RadioTAB and Sky Sports Radio’s ‘greyhound guru’ GERARD DAFFY delivers his thoughts on the weekend and offers his experienced opinion, plus a tip or two.
PAWS TO THE FLOOR
A few upsets in the heats, an interesting box draw, and all of a sudden the betting has opened right up to win this year’s Paws Of Thunder at Wentworth Park on Saturday night.
Pre- race favourite ASTON RUPEE finished last in his heat of the Paws last Saturday night, with that heat going to the Jack Smith trained IRINKA RILEY, giving Jack a two-pronged attack in the final when his star sprinter JUNGLE DEUCE won earlier.
Jungle Deuce won a five-dog heat in 29.84 seconds, which was some way off the best of the night (29.59 seconds), but he was coming back in trip after winning over the middle distance at Dubbo and a heat and final win at Albion Park.
He has drawn awkwardly in Box 4 in the final, but he is such a good race dog, particularly at Wentworth Park, that he can never be ruled out.
Current race favourite with TAB is WOW ($3.30) who will exit from Box 5.
At his past few starts it looks like the edge has been taken off Wow with his explosive pace when he hits the ground after box-rise, but he has gotten stronger!
He sat on the back of the speedy ZULU WARLORD before railing through around the first bend to take the lead and win in 29.71 seconds.
Like Jungle Deuce, Wow can go a lot quicker than that, and although drawn in Box 5 in the final, he is the one to beat if he nails the start.
BANDIT NED has drawn to his direct right in Box 6. He bounced back to his best in the heats when winning from the Box 1, running down QWARA BALE and posting 29.70 seconds in the process. He has a penchant for tracking wide at Wenty so don’t be put off by the draw.
Victorian DO IT has been racing at the top level for more than a year now and has a G1 win beside his name after winning the Adelaide Cup late last year.
The flashy white and black sprinter could not have been more impressive in his heat when he flew out from Box 3, ran the first split in 5.43 seconds, and posted the best of the night in 29.59 seconds.
A repeat of that from Box 2 in the final ($3.80) would see him be mighty hard to beat, but he doesn’t always begin like that. Having said that, he is desperate for the fence, so is well drawn again.
I am going to stick with Wow. He has a terrific record at Wentworth Park, I think he can find the lead early and just be too quick.
NATIONAL DERBY TO HEAD SOUTH
On what is a wonderful support card to the Paws of Thunder, the Group 1 National Derby heats saw a handful of Victorians make their way through to this week’s final, and the market would suggest that the trophy and winner’s cheque will be heading south of the NSW border.
One of those runners, SLINGSHOT JONESY ($3.90), has been heavily supported with TAB after drawing the coveted rails box. After opening at $5, Slingshot Jonesy is fast closing in on favouritism.
Greyhound racing is full of fairy-tale stories, and this would be another one as Slingshot Jonesy is trained by ex-jockey Emily Azzopardi, who recently gave birth.
Emily is the partner of well-known trainer Matt Lanigan, so racing, both codes, is firmly in the blood of that clan!
Another Victorian, BOSTON GARDEN, was the fastest heat winner last Friday night when he ran 29.79 seconds exiting from the red box.
Caretaker trainer Christine Proctor had Boston Garden at his best in the heat as he flew through the first split in 5.33 seconds, but he does face a big task in the final as he moves out to Box 8, and there is whips of pace inside him.
That has seen his price already blow from $2.60 to $3.20, so if you fancy him based on the heat times, you might even get a better price with TAB closer to race time.
To be honest, I can see any of the entire field winning the Derby.
ZARA’S IVAN was great when he plugged on for second to Boston Gaarden, going down by less than two lengths. He has a big motor, and the way the draw has panned out (Box 2), he should be able to get a nice cart into the first turn behind Slingshot Jonesy.
The other Derby runner I am keen on is OPSREY PHANTOM (Box 3). His Victorian form has been excellent, and although he would be better suited over a slightly longer journey, he seems terrific value at $26 with TAB.
BEST BET OF THE WEEKEND
Wentworth Park Saturday: R8-No.5 Wow
VALUE BET OF THE WEEKEND
Wentworth Park Saturday: R4-No.3 Osprey Phantom
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.
DO IT WINS AT WENTWORTH PARK REPLAY
BOSTON GARDEN WINS AT WENTWORTH PARK REPLAY