ALMOST A SURE THING: Sassy Ziva will be running in Race 2 tonight as the favourite ahead of a strong pack. Photo: Robert Brandolini
ALMOST A SURE THING: Sassy Ziva will be running in Race 2 tonight as the favourite ahead of a strong pack. Photo: Robert Brandolini

Sassy Ziva looks the goods at Grafton

GREYHOUND racing continues at Grafton Greyhound Racing Club this evening with five heats of the Clocktower Hotel sprint series highlighting a great night of



Local mentor Jim Madigan looks to have great prospects of taking out the first heat with his speedy chaser Sassy Ziva. The eight-time winner looks to be ideally suited against a field of greyhounds largely made up by one and two-race winners and is certain to start the punters elect.


The beautifully bred daughter of Collision and Sassy Sprite possesses the desirable qualities in a greyhound of reliable box manners and good early speed and she should have little trouble leading a field devoid of early speed. Sassy Ziva has been racing nicely over the 305 metres in winning her past two appearances and she should have little trouble coping with the return to 407 metres at her home track.


There is no better graded greyhound than Queensland visitor Rylee's Rookie in the second heat which debuts at Grafton with the impressive record of wins and 10 placings from just 31 starts. Tonight the Greg Stella-trained runner faces a field with just a total of 1 wins between them and it would be impossible to predict anything other than a Rylee's Rookie victory.


Debuting at any track is always some concern but Rylee's Rookie has recorded some slick times at his Ipswich home base, does have good early speed and does have little speed boxed either side of him and he simply looks too classy.


Heat three looks to be quite an even field on paper with several chances but it is the local sprinter Rana Toro which looks the testing material despite his recent form.

Typically selecting a greyhound which has not finished any better than fifth at its past five outings would look to be a touch strange but he has had excuses in most of these.


Three of these starts were from the tricky 305-metre start where he has been finding trouble. Another was in a heat of the Village Green Hotel Sprinters Cup which was chock-full of class, and in the other he found trouble on the first turn.


This evening he will jump from his favoured box 8 draw; has a speedy, hard-railing type drawn in box 7; has a personal best time of 23.02 seconds on the track; and will show good speed himself to the first turn. If he can navigate the first turn in good style, which he has had some trouble with in the past, he should be able to finish the race off nicely once he enters the home straight and prove a good chance at nice odds.


ome of the other heats appear to have little early speed in them but the same cannot be said for heat number four which has greyhounds with brilliant early speed. Some of these are the Mick Landrigan-trained Josefina and the Dean Casey-trained Dancin Annabel, which are each stepping up from 305 metres.

However it is the Evelyn Harris-trained Miss Spritely which the punters will be keeping a close eye on.


The local sprinter created quite an impression when recording the fastest of 10 Clarence Valley Sheds Maiden Classic heats when she ran a fast 22.98 seconds. A repeat of that time will be winning this race but she has been a shade disappointing in her most recent runs at the tight Casino and Gosford circuits.

She should appreciate the long run to the first turn at Grafton and with even luck in running, Miss Spritely is the greyhound to beat.


In the fifth and final heat it will be the Sonia Kempshall-trained Cheeky Maxi who should go to the boxes as the race favourite.

Cheeky Maxi was also a finalist in the above-mentioned Maiden Classic, clocking the second fastest time of 23.02 seconds. He has continued to race well at his home track with a couple of nice placings in slick time behind the impressive Little Songbird. He will get his chance in a smart field from box number 1.


Other strong chances in the heat are the Blazing Sunrise, which has been racing well over 305 metres for Darren Scells; Senorita Sallee, which can show unbelievable speed to the first turn for Stephen Keep; and Black Lee Bonus and Go Wild Shaz will have their supporters.

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