Big Class Drop Points To Fernando Tree Success

By Jeff Collerson
A sharp drop in class coupled with a much improved draw could enable Fernando Tree to notch her second Wentworth Park win in tonight's Thanks Darren Puleio Stakes.

The Lisa Lamb-trained greyhound was unplaced from box seven in a heat of the group 3 Ladies Bracelet at Wentworth Park last Saturday night after drawing six and chasing the highly talented Simply Smudge all the way at headquarters on April 14.

Fernando Tree also finished fast along the rails when third, from box five, behind classy duo Dip It In and Teddy The Bear on March 3, recording her personal best Wentworth Park time of 29.91 in the process.

When she scored her sole Wentworth Park victory on March 10, Fernando Tree came from fourth at the top of the straight to beat Fence Lady by a half length in 29.98.

Fence Lady has proved that form by winning three subsequent races, two of them at Wentworth Park.

Lisa Lamb has trained Fernando Tree for her seven wins and husband Charlie said: "Box two will suit our greyhound, she is desperate for an inside box.''

Royal Emgrand staged the most amazing performance of the year to win at Wentworth Park last Wednesday, coming from last and shrugging off interference to snatch a photo finish win in a smart 29.89.

The Luke Azzopardi trained dog (pictured) has the same draw, box eight, in tonight's Thanks Steve White Free-For-All.

"He wants to find the fence but he should manage that more easily this week than he did last Wednesday,'' trainer Azzopardi said.

"There is more early pace in this race so they should string out and give Royal Emgrand room to move.

"Having only five opponents also suits him down to the ground.''

Royal Emgrand and the in-form Simply Smudge, who has box four, should provide a thrilling duel in this event.

Go Go Chicago has trialled well following his impressive Wentworth Park win from box eight last Wednesday and will wear the pink rug again in tonight's Thanks Anthony Azzopardi Stakes.

Trainer Tom Rees said: "It was a tough win last week but the run certainly did Go Go Chicago no harm because he clocked the best time he has recorded when I trialled him up the straight on Saturday.

"He is capable of jumping smartly but for some reason has recently started to rock back and fourth in the starting boxes waiting for the lure to arrive.''

Zambora Rex led throughout to win by 11 lengths in a nippy 30.87 over 535m at Richmond on Sunday and can repeat that effort in tonight's Thanks Cam Hallinan Stakes.

Zambora Rex has box two after having no luck when fifth from box four at Wentworth Park on April 28, after being badly checked when disputing the lead at the first turn.

"When he won at Richmond Zambora Rex ran up the track but I'm happy seeing him in box two because he has won each of his three races from the one and two alleys,'' trainer John Rudd said.

"Zambora Rex is a quick dog and clocks 18.60 every time I put him over 330m at Richmond, and that's flying.''

Crawl bungled the start hopelessly when seventh at Wentworth Park last Wednesday but is ideally drawn in box eight in tonight's Thanks Jack Smith Stakes.

"Crawl has let me down plenty of times but he is well boxed and despite what he did last week, he is capable of beginning quickly,'' trainer Mark Gatt said.

Best Bet Fernando Tree (race 5)

Best Value Zambora Rex (race 9)

Quaddie race 5 - 2, 3

Race 6 - 8, 2, 5

Race 7 - 1, 6, 7

Race 8 - 8, 2, 7

$20 for 37.03%