RadioTAB and Sky Sports Radio’s ‘greyhound guru’ GERARD DAFFY delivers his thoughts on the weekend, ahead of the Thursday night action and offers his experienced opinion plus a tip or two.
FASTNET CAN SQUARE THE LEGER
SOME of the best sprinters in the nation will be in action at Warragul when that club runs three heats of the Warragul St. Leger on Friday night.
The shape of the Warragul track (one turn) and the distance of 460 metres makes it attractive to both short course sprinters and those with some strength, and we have a mixture of both engaged.
WARRAGUL ST LEGER HEAT 1
The first heat (Race 6) will pit the sensational KOBLENZ against another up-and-comer in LALA KIWI, and then we have KEEP IT BLACK and HENNESEY thrown in for good measure.
Koblenz was narrowly run down by ASTON FASTNET in a heat of the Maturity at The Meadows before he was beaten into second place behind ASTON RUPEE in a FFA at the same track last Saturday night.
At this stage of his career, the city sprint trips are just a little tough on him, but when he is running through sub 5.00 second splits at both tracks (which he has done), then he will always be hard to catch. From the green rug it appears as though he can pounce on the lead, and if he does, then the TAB market of $1.50 seems about right.
Lala Kiwi has won nine of her 21 starts to date, mostly from the front and she has a good draw in Box 8. Lala Kiwi won at The Meadows (landing a plunge) last Saturday night running 29.88. It is worth pointing out that Koblenz went slightly faster (29.82) in running second to Aston Rupee.
Keep It Black and Hennesey have both recorded fast wins on city and country tracks, and while both have had good splits at various venues, Koblenz should have them covered early. He is short Koblenz, but he might just be too fast.
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THE box draw has added some intrigue to the second heat of the St. Leger.
The main hopes in the market are SHIMA CLASSIC off the red ($2.40 fav with TAB), HANDSOME RHINO in Box 2 ($5.50) and ASTON FASTNET from the white ($2.50).
Aston Fastnet got the start completely wrong in the final of The Maturity at The Meadows last Saturday night. He missed the start and was never in the race before finishing at the tail of the field behind QWARA BALE. Many may think that the 460 metres at Warragul will be too short, but he has won there in a flying 25.35 and the way the speed map looks, he should get a nice run up behind the two runners drawn inside him.
On paper the lead looks like it will go to Shima Classic, but I have been a little disappointed in her last couple of runs, and there is a chance that Handsome Rhino can apply early pressure which has bought about the defeat of Shima Classic in the past. I much prefer her from wide draws.
I think Aston Fastnet can get the gun run up behind the speed early and be too strong.
THE Geelong 460m record of 25.11 has been in place since BLACK MAGIC OPAL ran that unbelievable time back in 2013.
Another potential star from the same kennel as Black Magic Opal went very close to that record last week and has the red box in the third heat of the St Leger tomorrow night (Friday).
REBELLIOUS is his name, and he is another dog in the powerful Jason Thompson kennel that is building some sort of CV.
From only 12 starts, Rebellious has put together 10 wins, and wherever he has bobbed up he has run the hands off the clock. One of those wins was two starts ago at Warragul where he led all the way in 25.49, with a fast first split of 6.42. He has been very well placed by the Thompson kennel, but this will be his first big test, and he is very short in the market at $1.55.
The locally trained PAUA OF BUDDY (Box 3) has been a mover in the market ($4.40-$4.20), is unbeaten at the track from four starts, with one of those wins in 25.49 which compares favourably with Rebellious.
The other runner well and truly in the market is Qwara Bale, an easing $4.20 chance from Box 7.
As mentioned earlier, Qwara Bale won The Maturity at The Meadows last Saturday night, leading all the way in a steady 29.93, but she did run 5.02 to the first mark. She has now won 18 of her 31 starts, and in most of those victories it has been her early pace that has been to the fore, so she could make it tricky for those drawn close to the rail.
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I have gone for an upset in the last heat.
I have been impressed by INDY MATILDA since she first started racing. She has pace but can also sit behind.
Drawn out in Box 8, she should get plenty of room early with Qwara Bale trying to get across the face of the field.
Indy Matilda led all the way at Sandown last week in 29.34 (5.09) and that win was similar to a win at the same track four starts ago in 29.28, with a first split of 5.03. I think she has a big win in her and looks a really nice price in the heat at $23.
BEST BET OF THE WEEKEND
Warragul Friday: R7 No.3 Aston Fastnet
VALUE BET OF THE WEEKEND
Warragul Friday: R8-No.8 Indy Matilda
Gerard Daffy is part of the TAB Media team based in Queensland. Gerard can be heard daily on RadioTAB which includes his popular Thursday morning program, On The Lure and Sky Sports Radio.