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Fast… Faster… Fastest!

The G3 Speed Star series is head-to-head racing – over 515m, 595m and 715m – at its exhilarating best!

Sandown GRC racing and media manager Michael Floyd says tomorrow’s Speed Star events – each comprising four two-dog match races – are “designed to be disruptive from normal racing”.

“The intent is to find the fastest dog so normal form analysis really isn’t relevant – it’s all about outright speed and overall times,” he said. “The format gets a lot of younger and non-greyhound fans, it’s a fun event!

“This is one of our highest engaging and most keenly anticipated events of the year, and a chance to get excited about our sport’s premier athletes.”

Greyhounds qualified for this year’s series by times run at Sandown Park between Monday, February 1 and Thursday, May 27 inclusive. Qualification trials were also staged on Sunday, May 9; Sunday, May 16; and Sunday, May 23.

Prizemoney for each event consists of a total of $35,000. Match winners – $5,000 and Finishing order determined by the overall times: 1st – $10,000; 2nd – $3,500; 3rd – $1,500.

So, who will be the ‘fastest of the fast’?

Here are some ‘fast stats’, as we preview the sprint edition.

WATCH: Potential megastar Aston Rupee became the fastest qualifier for the G3 Bill Collins Speed Star with an unadulterated 28.927sec speed exhibition in a trial on May 23.

BILL COLLINS SPEED STAR (MATCHES 1-4) – 515m

Match 1 (7.52pm)

KURO KISMET (Trainer: Matthew Clark, Briagolong)
Qualifying time: 29.184sec
Sandown 515m – 9 Starts: 5-3-1
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.19sec, 29.30, 29.41, 30.10
Fastest first split: 5.07sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.20     FF – $11.00

WELL GROUNDED (Trainer: Angela Langton, Anakie)
Qualifying time: 29.231sec
Sandown 515m – 14 Starts: 4-3-2
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.64sec, 29.65, 29.82
Fastest first split: 5.10sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $4.40     FF – $51.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: Well Grounded has been racing well at elite level of late, however he will have his work cut out in this match up. Kuro Kismet is one of the best in the business, and with this format he should get plenty of room to balance up soon after box rise, and he will be able to give the ‘red’ runner windburn as they head into the bend.

Kuro Kismet By 3 lengths in 29.20sec

Match 2 (8.02pm)

RICCARTON RICK (Trainer: Robert Redenbach, Cranbourne)
Qualifying time: 29.268sec
Sandown 515m – 16 Starts: 7-2-2
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.36sec, 29.40, 29.48, 29.59, 29.98, 30.26
Fastest first split: 5.07sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $5.00     FF – $51.00

EQUALIZER (Trainer: Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
Qualifying time: 29.184sec
Sandown 515m – 8 Starts: 1-2-1
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.61sec
Fastest first split: 5.17sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.18     FF – $6.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: Riccarton Rick is all class and an immensely powerful chaser; however he is likely to set the table for Equalizer to carve out a blistering time. ‘Denzel’ has gone into beast mode when he sees some daylight in recent weeks and with ‘Rick’ expected to set a nice pace, he should be able to tack on as they head to the back straight and he will really get into his work as they pass the second marker. The only way he loses this matchup is if he refuses to leave the fence and the gap closes mid race.

Equalizer by 2 lengths in 29.10sec

Match 3 (8.12pm)

TIGGERLONG TONK (Trainer: Correy Grenfell, Anakie)

Qualifying time: 29.100sec
Sandown 515m – 27 Starts: 12-6-2
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.03sec, 29.12, 29.14, 29.16, 29.23, 29.26, 29.32, 29.36, 29.38, 29.77, 29.99
Fastest first split: 5.00sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.18     FF – $3.60

HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE (Trainer: Craig Treherne, Lara)
Qualifying time: 29.159sec
Sandown 515m – 6 Starts: 2-0-0
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.24sec
Fastest first split: 5.12sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $4.80     FF – $11.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: Highly Explosive is probably the more gifted of the two runners but it takes a brave punter to take on ‘Tonk’, as he continues to get the job done when it counts. With the ability to hit the first marker in around 5 flat, he should assume control easily and set up a nice break in the middle stages. Highly Explosive comes into this with two extremely fast wins around this circuit, however she takes on the Shootout champ and its hard to reel in chasers the calibre of Tiggerlong Tonk.

Tiggerlong Tonk by 2 lengths in 29.15sec

Match 4 (8.22pm)

ASTON FASTNET (Trainer: Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
Qualifying time: 29.114sec
Sandown 515m – 7 Starts: 3-1-0
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.18sec, 29.63
Fastest first split: 5.06sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $3.10     FF – $4.20

ASTON RUPEE (Trainer: Glenn Rounds, Devon Meadows)
Qualifying time: 28.927sec
Sandown 515m – 4 Starts: 1-2-0
Other Sandown 515m Winning Times: 29.25sec
Fastest first split: 5.06sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.36     FF – $2.30

The Watchdog says 🎤: Easily the most exciting match up on the card and it’s must see TV. The brothers have the ability to get to the first marker in around 5.10 or a tad quicker, so the inside draw for Aston Rupee is huge. He returned to racing with two blinding Warragul wins and he then destroyed the semaphore board in a trial here and, if he reproduces the trial run, his brother will have trouble reeling him in. ‘Fastnet’ has regained some much needed confidence in his past two and had he drawn on inside of ‘Rupee’, he probably would have been tipped on top.

Aston Rupee by 1.5 lengths in 28.95sec

The Watchdog’s final word 🎤: Exciting series with the two brothers expected to dominate. Aston Rupee recorded a ridiculous 28.92sec in a trial here recently and with the inside draw, he should hold his littermate at the first bend, and I cannot see him getting reeled in. I expect the winner of that match up to break 29, so Aston Fastnet should get a nice drag into it throughout and he too should put up a blistering time. Equalizer is the interesting runner. He will settle behind Riccarton Rick in the run, but he has an almighty sprint when he lets go and with a relatively clear run, he should not be too far away from the 29 seconds barrier.

Tips: 7 / 8 / 3 / 6

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About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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