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‘Department of Youth’ has St Leger ‘power’

The G3 Warragul St Leger heats (460m) – featuring many of the state’s elite young sprinters on Friday night – are already giving off G1-like vibes!

And among the ‘Department of Youth’ is recent G1 Maturity Classic winner Qwara Bale. But has the G1 Sapphire Crown and G2 Warrnambool Cup winner ‘got the power’ again?

Qwara Bale (Box 7) – one of 10 heat runners for ‘Team Dailly’ – lines up in Heat 3 (Race 8, 9.33pm). Incredibly, she’s $4.20 on TAB fixed odds to win her heat and $6.50 on the ‘All In’ market.

The raging hot favourite for this heat is ‘new kid on the block’ Rebellious (Box 1) at $1.55, who is the $3.00 outright top elect for the series culminating in the $25,000 to-the-winner final on Saturday, August 7.

Trained by Jason Thompson, Rebellious has notched 10 wins from 12 starts – including a near-record 23.42sec win in The Prospector final (425m) at Bendigo – and boasts a flying 25.49sec PB this track/distance. He’s also been successful at his past four outings.

Track specialist Paua Of Buddy (Box 3), also at $4.20 in this heat, is undefeated in four starts over 460m here. He’s an attractive $21 on ‘All In’ betting.

Prepared by Steve White, Paua Of Buddy has won five races from seven starts and also has a 25.49sec PB this track/distance.

‘Next big thing’ Koblenz (Box 6) dominates proceedings in Heat 1 (Race 6, 8.52pm). He’s a short-priced $1.50F to win his heat and is on the second line of betting at $3.50 for the final.

WATCH: Qwara Bale (3) claims a $100,000 first prize in the G1 Maturity Classic at The Meadows last Saturday night.

Trained by David Geall, Koblenz has won 16 races from 23 starts, including the Pink Diamond Rookie Sprinter final (500m) at Bendigo.

Koblenz – a ‘cousin’ of freakish Ferdinand Boy – has also won 15 of his past 19 starts, at one stage stringing together 11 straight wins!

Lil Dickie Oaks winner Lala Kiwi (Box 8), in-form Keep It Black (Box 4) and track specialist Hennessey (Box 5), undefeated in five starts this track/distance, are considered Koblenz’s main rivals.

Shima Classic (Box 1), at $2.40F, and Aston Fastnet (Box 3), at $2.50, polarise punters in Heat 2 (Race 7, 9.10pm). Both are $6.50 on ‘All In’ betting.

Trained by Andrea Dailly, Shima Classic has won 10 races from 26 starts. She finished third to Qwara Bale in the Sapphire Crown and was a finalist in the G1 Australian Cup, G2 Ballarat Cup and Pink Diamond Champion Short Course.

The Jason Thompson-trained Aston Fastnet is a winner of nine races from 21 starts. He was a finalist in the Maturity Classic, G3 Bill Collins Speed Star (won by his litter brother Aston Rupee) and runner-up to Koblenz in the Pink Diamond Rookie Sprinter.

Aston Fastnet has sailed to a scintillating 29.35sec PB this track/distance and is three from three exiting the ‘white’ trap.

Others in commission in this heat are Maturity Classic finalist Handsome Rhino (Box 2), at $5.50, and Substantial (Box 8), at $6.00, who was third to his litter brother Rebellious in The Prospector.

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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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