Moraine Suzie storms home in last year’s Pink Diamond Champion Distance 📷 Clint Anderson

  • Friday, 16 Feb, 2024,
  • by Peter Quilty

Staying Fanta-sy!

Astute Lara trainer Brendan Pursell is not into greyhound racing ‘illusion’.

But he’s hoping for some ‘magical realism’ (realistic fantasy) in the Group 1 Sportsbet Fanta Bale Stayers series (730m).

Pursell will launch a ‘three-card hand’ in the heats at The Meadows on Saturday night.

His ‘trump card’ is reigning Victorian Stayer of the Year Moraine Suzie. But he’s also ‘holding’ a couple of potential ‘aces in the pack’ in litter brothers Redeemer Blue and Tan And Black.

“She needs to be within five lengths of them down the back straight, but Zulu Blast will be hard to beat if he happens to lead.”

So, how will his ‘cards face upward’? What are his chances of a ‘mini royal flush’?

Moraine Suzie (Box 7) and Redeemer Blue (Box 4) will contest Heat 1 (Race 3, 7.21pm). They are $4.60 and $5.50 respectively on Sportsbet’s fixed odds market, behind Zulu Blast ($2.30F) and SA star Lena Jinx ($3.80).

“Her (Moraine Suzie) run-home time in the (G1) Zoom Top was really good,” Pursell said. “She just got poleaxed on the first turn but pulled up fine.

“She needs to be within five lengths of them down the back straight, but Zulu Blast will be hard to beat if he happens to lead.”



Pursell is not so buoyant with the chances of Redeemer Blue.

“I just don’t think he has the class of the Group stayers. But he’s been racing in great heart since we stepped him up in distance and he’s as honest as they come.

“He jumps okay and then doesn’t push up a lot. From there (Box 4), I don’t know where he’ll end up early. But one thing about him is he can stay.”

Pursell is also not overly bullish about Tan And Black (Box 1) who lines up in Heat 2 (Race 4, 7.39pm).

WATCH: “Here she comes… She went pow!” MORAINE SUZIE (B2) stages an exhilarating last-to-first effort at The Meadows.

He’s $16 in a race dominated in betting by NSW supremo Palawa King ($2.25F) and Zoha Bale ($2.60).

“He’ll struggle; he’s not running it out properly yet. I reckon they’ll be running over the top of him.

The ‘red’ (Box 1) will suit him, but he’d need a lot of luck to win. In fairness, however, he’s just learning the staying caper. I’m just hoping he can keep on improving and become stronger.”

Sportsbet’s ‘All In’ market is headed by Palawa King ($3.30) from Zoha Bale ($3.50) and Zulu Blast ($4). The only others under $10 are Lena Jinx ($7) and Moraine Suzie ($9.50). My Redeemer is next best at $12 and Tan And Black is $81.

WATCH: Jason Bonnington, Corey Smith and Mitch Ebeyer preview Week 2 of the Sportsbet Australian Cup Carnival at The Meadows. It features semi-finals of the Australian Cup and heats of the Fanta Bale Stayers.

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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