Tonight the group one spotlight will shine on Sandown Park with the nation’s best female greyhounds competing in the group one Sapphire Crown heats, however the boys will also have their time to shine with the running of the Harrison-Dawson heats over 515 metres, which despite being a group two event carries the same lucrative winners cheque of $100,000 as the Sapphire Crown Series.
HARRISON-DAWSON HEAT ONE- 8:28PM
Lining up from the checks in the first heat of this prestigious series is the recent Warrnambool Classic winner Premier Event for Anakie mentor Angela Langton. The stunning white and black chaser took out the event in ultra- impressive style and looks ideally boxed to continue that form tonight. As a winner of six races from eighteen starts, Premier Event looks has an impressive record at the track with two wins including a personal best of a slick 29.49 seconds he will be hard to hold out.
Daintree Emperor will also be lining up in heat one from box eight after running second to Premier Event in the Warrnambool Classic last start. The son of champion sire Bombastic Shiraz has been racing in fantastic form winning two of his last three starts whilst he has recorded eleven career victories all up with a fast time of 29.53 seconds at his one and only success at the metropolitan venue. Another thing working in this dogs favour is his ability to win from virtually any box with race triumphs occurring from box two through to box eight.
Jumping from box three is Graeme Bate’s promising youngster Xeno’s Bale who has been racing competitively against the top class dogs over recent starts. The winner of eleven races has clocked a smart 29.77 seconds over the track and distance and should be right in this race with a clean getaway.
The on-fire Jason Thompson kennel with be lining up the rising three year old Boris Fields from box seven. The white and blue son of Knocka Norris has been a fantastic performer for connections racing at the top level for the majority of his career earning a dazzling $130,000 in stakes money. Although his form has tapered off since claiming a heat of the Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park in a blistering 29.54 seconds, he is more than capable of bouncing back this week.
Surf Lorian sprinter Gold Town will also line up in heat one from box four, and whilst he has won ten from forty including scintillating victories Wentworth Park (29.49 seconds) and Sandown Park (29.48 seconds) he will need to run up to these performances tonight to threaten this speedy field.
HARRISON- DAWSON HEAT TWO- 8:52PM
It is hard to go past rails runner Ronan Izmir in the second heat, with the Elite State two year old dominating his rivals over the past few months. The black sprinter is 35 kilograms of sheer chasing power and tenacity winning seventeen from 30 overall including his last eight starts in succession highlighted at his last track appearance when blitzing a classy field to take out the Warrnambool Cup in a blazing 25.01 seconds. The Jason Thompson trained runner is also undefeated from the cherry in four starts. Definitely the one to beat.
Arch rival Peter Rocket will be seeking to end the winning streak of Ronan Izmir when jumping from box five. The Horsham Cup winner won the Group Two final in March and has since gone on to win at Wentworth Park in a red hot 29.52 seconds. The son of Where’s Pedro has not shown his spectacular abilities over recent runs when finding trouble but he is a talented pup who can make a turnaround if he jumps.
Darren McDonald also has a couple of flyers in the series with Take It All beginning wearing black in heat two. The classy performer is a winner of twelve races and has been racing against the likes of Spud Regis, Gold Town and Irma Bale recently just to name few. His best time of an exhilarating 29.12 seconds at Sandown should see him go close if he can overcome the wide draw from which he has won twice and been placed second once from three starts.
Andrea Daily’s Garrick Bale will line up from box eight and despite mixing his form lately, he is a fast customer so should not be ruled out. Bronelly Lad will face his acid test for mentor Kelly Bravo at just his tenth start after a nippy 29.44 seconds success over the 515 metre trip two starts ago.
HARRISON-DAWSON HEAT THREE- 9:35PM
The standout greyhound amongst a quality field in heat three is yellow rug runner General Destini who will be aiming for his twentieth career triumph tonight. The black chaser is from the exceptional Where’s Pedro x Greys Destiny litter which includes the likes of super stayer Destiny Fireball with General Destiny trying for back to back Harrison-Dawson features after taking out the group two event in 2012. Despite drawing poorly in the squeeze box if he gets room to move early he looks the winner.
Another runner from the Darren McDonald camp is the thrilling Surf Mail who has won six of his last seven starts in dominant fashion. Included in these victories was a slick 29.41 seconds early last month whilst he has been racing well over the middle distance the past few weeks. He will need to step well back in the company of some zippy sprinters, many of whom possess early pace, however if he is up there he will give the leaders a run for their money.
Box one runner Whispering Wind will be suited by his favourite box where he has won four races with three minor placings. The son of Collision is a good beginner who can run fast times and has been racing consistently.
Robert Britton’s Clone Your Own also has a good shot in the race with ten wins and five minors to his name after just seventeen starts. This will be a new challenge for the son of Droopy’s Marco however he was a last start winner at Sandown in a quick 29.49 seconds and with three wins and one minor from box six after four starts he looks as if he can handle the poor draw. He should also offer some value for punters outside of the better known headliners in the series.
HARRISON-DAWSON HEAT FOUR- 10:12PM
The fourth and final heat packs just as much punch as the first three qualifiers with group two Queensland Derby winner Hello Good Bye returning to Sandown after a successful campaign in his home state. Beginning from box four tonight the two and a half year old flying machine has a great shot at the race with a best time at the track in a thrilling 29.09 seconds in January.
It won’t be an easy assignment for Hello Good Bye with veteran sprinter Glen Gallon boxed on his outside in box five for Tony Brett. The red brindle son of Flying Stanley is approaching four years of age and has won an incredible 33 races including the group one 2011 Winter Cup and Brisbane Cup whilst he was runner-up in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, 2012 Silver Chief, 2012 National Sprint Championship, 2012 Brisbane Cup, and ran third in the 2012 Group 1 Temlee. With almost $500,000 in his bank account this performer is as genuine and honest as they come and should always be respected.
The other main hopes look to be Graeme Bate’s pair drawn beside each other in boxes one and two. Jumping from box one is the well-bred Nico Bale who has been running a few handy placings with a win at Warragul four starts back. Box one will suit and he should go well. Fully Advanced will jump from the checks and will be looking to repeat last weeks all the way triumph when defeating Irmy Bale in a slick 29.70 seconds. He is a fast beginner and has the pace to lead but will have to improve a few lengths to match the times of some of his competitors.
Racing kicks off at Sandown tonight at 7:07pm with each event on the twelve race card oozing with class offering a spectacular night of racing for greyhound enthusiasts.