BEWILDERING stamped himself as the greyhound to beat in next week’s Group 1 Harrison-Dawson final with a sensational heat victory at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
The black dog jumped well off box one, punching up along the fence to take the early lead. Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins, with the Seona Thompson-trained dog stretching out to score by three and a half lengths over boom youngster Jimmy Newob (box six) in 29.18.
The son of Black Magic Opal and Outlandish has now won seven of his 14 starts including his past five in succession. Amongst those runs was a strong win in the Group 2 Warrnambool Classic and a scintillating performance in the Group 3 Bill Collins Speed Star.
Bewildering’s kennel mate Invictus Rapid (box seven) ran third and will progress through to the decider as the second fastest third.
Also heading through to the final is Bruce Tycoon which put in a tradesman-like demonstration to win the opening heat of the night. The Rob Britton-prepared greyhound started from box one and was never headed throughout the event, recording a 29.50 triumph over track record holder Unlawful Entry (box seven).
Amazingly, both Bruce Tycoon and Unlawful Entry turn four years of age this year and were the most experienced greyhounds heading into the event with 97 and 69 starts respectively.
Bruce Tycoon has now won 30 races, 11 of which have been from box one, whilst Unlawful Entry has won 22 races with a further 26 minor placings.
Queenslander Bubble Guppy (box eight) rounded out the trifecta in third and has made the final, with favourite Aston Dee Bee (box five) never in contention after a tardy beginning.
The remaining heat went the way of the in form Black Mumbo for Keysborough trainer Anthony Karabitsakos.
The son of Stagger and My Path Princess, which posted the second fastest time in last week’s Speed Star series, bounded straight to the front from box two and was too classy for Igor Karkaroff in 29.41.