The first of the two group one races at Manukau on Sunday is the Railway Sprint. Like its racing equivalent at Ellerslie, this race is for bragging rights over the short distance.

The Railway is race 7 on the card at Manukau and starts at 3.06.

Box statistics

As we’ve come to expect, the box with the greatest success is box 1 with 15% of winners in the red rug. If anything, the stats are Manukau show less bias than we’ve seen elsewhere – the traditional middle squeeze boxes (4 and 5) along with box 8 have the next best record with just over 13% of runners coming from these boxes.

In run position

In greyhound racing, being in front is generally a distinct advantage as it means the leading dogs avoid jostling and bumping. The leaders can just focus on trying to catch the lure.
This gives dogs on the pace a major advantage. At Manukau, 46% of winners of sprint races will be the leader at the first bend. Two thirds of the winners will be in the first two.
So finding the dogs that are likely to lead or be on the pace can be the key to finding the likely winner.

Speed map

According to our records, the opening sectional that Sir Duggie ran in the heat (4.4) is the best at least for the last 3 or 4 years and possibly longer.

His time was a staggering 2 lengths better than any other runner on the day. What’s even more impressive is Sir Duggie has been able to bring this outstanding early speed to any course he’s raced on.

So it’s no surprise the speed map shows he is mapped to take an early lead. If he does get to a clear early lead, barring disaster it should be all over.

Just One Smile and Kiwi Boy also map to have early speed and both on the immediate inside of the favourite. That at least should put them into the race.

Out wide, the other dog with early speed is Bigtime Wendle. She has the early speed to be in the mix and any trouble on her inside could allow her to scoot around the outside.

Selections

It’s almost impossible not to select Sir Duggie. He won’t even need to run as fast as he did in the heats to get the early lead but if he does, he has the ability to give himself a winning break.

I like Bigtime Wendle out wide – but so too do the bookies. She has a consistent record from the outside boxes along with the early pace to be in contention. Any problems at the start should give her an even stronger chance.

For a blowout, the big value runner is Alex Attack. He was second last year so he shown he can be competitive at this level. His performance in the heats likely went under the radar – his opening sectional was the equal second best on the day. He could well get a drag into the race with Sir Duggie on his inside. Great money at $31FF to win.

Best early speed – Sir Duggie (5)

Speed map special – Bigtime Wendle (8) second

Big value runner – Alex Attack (6)

Unfortunately, Sir Duggie was enjoyed and the race didn’t pan out the way it was expected to.  That said, Just One Smile clearly mapped to be on the lead and did just that paying great money $22.

David Archibald
Formpro Ratings