Ladies’ runners tipped to star
THERE is a strong chance the lady trainers will again flex their collective muscle at the Grafton Greyhound race meeting today.
Grafton will host a strong 10-race program and on paper it appears the meeting could be dominated by local trainers Evelyn Harris, Sonia Kempshall and Shannon Scott.
Harris looks to hold all the aces in the Phil McLennan Earthmoving 5th Grade (407m) with her runner Black Zac Bonus coming up with his favourite box 1 draw.
This is the same draw he jumped from when he notched two impressive wins at the track over the same distance with a best of 23.29 seconds.
There will be strong opposition from the likes of Harper Hails, Breakman Boy and Lukas Olive but if the breaks go his way Black Zac Bonus should be the greyhound they have to beat.
The Westlawn Finance Non-Grade (407m) has attracted a strong line-up and all eyes will be on the Jim Gallaway-trained Sudoku Rebel which has a near-record 22.61sec run to his credit.
If he brings his A-game to the track there are none in the field that can match it but from centre draws he is at times susceptible to interference as he does have a tendency to begin only fairly and needs room to move early.
Harris' Hot Bonus and the Sonia Kempshall-trained Scoop Tank will have their admirers and are not without a show should the favourite not be on his best manners from the boxes.
As with all of the 305m races at Grafton the likely winner must be of early box speed and it is sure to be the case in the Sedgers Reef Hotel stakes.
The speed in the race looks to be contained in boxes 1, 2 and 4 with Thursday Special (Box 1), Vane Girl (2) and Kiwi Nugget (4) all blessed with brilliant box speed.
In a tough race it is the Shannon Scott-prepared Vane Girl which will likely start favourite. She has race and track experience over the Kempshall runner Thursday Special and a touch more strength at the finish than Kiwi Nugget.
Tipping against the Kempshall juggernaut is fraught with danger as her record on her home track has been outstanding in the past 18 months but at a bit of odds Vane Girl looks the one.
Punters looking for an early return could do well to consider the Annette Castles-trained Faded Lilly which will step from Box 2 in the Beaurepaires 4/5th Grade (305m).
Although resuming from a four-month break, Faded Lilly can show tremendous early speed and has clocked a fast 17.39sec at this distance.
Faded Lilly has also won two of her four starts from box 2 and if she has returned at anywhere near her best she will prove the one to watch.
The Kim Bates-trained Valentine Meiyan is one which can match Faded Lilly from the boxes and there will be plenty on course who are prepared to put their hard earned on her to beat the race favourite.
The action kicks off at 3.37pm and it is the same time slot that the race meeting on Monday will occupy instead of the usual Monday night racing.
TWO IN A ROW
MAGIC Display appears to be rediscovering some of her early 2014 form with an eye-catching win at Gosford on Tuesday night. Trained by Evelyn and Len Harris at Whiteman Creek, "Lexi" was unheaded from the boxes to win by two lengths in the Road Tested Rubber Non-Graded Stakes (515m).
Magic Display's first sectional time of 4.34sec was her best in eight starts at the track, setting her up well for the heats of the Woy Woy Poultry Gold Cup, where she finished runner-up at the same track last year.
Following a successful return to Grafton on December 8, Magic Display has now won two races in a row for the first time since her Golden Easter Egg campaign at Wentworth Park in April. The winner of 19 races from 54 starts will now be aiming for the first treble of her career when she lines up for the heats on December 26.