Big Thunder Well Placed In Box 2

By Jeff Collerson
Big Thunder gave Nangar Larry a start and a beating at Wentworth Park on May 18 so should only need a clear run to the first turn to take out Wednesday night's Sky Racing Active Stakes at Richmond.

At Wentworth Park Big Thunder was tackling top graders and looks well placed from box two in Wednesday's third and fourth grade 520m event.

The Helen Rylands-trained dog has raced just once over 520m at Richmond, winning from box four in January in a nippy 29.80, toppling a lineup which included Group One National Futurity winner Gets Late Early.

And Nangar Larry, who was run down by Big Thunder at Wenty, proved the form by coming out and notching his 10th Wenty win in a top class race last Saturday night.

Big Thunder's trainer Helen Rylands said: "I do think Nangar Larry was off his game when we beat him because he won in 29.56 at Wentworth Park on Saturday night and our dog can't run that sort of time.

"But on Wednesday at Richmond Big Thunder is well drawn and he is fit and well.

"Big Thunder's only ordinary run recently was when he was unplaced at Albion Park on May 30 but he didn't travel all that well and didn't seem to handle the track.  

"He is a funny dog because on big tracks like Maitland he is a wide runner yet on tighter tracks like Wentworth Park and Richmond he rails pretty well.'' 

Still Black has been placed in each of three Richmond races but looks set to end his string of placings in Wednesday night's opening event, a 520m Mixed Stakes.

After setting up a big lead in the middle stages she was run down and beaten a length by Player One last Wednesday but trainer Paul Roach believes she can go one better this week.

"Player One came out and won at Wentworth Park on Saturday night so that makes Still Black's form look okay,'' Roach said.

"Still Black is improving all the time and the way she has been trialing indicates she is close to a win.

"When I trial her at Lithgow she breaks 24sec for the 414m trip and can get under 29sec over 506m so she has the ability.''

Still Black, who turned two in December, has won just once in 13 starts but has filled eight placings and looks well suited in Wednesday's race which is for greyhounds with zero to one win.

Hunter Valley trainer Stuart Barron has high hopes for his new acquisitions Zipping Casillas and Zipping Gable who will tackle 622m races at Richmond on Wednesday.

Zipping Casillas has box one in the Ladbrokes Communities Mixed Stakes while Zipping Gable will exit box two in the Ladbrokes Blackbook Mixed Stakes.

Although Zipping Casillas has not been tried over a middle distance, Barron believes he could be his better chance.

"Zipping Gable was a good thing beaten when third over 600m at The Gardens at his first start for me last Saturday but I'm frightened of his former kennelmate Zipping Bonucci who is against him on Wednesday,'' Barron said.

"Zipping Bonucci's fast finishing third over 450m at Grafton on Sunday was terrific and he looks suited over 622m.

"But my dog is well drawn and I'm hoping he can win for his owners who are new to the sport.

"They previously had a pup which refused to Chase properly so I suggested they buy a performed dog and when owner-breeder Marty Hallinan needed to move a couple of his dogs on we bought Zipping Gable, as well as Zipping Casillas.

"Zipping Casillas hit the line really hard when third in a strong Maitland 450m race last Thursday and he should be suited over 622m.

"Until they go over that distance you can never be sure, but he does look suited on Wednesday.''

Tina Said So clocked an impressive best time of the meeting 29.63 over 515m at The Gardens on May 24 but will need to "nail" the start in Wednesday night's 520m 0-1 Win Mixed Stakes according to Robert Howard, whose wife Natina trains the black dog.

"Tina Said So had box one when he won at The Gardens but while he had finished second from box seven at his previous start he badly wants an inside box,'' Howard said.

"He will want to veer hard left from box seven on Wednesday so will need to nail the start to have a chance of getting across.''

Although Tina Said So has not raced at Richmond, Robert Howard said: "He knows his way around there as he had a trial on the track before he began racing earlier this year.''

Hardest for Tina Said So to beat could be the unraced More Shots, who is trained locally by dual Million Dollar Chase winner Peter Lagogiane.

Best Bet Big Thunder (race 9)
Best Value Zipping Casillas (race 4)

Race 5 - 2, 5, 6
Race 6 - 2, 3, 6
Race 7 - 6, 3, 1
Race 8 - 3, 5
$20 for 37.03%