The 520m Australia Day Trophy is the feature race on Thursday night’s ten race card at Albion Park. The Best 8 race has attracted an interesting mix of greyhounds in form, some attempting to return to form and a couple returning to the 520m.
Spring Dream for Glenn Smith is perhaps the greyhound to beat from Box Three. The daughter of Spring Gun and Teenage Dream has been in terrific form of late, recording three wins in her past five starts, including 29.97 and 30.05 wins at Albion Park. If she can continue to improve and put herself in the race like she has recently, she’ll be in the finish.
Errol Kleinhans’ Magic Maiden looks the main danger from Box One. She has a best time over the journey of 29.85 but has been campaigning over the 600m journey of late, recording a win in the Middle Distance Challenge earlier this month and a respectable fourth placing in last week’s Clem Jones Cup, finding the lead early in the race before being passed by the ultra-impressive Norm The Storm.
Whereas Magic Maiden drops in distance, Sheba’s Diva for Michelle Shambler rises in distance from a 395m victory on Sunday where she became the first greyhound to defeat Frank Hancock’s rising star Anja in fourteen starts. Despite two solid Wentworth Park 520m wins late last year, she has Box 5 which is a major obstacle.
Annie Benz (Bev Beesley, Box 2) has her second run after a break after a respectable 395m return behind 2015 Brisbane Greyhound of the Year, Don’t Go Quietly last Wednesday.
Northern Rivers-trained greyhounds Elusive Desire (Col Graham, Box 4) and Mincin’ Machine (Pat Lavis, Box 8) will both be attempting to find their past form having been out of sorts in recent months. They have Albion Park bests of 29.81 and 29.79 respectively and runs of anywhere near that quality would see them winning this event.
The field is rounded by the Tony Apap-trained pair of Pikelet and Swap Ya who will start from Boxes 6 and 7.
In Race 1, Thursday Wish for Terence Jordan will look to make it three wins from three starts after 30.84 and 30.69 wins at Ipswich. A daughter of Magic Sprite and former smart stayer Mrs. Thursday, she appears to have a bright future on both pedigree and racetrack ability.
Last week’s Clem Jones Cup winner Norm The Storm will continue his charge towards next week’s Group 3 Queensland Cup with a run in the 600m 5th grade, race six. He flew around the 600m last week in 34.69 and looks hardest to beat. His main rival will be the Peter Wilson trained Velocity Shirl who recorded an identical time of 34.69 in her last start win.
Racing at Albion Park Thursday night kicks off with the first of ten events at 6:40pm.