Match racing is universally accepted by greyhound racing aficionados. And the Speed Star serves to enhance the popularity of one-on-one competition.
This year’s Group 3 Speed Star series – over 515m, 595m and 715m – was held at Sandown Park.
And although the latest COVID-19 outbreak denied on-course patronage, as it did for last year’s event held at The Meadows, you could still ‘cut the air with a knife’.
Twenty-four greyhounds, 12 ‘matches’ and $105,000 in prizemoney. The overall finishing positions in each event (split into four match races) were determined by the individual times recorded.
The winner of each ‘match’ received $5000. And the overall first, second and third in the 515m, 595m and 715m categories took home $10,000, $3,500 and $1,500 respectively.
Probably the most anticipated match of the night was the square off between litter brothers Aston Rupee ($1.45) and Aston Fastnet ($2.75) in the Bill Collins Speed Star (515m).
And it was Aston Rupee who earned the bragging rights!
Trained by Glenn Rounds, Aston Rupee defeated Aston Fastnet by 3L and posted a blistering 29.055sec. Aston Rupee paid $2.70 as the overall Bill Collins Speed Star winner and earned connections $15,000.
“I’m very proud of the dog, he’s a fantastic animal… He’s just brilliant,” Rounds said. “We’ll have a go at the ‘Pink Diamond’ series and then look towards the Vic Peters in Sydney with him.”
Meanwhile, a punter who placed $6000 at $2.10 on last week’s G1 Sandown Cup (715m) winner Zipping Rambo to win the overall Racecallers Speed Star (595m) would have been rubbing their hands together.
Trained by Mark Delbridge, Zipping Rambo ($1.20) comfortably won his head-to-head over Cash Stack ($4.50) by 5.25L in a sizzling 33.772sec. In fact, everything went according to plan with a faultless performance.
It was just over 2L off Dyna Double One’s 33.630sec track record set on January 28, 2016.
Paying $2.60 as the overall Racecallers Speed Star winner, Zipping Rambo also collected $15,000 in prizemoney.
“I would have preferred a week, to give him a rest,” Delbridge said pre-race. “He’s pulled up a treat (after the Sandown Cup), but only time will tell.”
And a relieved Delbridge said post-race: “The ‘700s’ haven’t affected him at all.”
Potential staying superstar Five Star was the ‘Lizrene champion’, turning the tables on Hank The Hustler who defeated him narrowly in the Cup Night Stayers last week.
The race was ‘hot’ for the first 300m, but Five Star ($2.00) joined Hank The Hustler ($1.80) on the circle and powered away for a 4.5L win in 41.498sec.
Trained by Paul Abela, Five Star paid $4.80 as the overall Lizrene Speed Star winner and snared a $15,000 booty.
“I’m never confident, but I was confident tonight,” Abela said. “He’s a special animal; I’ve never rapt a dog before, but he’s a beauty. This dog is my mate.”
Listed below are the full results:
G3 Bill Collins Speed Star (515m)
- Aston Rupee ($2.70) 29.055sec
- Equalizer ($6.10) 29.158
- Tiggerlong Tonk ($3.40) 29.186
- Highly Explosive ($17.40) 29.193
- Riccarton Rick ($67.70) 29.194
- Kuro Kismet ($9.90) 29.251
- Aston Fastnet ($6.30) 29.268
- Well Grounded ($56.70) 29.432
G3 Racecallers Speed Star (595m)
- Zipping Rambo ($2.60) 33.772sec
- Bounce back ($10.70) 33.976
- Fractured ($4.00) 34.115
- Cash Stack ($7.20) 34.139
- Jayville Slick ($21.50) 34.188
- Nangar Rust ($7.70) 34.314
- Zipping Annabel ($53.10) 34.440
- Freda Rocks ($8.80) 34.455
G3 Lizrene Speed Star (715m)
- Five Star ($4.80) 41.498sec
- Sir Truculent ($9.70) 41.627
- Here’s Tears ($5.50) 41.680
- Line Of Quality ($10.30) 41.716
- Hank The Hustler ($2.90F) 41.810
- Weblec Haze ($23.00) 41.993
- Tyler Durden ($7.80) 42.072
- We The People ($13.30) 42.187
WATCH: Replays of the four Bill Collins (515m) matches.
WATCH: Replays of the four Lizrene (715m) matches.
WATCH: Replays of the four Racecallers (595m) matches.
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