There’s nothing like a match race to stimulate the betting juices – and a ‘State of Origin’ one at that! These two-dog tussles invariably capture the imagination of greyhound racing aficionados and general sport’s fans alike.
It’s a ‘Sandown Showdown’, with New South Wales sensation Feral Franky (Box 1) versus Victorian star Sennachie (Box 3) in the Cup Night Speed Star (515m), which will be run after Race 3 (7.27pm) during tonight’s Melbourne Cup meeting.
Feral Franky and Sennachie set 29.247sec and 29.245 respectively to qualify for September’s Speed Star series. And on the night of the G3 Speed Star, Sennachie clocked 29.54, with Feral Franky registering 29.69 – a difference of around two and a half lengths.
As you can see, there’s hardly anything separating the pair, and it’s a similar scenario on the TAB Fixed Odds market with both Feral Franky and Sennachie at $1.90.
So, let’s get some insight from their trainers.
Nine-time group finalist
1st – G1 Vic Peters Classic
2nd – G1 Topgun; G1 National Derby
3rd – G1 Maturity Classic
Won 21 from 37: 57%
Sandown PB winning time: 29.08sec
3rd to JARO BALE in a Melbourne Cup heat
“If he brings his ‘A’ game, I think he’ll run Sennachie down. We all know he’s a backmarker, but he’s never let us down. He won’t be a pushover, that’s for sure. He’s pulled up well from his Melbourne Cup heat; he’s just got a great constitution. And he has such a competitive spirit; when you get him out on race night, he’s all business.” – Raymond Smith for Feral Franky
Eight-time group finalist
1st – G1 Maturity Classic; G1 Brisbane Cup; G2 Queensland Derby
2nd – G1 Silver Chief
3rd – G1 Adelaide Cup
Finalist G1 Topgun
Won 15 from 28: 54%
Sandown PB winning time: 29.42sec
4th to FLYNN in a Melbourne Cup heat
“They’re both really good dogs, and it’s going to be a great spectacle for those that haven’t seen match racing before. He trialled 29.13sec on the Sunday prior to his Melbourne Cup heat, which showed he was back on song after the Topgun. But he’s been a little flat after that, I’m not overly confident of him winning. He must lead and pinch a break on Feral Franky to win. You’ve got a speed dog and a strong dog; it’s simple math, Sennachie just has to lead.” – Steven White for Sennachie.
There’s more than just state pride at stake, with the match race winner receiving a $20,000 first prize and second collecting $5000.