Robert Britton continues to enhance his reputation as the country’s leading conditioners of stayers following Blazing Cartier’s win in the Gr8 Eight over 715m at Sandown Park tonight.
Hers wasn’t the only ‘gr8’ performance on another outstanding night of racing – here’s a wrap of that and some of the highlights from another big night of greyhound racing at Sandown Park.
The latest edition of the Gr8 series shaped as one of the strongest yet with the 715m event featuring four group 1 winners, however it was the unheralded Blazing Cartier that stole the show. In her first appearance since running sixth in the RSN Sandown Cup, Blazing Cartier settled near the pace set by early leader Rajasthan and proved the superior staying in the run to the line, winning her 50th career start in 41.82.
Fellow RSN Sandown Cup finalist He Shall Power was again the eye catching runner from the race, charging home to finish within two lengths of the winner. Despite having just four wins to his name from 20 career starts, the Shona Crawford trained youngster is yet to miss a place in four starts over the distance and remains one of the country’s hottest staying prospects.
Presto Christo Bale
Christo Bale is quickly emerging as one of the country’s fastest sprinters. Very quickly in fact.
After scintillating wins in 29.21 at Sandown and 29.72 performance at the Meadows, Christo Bale lined up in a hot Free For All. Lining up for his 22nd career start, it was his first above grade 4 level (excluding the group 1 Silver Chief, in which he ran last) and met two of the state’s premier sprinters in Tiggerlong Tonk and Jax Bale.
Tiggerlong Tonk ($1.40) looked the dog to beat having drawn box two however he was unable to hold out Jax Bale to the first turn. As they came together, Christo Bale took the sit on the outside of the leaders before unleashing a powerful finishing burst to score in 29.29.
It was his third consecutive victory and the 10th of his blossoming career.
“His last three starts he’s shown what he’s capable of,” said handler Lisa Delbridge.
“He had about six weeks off when the virus came through and we’ve just taken our time to build him up. He just needs a clear passage early because when he gets going he is really strong.
“I’d love to see what he can do over 600m.”
Christo Bale is a $34 chance to win the TAB Melbourne Cup with tab.com.au.
Lethal early speed gives rivals Wynburn
A week after the Kel Greenough trained Houdini Boy won after recording one of the slowest first splits of the year, the Jackie Greenough trained Wynburn Lethal won recording one of the fastest.
First up after a three month break and on her Sandown debut, Wynburn Lethal shanghaied from box two and despite a little stumble, recorded a 4.98 first split to lead by three lengths past the post the first time. Only Catch The Thief – the current favourite for the TAB Melbourne Cup – was won a race going quicker to the first mark in 2020.
Interestingly, it was the same split a greyhound named Pechey – also trained by Jackie Greenough – ran in 2016. Pechey is the mother of Houdini Boy, who ran 5.45 in his win last week.
While their racing styles couldn’t have more contrasting, the overall difference in the times of Wynburn Lethal and Houdini Boy was just 0.01 seconds.
They don’t pay on margins
Glenn Rounds had two of the shortest favourites on the night and, having both drawn box 1, led to one tipster on RSN declare ‘they just win’.
Those who took the $1.60 about Amarillo Highway in race 7 and the $1.50 on Aston Stealth in race 11 would have had their hearts in their mouths after both greyhounds began only fairly from their inside draws, passing the post the first time in the second half of the field before working their way through the field to win in the shadows of the post. Their combined margin – just over one length.
It was one of the themes of the night – seven of the 12 races were determined by less than a length.
Flossing finally breaks through
It’s been a long time coming, but Flossing finally broke through for her first win at Sandown Park.
Flossing ran second on her debut at Sandown Park in September 2018 and has run second five times including in the group 2 Laurels in December that year.
It was her fourth start since resuming from a 10 month break. She had been placed twice before winning the Super Sprint at Healesville and breaking through at HQ for the first time in nine attempts.