Get ready for some night-time specials at the greyhounds
THE Grafton Greyhound Racing Club swings back into action this evening and in a rarity for the Club there is no feature race final programmed so it will simply be a straight 10-event race card which has been set for decision.
With this being the case it will be a night for the punters as we set about attempting to put some cash in people's pockets.
The first good thing for punters looks to be the Bob Merillo-trained Bokarm Maggie which looks as though it will be very difficult to beat in the Clarence Valley Sheds Maiden over 305 metres. Bokarm Maggie will step from box 3 in the event and does have the advantage of having her biggest dangers in the event drawn outside her. These include the Darryl Chapman-trained pair of Conductress and Dash Doll, and the Corey O'Donnell-trained Corelko Lass.
On times, there is little between Bokarm Maggie and Dash Doll with Maggie recording a 17.64 second performance trial victory on January 25 while Dash Doll clocked in marginally slower at 17.69 seconds just a week later. While there is little separating the pair on overall times, there certainly is in the all important first sections with Maggie running a slick 3.08 seconds while Dash Doll could only record 3.33 seconds and this is a key ingredient in any greyhound racing let alone 305 metre racing from a tough box 6 draw.
If that information was not enough to seal the deal then Dash Doll will also have to contend with Conductress, which can show some speed being drawn on her inside and Boppa Valley, which is a keen rails crasher and it has drawn in box 7 directly on the outside of Dash Doll. In Bokarm Maggie's favour is the fact that the three greyhounds drawn around her in boxes 1, 2 and 4 appear to have minimal early speed so punters should feel free to take a risk on her early in proceedings.
Greyhound of the moment Nangar Thunder will make another local race track appearance from box 1 in the Grafton District Services Club stakes over 480 metres. As has been regularly documented in this column, Nangar Thunder gives every indication that he would be ideally suited to a little more distance and while he has been winning over the shorter 407 metres the 480 to 520 metre trips do look more to his liking.
If you were able to hand pick a box for Nangar Thunder's 480-metre debut you would almost walk over coals to choose box 1 so he will have the perfect chance to show all what he can do over the longer journey. He will have to contend with Kentucky Kahn in box 2, which can show some speed however outside of the runner this field does not look to be overly blessed with early speed. Tipping the scales at just over 35kg, you could safely expect that Nangar Thunder should be able to hold his position in the early stages before opening up over the final 200 metres.
Races 7 and 8 on the program have been restricted to greyhounds with a maximum of one race win and that should play nicely into the hands of Tranquil Manu for Sandy Robinson in the Another bonus Racing stakes and then Sprite Is Right for Fred Swain in the Shifty Schafer stakes.
Tranquil Manu knows the track well being locally trained and he was a good thing beaten when unplaced here two runs just as he was crossing to the lead, while Sprite Is Right in new to the track but he is a keen wide runner which is perfectly drawn in box 7 with box being vacant.
Of the four greyhounds mentioned above, the best of these does look to be Bokarm Maggie with Tranquil Manu the next best and Nangar Thunder will be at a short quote but he could be used in all up's around the other three selections.