The battle lines are well and truly drawn for Saturday night’s Group 1 Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg Final following the highly anticipated box draw being conducted at The Mint in Sydney on Monday morning.
Fastest qualifier Don’t Knocka Him (pictured) was dealt a huge leg-up for the world’s richest greyhound event, landing the prized rails alley, the same draw he had when registering his slashing 29.57s semi-final win on Saturday.
Whilst his opponents won’t concede the $250,000 to-the-winner decider, there’s no doubt the Jason Thompson-trained sprinter is clearly the one to beat and is certain to start rock bottom odds for what will be the 23rd running of the ‘Egg’.
Oddly enough, things could have been infinitely different for the son of Knocka Norris, with he and Dyna Bert the final two greyhounds to be drawn out with only boxes one and eight still available.
As history has it, in front of a tense setting, Don’t Knocka Him landed the inside draw, whilst 29.71s semi-final winner Dyna Bert drew box eight for trainer Andrea Dailly.
Connections of fairytale story Time And Money had first right of way with box draw proceedings, unfortunately coming up with box five, making the task all the more difficult for the daughter of Slater.
29.78s semi-final winner Desalle Bale will exit trap four for trainer Brendan Wheeler, with the daughter of Go Wild Teddy and Princess Bale looking to cap off what’s been a terrific couple of months for the hot litter.
Llandilo trainer Doreen Drynan, still shaking off the disappointment of Catcha Grenade’s exclusion from the Magic Maiden series, will be hoping her charge El Caballo can use box two to advantage in the Egg final.
Runner-up to Dyna Bert in his semi-final, the son of El Galo looks a big chance of tracking Don’t Knocka Him through the early stages.
Improving with every start in town, don’t be surprised if he runs a bottler come Saturday night.
Western Australian-trained bitch Hot Irish was the remaining semi-final winner on Saturday, showing plenty of grit to outlast her opponents in 30.18s.
Whilst the time wasn’t there, her run was full of merit, getting up off the canvas a number of times to defeat perennial big race finalist Fancy Dean by half a head on the line.
It was a thrilling end to proceedings, with last year’s Golden Easter Egg placegetter Adam Meway and track record holder Noble Pedro, less than a neck away in third and fourth respectively.
Hot Irish will exit trap six, whilst Fancy Dean leaves box three.
Remaining qualifier, Wez Da Risk, in the final by virtue of her second to Don’t Knocka Him, will leave trap seven for trainers Steve and Pauline Moran.
Rewarded for some terrific form over the past 3-4 months, expect the daughter of Run The Risk to perhaps shape the final, with her early pace sure to play a big part in proceedings.
On the Group 1 Association Cup front, star stayer Miata drew box eight for the $75,000 to-the-winner final.
Watching her race in the flesh on Saturday night will be worth the price of admission alone.
The GBOTA’s night of nights has taken shape perfectly, with a champagne night of racing greeting patrons at Sydney’s Wentworth Park this Saturday night.
The box draw for the Group 1 Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg is:
1. Don't Knocka Him
2. El Caballo
3. Fancy Dean
4. Desalle Bale
5. Time And Money
6. Hot Irish
7. Wez Da Risk
8. Dyna Bert
9. Ritza Ryder
10. Wandy Neg
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