There’s a certain charm about a three week series.
Most group races are run over two weeks where there is no margin for error – you win your heat or you go home. But in a three week series like the Launching Pad, one of the few three week series remaining on the group race calendar, the first four runners in each heat progress to week two. So while five of the eight favourites in the heats were beaten, eight of the 10 leading chances won through to the semi-finals.
While many favourites ran as expected (or at least, didn’t harm their chances in the series), a number of runners at big prices exceeded expectations. Or more specifically, exceeded the bookmakers expectations.
Here’s a look at five greyhounds who emerged from series outsiders to series contenders after impressing in their heats.
Sidelined for six months with a scapular injury, Gypsy Yankee (pictured above) showed he was in good order entering the series on the back of a smart 29.23 satisfactory trial. That was enough for plenty of punters to jump on – after opening $101, Gypsy Yankee firmed to $21 prior to the heats and is now $9 after defeating series favourite Silver Lake in an enthralling battle in their heat.
One of the last greyhounds nominated for the series, Fernando Mick was $101 despite a pair of impressive runs at The Meadows in the lead up. He showed a clean set of heels to lead all of the way in his heat and is now $15 after again drawing box 7 in his semi-final.
Probably not fair to call him an outsider heading into the series (he was the 12th shortest price on opening) but it’s hard to believe a greyhound that won his last start in 29.19 at Sandown would be such a price ahead of the heats. His 29.18 victory clearly the fastest of the night, and is now equal favourite for the final.
Was specked from $101 to $81 prior to his heat, but his second placing behind Aston Lavinia (beaten a length) caught the eye of the traders who slashed his odds to $21 after coming up with box 3 in his semi-final.
The winner of the Launching Pad qualifier, Destruction ran second to Shima Classic has now been placed in his last six starts. Trainer Robert Camilleri is adamant he has a 29.20 dog in his hands and that’s fast enough to win this series.
The winner and runner up of each semi final will progress to the $210,000 final on Thursday April 1st.
Click here for a wrap, replays and results from heats night.
Click here for the latest All-In market from TAB.
*Opening prices quoted are the original opening prices. Current prices stated are the opening price following the heats, unless otherwise stated
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