x Queen Of Cyprus Jul ’15) set to exit box five.
The field is rounded out by Dyna Elvio (Kiowa Mon Manny x Prue Bale Jun ’15) which gains a start in the final following the scratching of Chris Halse’s Vanderworp (Kelsos Fusileer x High Recall Oct ’15).
Crudeli rates Black Bombshell as the pick of his pair and is quietly confident both greyhounds can run well.
“Mepunga Blazer is the class dog of the field, but he is drawn beside a couple of handy dogs this week so if he gets a few bumps anything can happen.
“I think Black Bombshell is my best chance if he can get out well – I’m hoping he can lead and if Bundles Galore can push up along the fence he can hold a spot and run a nice race and hopefully make it harder for some of the others coming from behind.
Crudeli, who has won the last two editions of the WA Derby, says if both can perform well on Thursday night he will consider travelling across the country in order to chase some of the big feature races.
“We took them over for a bit of experience with travelling and competing interstate so hopefully we can pull it off.
“We are using this trip to judge how they perform against some of the better dogs and they have mixed it well with them so far.
“We’ll see how they go in the final but they look like they are going to measure up to do a bit of travelling with them from now on.”
The Group 3 SA Derby is race eight at Angle Park on Thursday night and is set to jump at 9.43pm.