LAST week the Daily Examiner experts agreed on the likely winner of five of the 12 races with a profitable return.
This week they could only come to a unanimous decision on two runners and so it will be the Dave Irwin-trained Samadhi Babe and the Jim Madigan-trained Wytelash which will shoulder the burden of expectation for punters.
Samadhi Babe will step out from box 3 in the Grafton Beaurepaires Maiden over 407 metres and she signalled to the racing world that she is a greyhound with ability when impressively saluting in a performance trial here in late December in the smart time of 23.17 seconds.
Her first official race start resulted in an unlucky fourth when finding trouble on the first turn vying for the lead then finishing on well once again. Samadhi Babe then stepped up in distance when a shade disappointing over 480 metres after hitting the lead in the home straight.
On that occasion she was unable to withhold the finish of I'm Milly Trick in moderate time so at this stage of her career she may well be better suited to the 407 metre journey.
Despite her preference to use a bit of the track in her races, if Samadhi Babe can reproduce her 23.17 performance trial effort then she does look difficult to beat.
Her main danger appears to be the Darryl Schafer-trained I'm George Trick which won a performance trial last week in 23.43 seconds and with natural improvement he too looks likely to be right in the finish.
Wytelash will be stepping out from box 8 in heat one of the Betfair Blue Paws series and she is coming off a very smart win at this track last week when leading all of the way in a slick 27.34 seconds for the 480-metre journey.
That was just her second look at the 480-metre distance and she could not have been more impressive in powering to the line in strong overall sections.
Her record at the local venue stands at a consistent two wins and two seconds from just four appearances and although stepping up in class today she does look to have the necessary pace to take up a forward position in running.
Toughest to beat looks to be the Garry Streatfield trained Magic Diore who is a winner on this track two runs back in 27.63 seconds but she will have to contend with an unfavourable box 6 draw.
Enthusiasts are advised the start time for this race meeting has been changed by Greyhound Racing New South Wales with the kennelling between 2pm and 3pm and the first race scheduled for 3.49pm.
The last will go at 6.43pm with all races shown live on Sky Racing 1 instead of the usual Thursday Sky Racing 2 slot.
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