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Playlist to inflict Wentworth Park ‘Payne’

Anthony Azzopardi is taking star kennel newcomer Playlist back to the scene of his greatest triumph in Saturday night’s heats of the Group 3 Bob Payne Sprint (520m) in Sydney.

Last July, when trained by Matt Clark, Playlist won the G1 Vic Peters Classic, upstaging an all-star field that featured his multiple Group-winning litter brother Catch The Thief, Tommy Shelby and Houdini Boy.

Playlist was recently transferred to Azzopardi and has had two starts for the champion ex-NSW mentor, winning first-up at The Meadows in a fast 29.82sec and then running second to kennelmate Rebel Riot in fast time at Sandown Park last Sunday.

Azzopardi has seen enough to head to Wentworth Park for the Bob Payne, where Playlist is marked at $5.50 from box four in the first of three heats.

“He’s still got a bit left in the tank I feel,” Azzopardi said.

“Box eight probably beat him last start and Rebel Riot is no slouch either.

“He’s been to Wentworth Park before so it was a good opportunity to take him back up there.

“Box four isn’t a bad box at Wentworth Park and if he can be sitting one, two or three on the first corner I give him a good chance. He’d be the best chance of the three dogs I’m taking up on Saturday.

“He’d been running over middle distances before I got him and we’ll build him up to that again. We’ll keep him over ‘500’ for a while and see where he takes us but he’s a little bit below the top tier of sprinters – he’s not as good as his brother (Catch The Thief).

“But he’s a Group 1 winner himself and he’s a beautiful dog to train. He’s a real gentle dog; I love him.”

Azzopardi also has the in-form Aston Titan, winner of five of his last seven, drawn in box one, from where he’s won four from six, in heat two, very much in commission at $3.50.

He also has a hand in the G3 Ladies Bracelet heats, with How Not Too (Box 2) at $6.50 in the third of four run-offs.

“Aston Titan is in career best form,” Azzopardi said.

“He’s put it all together, which I’m very pleased to see because he’s a really nice dog too.

“Normally box one would be perfect for him but Wentworth Park scares me a bit and it’s a tough race too.

“I think the ‘pink’ (Jungle Deuce) is a special dog and I’m not really expecting to beat him, and Zulu Warlord loves Wentworth Park.

“How Not Too is a very fast animal – she should be a Group-class bitch – but you never know with her.

“There’s speed in one, three and four but if she can get onto the fence and stick to her guns she can run over the top of them. She’s very strong and very fast.”

WATCH: Playlist (8) proves a ‘hit’ first-up for new trainer Anthony Azzopardi with a 29.82sec (Best) win at The Meadows.

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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