Sandown Park’s race meeting on Thursday September 24 was a fantastic success with the inaugural running of the head to head Speed Star.
The Go The Blue Dog campaign also rolled into its final week with an incredible start to the 12 race Sandown Park program. The first four races were won by the greyhound sporting the blue rug, which saw $2,000 donated the Prostate Cancer Awareness Foundation within the first hour of the night, including Zipping Link (pictured).
The exciting ‘Speed Star’ concept was introduced as the fourth race of the night with four head to head match races set down for decision.
The final match race had the overall favourite for the series, Kayda Shae taking on one of the roughies in Armed And Ready. Kayda Shae needed to produce a run faster then 29.006 to steal the Speed Star from Smart Missile, but this mighty young sprinter was unable to do so as he accounted for Armed And Ready in 29.099.
Watch: A review of Sandown Park’s exciting new greyhound racing concept, the Speed Star.
The first two preludes of the TAB Melbourne Cup were also conducted, and it was Kel Greenough who dominated the show with Billo’s Pick winning the first in 29.34 after a moderate beginning (Replay), and Rivergum Drive, who showed tremendous field sense to salute in 29.61 from box six (Replay). Other highlights from the meeting included Absolute Power, who lived up to his name with a blistering 29.33 win in the grade five final for Jason Thompson (Replay).
The Meadows on Saturday began with a small field of stayers in the handicap and it was the rank outsider Trace Amount (10m), who caused an upset with an all the way win running 42.81 (Replay). General Soreness handled the outside trap perfectly in the maiden final with a smart performance after positioning up midfield mid race. The Brooke Ennis trained youngster gunned the leaders down on turning and speared away to a smart three length victory in exactly the same time as he won his heat (30.28) (Replay).
Gold was found when the treasure chest was opened in the fifth race of the night. The Restricted Win Final carried a staggering $29,000 to the winner if GOBIS qualified, and it was Mepunga Treasure who delivered the goods with a brilliant win from the outside of the track in 30.25. After beginning quickly, the Jeff Britton trained chaser had plenty of room to charge down the outside into the early lead and from there it was all over red rover! (Replay).
The Group 3 Top Cat Video Cup ended up a one act affair as Seeking Justice began swiftly from the three alley and quite simply never looked like being beaten. The Maxwell Auld prepared rising staying star proved way too good after a smart beginning and strength at the end to hold Lithgow Panther to 2.25 lengths in a speedy 42.61 (Replay).
As we work toward the end of the wrap, it’s now time to take a look at two non penalty meetings conducted over the past week, starting with the midweek Meadows meeting from Wednesday. The ten race card was filled with handy runs, but two very talented dogs at different stages of their careers caught my eye. After having plenty of time off due to injury it was great to see Dr. Don show what he’s capable of as he cruised home to an easy win in the fifth race, recording a smart 30.19 (Replay). The promising Banjo Bewdy was the other as she continued her winning ways here in Victoria with another fast victory in 30.13 leading all of the way from box eight (Replay).
Sandown Sunday was highlighted for mine by Zipping Meg. The former Sydneysider, who’s been in Melbourne a while now, showed what she is capable of as she flew out of the box with a 5.00 first section on the way her best of the day performance for new trainer Brooke Ennis (Replay).
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