You only need to take a cursory glance at the honour roll of past winners of the Golden Easter Egg to quickly ascertain that it is a race won by champions of the sport.
From the inaugural ‘Egg’ run in 1990 when Ultra Sense was the first to etch her name in the record books, it has been a race to win on the ‘bucket list’ of virtually every trainer who has ever put a collar and lead on a greyhound.
Mancunian Girl, Tenthill Doll, Rapid Journey, Brett Lee, Bogie Leigh, Paua To Burn and Fernando Bale are amongst the ‘best of the best’ to ever set foot on a race track and are all past winners of the Golden Easter Egg.
In 1991, the champion Victoria chaser Highly Blessed, broke what was at the time, the magical ‘30 second mark’ at Wentworth Park, and set in train a love affair that the Victorians have had in winning NSW’s most prestigious event – and haven’t they delighted in paving the Hume Highway with the golden riches that await them each Easter!
Of the twenty-seven running’s of the Golden Easter Egg to date, Victorian trained greyhounds have won on thirteen occasions and in the past decade, they have completely dominated the race winning eight times, including the last seven in succession.
Will that change in 2017? I don’t think so given that there are five Victorian trained greyhounds engaged in this year’s $250,000 to the winner final including the top two in the market with TAB.com.au, Up Hill Jill and Striker Light.
This year’s renewal is shrouded in debate as to what will happen in the run to the first turn which I think, will ultimately decide who wins the race.
Mack Tux (box 1), Up Hill Jill (box 2) and Striker Light (box 7) are all blessed with an abundance of early pace and therefore lies the main conundrum for punters.
From their preferred draws, do Mack Tux ($5) and Up Hill Jill ($2.60) hold out Striker Light ($3.50) in the run to the first turn, or does the G1 Futurity winner speed across the face of the field to lead clearly?
Check out the TAB.com.au market for the Golden Easter Egg Final here.
Does a greyhound like Big Flood finally produce his best box manners at the Glebe circuit and put himself in a forward position down the back straight?
Or does Lucky Chap receive a fortuitous run through at the first turn behind the speed chasers and race his way into the history books?
I know it’s like gazing into a crystal ball trying to forecast what may or may not happen but I’m tipping the latter will occur, which is why I’ve put the Anthony Azzopardi trained Lucky Chap ($6.50) on top in my selections.
There’s no doubt he has the motor to match these greyhounds as was evidenced by his 29.68 win at Wenty three starts back – on face value, he may have been disappointing in his semi-final when leading until the last few bounds before being run down by Aqua Cheetah but I think he can be in the ‘right spot at the right time’ come Saturday night.
Don’t be surprised if Big Flood ($9) recaptures his sparkling Victorian form which includes a 29.18 win at Sandown Park – the starting boxes at Wentworth Park are slightly different to those in Victoria and it can take some getting used to for interstate chasers. If Big Flood was to time the start to perfection, I have no doubt he is more than capable of winning this race and I’m certainly going to be having a saver on him.
The G1 Golden Easter Egg is race 7 on the card at Wentworth Park this Saturday night and is scheduled to jump at 9.35pm and my selections are; Lucky Chap (3) from Big Flood (4), Mack Tux (1) and Up Hill Jill (2)
It is NSW’s greyhound racing’s ‘night of nights’ with a sensational line-up of events outside of the Golden Easter Egg to be decided including the $75,000 to the winner Association Cup for the stayers; the G3 Magic Maiden; G3 The Ambrosoli; and the G3 New Sensation.
I’ll be live trackside with Dave Stanley on Saturday night on Sky Racing1 (channel 526) from 6.30pm with all the Late Mail tips, interviews and all the latest betting information.
Good luck and good punting
Grade B - Kilashee H'cap Hdle
G1 - Growise Nov Chase
G1 - Evening Herald Champion Nov Hdle
G1 - Boylesports Champion Chase
LR - Manawatu Itm Anzac 1600 H