The Heat is On - Quality across the Card at Cambridge

The Mike Stent Decorators New Zealand Derby takes top billing of the five feature races to be run at Cambridge next Thursday night (April 15).

An abundance of quality greyhounds will look to put their best paws forward today, as they compete for a spot on finals night. The Angus Wright Memorial over the 375m has three heats, the South Waikato Cup and Louis Henley Memorial Trophy will run two heats a piece, while The Derby contains four evenly matched heats to round out the action for the day. The Teresa McDonald over 747m will run a straight final next week completing what should be a super night’s racing.

The opening heat of the Angus Wright Memorial is as even as any other race on the day. Any one of the 8 runners could win without too much of a surprise. The Emma Potts New Zealand debutante Starlight Ria will be one to watch after some impressive victories across the Tasman. The talented Akashi Boy will line up for the first time in six months for Gary & Sandra Fredrickson and he receives a draw that should suit his swooping tendencies. Big Time Fuzz for Lisa Cole and Wild Kiwi for Jared Udy and Denise Cottam also loom as greyhounds capable of victory.

In the second heat, Nangar Hurricane for Peter Ferguson will be the likely favourite on the back of his third in the Railway, and his resolute victory at Cambridge last week in a best of day 20.98s.  Big Time Fairy for Lisa Cole looks to be the main challenger after her bold best of day 23.38s over 410m last Thursday at Manawatu Raceway.  Hot Little Nancy for Sam Lozell has great track stats and a best winning time of 21.10s, which puts her into calculations.

Trojan Hoarse will be looking to add another victory to his stellar career in the final heat. Following on from his hard fought Railway victory, box 2 should be much more to his liking as he goes up against kennel mate Big Time Brie who draws directly to his outside in 3.

Drink Shoeys will start a warm favourite from box 2 in the opening heat of the South Waikato Cup over 457m.  After his third in the Auckland Cup and second in the Golden Chase, both behind Federal Morgan, Shoeys will be incredibly hard to roll.  Opawa Travis and Thrilling Morris for Phil Green and Karen Walsh are most likely to be the greyhounds running out of the pack, leading the charge after Drink Shoeys with their solid finishing capabilities.

The best dog in New Zealand at the moment, Federal Morgan will step from the ace draw in the second heat as he returns to the track where he made his New Zealand debut.  Leonard Bale looks to be the best of the rest as he returns to the scene of his New Zealand Derby victory from last year which also came from box 8.

The Louis Henley Memorial over 457m is a race exclusively for bitches and this year’s heats are high in quality.  Jilliby Litsa will be looking to recapture the form that won her the 2020 Spion Rose as she steps from box one for Lisa Cole.  The promising Sports Mode for Peter Ferguson steps up to middle distance for the first time, while Just As Much for Sam Lozell will be looking to carry on her good form after a courageous second to Opawa Travis on Saturday.

The second heat looks the stronger of the two and comes with a plethora of chances.  Big Time Kaylee will start as deserved favourite after her convincing victories at Auckland and Manawatu.  Locals Zipping Barty for Glennis Farrell and Thrilling Neve for Karen Walsh are both solid chances of making the final, along with the Lisa Cole pair of Big Time Lantao and Pluto who will look to put themselves in the race early.

The Karen Walsh prepared Thrilling Norman goes into the first of four New Zealand Derby Heats on the back of four straight victories. This will be Norman’s toughest test to date, but he can certainly feature. Penalty Drop for Daniel Lane has defeated kennel mate Best Ball on his merit at Addington. Baseline for Tracey & Lisa Craik has made an impression winning his last two over the sprint distance and will step up to the 457m for the first time. Super Rex is another prospect who loves the one turn tracks, his close up second behind Big Time Kaylee was full of merit.

Eyes will be on Glennis Farrell’s Zipping Hewitt as he looks to take early advantage of box one in the second heat. Hewitt’s best winning time of 25.30s would all but guarantee him a place in the Final with a repeat effort. Best Ball for Daniel Lane looks to be an obvious danger despite his first race day start at Cambridge. Thrilling Hazard holds the time standard for this field with a 25.57s and a similar run will put him right in contention.

The penultimate heat features the reigning New Zealand Cup winner Rock On John. Since his victory at start 13 in New Zealand’s biggest race he has struggled to recapture any solid form and box 8 is probably not going to help his cause. Fresh off his 25.61s third placing in the Golden Chase Pedro Lee appears one of the heat standouts. A bold performance from him should be expected. Gary Cleeve’s best chance lies with Know Keeper who will step from the tricky 5 trap. The Auckland Cup bridesmaid is certainly up to these talent-wise, but will require some space to unleash his powerful finish.

Nevada Phil makes his return to Cambridge Raceway where he has posted a competitive time of 25.39s. The Jean & Dave Fahey mentored runner will be right in the thick of the action with a similar time.  Portland Berty is flying at present on the back of a 25.68s fourth place in the Golden Chase, and a best of the day 25.25s victory at Cambridge the week prior.  Tracey & Lisa Craik will be looking for Berty to replicate the exploits of their father’s champion Snicko who took out his heat of the Derby in 2012.

Posted on 08 April 2021

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