The first greyhound features of the Sky Racing Winter Carnival will be run and won this Thursday night at Albion Park with the finals of the Garrard’s Winter Chase (710m) and the Mick Byrne Memorial 5th Grade (520m).
Greyhounds qualified through last week’s heats and the finals will provide plenty of indications and intrigue heading towards the upcoming Group 1 events, the Gold Cup for stayers, and Winter Cup for sprinters.
The Winter Chase final looks to be a race in two after Bill Elson’s Cyndie’s Magic and Dave Richardson’s Sandave Sapphire both turned in impressive heat victories. Sandave Sapphire, a five time Wentworth Park winner over the staying journey, has come up as $1.85 favourite with UBET after drawing box two. The fast finishing Cyndie’s Magic has drawn on her immediate inside in the one box and is $2.30 second favourite.
The remainder of the field is headed by Richard Nelson’s Sarajevo Girl (Box 4) and Got A Brother (Box 7) for Peter Ruetschi who are $14 chances.
In the Mick Byrne Memorial, Reg Hazelgrove’s French Idol and Bill Elson’s Lauryn’s Best are likely to be well fancied on the strength of their fast heat wins last Thursday. Lauryn’s Best led all of the way in 29.94 and will be looking for another quick beginning from box seven tomorrow night.
French Idol has drawn widest of all in box eight, and should get a good run across with the speedy beginner on his inside. The son of Milldean Panther and Hazelgrove’s solid performer Wise Forecast powered to the line to record a 30.01 victory last week, and a repeat performance should see him prominent again.
Other heat winners, War Picture (Mark Wilkes, Box 5) and Back To Business (Wayne Thomson, Box 3) ran 30.11 and 30.21 last week respectively and have outside claims tomorrow night.
Also on the program, Sydney visitor Knight Sprite makes his Queensland debut for Gayle Masterson in the best eight.
The Gosford Cup and Richmond Derby winner is here in preparation for the Group 1 Winter Cup series next month, and looks a solid chance of opening his account north of the border in Race 7.
The first of ten on an action packed card kicks off at 6:49pm, with the features, the Winter Chase and Mick Byrne Memorial 5th grade to be run as races six and eight respectively.