• Monday, 28 Feb, 2022,
  • by Peter Quilty

Shepparton’s ‘super sideshow’

Some of the state’s most promising female and male sprinters set sail for Shepparton in tonight’s heats of the Matchmakers and Classic – both over 450m.

The two Matchmakers heats, for the girls, are headlined by ‘starlets’ Idolize, Devine Empress and She’s Refined while the three Classic heats, for the boys, see ‘leading roles’ for tyros Fearless Rory and Orson Thunder along with the more experienced Earthworm Jim and Kysaiah.

Here’s a summary, including several italicised prognostications from expert form analyst The Watchdog.

“Devine Empress obliterated the clock at Warragul last time and will take stopping.” – The Watchdog

Shepparton Matchmakers

Heat 1 (Race 4 – 8.06pm)            

A two-dog tete-a-tete between Idolize (Box 7) and She’s Refined (Box 4).
Idolize already has two Group race wins on her ‘scorecard’ – G1 National Futurity and G2 Laurels – and was runner-up in the G1 Temlee. She’s also won nine races from 18 starts and her past seven reads: 2112112.
“Pings the lids and will keep the pressure on throughout.”

She’s Refined has won three races from only four starts including ‘polished’ 29.20sec & 29.19sec Sandown Park wins at her past two.
“Showed enormous potential in her first preparation. Watch the clock if she steps.”

Heat 2 (Race 5 – 8.28pm)            

Devine Empress (Box 7) has been successful in all three starts here, with a 25.21sec PB.
The G2 Laurels finalist has notched seven wins from 11 starts and is unbeaten in two starts from Box 7.
“Obliterated the clock at Warragul last time and will take stopping.”

Barista Chick (Box 3) looks the main danger. She’s won four from five here, including a 25.12sec PB, and her overall record is eight wins from 14 starts.
“Has a tremendous record here and burns early.”

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Shepparton Classic

Heat 1 (Race 6 – 8.54pm)            

Earthworm Jim (8) – G3 Brian Johnstone (3rd) – is sure to get a ‘wriggle’ along. He hasn’t raced since December 11 last year but has won six races from 15 starts.
“A powerful type which should be primed for a bold showing fresh.”

Other chances are Jungle Panther (Box 5) – a younger half-brother of G1 Melbourne Cup hero Koblenz – which is five from 18, including a 25.12sec PB here and High End (Box 6) – a litter brother of Idolize – which is four from 11.

Kysaiah (7) ‘scores’ at Sandown in early December last year.

Heat 2 (Race 7 – 9.17pm)            

Orson Thunder (Box 6) has made a ‘thunderous’ start to his career. He’s only raced on two occasions and produced ‘lightning’ 22.16sec and 22.20sec BON wins over 400m at Warragul.
“Faces toughest test, but his two wins have been ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, Zigzag Cabang (Box 3) – G3 Northern Districts Cup finalist – has been heading in a ‘straight line’ with 11 wins from 24 starts, including five of his past 11. He also has a 25.38sec PB here.
“He’s a lightning beginner which can run time and will take catching.”

WATCH: Idolize (8) leads from go-to-whoa in last year’s Laurels final.

Heat 3 (Race 8 – 9.40pm)            

Fearless Rory (Box 8) has made a bold start to his career, being unbeaten in four starts – twice at Warragul and twice at Warrnambool – with an average winning margin of around 5.75L.
“His four wins have been enormous, and he appears to be the real deal.”

Kysaiah (Box 6) – named after elusive Melbourne Demons forward Kysaiah Pickett – has also been ‘kicking goals’ with 10 wins from 18 starts including four of his past six.
“Beat a good one last time and is a threat if he steps away.”

Peter QuiltyPeter Quilty

Peter Quilty

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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