HOT PAWS: Sonia Kempshall-trained Scoop Tank (5) will be running in the final race of the Grafton Greyhound Club race meeting tonight and will again come up against kennel brethren Alan’s Kidz (5).
HOT PAWS: Sonia Kempshall-trained Scoop Tank (5) will be running in the final race of the Grafton Greyhound Club race meeting tonight and will again come up against kennel brethren Alan’s Kidz (5). Robert Brandolini

Little separating top qualifiers for sprint series final

GREYHOUNDS: The final of the Village Green Hotel sprint series highlights a good night of greyhound racing in Grafton tonight but finding the winner looks to be a difficult task.

While there were only two heats conducted last week there is little separating the first four qualifiers on times, ensuring a real headache for form analysts.

Sharing time honours after the heats with their 27.62-second efforts were the Gary Smith-trained Kidatee Dan and It's For Sure for Sonia Kempshall.

Kidatee Dan's win was a welcome result for favourite backers as he started a well-supported $2.60 elect while it was a different matter for It's For Sure as the $13.20 chance rallied strongly to wear down favourite Irma Adeline in their heat.

Irma Adeline also qualified for the final in a time of 27.63sec for trainer Andrew Monaghan while Sudoku Rock was not far away with his 27.66sec performance for Keith Anderson.

Add in the two heat winners mentioned earlier and there is just three quarters of a length between the first four finalists which highlights the jigsaw puzzle punters will need to carefully arrange if they are to predetermine the outcome.

If that isn't tough enough the early scratching of Sudoku Ace has allowed a start for first reserve Fay's Magic which is a 27.39sec winner at the track.

As things stand at the moment Fay's Magic would start from box 1 in the final which would give the Fred Swain product an almighty chance but if there are further scratchings then the boxes the reserves would start from would enter a random ballot situation.

The way the race is likely to be run for the main contenders is with Sudoku Rock (box 6), Irma Adeline (box 8) and Fay's Magic (possibly box 1) pushing towards the early lead with Kidatee Dan (box 4) within a length of these runners.

It's For Sure (box 2) is probably better drawn wide as he was in his heat and may struggle to stay in touch with them early.

With the final narrowed down to four chances the job to reduce it to just one or two becomes even more difficult with there being more reasons why each runner can win the final rather than why they cannot.

Assuming Fay's Magic does exit box 1 then she will be advantaged by having a lack of speed drawn outside of her with It's For Sure and Sudoku Ace in boxes 2 and 3 respectively unlikely to trouble the early leaders. This however will also play into the hands of Kidatee Dan in box 4 which will need just a shade of luck as the field enters the home straight but he is good enough to achieve this.

Miss Rubirosa in box 5 does like to move towards the rails however she does not possess a lot of early speed, this should give Sudoku Rock a good chance of overcoming his potentially tough box 6 draw as he does have good turn of early toe.

Ferry Master has drawn nicely out wide in box 7 for Ken Neave but he will need to improve on the clock. Irma Adeline looks well drawn out wide in box 8 but she can be a tardy beginner and while she has good acceleration she will need to avoid Ferry Master which does like to swing wide when he enters the back straight.

So after putting all of the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together the top selection will be Fay's Magic, assuming she starts from box 1, narrowly over Kidatee Dan and Sudoku Rock.

Punters should however exercise caution as the final outcome of this jigsaw puzzle which was supposed to end up looking like a cloud could in fact be more of a marshmallow so if you like one in this race then certainly do not change from it.

Two runners on the program which do look terribly hard to beat for punters are Bokarm Chrissy for trainer Bob Merillo and Orara Wal for Gary Smith.

Bokarm Chrissy will jump from box 8 in the Greyhound stakes which is the opening race on the program and she only needs to repeat her last effort when finishing second to Kid Dynamo when uncharacteristically missing the start.

Orara Wal looks perfectly drawn out in box 8 in the Clarence Valley Sheds Maiden and this is where punters should be able to get their money on the night.

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