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Australian Stayers Cup Preview

 Mar 3 2016

It's hard to argue with winning form when attempting to tip winners but when you have one greyhound who has won five races straight and another who has won six out of their last seven, the task to separate them gets extremely difficult.

The G1 Australian Stayers final to be run at The Meadows this Saturday evening will see the current star of the staying ranks, No Donuts, take on Star Recall, a greyhound who made a big statement when winning on debut over the 'longs' last week in the fastest time of the meeting.

No Donuts form in recent times has been nothing short of outstanding.

Stepped up in distance in late December, he claimed the G1 Sale Cup over 650m before journeying to Wentworth Park to emphatically claim the G2 Summer Distance Plate. An uncharacteristically slow beginning at his next start blotted his copybook, before he returned to his winning ways when taking out the G1 Zoom Top, and then running his rivals ragged in his heat win of the Stayers Cup last Saturday night.

Trainer Anthony Azzopardi concedes that his star performer is not the strongest '700' chaser but he says he can't do anymore than win, which is exactly what he has done six times from his last seven visits to the track.

"He goes so hard in the early and middle stages that it's no surprise to see him struggle in the last 50 metres but he just keeps on finding something and at the moment he's in great form," said Azzopardi.

"I do believe he's getting stronger with more racing as in the past he's always had a broken preparation but in the last few weeks, I've been able to get more work into him and its paying dividends."

Star Recall has also been in sparkling form winning her last five races in succession, including a first-up win over the 725m journey last Saturday night when she set the time standard in the heats of 42.32, nearly three lengths faster than No Donuts recorded when he clocked 42.52.

A finalist in the 2014 G1 Melbourne Cup, Star Recall looks to have obvious improvement in her and despite drawing box 5, she should be amongst the leaders in the run to the winning post the first time around.

With the advantage of box 2, I'm banking on No Donuts holding the advantage of the the rail and the lead in the early stages and establishing a winning break in the $100,000 to the winner final.

If I was to have a concern with No Donuts, it's the fact that in his two starts at The Meadows he is yet to run fast time and given that Star Recall went quicker on debut and is racing in such great heart, she is the main threat to the pre-post favourite.

My tips in the G1 Australian Stayers Cup final are No Donuts from Star Recall, Tambay Bale and Esparza.

It promises to be a great night of greyhound racing at The Meadows this Saturday night with the Australian Stayers Cup the encore to the feature event, the $250,000 to the winner, G1 Australian Cup.

I'll be live trackside bringing viewers all the latest information and late mail tips on Sky Racing 1 (Ch519) from 6.30pm AEDT.

Good luck and good punting.

Mark Duclos - Sky Racing

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