Trainer's decision to rest faces test
WATERVIEW Heights trainer Bob Merillo will make his return to racing at the Grafton Greyhound track tonight for the first time this season having refused to race his kennel over the warmer months.
Merillo has three runners entered and his tactics look set to pay off with all three rated early favourites in their respective races.
"I haven't had a chance to see what condition they are in because they haven't raced since November," Merillo said of his runners Bokarm Maggie, Bokarm Chrissy and Bokarm Lachie.
"I do not believe in racing my dogs over the warmer months.
"I am just easing them back into racing and taking it one meet at a time for the moment."
Bokarm Maggie will start in the opening race on the card, the Willow Park Pre Training Fifth Grade (305m), and shapes as an easy pick for best bet of the night.
The speedster has had only one career race for one win and at the same distance and jumping from the same box (three), Merillo is confident of her chances.
"If she can repeat what she has been doing she would have to go into the race favoured to win it," Merillo said.
"I think she looks the goods for the race unless there is something that I have overlooked.
"On the time she can run, and without jinxing myself, she is going to be a hard bitch to run down.
"She has the same box as her last start and I think that early inside line will treat her well."
Merillo also believes his other two prospects will be the likely winners in their heats despite Bokarm Chrissy drawing a wide box in five.
"Last start Chrissy went neck and neck with another dog for most of the race but she just got beaten on the line," he said.
"While box five is not a good box to jump from, I still think she is in with a good chance at claiming this race."
The first race on tonight's program is scheduled to commence at 7.10pm.