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Rambo’s Speed Star raid

Last start Group 1 Sandown Cup winner Zipping Rambo is expected to claim back-to-back feature victories at the track on Wednesday night when he drops back to 595m for the G3 Racecallers Speed Star series.

The shorter journey should pose absolutely no problems as prior to trainer Mark Delbridge’s fateful decision to step up to ‘700’, Zipping Rambo created a huge impression with a string of stunning middle-distance performances.

Zipping Rambo won two from three over 595m at Sandown, highlighted by a near-record 33.66sec victory that was just .03sec outside Dyna Double One’s course record and the second-fastest time ever recorded over the middle-distance circuit.

That effort saw Zipping Rambo easily top Speed Star qualifying, while the son of G1-winning sprinter Mister Twister and former star stayer Zipping Maggie also won two of three starts over 600m at The Meadows.

Not surprisingly, Zipping Rambo is a prohibitive $1.30 with TAB for his match race against the lightly-raced Queenslander Cash Stack, while he’s $2 favourite to win on overall times.

If there’s a ‘smokey’ in the Racecallers series, it could well be the enigmatic but prodigiously talented Freda Rocks.

Trained by Mario Briganti, Freda Rocks was unplaced at her only race appearance over 595m at Sandown but qualified courtesy of a fast 33.91sec trial and is capable of anything on her night, as evidenced by a gobsmacking 29.62sec 16-length Maiden (520m) victory at Cranbourne.

Here are some ‘fast stats’, as we preview the middle-distance edition.

WATCH: Sandown Cup winner Zipping Rambo (2) – the fastest qualifier for the G3 Racecallers Speed Star – scores a breath-taking 33.66sec victory on April 8, only .03sec (half-length) outside former superstar Dyna Double One’s track record.


Match 1 (7.12pm)

FRACTURED (Trainer: Ned McDonald, Pearcedale)
Qualifying time: 33.990sec
Sandown 595m – 4 Starts: 2-0-1
Other Sandown 595m Winning Times: 34.15sec
Fastest first split: 9.14sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.35     FF – $9.00

JAYVILLE SLICK (Trainer: Todd Chatwin, Johnsonville)
Qualifying time: 33.995sec
Sandown 595m – 8 Starts: 1-4-1
Other Sandown 595m Winning Times: 34.24sec
Fastest first split: 9.18sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $3.20     FF – $14.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: Fractured has been racing with great confidence of late and he prepared for this assignment with a sizzling trial here over 515m last week. From the inside draw, he should be able to assume control soon after box rise and gain a clear passage throughout. Jayville Slick is a classy stayer, but he may have been better suited to the staying division.

Fractured by 3 lengths in 33.95sec

Match 2 (7.22pm)

BOUNCE BACK (Trainer: David Geall, Lara)
Qualifying time: 33.992sec
Sandown 595m – 7 Starts: 3-2-1
Other Sandown 595m Winning Times: 34.48sec, 34.53sec
Fastest first split: 9.19sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.15     FF – 11.00

ZIPPING ANNABEL (Trainer: Rosalie Kerr, Caldermeade)

Qualifying time: 34.034sec
Sandown 595m – 8 Starts: 1-3-1
Fastest first split: 9.13sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $5.50     FF – $51.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: Bounce Back lit up the track here two runs back with a dynamic 33.99sec win and a similar type of performance would see him win his match up with ease. Zipping Annabel is incredibly talented, but she has speared wide through the catching pen the first time around in her past two starts here and she cannot afford to do that again. Bounce Back should pounce to the front and lead throughout and win this matchup, however I do not think he can put the sort of time on the board which will win the overall race.

Bounce Back by 2 lengths in 34.10sec

Match 3 (7.32pm)

FREDA ROCKS (Trainer: Mario Briganti, Tuerong)
Qualifying time: 33.913sec (Trial)
Sandown 595m – 1 Start: 0-0-0
Fastest first split: 9.20sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $2.00     FF – $9.00

NANGAR RUST (Trainer: Michael Hardman, Parkesbourne NSW)
Qualifying time: 33.812sec
Sandown 595m – 1 Start: 1-0-0
Fastest first split: 9.16sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.80     FF – $4.80

The Watchdog says 🎤: Easily the toughest of the 12 match ups on the card and the run to the first turn will be crucial. Freda Rocks is one of the most talented chasers in work, but she is also one of the hardest to follow. She scorched in a trial here two weeks back, however she stepped up to the 715m journey for the Cup and got very tired which may have flattened her a little, so that may give a slight edge to Nangar Rust. ‘Rust’ returned to form with a blistering 33.41sec Bulli win last time and he has covered this circuit in a scorching 33.81 previously. So, with a clean getaway, he should apply a heap of pressure as they negotiate the first turn and assume control mid race, before going on to score narrowly.

Nangar Rust by 1.50 lengths in 33.90sec

Match 4 (7.42pm)

CASH STACK (Trainer: Anthony Azzopardi, Rowsley)
Qualifying time: 33.945sec (Trial)
Sandown 595m – 0 Starts: 0-0-0
Fastest first split: 9.28sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $3.40     FF – $4.00

ZIPPING RAMBO (Trainer: Mark Delbridge, Balliang)
Qualifying time: 33.659sec
Sandown 595m – 3 Starts: 2-0-0
Other Sandown 595m Winning Times: 33.90sec
Fastest first split: 8.99sec
TAB Odds: H2H – $1.30     FF – $2.00

The Watchdog says 🎤: This is the most intriguing of the four 595m match ups. ‘Rambo’ comes into this having captured the Group 1 Sandown Cup last week and he drops back to his favourite journey, however he does run into a jetliner. Cash Stack has turned in some colossal performances around Albion Park and his race pattern indicates that match racing will suit. He trialled in a zippy 33.94sec here last week which was a great run, however ‘Rambo’ has gone sub 9 seconds to the first marker previously and come home in a breathtaking 33.66sec, so that would see him lead and prove too hard to reel in.

Zipping Rambo by 2 lengths in 33.70sec

The Watchdog’s final word 🎤: Great depth spread across the four match ups but if Zipping Rambo steps away and crosses without too much trouble, he should easily put up the fastest time of the day. Cash Stack will appreciate the match race format and with a nice trail throughout, he should hit the line close enough to ‘Rambo’ to fill the quinella spot. Fractured has the right match up and should get every chance to put up a fast time, however he will have to contend with Freda Rocks and the gifted Nangar Rust for third spot, as whoever finds the top early in that heat should carve out blistering time.

Tips: 8 / 7 / 6 / 1

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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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