Greyhound Tips: Group Race Previews

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Distance: 515m
Track Record: :28.79 (Aston Rupee – 9th September 2021)

Weather Conditions: Possible showers, likely good track.


FINAL FIELD AND STATS

Aussie Secret – Best time :29.37 (9 September 2021). Won his heat in 29.57, 1st split of 5.04. Sixty career starts for 31 wins and 16 placings. Nine starts over this trip for 5 wins and 1 third. Six wins and 3 placings from 10 starts this draw. This is his 4th Group race Final and has yet to run a placing in his previous three.

On paper this is an awful draw for him as he pushes off the track and spears off at the turn on these city tracks, but he seems to be still finding a way to win of late and Box 1 is a huge tick at this circuit.

He had Box 2 in his heat run, which looked to gift Weblec Blazer the win off Box 1, but Aussie Secret jumped straight to the front and even though he did course wide he was at full momentum and gave nothing else a chance.

He is in red hot form and it’s just a matter of what happens at the first turn. In theory based on best splits, Koblenz should clear him and then Aussie Secret is every chance to cause some problems for dogs behind him.


Jepara – Best time :29.31 (6 May 2021). Dead-heated to win his heat in 29.43 with a 1st split of 5.07. Fifty career starts for 17 wins and 13 placings. Eighteen starts over this trip for 4 wins and 3 seconds. Eight starts from this draw for 2 wins and 1 second. This is his third Group race Final (2 unplaced runs).

This is a fascinating box draw and map for Jepara here. He will either get an amazing run through at the first turn when Aussie Secret wants to push off the track and course wide, or Aussie Secret will cannon straight into him off the mat and Jepara’s winning hopes will be immediately dashed.

At around $3.50 or better for a place I am happy to find out. If he was to get that great run through at the first turn he is a huge winning chance and looks a fantastic place bet to be safe.


Koblenz – Best time :29.16 (7 October 2021). Equal won his heat in 29.43 with a 1st split of 5.05. Has a 4.93 1st split PB. Thirty-eight career starts for 25 wins and 9 placings. Eight starts over this trip for 5 wins and 2 placings. Two from two this draw. 2021 Cranbourne Cup winner. This is his 4th Group race final.

He seemed to not be his usual explosive self in his heat but he still got the job done when dead heating with Jepara. He only ran 29.43 but in recent months has won over this trip in 29.16 and 29.32, obviously the track can be in different conditions on these nights so I think he can definitely improve on his heat run.

Trainer Dave Geall has won the Cup previously with My Redeemer, so he knows what this race is all about from a preparation stand point. From a lovely draw here, I think he can clear Aussie Secret and Jepara, find the early lead here and hold on to win.


Aston Rupee – best time :28.79. Won his heat in 29.47 with a 1st split of 5.15 (slowest). Thirty-two starts for 19 wins and 11 placings. Thirteen starts over this trip for 8 wins and 4 placings. Only 1 win from this draw in 5 attempts (3 placings). 2021 G1 Top Gun winner at The Meadows and G3 Shootout winner over this trip. This is his 7th Group race final.

I am nervously tipping around this superstar chaser due to a ton of speed drawn either side of him plus the possibility of Aussie Secret spearing off the track in front of him at the first turn. He has surprisingly ran the slowest first section of 5.15 because he didn’t seem to begin badly and was forward enough to find a rails position early.

I just don’t think he gets the same benefits here but his heat win coming from behind and wide was absolutely enormous so I am not willing to lay him, just have a leaning to Koblenz off the map.


Lala Kiwi – best time :29.24. Ran this time in heat win with a 1st split of 5.05. 37 career starts for 16 wins and 8 placings. Six starts over this trip for 4 wins and 1 second. Only 4 starts from this draw for 2 wins and 1 second. 2021 G2 Cranbourne Cup place getter. This is her 5th Group race Final.

She was just super in her all the way heat win in the last race of the night last Friday. She used the inside draw to perfection in what was a tough heat.

This will be a lot tougher from Box 5 but she has a real X Factor about her as she can come out jet propelled on occasion. She did this in two runs at Cranbourne.

Team Dailly train their dogs to the minute for these big races and if she hits double figures on the exchange I wouldn’t hesitate to have a round of drinks on her.


Lakeview Walter – best time :29.15 (29 April 2021). Won his heat in 29.26 with a 1st split of 5.10. Twenty-nine career starts for 11 wins and 11 placings. Fourteen starts over this trip for 6 wins and 6 placings. Only 1 start from this draw for a third place finish. 2021 G1 Silver Chief winner and G3 Silver Bullet win both at The Meadows.

After a run of outs of September and October, he seems to be back to his best. The draw here puts a major dent in his chances of winning. He is not the best beginner and that actually could be a positive for him here.

If he misses the start he may be able to drop to the rails and get a glorious run through at the first turn. He just needs to stay in touch with them. I don’t think he can win but I think he can run top 4.


Tiberia Bale – best time :29.64. Ran this time in heat win with a 1st split of 5.13. Fifty-eight career starts for 11 wins and 22 placings. Nine starts over this trip for 2 wins and 4 placings. Has never placed from this draw in 6 attempts. This is her first Group race Final.

She was gutsy in her heat win but did benefit from an inside draw and the big gun of the heat in Tommy Shelby having to deal with the outside draw. She has drawn the wrong side of the track here as she has a poor record from outside draws. This looks beyond her and she is making up the numbers here.


Kinson Bale – best time :29.47. Ran this time in heat win with a 1st split of 5.02 (quickest). 44 career starts for 12 wins and 17 placings. 10 starts over this trip for 3 wins and 4 placings. 1 win and 1 second from 5 starts this draw. This is his second group race final.

This dog is a real improver over recent months, he has explosive acceleration and he will get plenty of space from the outside draw but I still can’t see him clearing the likes of Aussie Secret and Koblenz early, so he is likely to be posted wide. It would be a big shock if he won this from the extreme draw.


Typhoon Sammy (1st emergency). Best time :29.65. Won his heat in this time with a 1st split of 5.10. Twenty-eight career starts for 19 wins and 5 placings. Eleven of his 19 wins have come from Boxes 1-3.

He has controversially missed this final even after winning his heat due to the dead heat between Koblenz and Jepara. If he gained a start here he has such good acceleration he can feature in the finish here.


Jax Bale (2nd emergency). Best time :29.15 (14 May 2020). Runner up in heat in 29.35. 1st split of 5.13. 73 career starts for 17 wins and 32 placings. 9 starts here for 3 wins and 3 placings. Has a stack of experience over this trip having raced here 34 times.

Despite his quick heat time, I don’t think he is going as well as he was in recent months and I don’t think he could win this.


SELECTIONS

1st – Koblenz (3)

2nd – Jepara (2)

3rd – Aston Rupee (4)


BETTING STRATEGY

BACK (WIN) — Koblenz for 1.5 units at $3.50+

BACK (PLACE) — Jepara for 0.5 units at $3.50+

Distance: 715m
Track Record: :41.157 (30th January 2020)

Weather Conditions: Possible showers, likely good track.


FINAL FIELD AND STATS

Untapped – Best time :41.83. Ran this time in heat win with a 1st split of 5.93 (quickest). 32 career starts for 10 wins and 12 placings. 2 wins and 1 second from 4 starts this draw. Last week’s heat win was her first attempt over 700 metres. This is her first Group race final.

Untapped couldn’t do much more than win at her first attempt over the 700 metre distance range. She pinged the lids and gave nothing else a chance.

She has found a great draw here but the pressure here will be a lot higher. I can see any of Mepunga Ruby, Run Like Jess or Gypsy Wyong putting the heat on her early here and at this stage of her staying career I think this might be a bridge too far.


Kenny The Brute – Best time :41.53 (21 October 2021). Runner up in heat in 42.19, with a 1st split of 6.15. Forty-six career starts for 10 wins and 14 placings. Most experienced chaser over this trip with 12 starts for 2 wins and 4 placings. Three wins and 1 second from 6 starts this draw. This is his second Group race final (unplaced in G1 Sandown Cup).

He is certainly drawn to get every possible chance here. He should find a midfield position biding his time along the rail and it may just be a case of if he has the race nous and class to take the gaps throughout.

I think he is more than capable of winning this, I think he can run Top 3 but I certainly wouldn’t take you out of a win wager on him here.


Mepunga Ruby – Best time :41.44 (19 August 2021). Won her heat in 41.63 with a 1st split of 6.21. Twenty-two career starts for 13 wins and 5 placings. Four starts over this track and trip 3 wins and 1 third. 1 from 1 from this draw. 2021 Speed Star Match Race winner (G3) over 725m at The Meadows.

Her preparation was far from ideal going into last week’s heat and from the outside draw I thought she had plenty of things going against her. But I thought she was sensational in winning and she didn’t have things go her way in the run either. I thought it was a remarkable win.

The draw here does look a little tricky, but it’s a lot better in comparison to Box 8 last week. If she can just hold her line and find a rails position at the winning post the first time around I think she can finish in a flurry here.

She is also more than capable of pinging the lids and leading all the way so there are two very solid variables to say she looks a great bet here.


Run Like Jess – Best time 41.69 (18 March 2021). Runner up in heat in 42.32 with a 1st split of 6.08. Most experienced chaser in field with 76 career starts for 26 wins and 24 placings. Only five starts over this trip for 1 win and 1 placing. This is her second best performed box with 5 wins and 3 seconds from 9 starts. This is his 9th Group race final.

This dog has a great racing pattern, you know where you stand with him. He usually is always forward in his races, if not leading and he does his best racing when he is bowling along out in front without any pressure.

He would need that exact pattern to happen here in order to pinch this Group 1. I think he is past his best and would need everything to go perfectly to win this, but with his racing pattern- never say never!


Knicks Bale – best time :41.82 (23 September 2021). Won her heat in 42.13 with a 1st split of 6.21. Seventy-three career starts for 8 wins and 15 placings. Does her best racing over this trip with 6 wins (most in field from 8 starts). Three wins and 1 placing from 8 starts from this draw. This is his 4th Group race final and was the recent winner of the G1 Hume Cup at The Meadows over 600m.

It is hard to go against Knicks Bale seeing she has won 3 of her last 4 starts but I thought she was a little lucky when winning her heat. But that seems to be her go, when she is written off she bobs up to win these races so she must be respected.

She would have been better suited to an inside draw and there is plenty of early pace drawn either side of her. I wouldn’t be bowled over if she won but I prefer others in this event.


Gypsy Wyong – best time :41.94 (16 September 2021). Runner up in heat in 41.72 (a personal best) with a 1st split of 6.06. Twenty-seven career starts for 14 wins and 6 placings. Only 1 race start from this draw and was unplaced. Four starts over this trip for 1 win and 2 seconds. Recent Group 1 winner of the Top Gun Stayers at The Meadows over 725m.

She has been racing in great form of late and has been in the money in her last 5 starts. She gets every chance to find a forward position here as she should clear the two dogs drawn to her outside and Knicks Bale should begin speedily and be hunting across to find the rail.

She was only nabbed late in her heat run, I have a slight leaning to others but she is definitely a winning chance here, albeit has been kept very safe by the bookies at around $5 in early markets.


Line Of Quality – best time :41.72 (2 June 2021). Won heat in 41.72 with a 1st split of 6.53 (slowest). Twenty-one career starts for 12 wins and 3 placings. He is the least experienced chaser at this venue overall with only 2 starts. Two wins and 1 unplaced run from this draw. This is his third Group race final, previous two runs have been unplaced.

I would have preferred him to have had an inside draw here, I think he will find it tough from out wide here. He was the beneficiary of a major scrimmage in his heat run and can’t help but feel it was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

With an inside draw I could see him running into the placings as he could have had a lovely spot along the paint, but from Box 7 I think he will be too far back at the winning post the first time around. Not for me.


Drako Bale – best time :41.97 (29 July 2021). Runner up in heat in 41.98 with a 1st split of 6.09. Forty career starts for 6 wins and 22 placings. Has only missed a placing once over this trip in 5 starts (1 win and 3 placings). This is his best performed box with 3 wins and 5 placings from 10 starts. This is his third Group race final (two runs unplaced).

He has been forgotten about in the market here. He has a great record from Box 8 and in his heat run he had a draw that wasn’t suitable to his racing pattern and coursing wide.

He was checked at a vital moment going into the first turn and lost plenty of momentum. By this stage Untapped had an unassailable lead. It was a great chasing effort and I think he is right in this.


Stanley Road (1st emergency). Best time :41.77 (20 May 2021). Ran third in heat in time of 42.06 with a 1st split of 6.18. Forty-two career starts for 18 wins and 14 placings. Dual Group 1 winner and runner up in G1 Sandown Cup over this trip.

He met a stack of bother in his heat run and it was an enormous effort finishing as close as he did. With his pattern of being slow out and wanting to find the rail it can make him a difficult betting proposition as he will always need that ounce of luck.


Nikephoros (2nd emergency). Best time :42.15 (26 August 2021). Third in heat running time of 42.31 with a 1st split of 6.07. Only missed a placing once over this trip from 6 starts. Has never raced in a Group race Final.

If he gained a start here it would take a career peak performance. He is a stayer on the rise and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of finishing in the placings if he made the field.


SELECTIONS

1st – Mepunga Ruby (3)

2nd – Drako Bale (8)

3rd – Kenny The Brute (2)


BETTING STRATEGY

BACK (WIN) — Mepunga Ruby for 2 units at $2.70+

BACK (WIN) — Drako Bale for 0.5 units at $21.0+


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