Sudoku key to race puzzle
THE big guns will be out in force when a quality field does battle in the Carters Canine Capers Free For All at the Grafton Greyhound Racing Club tonight.
Last-start winners at the track Sudoku Rebel and Country Charm will attract plenty of interest and possibly the bulk of punters' money but the likes of the speedy Carlyle Tycoon, the giant-killing Slick Jappa and talented duo Pace Ventura and Sonnet's Special will add plenty of intrigue to the 407m event.
The Jim Gallaway-trained Sudoku Rebel has arguably been the king of Grafton for some time, compiling an imposing record at the track of 12 wins at the distance from just 20 starts.
With a personal best time at the track of a near-record 22.61 seconds, Sudoku Rebel has consistently raced the best in the region and the results reveal he regularly comes out on top.
After finishing a gallant second in the recent Village Green Hotel Sprinters Cup final, the son of Cosmic Rumble and Georgia Anne was diagnosed with a minor injury.
Gallaway opted to rest him in the wake of that run and he appears to have benefited from the break, proving too strong for Carlyle Tycoon in his return last week.
Connections are expecting him to be improved by the run but do have some concerns about whether he can secure a clear run in the early stages from a potentially tricky box 4 draw.
Country Charm gave nothing else a chance when successful at Grafton one week ago, recording an ever-increasing 11.75 length victory in 23.10 seconds.
Although she is stepping up from 4/5th Grade company to a Free For All event, Country Charm has notched 19 wins and her time compares favourably with Sudoku Rebel.
Country Charm has also shown impressive early speed, clocking a fast 8.37 first section last week which was quicker than they ran in the top grade.
If punters could secure each-way odds for the Stephen Casey-trained runner she could well be a nice bet to make it back-to-back wins.
Slick Jappa will likely be at sizable odds to take the race out however he has made a habit in the past of bobbing up at good odds.
Trained locally by Sonia Kempshall, Slick Jappa finished only three lengths behind Sudoku Rebel last start but looks to be better drawn near the rails tonight.
Carlyle Tycoon is the other speed runner in the race but his chances of victory rely on him being able to cross Country Charm before they reach the first turn after drawing box 8.
Pace Ventura and Sonnet's Special are both up to a race of this standard although Pace Ventura is returning from a four-month injury break while Sonnet's Special does appear to be racing a little below his best.
Meanwhile Dean Casey looks to have strong prospects in the Willow Park Pre Training Stakes with Dancin Annabel.
Dancin Annabel is blessed with brilliant early speed and has clocked a number of near-record splits over 305m distance.
After a last-start fall at the track connections opted to give her a one-month let-up.
Dancin Annabel will make her return tonight and with a slow beginner inside her in box 3 she is expected give this race an almighty shake.
Toughest to beat will be the Dean Turley-trained pair of Regatta, which has the perfect draw in box 1 and also possesses very good early speed, and Oakey Park which is having its first start at Grafton but is coming off two strong wins at Ipswich.
The racing action kicks off at 7.16pm when the first of 10 races will be decided.