Señorita the sentimental favourite for SA Sprint Championship

EMERLEY Señorita (pictured) is the sentimental favourite to win this Thursday's South Australian Sprint Championship, with the ultra-consistent campaigner aiming to progress through to the Group 1 National final to be run at Wentworth Park on August 22.

Trained at Two Wells by Judi Hurley, the daughter of El Grand Señor and Emerley Charmer will be chasing win 19 at start 72 when she jumps from box five.

Currently rated a $12 chance with Bet365, the brindle speedster has been racing with mixed fortune in recent weeks, but bounced back to her brilliant best last Thursday when claiming her heat in a tidy 30.12.

“She has been a very good bitch for us,” Judi told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“She has won 18 races from 70-odd starts so she has been very consistent without being a real top class greyhound.”

Emerley Senorita has been a handy bitch from the get-go. After winning her maiden on debut in July 2013, the 24.8kg pocket rocket was entered in the heats of the just two starts later. 

Although finishing down the track behind eventual winner Kokoda Spirit and champion bitch , it marked the start of a superb career which has already stretched over two years.

Last year, Emerley Señorita was eligible for the 2014 Oaks series and, with more racing experience under her belt, qualified for the final where she finished a top third behind litter sisters Oakvale Destiny and Footluce Diva.

Now, however, Judi is hoping that “Bertha” will get her time to shine in the spotlight, although she concedes that her star sprinter faces a tough task ahead against some of the state's best such as Kalden Gambino, Alex's Entity, Wild Soul and Real Flash.

“Her first two sections are her best because she is the get out and go type of bitch – if they leave her alone in the first 50 or so metres then she can really run time,” Judi said.

“If she can reproduce her run from a little while ago where she ran 29.73 then she will be right in it, but it is a very tough final.

“There are a lot of very good dogs in the race – Kalden Gambino and Real Flash will be hard to beat – I think Real Flash will be suited to box eight as she will be able to avoid a lot of the traffic.

“But if Bertha can find the front then once she is in front then she is a very hard bitch to go past – when you can break 30 when leading then dogs always find it tough to run you down.”

Although box five is never desirable in a big final, Judi is optimistic about the draw.

“I would have liked to see her in box seven, that is her favourite box, but I am just happy that she isn't in the one or two because she doesn't like the other dogs coming down on top of her.

“I think she should get a bit of room to move early as the four and six can be slow out and I am pleased that she is on the first line as it gives her a bit more time to settle down in the boxes.”

A win would certainly boost the spirits of the Hurley camp, with Judi recently losing her husband Peter, a highly respected trainer, to cancer.

Married for over half a century, Judi is now assisted with the greyhounds by her daughter Kerri. 

“Kerri puts in a lot of hard work with the dogs and she has taken over the team that Peter used to look after which includes Bertha, so it would mean a lot to both of us to see her go well on Thursday night.”

It would also be a fitting tribute to her former mentor who devoted his life to his beloved greyhounds.

“Lung cancer is a terrible disease and it is hard for not only the person who has it but also for all of the people around them,” Judi said.

“The dogs got put on the back burner a little bit when Peter got sick- it was too hard to be focusing on them and running back and forth to and from the hospital.

“Peter absolutely loved his dogs – we even took Bertha into the hospital during his last few weeks… but he is in a better place now and I am sure he will help her out with a little bit of divine intervention.”

“It would be nice to make the final after everything that has happened and it would definitely make all of the hard work worth it.”

The is race eight at Angle Park this Thursday and will jump at 10:42pm AEST, with the winner progressing through to the Group 1 Championship.

Lets check out the form of each runner in the final, with comments from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s tipster, Brad Bugeja.

Box One – Kalden Gambino
Black Dog – 28.5kg – July 2011
x Abbadale Affair
Prize money: $77,005
Career: 76: 28-13-13
T/D: 44: 17-6-7
T/D Best: 29.64

“He has been a great chaser for quite some time now and he has a great chance of winning this race. He has won eight of 12 from this draw and he has been placed in another two of those runs. He has the benefit of a wide runner being drawn directly on his outside, so that should allow him to get plenty of room as they drive into the first corner. He is probably a couple of lengths off his absolute best but with a clear passage in running he can figure in the finish.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $5.50 with Bet365

Box Two – Young Gun McBain
Black Dog – 32.5kg – November 2012
Spring Gun x Flame Mcbain
Prize money: $49,420
Trainer: Vadim Roz
Career: 92: 24-25-13
T/D: 63: 16-18-9
T/D Best: $49,420

“Racing in sizzling form and is probably the State's premier sprinter at present. Last week he was the only chaser to break 30 seconds and he was able to lead from go to whoa, my only concern though is that he only went through the first marker in a steady 4.57. He is going to be well fancied again tonight but I wouldn't be rushing to take the short odds as I think he may get squeezed out at the first bend. Can win if he leads but I can't see that happening tonight.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $4.20 with Bet365

Box Three – Alex's Entity
Black and White Dog – 33.2kg – May 2012
Vee Man Vane x Girl Aloud
Prize money: $39,825
Trainer: Ben Rawlings
Career: 31: 13-6-4
T/D: 10: 4-3-1
T/D Best: 29.65

“Can be a little hit or miss early but he has a tremendous turn of foot and with a slow beginner on his outside he should get plenty of room to push through in the run to the first corner. He has won here previously in a sizzling 29.65 and if he can reproduce that type of effort he should be right in the mix, I'm expecting him to be around the $8 mark and I think he is a great bet at those odds.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $8.50 with Bet365

Box Four – Alderley Reform
Black Dog – 33.2kg – August 2012
Yahoo Omar x Bananarama
Prize money: $45,930
Trainer: Terrance Calahan
Career: 53: 23-11-5
T/D: 41: 21-8-2
T/D Best: 29.64

“Has won 21 races over this track and trip and he has been the state's best sprinter for a while, however his form has tapered off a little in recent weeks. His lack of early speed is a big concern tonight and with the even spread of speed in one and two, there is every chance that he will get shuffled right back as they negotiate the first corner. With a clear run he could definitely win but he just gives away too much of a start, place best.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $14 with Bet365

Box Five – Emerley Señorita
Brindle Bitch – 24.8kg – March 2012
El Grand Senor x Emerley Charmer
Prize money: $37,735
Trainer: Judi Hurley
Career: 71: 18-6-9
T/D: 60: 16-6-8
T/D Best: 29.73

“Returned to her best with a great 30.12 heat win last week and she is a genuine chance of going back to back. She is the most reliable beginner engaged in the final and she should be in front as they head for the back straight. She is a different chaser when on the and she is capable of getting down to the 29.70 – 29.80 mark and when out in front that is probably good enough to score. She is likely to be over the odds and she could be worth a saver bet.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $12 with Bet365

Box Six – Wild Soul
Black Dog – 34.4kg – November 2011
Mogambo x Velocity Thunder
Prize money: $72,240
Trainer: Kim Johnstone
Career: 69: 25-14-12
T/D: 51: 19-9-9
T/D Best: 29.77

“Won this event last year and he has been a great chaser throughout his career, however he appears to be a little off his game at present and he is likely to find the going tough. From the awkward draw he is likely to get shuffled back and he will be giving away too big of a head start.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $16 with Bet365

Box Seven – Margaret Keeping
Black Bitch – 29.9kg – September 2012
x Indigo Gem
Prize money: $25,085
Trainer: Petar Jovanovic
Career: 44: 9-13-5
T/D: 29: 8-8-2
T/D Best: 29.90

“Normally begins well and is very honest and last week she was far from disgraced when placed in her heat behind Emerley Senorita. Can win if she happened to find the early lead, however I can't see her crossing the three and five early so she will likely find the going tough.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $16 with Bet365

Box Eight – Real Flash
Blue Bitch – 27.7kg – January 2013
Vee Man Vane x Bonegilla Flash
Prize money: $51,220
Trainer: Troy Murray
Career: 14: 6-3-2
T/D: 9: 3-2-1
T/D Best: 29.49

“Easily the most talented and gifted chaser in the final and if she made the grand final she would have a genuine chance, however she has been a little disappointing in her past three starts. Prior to run of bad form she had captured the WA Oaks and she had also posted an eye popping 29.49 victory which was from this draw. She should get a nice cart across from the seven early tonight and if she is going to return to her best, tonight could be the night. She is my top pick in this event, however I do think there is betting value with the three and five.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $2.05 with Bet365

1st Reserve – It's Classified
Black Dog – 33.7kg – July 2013
x Abbadale Elle
Prize money: $5,260
Trainer: Troy Murray
Career: 6: 3-1-1
T/D: 5: 3-0-1
T/D Best: 29.53

“Star of the future and would have a genuine chance if he gained a start. Has won three of six to date and owns a breathtaking 29.53 PB here.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $5.50 with Bet365

2nd Reserve – Mobius
Brindle Bitch – 29.4kg – May 2012
Collision x Koombooyana Star
Prize money: $11,175
Trainer: Bozidar Stamenkovic
Career: 19: 7-2-5
T/D: 14: 5-2-3
T/D Best: 29.69

“Powerful chaser who is capable of unwinding a mammoth finish. Can't win if she gained a start, however she could sneak home into some minor money.”

Odds to win the SA Sprint Championship: $12 with Bet365

Top Four: 8 – 3 – 5 – 4

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