Victorian greyhound racing’s first Group 1 of the 2021 calendar year – the $142,750 Feikuai Greyhounds Silver Chief Classic Final (525m) – will take place at The Meadows on Saturday night at 8.31pm.
The $100,000 to-the-winner Silver Chief is an age-restricted classic open to male greyhounds only.
Eight heats were conducted last Saturday, with Earn The Answers posting the fastest time of the night in 29.62sec.
Saturday’s final is an extremely open betting race, with Earn The Answers ($5.50) fourth in the TAB fixed odds market behind Lakeview Walter ($3.20), Equalizer ($3.50) & Papi Go Fast ($4.20) two days out from the race.
Lakeview Walter will also go in as sentimental favourite as he is the first group finalist for trainer Monique Whelan and her young family, who are based in the Gippsland town of Metung and whom live and breathe greyhound racing.
How to follow Saturday night’s Silver Chief action:
– Watch every race LIVE and FREE on The Watchdog app or watchdog.grv.org.au.
– Sky Racing broadcast with Jason Adams live on course.
– Radio coverage with RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM) & SEN Track (1593 AM).
– Comprehensive social media coverage with @TheMeadowsDogs featuring Jason Bonnington & Nick Quinn.
– Exclusive Twitter coverage with @WatchDogRacing.
The second fastest heat winner in 29.67sec, Lakeview Walter is the youngest greyhound in the final at just 20 months of age, and he’s also the least experienced with just six starts (four wins) to his name.
The Rob Camilleri-trained Papi Go Fast, named after Ryan Papenhuyzen of the Melbourne Storm, boasts 14 wins from 20 starts and has been well supported by punters since drawing Box 1.
Papenhuyzen, a registered greyhound owner, was judged best afield in the 2020 NRL Grand Final.
Jason Thompson has two runners in the final – Aussie Secret and Equaliser. Remarkably, Thompson has won the Silver Chief five times dating back to 1994 (Light Of Fire), while wife Seona won in 2018 with Out Of Range.
No other trainer involved in the final has won the Silver Chief before.
Anakie couple Angela Langton and Jeff Britton have three runners between them including Mepunga Felix, who if successful will make it a hat-trick of Silver Chief victories for champion sire Barcia Bale.
First run in 1964, the Silver Chief is a proven platform to superstardom, particularly in recent years with the past four winners going on to taste further success at Group 1 level.
Heat winners (fastest to slowest):
29.62sec Earn The Answers
29.67sec Lakeview Walter
29.69sec Mepunga Felix
29.83sec Papi Go Fast
29.86sec Aussie Secret
30.03sec Tyler Durden
WATCH: SIMON TOLD HELEN (4) beats a star-studded line-up in the 2019 Silver Chief Final including TIGGERLONG TONK (6), WHO TOLD STEVIE (3), HARD STYLE RICO (2), SHIMA SHINE (8) & CHRISTO BALE (5).
Recent Silver Chief winners and their Group 1s:
2017 Lightning Frank (G1 Silver Chief / G1 Temlee)
2018 Out Of Range (G1 Silver Chief / G1 National Derby)
2019 Barooga Brett (G1 Silver Chief / G1 Temlee)
2020 Simon Told Helen (G1 Silver Chief / G1 Perth Cup / G1 Harrison-Dawson / G1 Maturity Classic)