Ima Geisha Girl set the fastest time of the night, leading all the way to stop the clock in 29.50. The Lismore Cup winner finished 3.25 lengths to the good of Xylia Allen to reward those who took the $1.40 on offer. Miss Mozoltov ($5.90) proved better value of his two runners however, also leading all the way to break her Sandown Park maiden and win her heat in 29.72.
Robert Britton also put the finish on two heat winners, winning the first and last heats with litter sisters Born On Lava and Born Ali.
Born On Lava ($5.40) prevailed in an incident marred race, winning her second race at Sandown Park in five days and fourth from just six starts overall in 30.07. Born Ali ($2.50) began her career two months older than her sister and was six lengths quicker in winning in 29.70.
Master trainer Graeme Bate’s Purcell Bale ($9.50) caused the upset of the heats and broke the first split record on her way to a quarter of a length win. At just her fourth career start, the half sister to elite sprinters Barcia Bale and Desalle Bale stopped the clock in a stunning 4.92 at the first mark, and proved strong at the end to win in 29.64.
Western Australian sprinter Flying Sienna was the only interstate greyhound to salute in the heats, taking full advantage of box 1 to win in 30.24. Though bred in Victoria, Flying Sienna (pictured with Kelly Bravo) has spent her entire racing career in the West, and is the first greyhound trainer Corey White has campaigned interstate.
Michael Carter’s recent good run continued when Lilly Lane won in 29.82, while Darren Brown’s Anathema over came box 6 to win her heat in 29.88.
The first four place getters from each of tonight’s heat will progress to next week’s semi finals, with the winner and runner up of each semi final progressing to the $72,500 Group 2 final on Thursday 27 December.
First run in 1963, the Macro Meats Laurels is Victoria’s richest age-restricted race for female greyhounds, with many of those competing in the series going to have a significant impact on both the racing and breeding scene.