A week without racing flies by especially with the anticipation that comes with knowing tomorrow hails the first GRV Vic Bred Maiden series on the new track at the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club.
Long regarded as a stepping stone in the development of young, inexperienced greyhounds on their way to superstardom, the Vic Bred series is held at each of the tracks throughout the state twice a year and involves a series of heats, semi-finals and a final. The Horsham series, across three weeks, will distribute almost $30,000 in prize money, with the winner to receive $7500.
Recent stars of the track to kick-start their careers in these races include the Hall of Fame Champion El Grand Senor who began his career at Horsham and broke the 410m track record at only his second start - a record that stood from 2010 until the track closed for redevelopment last year. Others include Zara Zulu who was initially trained locally by Heather and Bruce Baxter and won a heat at the Meadows before transferring kennel and going on to win the Australian Cup. Only time will tell whether any superstars kick-start their careers off to a flying start tomorrow night.
There are eight heats over the 410m, with the first four in each race to automatically qualify for the semi-finals next week and provide a tricky proposition for punters with so many runners without any exposed form.
Race 2 will see a half-brother to current star Up Hill Jill hit the track for the first time in Fernando Drums for David Geall, of Lara, and may have benefited from a trial on the track a couple of weeks ago.
Every heat features at least one runner from the strong kennels of Angela Langton, who is also one of the state’s leading breeders with the highlight going to be Race 12 when Go Seek Fernando, fresh from three seconds at Sandown, takes on another of Up Hill Jill’s half-brothers in Emerald Rainbow. They begin from box 2 and box one respectively and a should set the track alight.
Best of the locals may be Vic Millington’s Starbright Toby in race 10 who has placed six of his 9 starts at Horsham but box 5 may make it a little tricky against this stronger company.
Bill and Helen Hartigan have Avatar Maximus in race 9 and he is progressing nicely and should get clear air from box eight to put himself in the business end of things.
Anthony Azzopardi seems to have a stranglehold on the Restricted Win Final over 485m with his three runners (Blue Sky Riot, Mystic Riot, and La Bella Riot) all prominent in the market after strong heat runs and drawing boxes 1,2 and 8. Racing begins at 4.07pm and concludes with race 12 at 7.41pm.