The world’s richest greyhound race for stayers, the $250,000 RSN Sandown Cup, will headline a trio of Group 1 finals at Sandown Park on Thursday night, 24 May.
The Harrison Dawson for male sprinters and the Sapphire Crown for female sprinters, both worth $145,000, round out the Group 1 trio.
The 715m Sandown Cup is a test of speed, tenacity and stamina, and is generally regarded as the country’s premier greyhound race for stayers.
Some of the country’s best greyhounds competed in the heats of the Sandown Cup which were held last week, with the winners and second-place getters making up the final.
The four heat winners were Quick Jagger (42.10sec); Tornado Tears (41.30sec – Best of Night); Dyna Chancer (41.67sec) & Benali (41.89sec)
The four second place getters were Zipping Nitro (42.12sec); Rippin Sam (41.70sec); Moment To Jive (41.93sec) & Royal Intention (42.12sec)
Lara trainer Robert Britton has four greyhounds running in the Sandown Cup – Tornado Tears, Rippin’ Sam, Benali and Quick Jagger. He won last year with the champion Fanta Bale, who retired from racing this year as the all-time highest prize-money winner. Britton’s father, Allan, also won with Tonight’s Wish in 1997.
Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam are two of the most exciting young stayers in Australia. Tornado Tears defeated his litter brother and kennelmate Rippin’ Sam in their Sandown Cup heat, recording the fastest qualifying time by six lengths.
Female greyhounds have won the past six Sandown Cups, but the WA greyhound, Moment to Jive, is the only female to make it through to this year’s final.
Four heats of the Sapphire Crown and Harrison-Dawson were also run last week with the winners and the second-place getters making up the Group One field.
The four heat winners of the Sapphire Crown were Dyna Patty (29.34sec); Go Seek Heidi (29.84sec); Elevated (29.42sec) & Come On Emmaline (26.70sec). The four second place getters were Wynburn Cutie (29.40sec); Envy Heist (29.84sec); Miss Splendamiro (29.50sec) & Ocean View (29.82sec).
The heat winners of the Harrison-Dawson were: Not Available (29.25sec); My Redeemer (29.37sec); Hecton Bale (29.52sec); Hasten Slowly (29.48sec). The four second place getters were Bernardo (29.54sec); Alpha Georgiou (29.45sec); Zipping Captain (29.56sec); Shadale (29.54sec)
Thursday is the culmination of three big weeks in greyhound racing at Sandown Park, beginning with the Speed Star competition which is one night of one-on-one, head-to-head racing.
More than $900,000 in prize money is spread across the three-week carnival.