Form Preview: TAB Million Dollar Chase Semi-Finals

The Greyhound Recorder’s Adam Dobbin and GRNSW’s Tim Newbold dissect Friday night’s Million Dollar Chase semi-finals at Wentworth Park.

Greyhound Recorder

29 April 2022

The Greyhound Recorder’s Adam Dobbin and GRNSW’s Tim Newbold dissect Friday night’s Million Dollar Chase semi-finals at Wentworth Park.


Race 1

AD: Sensational card of racing and great to kick off with two heats of the Gold Cup for the stayers. I can’t go past SUPER ESTRELLA (5) in the opening heat as she chases that elusive big race win. I expect her to lead and score. Dangers? KNICKS BALE (2) is a group 1 winner racing in great form at home in Victoria while the win by Queenslander MICKS RECALL (4) at Ipswich last Saturday was sensational.

TIPS: 5,2,4,3

TN: Champagne greyhound racing continues in Sydney Adam and we concur in the opening, almost identical numbers. SUPER ESTRELLA (5) is my best bet on the card. Acquitted herself well through the recent Association Cup and was caught late last start after leading for a long way. Confident she’ll go one better and pinch it. KNICKS BALE (2) is all class and the obvious danger, only drawback is she’s making her harbour city debut. ZIPPING VIRGINIA (3) returns home after an interstate trip and must be included.

TIPS: 5,2,3,4

Race 2

AD: We got our fingers burnt in the Association Cup with ZIPPING KANSAS (6) but I’m tipping a bounce back to winning form tonight. Rattled the clock in a recent trial and despite the tricky draw he’s the one to beat. STANLEY ROAD (5) continues to race well and comes into this off a confidence boosting win while northern rivers chaser POCKET MONEY (8) is the interesting runner for trainer Dave Irwin. Tim, are you sticking solid on the Kansas bandwagon?

TIPS: 6,5,8,1

TN: I am Adam, but if he doesn’t win tonight it could be time to jump off, particularly when he continues to go around at very skinny odds. No doubt he’s the fastest stayer in this race but his box manners have let him down in the past. Sticking solid and only needs a safe start for us to see the best of him. Value runner HANK THE HUSTLER (1) a complete box-1 bandit. Winner in 6 of 8 starts from the cherry. Makes his own luck on speed. Genuine winning chance. STANLEY ROAD (5) back to somewhere near his best last start, he’ll give away a big start but be steaming home late.

TIPS: 6,1,5,8

Race 3

AD: First of the Million Dollar Chase semi-finals where it’s simple. Win or go home. I’ve landed with Australian Cup winner LALA KIWI (3) here. Won the G3 The Ambrosoli on Golden Easter Egg night and just get the feeling she’s getting more accustomed with Wentworth Park. There’s a real sense of timing about ZIPPING MASERATI’S (2) preparation and he’s trained by one of the best in the business in Jason Mackay. CASUAL GLANCE (1) can burn early and expect he gives a real sight from the inside as well.

TIPS: 3,2,1,7

TN: One of the more open semis Adam and looks a very tricky map for mine with the majority of speed drawn boxes 1 through to 4. I’m going for value in the Northern Rivers pocket-rocket LITTLE ZEPHYR (4). Debuting at Wenty under race conditions but trialled solidly last week and think she can improve time-wise which will have her in the finish. LALA KIWI (3) is a massive chance. Was desperately unlucky when a super second in a MDC city qualifier last week. ZIPPING MASERATI (2) is touchy at box-rise but goes like the wind when he balances up. Agree about the timing, he’s been set for the series so sure to be cherry-ripe tonight.

TIPS: 4,3,2,1

Race 4

AD: I found this the toughest of the night. FERNANDO HUNTER (7) has a horror draw, MISS EZMAE (3) is in brilliant touch but is she sharp enough for a sprint race like this? And we’ve got a G1 winner in EQUALIZER (5) right up to winning with even luck early. Makes for an exciting race so with all that I’ve gone with COAST MODEL (8) at each way odds. Not a lot of early speed gives her a great chance of leading. Did you struggle with this one, too? 

TIPS: 8,5,3,7

TN: Not really Adam, due to the genuine lack of pace in this race I’ve got MISS EZMAE (3) a clear top pick. She’s come back from a spell in superb form with devastating wins at Dubbo then trialled the house-down at Wenty last week. In astute hands with Jack Smith so I’m sure she’ll be ready despite being better suited over more ground. Found one at a big price in PIKE (6) who can run a cheeky race. First-up in Sydney but has high speed through the middle section and is suited with moderate beginners boxed around him. EQUALIZER (5) will be storming home at the business end and can never be underestimated.

TIPS: 3,6,5,2

Race 5

AD: Keen as mustard on GOOD ODDS CASH (3) in this one. Has run four seconds since winning the Maitland Cup but what great seconds they’ve been. Racing in outstanding form and she’s clearly the one to beat. CLOCK OFF (4) comes to town for the first time off some brilliant one turn form. The 520m is the query at this early stage of his career. ZIPPY TESLA (1) has a big motor and the inside draw helps his chances no end. Should be a great race.

TIPS: 3,1,4,2

TN: Betting suggests two winning chances in GOOD ODDS CASH (3) and ZIPPY TESLA (1) and I agree with the market Adam. You’ve nailed your summation of GOC, she’s been amazing in all starts since winning the Maitland Cup and ran arguably a career best behind She’s A Pearl last start. ZIPPY TESLA (1) gets box draw favours drawing the red underneath a straight-tracker in the 2. He’s strong but likely to be giving away a start to the favourite. CLOCK OFF (4) has speed to burn but suspect at the distance. Include in the exotics.

TIPS: 3,1,4,7

Race 6

AD: We all got a bit of a shock when WOW SHE’S FAST (4) was run down last week but don’t expect history to repeat tonight. Will be all the better for that hitout and to be fair strikes one of the quieter semis. If there’s an upset I’m giving PHOTO MAN (6) a decent nudge. Bit to like about his run last week and he’s a really progressive type. ZARA’S IVAN (8) is another going well enough to figure but the eight draw does his claims no favours. 

TIPS: 4,6,8,2

TN: Didn’t we what Adam, those next to me had to pick me up off the floor when WOW SHE’S FAST (4) got collared in the latter stages last week but maybe we all just underestimated her conqueror VICE GRIP. Whatever the case maybe, confident she bounces back and cements her spot in the decider. ANALYSING (3) is a bonnie little bitch who makes her own luck on the speed and sure to give another sight bowling along on the pace. Agree with your analysis of PHOTO MAN (6), he’s on the up and will take a stack of benefit out of his Sydney debut last week.

TIPS: 4,3,6,2 

Race 7

AD: Betting suggests SHE’S A PEARL’S (4) place in next week’s $1m decider is all but a formality and it’s hard to argue. If anything has improved since her Golden Easter Egg win and if there’s a chink in her armour we haven’t seen it. CASTLE WARRIOR (5) drawn to her outside can apply early pressure if the fav isn’t clean away, so that could make for interesting viewing early. The value runners for me are MODERN TALKING (2) and ASTON BARAK (8). But Tim, let’s be honest, it’s the favourites to lose.

TIPS: 4,2,5,8

TN: Sure is Adam, She’s A Pearl is the benchmark and deserved short-priced favourite for the entire series. Faultless at box-rise and has a turn of foot through the early and middle sections that only elite greyhounds possess. Should add another paling to that ever-expanding picket fence. MODERN TALKING (2) was solid through the Gosford series and draws perfectly. Great exacta chance with the favourite. CASTLE WARRIOR (5) is boxed to follow She’s A Pearl across in the early stages and can hang on for minor money. ASTON BARAK (8) for the wider multiples.

TIPS: 4,2,5,8

Race 8

AD: Terrific semi with four very winning chances. I’m a big fan of YUKO GIRL (7) and right in her corner tonight. Loved her Gosford wins recently, she’s still on the up and expect those brilliant box manners get her to the front. PERSUASIVE (1) was simply awesome at Bulli and box one brings him in as a deserved favourite. XAVIEN BALE (2) is out to silly double figure odds, don’t be surprised at all to see him in the finish. Really keen about this race and I’ve left VICE GRIP (3) out! Should be a ripper.

TIPS: 7,1,2,8

TN: Strongest semi-final of the night for mine Adam. Being a Victorian, PERSUASIVE (1) first came on my radar when contesting the National Derby and the MDC has been a target since after being transferred to Jason Magri. His preparation has been timed to the minute and arrives back at Wenty in scintillating form. YUKO GIRL (7) was undefeated through the Gosford qualifiers and now returns to Wenty where she’s posted sizzling figures previously. MICKEY DOO (8) is very capable on his night and might get a beautiful cart following her across in the early stages. And obviously Perth Cup hero VICE GRIP (3) can win but has a sticky draw in my view. 

TIPS: 1,7,8,3

Race 9

AD: If LOUIS RUMBLE (5) steps cleanly then I expect he races into next week’s decider. Has a class edge and unlike some of his rivals, box draws don’t make a huge difference. The one to beat. BOSTON GARDEN (6) is going great guns but box six is a big hang up for him. Too short for mine. DOONAN (3) was an eye-catcher finishing third last start but is giving away plenty in grade to contest this.

TIPS: 5,3,6,4

TN: We’re reading this race fairly similar Adam and I’m in the corner of LOUIS RUMBLE (5). Great to see him bounce back last week after a disappointing performance in the Easter Egg. With a clean getaway he’s unleadable and not concerned with the draw. BOSTON GARDEN (6) is hit and miss at the jump but has genuine burn after getting mobile. Drawn to follow Louis across and will keep coming late. SPECIAL BLEND (4) is a super chaser and doesn’t get the accolades he deserves. He’s definitely the knock-out runner if there is one.

TIPS: 5,6,4,3

Race 10

AD: CONNECTIONS (3) comes into this off two flying wins at The Gardens and he’s expected to lead for fun. From there his chances will be determined by whether SOUND OF SILENCE (1) or BIG OPAL ROCKS (6) get right on his hammer. Makes for a great spectacle. DO IT (5) and KINSON BALE (7) are representing great value at double figure odds and if you’re looking to get out you can do worse than look that way. For the record I’m Big Opal Rocks from Connections in a terrific race to close out a big night of racing.

TIPS: 6,3,5,1

TN: The Victorian BIG OPAL ROCKS (6) arrived in NSW for the first time last week with massive wraps and boy oh boy did he deliver in spades. Explosive performance first-up under race conditions at Wenty and confident he’ll get the job done. Although it might look a tricky draw on paper, I can see him getting fresh air down the centre of the track in the early stages then uncoiling mid-race. As you’ve mentioned, CONNECTIONS (3) looks the early leader, comes back to town after impressive Gardens victories and the obvious danger. SOUND OF SILENCE (1) is boxed to stalk the speed and will dig in when the whips are cracking.

TIPS: 6,3,1,2