Greyhound racing put on a spectacular show over the past week as the fastest Australian greyhounds have converged on Melbourne for a red-hot Spring Carnival which kicked off with the $224,500 Group 1 Topgun (525m) and the inaugural $118,00 Group 2 Stayers Topgun (725m), both held at The Meadows on Saturday night.
Firstly we rewind our mind back to last Wednesday where the midweek Meadows meeting of twelve races took place. The six semi finals of the Group 2 TAB Great Chase had it all, a fast all the way win by Lee Brilliance in 29.86 (Replay) and a supremely strong victory to Uunlawful Entry in 30.12 after pushing wide early (Replay). Whilst one of the stars of the show Cutting Edge worked hard to remain unbeaten as he eventually pulled clear to a ten length win in 30.19 (Replay), for mine it was the surprise win of the Colin Dalton trained Arby who stole the limelight with a narrow win at the staggering price of $44.00 with TAB in the first semi final (Replay).
The Thursday night meeting from Sandown Park once again had the viewer watching in awe with some of the fastest greyhounds in the world tear around the metro venue.
“Sulzanti burst into Shootout contention with a devastating nine length win in the ninth prelude of the Melbourne Cup”
Able Chief landed the prize at the long odds of $17.10 in the second race of the night which was the fifth grade final over the middle distance of 595m. The striking white and black chaser was only slowly into stride but with a shade luck he found himself right on the speed in a challenging position down the back and from there he was able to speed on by to a 34.87 victory over Iona Muffin Top (Replay).
The third event saw the anticipated clash between Captivating and Zipping Chubbz and it was the latter of the two who completely dominated the event. Zipping Chubbz showed an incredible turn of foot heading down the back to speed past Captivating as he ripped away to a slick 29.38 win on a track that wasn’t playing fast (Replay).
Sulzanti burst into Shootout contention with a devastating nine length win in the ninth prelude of the Cup. The Brooke Ennis trained young sprinter showed what he is capable of, setting a flying 29.09 P.B from the inside trap (Replay).
The two stars of Victorian greyhound racing handled the spotlight to perfection winning the Topguns on Saturday night. Fernando Bale held off the gallant Kayda Shae (pictured above) in a controlled two dog war with Dyna Double One arriving late to claim third. The victory for Fernando Bale spiralled his career stakes to over $1,150,000 and also took him one race closer to a nearing retirement.
The sensational Sweet It Is found a way to win from a mile back in the inaugural Topgun for Stayers at Group 2 level. The mighty stayer mowed down Ada Mary in the last few strides to claim the $75,000 winners cheque and add another group race to her supreme tally.
The other of the highlights from Saturday included the impressive maiden final win of Veetee Swift in the second of the night running 30.05 (Replay) whilst the classiest win of the six Group 1 Hume Cup heats came from Xtreme Knocka, who quite simply knows how to win. The Jason Thompson trained chaser wore down Come On Fantasy, who came into the race with some terrific staying runs under her belt. The overall time clocked at 34.42 was among the best few of the night and given a shade of luck in running he should be competitive in the Group 1 final (Replay) on Monday.
The Sunday meeting from Sandown Park was highlighted by the sensational 41.71 staying performance of Sally Gardens in the fifth of the day. After showing terrific early pace, the field practically lost sight of this speedy chaser as she romped away to just short of a ten length victory in the electric time over the 715m.
The four GRV VBIS maiden heats will no doubt produce some outstanding talents, so stay tuned for the preview of the final in the upcoming weeks to see what I liked there! That wraps up the wrap on what was a top week of greyhound racing in Melbourne.
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