Named in honour of a former superstar sprinter and Hall of Fame inductee, ‘The Temlee’ to be held this Saturday night at The Meadows, has brought together a star-studded field to do battle for the $100,000 winners cheque.
The depth and class of the field typifies the strength of our sprinting stock at present, however, since the retirement of champion chaser, Fernando Bale, picking the winner of a Group 1 sprint event has reverted to being an extremely difficult assignment.
From inside to outside, it is jam packed with quality especially when you examine the feature races the runners have won – Unlawful Entry (G1 Hobart Thousand & G2 Great Chase); Fantastic Spiral (G1 Dapto Megastar, G2 Launceston Cup & G3 Nowra Puppy Classic); Cash In Motion (G1 National Futurity); Zambora Brockie (G1 Vic Peters Classic); Dalgetty (G2 Geelong Cup & G3 Silver Bullet); Above All (G1 Hobart Thousand, G1 Silver Chief Classic & G2 Cranbourne Cup); Shared Equity (G2 Bendigo Cup) and Elfen Bale (G3 Ladies Bracelet & G3 SA Oaks).
Between these eight elite chasers, they have won 133 races from 274 starts and claimed in excess of $1.480m in earnings.
The charge from the 525m starting boxes to the first turn at The Meadows invariably decides who wins a feature race sprint – if your greyhound is able to find clear running and either lead or be close to the leaders at the first turn, they will always be tough to beat. Miss the start and get caught up in a traffic jam and your chances are dashed.
We’ve only seen Zambora Brockie ($4.50 with TAB Fixed Odds) at The Meadows on one occasion when he finished unplaced in a heat of the G1 Maturity, but if he was to bring his Wentworth Park form to the track, he’ll be extremely tough to beat despite drawing the blue rug of box 4.
Speaking with me on Sky Sports Radio’s Going Greyhounds program on Monday morning, trainer Anthony Azzopardi told listeners that with a slow beginner (Cash In Motion) drawn directly inside Zambora Brockie, he expects the son of Nitro Burst to be very competitive.
“He had one trial there before the Maturity when he ran 29.70 first look…I’ve trialled him through the week and he went really good and he’s ready to go,” said Azzopardi.
A winner of the G1 Vic Peters Classic at Wentworth Park, Zambora Brockie has run between 29.56 and 29.69 at that venue on seven occasions – sizzling times for the 520m trip, but it his consistent early pace which could carry him to victory this week.
Recording first section splits of 5:34, 5:38 and 5:40 en-route to three of those victories, Zambora Brockie has proven that he has the early burn required to lead Group 1 greyhounds – that pace, combined with his good racing manners of tracking a straight line to the first time and not wanting to ‘crash’ to the rail at box rise, is enough for me to tip him this Saturday night.
After drawing the coveted inside box, Unlawful Entry ($3.50) could hold the key to the race.
Despite being a noted wide runner, his record from inside boxes is exemplary (4 starts from box 1 for 4 wins – 3 starts from box 2 for 3 wins) and if he was to punch through and hold the rail, and the lead, at the first turn, the Temlee trophy could well be sitting alongside his G1 Hobart Thousand trophy on the Brett Bravo mantelpiece.
If he misses the start and gets crowded, it could spell big trouble for those caught outside him, as he’ll want to shift wide going through the first turn.
Although Cash In Motion may be the extreme outsider of the field at $18, I give her a huge chance of causing an upset, particularly if there is any trouble with the leaders at the first turn.
A winner of the G1 National Futurity at Wentworth Park when she came from last in the early stages, I think The Meadows will suit her exceptional railing ability…not to mention the fact that she’s broken 30 seconds at Albion Park on seven occasions – she can’t afford to give the speedsters a huge lead down the back straight but I’ll be having something on her at the big odds.
Fantastic Spiral ($10) is racing in great form at present having won the G2 Launceston Cup on Monday night and would undoubtedly cap off the biggest week in trainer Jason Fletcher’s career, if he were to take out The Temlee just five nights later.
My tips in The Temlee are; Zambora Brockie from Cash In Motion, Fantastic Spiral and Unlawful Entry.
I’ll be trackside at The Meadows this Saturday night from 7pm on Sky Racing1 (Channel 519) with the Late Mail tips as well as interviews with trainers of the key runners on what promises to be a sensational night of greyhound racing.
Good luck and Good Punting!
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