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Sandown Thursday: Burning questions

Two of Australia’s most decorated greyhounds will be firmly in the spotlight tonight at Sandown Park.

TAUWITCHERE has taken all before her in recent months, winning her past five on end, and tonight she’ll face one of greyhound racing’s most testing challenges when she steps up over Sandown’s 715m staying trip for the first time.

There’ll also be plenty of expectation surrounding BLACK OPIUM this evening as Jason Thompson’s superstar looks to return to the winner’s list after four consecutive runs without victory.

Also on the radar tonight is FLECK, who blitzed her opposition by seven lengths at Shepparton last start and has big wraps on her as a stayer.

The first race at Sandown tonight kicks off at 6.07pm, and here’s what we can looking forward to learning tonight…

Q  Will FLECK (Race 4, 7.04pm) make a statement under the bright lights of Sandown Park?

Veteran trainer Joe Clarke has seen it all in his 79 years, but he is struggling to contain his excitement about FLECK, who he believes can develop into a top-line stayer. She has had just 14 starts to date for three wins, and her dominant 650m victory at Shepparton last start suggests that Clarke’s assessment could be right. The Watchdog describes FLECK as a ‘serious up-and-comer’, so could tonight be the unearthing of a smoky for next month’s Sandown Cup?


Q  Can TAUWITCHERE (Race 7, 8.10pm) overcome a rise in distance and stretch her winning streak to six?

While the 2019 Launching Pad winner has a recent 650m win at Sale to her credit, it will be fascinating to see whether her get-out-and-go tactics will be enough to hold off the likes of seasoned stayer ROCKSTAR BEAV and the powerful finishing burst of BANGA. Trainer Steve White is delighted that his star ‘has her spark back’, but whether she can continue her brilliant form over the longer 715m trip remains to be seen.


Q  Will BLACK OPIUM (Race 8, 8.28pm) return to her winning ways?

The three-time Group 1 runner-up is winless in her past four starts, albeit against outstanding opposition. Tonight she gets a chance to bounce back in a big way thanks to a drop in class, with The Watchdog listing her as a Quaddie banker. It will be interesting to see how she handles box one, a draw she has had nine times in her career for three wins (33%). Her winning strike rate from all other boxes is 51%.

WATCH: FLECK (1) runs her rivals ragged at Shepparton last start and steps up to the 715m for the first time tonight.

Watch every race LIVE and FREE from Sandown Park with The Watchdog App from 6.07pm.

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