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He’s a good dog, but…

Studying form is an art as much as it is a science. And that means that sometimes – quite often in fact – opinions on certain dogs and certain races will differ.

Exhibit A: Kuro Kismet in tonight’s Launching Pad semi-final.

Kuro Kismet ran the fastest heat last week, a scorching 29.18 gallop which impressed the TAB traders enough to make him the $5.50 favourite to win the series. It was his third consecutive best of night win at Sandown Park (his previous wins were in 29.19 and 29.30) and has now been placed in each of his last 11 starts. However after drawing box 4 in his semi-final, GRV form expert The Watchdog didn’t include the son of Aston Dee Bee in his first four, much to the dismay of his trainer Matt Clark.

Speaking to Andrew Bensley on SEN Track, trainer Matt Clark explained the thrill Kuro Kismet has given him and first time owner Mel Mayle and his views on just how good the dog they call ‘Sox’ can be. But before signing off, Clark asked a favour.

“When you talk to the Watchdog later, ask him how he couldn’t find this dog in the first four tonight,” asked Clark.

“Just hang on a sec,” said Bensley.

And moments later the Watchdog was on the line explaining the thought process into why he left the series favourite out of his selections.

“When we did the form, Silver Lake was engaged in the race and drawn in box 5 (Silver Lake has since been scratched). The way I assessed the race was that there was too much speed in boxes 5, 6 and 7 and therefore Kuro Kismet, who was absolutely brilliant last week, he speared the lids in his last couple but prior to that wasn’t that reliable early. I was a bit concerned that from box 4 he might find a little bit of trouble and that he may give some really good dogs a head start. So I didn’t have him in the top four with Silver Lake in the race.”

Now that Silver Lake is out?

“I’d probably have him in there for maybe third spot. I still think the outside division holds the key, but I don’t think he’s going to get a clear run in the early stages.

“Last week he went 5.07 to the first marker and that’s the best he’s ever begun. He’s probably a 5.12-5.13 dog beginning at his normal rate which sees him strung up in a lot of traffic at that first bend. He’s going to need a lot of luck – had he drawn better he probably would have been top pick.”

While the Watchdog selects Shima Classic (7) to defeat Kuro Kismet, he still wished Clark well and hoped to see Kuro Kismet in the $210,000 final on April 1st.

“I hope the dog proves me wrong and qualifies for next week’s final, he really is a star greyhound.”

Do you agree with the Watchdog’s assessment, or will Matt Clark have the last laugh? Let us know what you think on Twitter @sandowndogs.

Kuro Kismet will jump in the third Launching Pad semi-final, race 7, at 8.34pm tonight.

Click here for your free Watchdog form guide.
Click here for the latest All-In market.

Matt Clark and the Watchdog discuss Kuro Kismet's chances in tonight's Launching Pad semi-final

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About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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