This Friday night, September 12 is the jewel in the crown for the Dapto Greyhound Club, with the running of the $75,000 to the winner, Group 1 Dapto Megastar.
This year's renewal has again drawn the cream of Australia's sprinters, who will line up over 520 metres in Race 8 at 9.40pm (AEST).
Check the full TAB.com.au market for the Dapto Megastar here
Equal favourite (with Zipping Willow) at $3.80 is Shoulders, which sizzled around the tight circuit in the Megastar Prelude, scoring by 5 1/2 lengths in 29.69 from box 4 and has drawn box 1 in the final. This son of Cosmic Rumble has really blossomed since racing in Victoria in the recent Maturity series and is drawn to be in the box seat. Trainer Anthony Azzopardi is confident Shoulders can go one better than his second to Mepunga Hayley in the Maturity.
Zipping Willow ($3.80) will exit box 7 for champion NSW trainer Jason Mackay and has a Porsche-like motor, winning 12 of her past 13 and possessing a PB of 29.48 at Dapto. Scratched from the Group 2 Black Top a fortnight ago due to a minor injury, she trialled in 29.96 at Wenty last Saturday night and this daughter of Goodesy and Sirocco Lass will give the Megastar one hell of a shake. Like Shoulders, she is undefeated over the Dapto 520.
Chica Destacada ($4.20) will be having her first start at Dapto and her first race since winning the National Sprint final in Perth last month. Drawn in box 2 (the same as at Cannington), she trialled moderately at Dapto last Friday night, but as she showed in the National decider, experience on the track will hold her in enormous stead. She has been flying out of the boxes and can lead at the first turn again. A massive hope.
Flash Reality ($4.60) has eased slightly this week, but is in the master hands of Tony Brett, whose champion Glen Gallon finished second in the Megastar last year. Drawn in box 4, Flash Reality trialled brilliantly here last week in 29.78 and only needs to get early room to pounce. Will need to avoid keen railer Woods in box 5, but is a sensational sprinter who will be trained to the second.
Tommy Brislane ($6) will line up for South Coast mentor Steve White and is a speed machine with a lethal strike rate. Hasn't started in just over a month but trialled here 3 weeks ago in 29.81 and could be ready to step up to the highest level, while Ritza Hattie ($13) jumps from box 6 for Mark Gatt and hasn't raced since May. Trialled here moderately last week but is in excellent hands.
My selections for the Group 1 Dapto Megastar are:
2. Chica Destacada.
3. Flash Reality
4. Zipping Willow
Join Dave Carlson trackside at Dapto on Friday night on Sky Racing 1 (Channel 519).
G1 - The Bet365 Celebration Steeple Chase (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
G1 - Aes Champion 4yo Hdle
Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase