Shima Shine will look to continue his winning ways in the $25,000 winner-takes-all Shootout at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
He broke his group race hoodoo when taking out the TAB Topgun at The Meadows last Saturday night and comes into the race as the second fastest greyhound ever at Sandown Park courtesy of his 28.949 gallop in July. The Andrea Dailly trained speedster will be aiming to become just the fourth greyhound to win the Topgun/Shootout double after Bombastic Shiraz (2003), Whiskey Assassin (2004) and Jaimandy Coops (2006). The box draw has done the son of Barcia Bale no favours however, with no greyhound winning the Shootout from the widest draw since Mantra Lad in 2008.
Joining him in the Shootout is Christo Bale who turned in an eye catching third behind Shima Shine in the Topgun. Chirsto Bale won the group 2 McKenna Memorial over 595m in July but has shown dash over the sprint trip as well having won the Speed Star at The Meadows in September and boasts a slashing 29.21 best time at Sandown Park.
Hard Style Rico has opened favourite for the race following his dazzling group 3 Silver Bullet win at his last start at The Meadows. His winning time of 29.46 was the fifth fastest recorded at The Meadows in the last 10 years.
The final spot in the four dog speed spectacular goes to Tiggerlong Tonk. Ranked second in the Greyhound Clubs Australia rankings for 2020, Tiggerlong Tonk will be contesting his 12th group final on Thursday night and will be aiming to emulate the feats of kennel mate Orson Allen which won the 2018 Shootout and give trainer Correy Grenfell his first group race win.
The reserves are Catch The Thief and Dr Tucker.
There will be 10 TAB Melbourne Cup Preludes run on Thursday night, representing the final opportunity to qualify for the TAB Melbourne Cup heats Friday 20th November. Among those rounding out their Cup preparations are Xerri, Aussie Secret, People Get Ready, Immunity and Last Hurrah.
The first of 12 races will jump at 6.57pm. Click here for your free Watchdog form.
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1. Christo Bale
Trainer: Mark Delbridge
Record: 39 starts 16-7-6
Prize money: $160,395
Sandown 515m record: 5 starts 3-0-0
Sandown best: 29.21 (28/5/20)
Other: Won Speed Star @ The Meadows
Eight of 16 wins in best of night
3. Hard Style Rico
Trainer: Luckie Karabitsakos
Record: 37 starts 19-6-1
Prize money: $185,030
Sandown 515m record: 6 starts 2-1-0
Sandown best: 29.31 (2/4/20)
Other: Won RSN Silver Bullet @ The Meadows in 29.46
15 of his wins in best of night
WATCH | Hard Style Rico runs the 5th fastest time at The Meadows in the last decade
5. Tiggerlong Tonk
Trainer: Correy Grenfell
Record: 58 starts 30-10-6
Prize money: $303,670
Sandown 515m record: 20 starts 8-5-2
Sandown best: 29.12 (16/4/20)
Other: 5th fastest greyhound of 2020
14 of 30 wins in best of night
7. Shima Shine
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Record: 40 starts 25-3-4
Prize money: $375,693
Sandown 515m record: 10 starts 4-2-1
Sandown best: 28.95 (23/7/20)
Other: Fastest time of 2020, second fastest ever
16 of 25 wins in best of night
RESERVES randomly allocated at scratching time, if required
Catch The Thief
Trainer: Matt Clark
Record: 35 starts 19-8-1
Prize money: $165,155
Sandown 515m record: 5 starts 4-1-0
Sandown best: 29.21 (13/3/20), 29.23 (15/3/20)
Other: Won SA match race series
12 of 19 wins in best of night
Trainer: William McMahon
Record: 13 starts 9-1-1
Prize money: $95,405
Sandown 515m record: 1 start 1-0-0
Sandown best: 29.28 (29/10/20)
Other: 3rd to Hard Style Rico in his 29.46 win last Monday