Western Australia’s premier staying series, the Group 1 Sky Racing Galaxy, is set to begin on Saturday night, with four heats over 715 metres scheduled to boost an already amazing program. Blue Lorian was the 2011 champion after defeating a stellar field and this year’s version should be just as entertaining.
All eyes will be on the second heat, which will be race seven on the card, to see if local superstar Miata can race through to her first Group 1 final. She will wear yellow for the heat and with a vacant box on her outside, the Paul Stuart trained freak should be able to navigate the small six-dog field and set up a much anticipated final next weekend.
While it would seem only bad luck can stop the favourite, there will still be a second final spot up for grabs. Out of those looking to join Miata, or cause an upset, the former W.A greyhound Kalden Petroni will be the most likely, after showing very good staying form in South Australia. Being out of Abbadale Gold, Kalden Petroni is bred to stay and Troy Murray is no stranger to preparing his troops for feature events. Divine Nation is a NSW visitor that has moderate Wentworth Park form and will need to stay out of trouble from box eight in this event. The Parelli team has brought a nice cluster of greyhounds over from the east and Divine Nation is not without a hope of qualifying.
Before the Miata show gets under way however, the opening heat should be a keenly contested race between Echelon who is debuting at the track, Kalden Mayhem who started it’s racing career in W.A, and Adelle Bale who is part of the all-conquering Bartrim Bale litter. Echelon is the more accomplished of the trio, contesting multiple big race finals in the past twelve months, however the form of Kalden Mayhem has taken giant strides since leaving the state last year.
Jason Mackay’s Zipping Lad is the lone visitor in heat three, as the son of Bit Chili starts from box seven in a field of seven. There will be little value for Zipping Lad however, as its overall record of 21 wins from 36 starts is a bit more imposing than that of the opposition. Barney Stinson will exit the three alley and has the previous credentials to challenge for the second final spot, while Mortal Combat is consistent and will appreciate a rails draw.
The final heat doesn’t arrive until race ten on the huge twelve-event card. Shimaguni will dominate the market in this race, having won four of his past five, with a respectable defeat last start behind Miata. With a second look at the track, and no Miata in this race, it should be a comfortable victory for the Dailly runner. If there was to be a boilover however, Kalden Athena has shown before that she can stay the trip at Cannington, having has never missed a place around the longer journey in five starts.
With reduced field sizes in all heats, all the interest will be on next weeks’ final. Presuming that the unthinkable doesn’t happen, Miata should dazzle fans again and be there with the big names of Echelon, Zipping Lad and Shimaguni. Can she actually be toppled on home soil or can the pin-up girl keep the Galaxy riches in Perth?