Tasmania will determine its National Sprint representative on Monday night at Launceston. The race, which runs at 9:58pm, features multiple Group One winner Buckle Up Wes, who was also the fastest qualifier into the state final. Anthony Bullock has qualified two finalists and his best chance looks to be Hellyeah Bolt.
Here’s a look at each of the finalists:
Box 1 – Her Highness (Keith Nichols)
The 30kg black bitch by Bartrim Bale and Witch Fantasy (Premier Fantasy – Witch Magic) has been rather impressive in Tasmania. She has had 17 career starts for 10 wins. At Launceston she has had eight starts for five wins and three placings. She won her heat last week in 30.00 but has a best of 29.88 at the track. Her record from box one is sound and it’s the box she won from last week. She meets a class greyhound in Buckle Up Wes in this so it will be interesting to see how she measures up.
Box 2 – Classic Spence (Anthony Bullock)
A winner of just three from 16 at the track, this dog by Mandagery Man and Camdale Alex (Bombastic Shiraz – Camdale Smudge) will probably struggle to feature. He has a best time of 30.04 at the track and is yet to win from box two.
Box 3 – Buckle Up Wes (Edward Medhurst)
He is the star of Tasmanian racing and has proven himself against the best sprinters in the land this year, taking out the Group One Australian Cup. The Collision and Everlong Bale (Primo Uno – Shique Bale) dog has had 17 starts at Launceston for 12 wins and he has recorded a best time of 29.33. He won his heat from box five last week in 29.59 by over ten lengths. He is the one to beat.
Box 4 – Black Rip (Shane Whitney)
Black Rip is a dog with an almost perfect record at Launceston; he has won six of his seven races there. He also finished second in the Group Two Launceston Cup last year. The Goodesy and Richmond Fox (Hallucinate – Great Fox) dog won his heat in 30.28 last week, slightly off his best time of 29.96. His record from box four is good but he isn’t always the best away. He will be afforded no mistakes in this field.
Box 5 – Despicable Ben (Brendan Pursell)
This Westmead Hawk and Electron (Hallucinate – Little Fausta) dog has been very consistent in his short career. He has had 11 career starts for six wins and five placings. He has won two from four at Launceston. His best time of 29.84 was recorded at the track in late July. Last week, he did all the chasing behind Buckle Up Wes, finishing ten and a half lengths second. The draw has done him no favours.
Box 6 – Hellyeah Bolt (Anthony Bullock)
Hellyeah Bolt looks to be one of the biggest dangers to Buckle Up Wes although he could only manage third last week in his heat behind Her Highness. He ran second to Buckle Up Wes a month ago here at the track. Overall, he has won six from 11 at the track and has ran a personal best of 29.55. Although his form has been a little patchy over the last month, the Dyna Lachlan and Flash Diamond (Elite State – Chinatown Babe) dog is more than capable on his day.
Box 7 – Dominator Girl (Paul Hill)
Dominator Girl hasn’t won a race since May and she qualified for this race by running third to Buckle Up Wes last week. The High Earner and Bit Sweet (Solve The Puzzle -Chili Berger) bitch has won four from 11 at the track with a best of 29.81. She has never won from box seven so she will be at long odds to take this out.
Box 8 – Heliski (Michael Louth)
Heliski finished three lengths behind Her Highness last week from box six and moves even wider for the final this week. The Nitro Burst and Parsipanny (Collide – Mohar) dog has won just one race from the draw and his best first section is the slowest in the field so it looks unlikely that he will be able to cross the field. He has also won just three from 19 at the track with a best of 30.12. He will need to improve to be in the placings.
Both Little Miss Take (9) and Hello Benny (10) look to be up against it if they gain a start. Neither of the two chasers has a flash record at the track and they both have been in average form. Little Miss Take’s last win was in November last year and Hello Benny notched up his last win in May this year.