Plenty of group class racing took the Victorian greyhound racing spotlight over the past week and it’s now time to recap the highlights of the past 46 metro races.
THE MEADOWS WEDNESDAY (Dec 16): Once again the week began at the midweek Meadows and it was the Andrea Dailly trained pair Dyna Maddie and Snakebite Bale who attracted all the attention after they both broke 30.00sec for the 525m.
Dyna Maddie burst on to the scene with an explosive win on Ballarat Cup night and she backed it up by flying to a 29.99 win at The Meadows (Replay), whilst Snakebite Bale speared around the venue recording a superb 29.80 from box seven (Replay).
SANDOWN THURSDAY (Dec 17): Thursday night’s feature ’fillies’ race was won by the Kel Greenough trained Fantastic Skye, who in my opinion produced a career best performance with a dominant all the way win in 29.35. She claimed the $50,000 first prize and the connections were thrilled as they had sent her to Melbourne with the Laurels a main goal. Sweet Barbados and Alpha Nemisis filled the placings in the $72,500 Group 2 event (Replay).
Other highlights on the program were the impressive wins of Weblec Belle, who handled the rails better than I expected, recording a speedy 29.33 (Replay), and Cut Loose Max in 34.16 over the 595m (Replay).
But of course the brightest light shone on Australia’s greatest, Fernando Bale. The superstar seemed to begin only fairly, but his turn of acceleration to top speed was sensational. After taking control at the first bend he charged home to an easy 29.27 victory. As it turned out, this was the last time the immortal sprinter graced the racetrack after receiving a minor injury which made the decision of retirement a whole lot easier for connections. #FarewellFernando (Replay).
THE MEADOWS SATURDAY (Dec 19): The Meadows on Saturday was jam-packed with top class juveniles in the 11 heats of the Group 1 Silver Chief (525m). Here are the heat winners who really stood out to me…
It was hard to go past Mystery Ride as the run of the night though after he scorched to the back peg in 17.59, which set him up for a best of the night 29.77 victory over Moreira and Slick Ice. Incredibly, the top three across the line all broke the illustrious 30 second barrier.
After flying around the 715m just 10 days prior in 41.51, this talented stayer produced a controlled 42.18 victory over the handy long distance runner Beks.
It was great to see Shanlyn Lucy back in some top form as there’s no doubt she can mix it in top class (Replay).
WATCH: Fernando Bale (4) wins at Sandown in his final race before retiring to stud.