Australia’s record stakes winner, NSW superstar She’s A Pearl, is the new favourite for next Saturday night’s second running of the $1.65 million The Phoenix (525m), the world’s richest greyhound race, following Sunday morning’s box draw.
She’s A Pearl, trained by Andy and Jodie Lord and holding Tabcorp’s slot in the $1 million to-the-winner The Phoenix, was the first greyhound drawn to select their box.
Sky Racing expert and part-owner Jason Lincoln didn’t hesitate in picking box 1.
“Seven other sets of connections came here with the same plan,” Lincoln told Molly Haines and Corey Smith on Thrill Of The Chase’s live coverage.
“It doesn’t ensure you’re going to win the race, but it’ll make it easier.”
“It doesn’t ensure you’re going to win the race, but it’ll make it easier.
“She’s had the two box-to-box trials at The Meadows. The first time she fell out – 5.17sec and 18 dead or 18.01 to the back. It was a day they didn’t run any time.
“She went (back) on Monday – Wow She’s Fast, Plaintiff and co were there and they all ran similar times – and she went 5.02sec early, so it was good to see her smarten up her box manners.”
Paddy Wants Pats was the second sprinter drawn to choose their box, with Bronte Bravo, daughter of trainers Brett and Kelly, opting for box 2, followed in order by El Dorado (box 3), McInerney (box 8) and Plaintiff (box 5).
That left Kel Greenough, co-trainer of inaugural Phoenix winner Wow She’s Fast with an unenviable choice from boxes four (from where the Victorian champion won the race last year, six and seven.
“I hate box six!” Greenough laughed ruefully.
“Unfortunately, there wasn’t many left and I didn’t want to draw inside Plaintiff, so we chose six to hopefully follow him (Plaintiff) across.
“Obviously, this has made it a bit tougher. Box draws make a big difference. We wanted to get drawn out early but unfortunately that didn’t happen, so we’ve just got to roll with the punches.”
Next out after Wow She’s Fast was Amron Boy, runaway winner of the Group 1 Sportsbet Silver Chief at The Meadows on Saturday night, clocking a near-record 29.45sec for the second week in a row.
Co-trainer Jamie Ennis and form expert Troy Little opted for box 4, leaving 7 for Queenslander Tyanna Belle.
Click HERE for Sportsbet’s latest market on The Phoenix
“From out wide it was going to be a tough draw to get across Wow She’s Fast,” Ennis said.
“I think Plaintiff will lead the race anyway and that being the case, he (Amron Boy) is going to put a lot of pressure to those inside dogs.
“If he can get some sort of a clear run and only be four or five lengths off them up the back straight, we saw what he can do last night. He’ll be hard to beat.”
Prior to the box draw, Amron Boy and Wow She’s Fast shared favouritism in Sportsbet’s market on The Phoenix at $3.40, but they have been replaced at the head of betting by She’s A Pearl, which has shortened from $4.50 to $2.50.
Amron Boy is the $3.90 second elect, with the well-drawn Paddy Wants Pats tightening from $10 into $4.80, while defending champion Wow She’s Fast and Plaintiff are the only other runners at single figures, at $8.
Next Saturday night’s The Phoenix meeting will be the culmination of GRV’s inaugural Sportsbet Dream Chasers Festival, during which $4.1 million in prizemoney has been distributed over five spectacular Saturday nights.
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