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Boxing Clever with Jason Lincoln

Greyhound racing around the nation is running hot and JASON LINCOLN brings you up to speed with all the action on and off the track.

Sandown took centre stage last Friday night for heats of the G1 TAB Melbourne Cup (515m) and the Group 1 Bold Trease (715m).

Here is my wrap of the action and a look ahead to Finals night this Friday.

BOLD TREASE

HEAT 1

STANLEY ROAD was one of the shortest priced favourites of the night, but he was seen as a risk in some quarters because of his racing pattern in a full field.

UNTAPPED was well backed late and she blasted through a record opening first section of 5.93 to open an unassailable lead at halfway. She never looked threatened despite tiring a little late, and her winning time of 41.83, on debut over the 715m, was very impressive.

Although Untapped has seemingly drawn well in Box 1 for the Final, she much prefers to race outside of greyhounds, so a fast start will be essential again on Friday.

HEAT 2

SEVERAL greyhounds were perceived as being 'risky' over the distance in this heat, but the one dog that no one had any questions about from that perspective was the eventual winner LINE OF QUALITY.

When the leaders jammed-up racing into the first tun, and LOQ was able to get to third, the race was as good as over. His winning margin of 8.5L was the largest of the night despite the fact he ran 10L slower to the first mark than the first winner, which just goes to show how strong this dog is late in his races.

HEAT 3

ONE of the most consistent top-grade stayers in the country is KNICKS BALE, and it was somewhat surprising not to see her start favourite in this heat. Her recent form had been imperious, and she carried a seven starts 5-0-2 record over the track and distance into the event.

She put up a gutsy performance to score here after being slowly away from a wide draw, and her versatile racing pattern is a decided advantage in any event she contests. She has come up with Box 5 for the Final which doesn't look like a great draw on paper, however.

Check out the latest TAB Greyhound markets here.

HEAT 4

PERFORMANCE of the night here by winner MEPUNGA RUBY.

Although well away from Box 8, she was forced to work very hard through the middle stages just to stay in contention. The reason for that was that her main danger, the G1 winner GYPSY WYONG, was having a picnic in front.
Having established a 5L lead over Ruby passing the 715m boxes, Gypsy looked home, but Ruby made rapid ground between the 600m boxes and the home turn and raced away for a decisive victory. She has drawn ideally in Box 3 for the Final where she will run a short-priced favourite.

TAB MELBOURNE CUP

HEAT 1

A DEAD-HEAT 'threw the cat amongst the pigeons' didn't it?

Like most people, I was of the opinion a ballot would decide which of the two greyhounds would progress to the Final, but as it turns out both greyhounds qualified by virtue of a quicker time than the slowest heat winner.
The race itself provided a shock with the $1.3 fav KOBLENZ only sharing the spoils after appearing to have every chance. Fellow dead-heater JEPARA was very brave after copping a slight bump early and working hard outside of the speed for the entire race.

Koblenz has drawn Box 3 and Jepara Box 2 in the Final, and those positions have been made unusually tricky by the presence of 'wide-running' AUSSIE SECRET in Box 1.

HEAT 2

TIBERIA BALE caused a major shock by taking out this event and eliminating the Champion TOMMY SHELBY.
An $81 chance in opening markets, Tiberia was able to use his ideal box draw to land 'on the bunny' and he pulled out all stops to hold of the more fancied second and third dogs. His chances in the Final look forlorn from Box 7.

HEAT 3

OUTSTANDING sprinter TYPHOON SAMMY defeated a very strong line-up here in a time of 29.64, the slowest of the heats.
That shouldn't subtract from the performance however, as he was one of the last to begin, yet still found the front by the catching open. Having only his second '500m' race in quite some time he tired late, but still held a winning margin over his rivals and is sure to improve further when we see him next.
In a bizarre twist, due to a local rule, no greyhound will progress to the Final from this heat because of the dead-heat in Heat 1.

Don’t miss catch up episodes of The Catching Pen.

HEAT 4

THE pre-post favourite for the series ASTON RUPEE put up a stellar performance to advance to the Final of Australia's Greatest Race.

He was well away from a tricky draw and used himself very well to take up a striking position early. But then, he became pocketed by HARRIGAN who had rushed around him from Box 8 and held him in tight for most of the back straight.

Rupee showed great poise to wait for a run to present itself, and when it did, he eased wider on the track as though he was being guided by D. Oliver and charged home to pick up the gallant Harrigan in a time of 29.47.
He has drawn reasonably well in Box 4 for the Final and will no doubt go to the post a worthy favourite with TAB.

HEAT 5


THIS heat was won by a greyhound who is in the best form of his life, KINSON BALE.
A feature of his recent form is his outstanding 'point to point' speed, and just as it was here a week ago in the Prelude, it was the deciding factor in winning and running second. The favourite DO IT was poorly away from Box 2 and consequently he met with traffic problems while Kinson was having a trouble-free time in front.

He has come up with Box 8 for the Final and normally that would make it tricky to win, but with his explosive acceleration, and some likely trouble on the inside, he may just 'get the fly' around them and prove hard to run down.

HEAT 6

AUSSIE SECRET is one of the most consistent beginners in Victoria, and given his penchant for running wide, there was a strong push for WEBLEC BLAZER from Box 1. But the favourite didn't show enough speed to take advantage of the run, and Aussie never looked like being picked up his rivals.

His overall time of 29.56 secured his berth in Friday's final and drawing Box 1 ensures he that will be the most discussed dog in the race.

HEAT 7

LAKEVIEW WALTER returned to somewhere near his best with an all-the-way 29.25 victory.

The son of FERNANDO BALE had been struggling for his absolute best in recent times, but this was typical of the form that took him G1 glory earlier in the year. The second-placed DAPHS ASCEND was very brave to hold her ground with Walter and she will be winning again in coming weeks. Walter has come up with Box 6 for the Final.

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.

HEAT 8

LALA KIWI is regarded as one of the best bitches in the country and she showed why with a Best Of The Night 29.24 win from Box 1.

She has consistently made the finals of some of Victoria’s most prestigious feature races during 2021, and now she has made it to 'The Big One'.

JAX BALE deserves a mention for his second placing in a time of 29.35 - a time that would have won him six of the eight heats. Lala has come up with Box 5 for the Final which will make it difficult.

BOLD TREASE SELECTIONS

I HAVE to be with Mepunga Ruby on what I saw in the heats. She has drawn ideally for the Final as long as she can 'miss' the wide-running Untapped early.

TAB MELBOURNE CUP SELECTIONS

Aston Rupee is clearly the one to beat, but at the current TAB Fixed Odds prices of $8 and $15 respectively, Aussie Secret and Kinson Bale make good appeal.

MIDWEEK BEST BET

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Jason Lincoln is the co-host of The Catching Pen which can be seen on Sky Racing 2, Sky Racing Active and the Sky Racing website every Tuesday night, plus Chasing Winners Wednesday nights on Sky 2 from 7pm, focusing on the MILLION DOLLAR CHASE Carnival in its entirety and a nationwide search for weekend winners. Jason also appears as a presenter and form analyst on Sky Racing.

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