Last Hurrah just Gr8

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.

Last Hurrah (4) wins last night's Gr8 Eight

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.

No early speed, no problem for Houdini Boy(8)

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.

He Shall Power wins the first of what promises to be many races over the stayers journey

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.

Burn Time (2) uses plenty of the track to record his first city win at HQ

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.

Halberd Bale leads home a trifecta of roughies in the Free For All

Gr8 Eight racing continues at Sandown Park next Thursday with the country’s premier sprinters lining up over 515m.

Click here for full results from last night’s meeting.

Mick Floyd
About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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