In a strong showing, The Meadows will host five sprint heats of the Victorian leg of the Nationals.
The winners and three fastest seconds will make the final to be conducted the following Saturday at The Meadows.
Heat One – Race 4 at 8:20pm
There’s plenty of strength in this race so it should make for an interesting finish. If Group race winner Awesome Project (4) can overcome the draw and be near the lead he looks the one to beat. The Darren McDonald trained dog by Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) has won one from three at The Meadows and has a best of 29.92. He is a last start winner at Sandown in a best of night 29.38.
Dream It (1) and Great Spartacus (3) have both started over the middle distance trip at Sandown in the last month and have just dropped back to the sprint trip. Each is well performed at The Meadows but Dream It looks to have the better draw. Great Spartacus is yet to win from box three and has a better record from a wider draw.
Crackerjack Dak (2) is drawn between Dream It and Great Spartacus and can show some speed when he wants. He has four wins at The Meadows but finished last in his last start here from box seven. The move closer to the fence should help.
El Grand Seal (8) is having her first start at The Meadows. The El Grand Senor and Sealin’ The Deal (Talk’s Cheap -Trusta Rush) bitch has won nine from 15 career starts and has been racing well at Ballarat and Healesville. This is a big step up for her and she will need to do everything right from the wide draw.
Of the others, Peloton Bale (7) is a consistent chaser with six wins at The Meadows. His best is 29.83 but he is yet to win from box seven. Prue Bale (6) is out of form. She has run just one placing in her last eight starts and had her last win back in April this year.
Heat Two – Race 5 at 8:40pm
Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow (8) has had just the six starts at The Meadows for three wins and three placings. He has recorded a flying 29.58 wearing the pink rug so the form is on the board for him in this race.
Marcus Joe (6) shows his best at The Meadows. The 2013 Group One Maturity winner has won seven at the track with a best of 29.66. He has won four of his last eight but will have to overcome the poor draw to factor.
Humphrey Bale (1) performed well in the recent Maturity series, finishing third in the final. He won from this box two starts back in 30.19 and is a solid each-way chance.
Crawf’s Bread (5) has the early pace to lead and put himself in the race. He has won three of his last four races (all around Sandown) and comes to The Meadows with five wins from 17 starts at the track. His best is 30.03.
Blurred Lines (2), Grand Faith (3), Allen Malik (4) and Wise Ella (7) will all need luck based on their current form.
Heat Three – Race 7 at 9:20pm
Musquin Bale (6) has made a number of Group finals and has a great record from box six (four wins). The Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale (Hallucinate – Gold Rush Bale) dog has four wins at The Meadows for a best of 29.90.
Mepunga Moss (1) has drawn her box and has been good around The Meadows, winning three from five. She ran her best time of 30.34 back in October last year. She will need to be at her very best to take this out.
Dyna Beth (8) ran second in last year’s Melbourne Cup but hasn’t really gone on with it in other a Group races. She has recorded six wins at The Meadows from 19 starts and gone 30.15. Her form coming into this is patchy with her last win recorded four starts back.
Sisco Rage (7) was a recent finalist in the Maturity, running fifth to Mepunga Hayley. He is a run on dog that needs plenty of room early. The draw hasn’t helped his chances.
The other runners in the race are Tyronimo (2), Nockabout Aussie (3), Grand Legacy (4) and Superstar Magic (5). All have won at The Meadows with Nockabout Aussie having the best time of 29.83. Grand Legacy was a recent finalist in the Maturity, finishing last. Prior to that, he had won his semi-final in 30.17.
Heat Four – Race 9 at 10:05pm
Gimme Fuel (2) loves box two and has been competing well amongst this class of dogs. The only query is his last three starts, where he has run unplaced. Prior to that, he had been in the placings consistently. He has three wins at The Meadows for a best time of 29.92.
Group race winner Hawk Alone (8) has won two from a wide box but its always touch and go when he is drawn wide as he doesn’t have the early pace to cross the field. He has four wins at The Meadows and his recent form has been good. He may be helped by the greyhound in box seven. Spring Leaf (7) can show early pace when she wants. She failed in the recent semi-finals of the Maturity after a bad getaway but before that, won in 30.10. Her best is 30.01 and in her short career she has won six from nine at The Meadows.
Mepunga Fearon (1) is boxed well and has never been unplaced wearing the red rug. He is a last start winner in 30.08 so should be in the firing line.
Buckle Up Mason (6) has raced at The Meadows in 31 of his career starts and has won 12 of those. He isn’t ideally drawn but has gone 29.74 so if he gets a clean run he may take some catching.
Of the others, Amadeus Strikes (3) has been racing and winning at Mt Gambier. Rob Britton will be hoping it gives the Bombastic Shiraz and Forgetful Lucy (Larkhill Jo – Sensation Lee) bitch some much needed confidence. She will need to do everything right to win. Cosmic Wise (4) is a last start winner over the 600 metre trip at The Meadows. She has gone 29.94 over the sprint distance here back in April. The draw works against her. Lastly, Athos (5) is facing a tough ask as he is rising in class and has just the two wins at the track for a best of 30.28.
Heat Five – Race 10 at 10:25pm
Innocent Til (2) is very talented but is always unlucky with box draws. However, he has been lucky and drawn the stripes for this heat so he is drawn to do his best. He has five wins at The Meadows and has stopped the clock at 29.79.
Seasoned Group race performer Ollie Bale (5) looks one of the main challengers. He has gone 29.84 at the track and notched up four wins from 13 attempts.
Campaspe Will (1) has struggled with his form since early May and hasn’t won since early April. The return to a decent box may see him bring out his best.
Beckenbauer’s (7) statistics indicate he is capable of running a place. He only has two wins from 14 at The Meadows but has been placed second on eight other occasions. He has a best of 30.26 and has won from box seven.
Zipping Snoopy (4) won a heat of the Maturity in 30.11 from box two here at the track a fortnight ago but then failed in the semi-finals. He recently made the final of the Bendigo Cup, finishing seventh to Warrior King. It all depends what happens at box-rise as to whether the Mantra Lad and Cho Chang (Whisky Assassin – Pacific Style) dog will feature.
Woodnear (3), Dyna Geldof (6) and Mepunga Armagh (8) were all unplaced in each of their last respective starts. They look to need a little bit of luck to come up trumps.