Dual G1 finalist PLAINTIFF captured in full flight. 📷 Clint Anderson

  • Tuesday, 12 Mar, 2024,
  • by Peter Quilty

Sparkling straight track ‘gems’ at Healesville

The $47,500 Sportsbet Emerald Series kicks off tomorrow with eight heats – each comprising four greyhounds – over 300 metres at Healesville.

A unique concept, it will see the ‘Emerald’ final on Sunday, March 17 – worth $30,000 to-the-winner – consist of the eight fastest greyhounds from the heats regardless of finish position.

A $10,500 Sportsbet Emerald Series Consolation final (300m) – carrying a $7000 first prize – will also be conducted for greyhounds that record the 9th to 16th fastest time.

Not surprisingly, a classy contingent has assembled for the heats including a host of straight track specialists, along with dual Group 1 finalist Plaintiff and G2 Horsham Cup finalist Verdi – both trained by Jason Thompson.


The first race on
the program commences at

WATCH: “It’s the rarest ‘Emerald’ of them all and he’s won it!”. UNLEASH COLLINDA (B7) holds off NOT FOR PROFIT (B6) in a thrilling finish to last year’s inaugural ‘Emerald’.

Some of the best heat ‘match ups’ include:

Heat 1 (Race 3, 11.29am)Verdi (Box 1, $2.60) and Maybe Yesterday (Box 7, $1.75F).
Verdi, who is making his Healesville debut, has won 10 from 17. Maybe Yesterday is 12 from 16 this track/distance with a flying 16.08sec PB – only inches off the 16.06sec track record set by Unleash Collinda on December 11, 2022. Last year, he also won the G2 Healesville Cup (350m) and finished eighth in the inaugural ‘Emerald’.

MAYBE YESTERDAY after the 2023 Healesville Cup. 📷 Clint Anderson

Heat 2 (Race 4, 11.50am)Deadly Class (Box 1, $2.10F) and Swindled (Box 7, $2.15).
Deadly Class is 11 from 23, including 4 from 4 exiting Box 1, and has won his past two races in 19.20sec and 19.15sec (Best) over 350m at Healesville. Swindled, who was third in last month’s G2 Bulli Gold Cup, is 12 from 31 and has a 16.42sec PB here.

Heat 6 (Race 8, 1.04pm)Gunai Princess (Box 1, $2.10F) and Quinlan Bale (Box 3, $3.40).
Gunai Princess has two wins (including a 16.27sec PB) and three seconds from seven starts this track/distance. Overall, she’s 7 from 18. Quinlan Bale is 36 from 86 and has had one start over 300m here for a 16.48sec win. However, he won the 2022 Victorian Straight Track Championship at Healesville and was runner-up in the 2022 G2 Healesville Cup – both over 350m. He was also third in the 2023 G2 Healesville Cup.

QUINLAN BALE with Rebecca Gibbons. 📷 Clint Anderson

Heat 8 (Race 10, 1.42pm)Plaintiff ($2.70) and My Magic Man ($2.20F).
Plaintiff, who is also making his first race appearance at Healesville, is 19 from 36. He’s a six-time Group race finalist, having won the G3 GRV VicBred Maiden and finished second in the G3 Launching Pad. He was also a finalist in the G1 Melbourne Cup and fifth in the G1 Maturity Classic – all four events were in 2022. My Magic Man, who is 8 from 19, is also a Healesville debutant. Last month, he finished eighth in the G1 Australian Cup.

Favourites for the other heats are: Heat 3 (Race 5, 12.07pm)Spot Fox (Box 5, $2.30); Heat 4 (Race 6, 12.26pm)I’m Only Human (Box 1, $2.50); Heat 5 (Race 7, 12.42pm)Shall Not (Box 7, $1.45); Heat 7 (Race 9, 1.25pm)Daytona (Box 7, $1.55).

Pawnote: Last year’s inaugural ‘Emerald’ was taken out by the Jason Thompson-trained Unleash Collinda ($1.70F) in 16.25sec.

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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