Thursday sees the first top-class meeting of 2016 in Queensland with a ten event card at Albion Park with open, competitive races the order of proceedings.
The quality action kicks off in Race 1 with the Jim Gallaway-trained Sheza Sensation sure to attract plenty of attention. The regally bred daughter of Magic Sprite and Scissor Queen qualified fastest for the rich Lismore Maiden series in late December before bombing the start and finishing down the track in the final. Thursday marks her first race start beyond 420m, but the natural ability shown in her first race start should stand her in good stead. She takes on Velocity Mystic (Shane Ellis), who disappointed last week with a third placing as a short priced favourite on her first visit to Albion Park last Thursday. She is a likely improver on Thursday. The other principal contenders are Rusty Dillon’s Big Easy Red, who impressed with an all the way 30.22 win ten days ago when returning from a long spell, and Oreo Delicious for Patricia Carrington, who is undefeated in two starts.
Group 2 Gosford Gold Cup finalist Head Shy makes his third appearance at Albion Park after an honest fifth in a quality edition of the Gosford showpiece run on New Years’ Day. The son of Head Bound and Poppy’s Secret has yet to record a win at the Brisbane track, but is racing in career best form around the Northern Rivers of NSW and may break through north of the border from box three in Race Three. The ever consistent Shyan Yahoo (Peter Wilson) and Alpha Adonis (Selena Zammit) are likely to be the main opposition.
Another Northern Rivers’ trained greyhound, Norm The Storm, trained by Mathew Reid makes his 600m debut from box one in race eight, for 5th grade greyhounds. Last year’s Group 3 Gold Coast Cup winner has an imposing record of 10 wins from 20 starts over the sprint journeys, including two slick 29.77 520m wins back in August. His racing pattern suggests that 600m will be right up his alley, and if he can handle the rise in distance he is sure to feature in the finish. The race won’t be a walkover, with solid 600m performers Smashniak Gold (George Kadniak), Cheeky Chance (Ray Burman) and Marluca (Selena Zammit) all opposing.
The wide open ten race card at Albion Park commences at 6.43pm.