A typically chilly March evening greeted the punters and on-lookers at Sandown last night and it would be safe to say we got a fantastic night of racing. The night kicked off at approximately 7:07pm with race 1, the Kingston Trophies Final over 515 metres.
Most form guides around the country both online and otherwise had the pink dog Premier Boloney an almost un-backable favourite with the TAB giving punters fixed odds of $1.90 and rightly so as this R Bartolo trained beauty had run the quickest heat by a fair way.
Approximately 30 seconds later the number 4 Minami had collected the $4370 first prize at the whopping odds of $19.10, number 5 Indeed I Do and the number 3 Dyna Brownlow rounded out the places for a trifecta paying $1693. Race 1 as it typically does got the ball rolling at Sandown.
By the time race 2 had started the punters had backed both the number 1 Larabella and the number 5 Allen Hertz into $2.90 favouritism and for good reason, This grade five race wasn’t the most exciting we saw last night but it was just what the punters wanted, true to form! With Allen Hertz running out the winner and Larabella finishing third only the number 8 Sisco Diamond was able to come between them and even his place prospects were talked up before the meet which further exaggerates just how ‘lazy’ this race turned out to be.
Contrary to what race 2 taught us, we all know that the Dogs themselves don’t actually read the form guide. It was race 3 that reminded us of that rather obvious point. Local dog Dynamic View (box 3) ran over the top of Proven Puzzle to take out the race at $18.10 whilst a personal favourite of mine NSW native Avery Bale just pipped $2.30 favourite Gold Tiger to round out the places. There is nothing like a few grade 5 classics to get the heart pumping on a Thursday night!
Race 4 was the first of the evening to be run over the longer distance of 595 metres. This particular race was a beauty for the punters with good money left, right and centre. At $3.10 (1) Shimaguni was clear favourite to (4) Bandanna Pete at $4.60 and (3) Proven Mead at $4.80. It was the red dog Shimaguni who eventually ran out the winner, favourite for a good reason due to his reputation of having a fantastic motor. Number 6 Doyen Star and number & Miss Cherelle ran out the places for a $211 trifecta whilst the before mentioned Bandanna Pete finished fourth giving only the keenest of punters $1291 for the first four.
A combined grade 4/5 race met interested parties at approximately 8:28pm for race 5 over what some people would consider a sprint at a length of 515 metres. Again there was good money everywhere for this race with TAB tote odds having favourite and eventual victor (3) Arazi at $3.30, a very good run by this group 4 dog from QLD in only his 11th start. NSW dog (4) Manuel Bale continued his late form by running second while fellow group 5 starter Red Lesta got over his unfortunate early squeezing at The Meadows to run third and add $665 to his total career prize money.
Things were really starting to get exciting by the time race 6 rolled around dubbed a ‘special event’ over the cross country like length of 715 metres where just about all 8 dogs are a show. A quality dog and one in which this writer has won plenty of money off in (4) Jarvis Bale was a rather unfortunate scratching, opening the door for steady beginner (9) Sing Hallelujah. All those formalities aside it was the number 6 Allen Zander who defied most punters to come home strong and win the race at the rather tasty odds of $6.70 with $1.30 favourite (8) So Seductive running in second and in what was a rather exciting story at the time (7) Warralonga Amore ran in third after being quoted a remarkable $49.70 to win and $6.90 to place. However, due to the pink dog running second, the trifecta was paying a rather disappointing $112.60. But nevertheless race 6 was rather pulsating!
Race 7 was always going to be a bit of a proverbial canter and that was just for one dog! The number one in this grade 4/5 595 metre race No Justice was a $1.60 favourite for very good reason, blitzing the field quite comfortably to compliment his win at The Meadows the other night. Group 4 starter Shintaro Samurai ran in second at $1.90 for the place whilst country dog (8) State Of Power ran third in his 40th career start giving punters the reasonable odds of $68.50 for the trifecta. A rather lackluster race punting wise but a very high quality run by the red dog from NSW.
9:35pm gave us race number 8 and this free for all gave us a bit of a mixed bag with both (4) Le Fox and (6) Mercury Vapour scratched and with no dogs in reserve the field here was cut down to just 6. That was the negative but the positive more than made up for it with group three ‘New South Welshman’ (3) Hayder Bale running out a $7.80 winner, beating $2.60 favourite (2) Iso Octane rather comfortable in the end to take out the $5460 for running first. With the two scratchings there was obviously no third dividend making race 8 a bit of a flop from a punters point of view.
Another scratching for race number 9, this time number (3) Chloe Allen was unable to take her place allowing (9) Captain Fearon to hit the track at Sandown Park. Thursday March the 10th really was the night for the roughies with the number 2 Game Hunter overcoming adversity to beat his more fancied rivals and run out the winner at $10.80 whilst the equally as long (7) Magic Dasher and (8) Dollys Hand rounded out the places for race 9 with the trifecta paying a rather impressive $621.20. $2.80 favourite Special Colour was totally outclassed and was nowhere to be seen as the contenders crossed the finish line.
The night at Sandown Park was just starting to wind up and peter out to a slow annoying finish, but race 10 certainly sparked things up a bit. With a good draw the number 2 Keep Me Covered was always going to be a chance. Throughout the course of the evening the punters had backed this quality dog in from $9 and he re payed the faith, beating the more fancied (3) Zero’s Hero and (1) Jeddy Boy to claim this grade 5 race at odds of $6.30 whilst (6) Grandate improved dramatically from last weeks effort to finish in fourth.
The final race of the evening was yet another grade 5 run over 515 metres. After a dominant 30:00 Meadows win recently (7) In Hiding wasn’t a very surprising winner at what turned out be fantastic odds of $3.70. $2.50 favourite Kon Tiki was emphatically out run by most of the field including second place getter (6) Dream Chick and third (1) Limburg Gold.
In summation it was a fantastic night of greyhound racing at Sandown Park with a mixture of expected results and a couple of good old fashioned gob smackers! With the highlight of the night undoubtedly coming from the first race of the evening with Minami’s remarkable win in the Kingston Trophies Maiden Final.