Speed Watch – 26 January – Hatrick
HATRICK CLASSIC FINAL GROUP 1 C5F 520M $27,465
Last month, we were in Wanganui for the Spion Rose final and we’re back at Wanganui to see a number of those contenders do battle again in the Group One.
Over the 520m, our stats show there is a definite bias in favour of box 1 – around 20% of winners wear the red rug. The outside for boxes fare poorly – 40% of runners of 520 metres will come out of boxes 4-8 while 60% will be drawn 1-4.
Every week, we make the same point about greyhound racing – box speed is gold. Runners who lead out from the boxes have a much better record than those who are slow to start.
Over the 520m at Hatrick nearly 40% of winners have led at the first bend, while the winner has been either first or second in more 60% of races. At the other end of the spectrum, since 2011, just 15% of races have been won by dogs who were 5th or worse at the first bend.
With Me Jane stuck on the benches and not getting a run, it makes the start a lot more interesting.
Bigtime Paddy (1) has a pretty good record from the boxes but interestingly his worst start in his last 6 races was from box 1. As we noted above, there is a premium with box one and if he can get away and hold the rail, he will be hard to run down.
In the Spion Rose, Allen Abblett (3) did exactly what the stats said – he was in the first two with a lap to go, grabbed the lead and wasn’t headed. A repeat tonight wouldn’t surprise.
Out wider, Ridin’ Shotgun (6) and Dirk Bale (7) are likely to show up in the early rush but the draw does them no favour. That said, any problems at the start around the inside boxes will allow these two to pounce.
Of the three favourites, the runner most likely to get back is Nature’s Gent (2). He has a very powerful finish and with a clear run – or a quick start – will be right in this. However, as we saw in the Spion Rose it is extremely hard in a race like this to give top dogs a head start and run them down.
Thrilling Raider (4) is another runner who is likely to get back and make ground late.
The bookies have struggled to sort out a clear favourite and they current have three runners around the $3 mark – in box order, Bigtime Paddy (1), Nature’s Gent (2) and Allen Abblett (3). Our ratings also suggest the winner is likely to come from these three.
It’s very hard to separate the three and that’s where the speed map should help. In the heats from similar draws, Nature’s Gent came home 2 lengths faster than the best of the other two favourites but he gave up at least 3 lengths at the start. He did similar in the Spion Rose.
That leaves Bigtime Paddy and Allen Abblett. In terms of reliability, I would tend to favour Allen Abblett but in the heat Paddy drew box 1 and had the fourth best opening split – none of the dogs who were faster away have made the final. Paddy also had a superior closing sectional to Allen Abblett.
It’s hard to separate and I would have both dogs in my quaddie but based on the sectionals and box draws, I’d put Bigtime Paddy narrowly on top.
For big odds if you like the rougies, Fusion Cronulla showed up in the best opening and closing sectionals and is likely to fly under the radar. Box 8 suits and as always, if there’s any problems at the start, box 8 could be a real bonus.
Should be a another cracker of a race!
- Bigtime Paddy
- Allen Abblett
- Nature’s Gent
Big value roughie for a place – Fusion Cronulla (8) – currently $4.50 a place
NZ RACING SERIES SPRINT FINAL
The restricted sprint final is the race prior (race 9).
With the scratchings of a number of a couple of the top dogs, including the likely favourite Allegro Gun, it seems to set things up for Highland Laddie in box 3. He had the second best opening split last week, only bettered by Allegro Gun. Highland Laddie hasn’t yet won from box 3 but has had no issues with the draws either side. With a decent start, he wins.
Third best was Bigtime Shaker who comes off the bench but gets the red rug (box 1) which is the same box as last week. He rates as our second selection.