The May Carnival may be over for another year but there is no stop to the top grade racing at Sandown Park.
Here’s a wrap of the highlights from the club’s first meeting of what’s shaping as hot winter of greyhound racing!
Another Great Gr8 Eight
Last Hurrah continued his impressive recent form, winning the night’s Gr8 Eight and earning $10,500 for trainer Brett Nye (above) and owner John Maple his efforts.
In one of the most open top grade markets seen in some time, Last Hurrah ($5) settled second behind favourite Perfect Marshall ($3.80) before railing through to take the lead off the back straight before holding off ranked outsider Rajasthan ($11) to claim his 23rd career victory.
The four time group race finalist joins Mister Harlewood, Rockstar Beav, Simon Told Helen and Weblec Haze as winners of the popular Gr8 Series.
Houdini Boy’s escape act
As we wrote on this site before the meeting, Houdini Boy is a very fast dog with an aversion to jumping out of starting boxes. Or at least, jumping out of the boxes with other dogs.
Once he does jump, he can seriously run as he showed in his win in race 2. Stepping away last from box 8 – a long way last – and clocking a pedestrian 5.45 to the first split, he showed the race smarts of a dog far beyond his five career starts to weave his way through and score a thrilling last stride win.
He Shall Power, and does
He ran an eye catcher when third in the RSN Sandown Cup and He Shall Power franked that form when defeating a quality field in the 715m event.
He Shall Power endured a checked run early before finally finding clear air down the back and proving too strong for early leader Submission, powering to the line to win in 41.92. Surprisingly, the win was just his fourth in 19 career starts – and first over further than 520m – and broke a run of six placings without victory.
Burn Time a home grown star
Burn Time caused an upset in the seventh race to claim his second victory in as many starts over the 595m trip.
While his winning time of 34.47 was moderate, the manner of the victory caught the eye. Getting squeezed early as he tried shift wide from box 2, Burn Down turned Sandown Park’s oval track into a circle as he swung wide in each straight before dropping down on the turns and racing to a five lengths victory.
The hulking 36kg white and black dog is the son of the Hellmuth’s group 1 winner Peter Rocket and out of their 16 race winner Headline, and provided them with their first Sandown metro winner of 2020.
Tough night for punters
Just 1 ¾ lengths separated the first five over the line in the Free For All, but it was the three roughies that claimed the prize money. Halberd Bale ($11.30) defeated Wallbanger ($30.60) and Just Lovin’ It ($34.30) while favourites Black Opium ($2.10) and You Tell Me ($3.50) finished close behind. The trifecta paid a massive $1494.
It capped a tough night for punters with just one favourite saluting on the night. Even with He Shall Power ($1.80) getting up in race 5, the quaddie returned a dividend of $2018.