NZ Greyhounds Cup Heats, 29 October

The heats of the 2020 NZ Cup were held on Thursday, 29 October.

It was a tough night for the short priced favourites - four dogs paying $1.80 or less were beaten.

Box Speed is Gold

We often make the point that box speed is essential in any greyhound race, regardless of distance.  The stats at Addington show the story - 47% of winners lead at the post with a lap to go and a further 23% are second.  So nearly 3/4 of 520m races at Addington are won by the dogs in the first two with a lap to go.

Last night, of the seven heats 6 winners lead and the other (Opawa Slick) was second behind Bigtime Cooper who has amazing electric early speed.

Heat Winners

Race 1 Bigtime Lantao just loves Addington and lead all the way.  Her time was the third best so not a bad performance at all.  Her closing sectional is slow though so her future chances rely on getting an opportunity to get out and lead.

View results for M9 R1

Race 2 Bigtime Seth was the blowout but in fairness he mapped OK and had won here previously.  Forget Uthor Bale went around - missed the jump badly and never really got into stride - his closing sectional was no better than Seth's.  Problem is box speed becomes even more critical as the competition heats up.

View results for M9 R2

Race 3 Van Nindi was one favourite who delivered leading all the way.  Given her staying credentials, I thought she might have closed stronger than she did - her closing sectionals were only the fourth best in the race.  Nice to see Dyna Dave showing some form too closing hard.  The black booker was Big Time Harley who has had no luck the last couple of starts but had the best closing sectional in the race and the second best on the night.

View results for M9 R3

Race 4 Van Evie just didn't get away fast enough and ended up sandwhiched.  Bigtime Cooper did what we expected and lead and then fell in a hole in sight of the finish line to end up 5th.  It was the slowest of the 7 heats so that may tell us what we need to know.  Opawa Slick rated well enough so perhaps snuck under the radar.

View results for M9 R4

Race 5 Adobe Bro caused another major upset by holding the rail and forcing the favourite Quincy Bale to cover more ground.  Quincy Bale was the same distance behind Adobe Bro at the back marker as he was the first time so you could argue he had his chance even though he clearly cover a lot more ground.  The tale of the tape was that it was Quincy Bale's slowest opening sectional (admittedly only since 20 August).  His closing sectional was no where near his best also.  The big run was from Zipping Boston who found trouble until the back straight when the turbos kicked in and he ended up with the best closing sectional of the day by some margin - 12.12.

View results for M9 R5

Race 6 When I analysed this race I had Rock on John narrowly on top simply because Leornard Bale just doesn't like the inside but I second guessed myself.  I'd look a genius if I'd written this before the race! It's hard to judge Leonard Bale given it wasn't run to suit but i suppose the key thing is that he qualified.  Rock on John did all he could and it was enough to win but there were faster opening splits and overall times.  Still, he's a dog who can get out in front and that helps.

View results for M9 R6

Race 7 At least this race went to script with Ozzie leading all the way.  All Consuming tried hard and a great performance from Nighthawk Thorn who has only won at C1.  Ozzie's opening split was equal slowest but he was very strong at the end closing in 12.22 the third best of the night and running the best time of all 7 heats.

View results for M9 R7

Heat 7 - Ozzie Wins in Fastest Time

Sectionals Top Pick Bombs Favourites

We all love a racing story with a happy ending.

The sectionals give us an advantage over other punters and analysts who are generally working off form rather than performance.  On the other hand, the sectionals show actual performance and, allowing for how the track is running, allow us to compare past performances over the opening and closing sectional distances.

At Addington on Monday 19 October, the market had two standout runners in race 9 - Dublin Express (closed at $2.25FF) and Know Keeper ($2FF).  Opawa Nigel went around on the fourth line at $12FF and $11.10 on the tote).

The opening sectionals (see first image below) showed that Opawa Nigel likely had the early speed to cross and lead from box 8 - and that was exactly what happened.

While not as dominant, the closing sectionals showed that Nigel was in the mix at worst.

As the race panned out, the sectionals were spot on.  Nigel got to the lead easily enough and was strong enough to repel the two favourites with Dublin Express missing the placings.

Can Cooper Make it a Cole Double?

The heats of the NZ Greyhound Derby were run at Cambridge on Thursday 3 September with the final next Thursday.

With the Cole kennels qualifying all 8 dogs in the Oaks, it was no surprise to see the Coles have a major had in the Derby Heats.

And it wasn't a surprise to see Big Time Cooper running the fastest opening split of 5.70 in the fastest heat - 25.37.

However, it make not be a laydown misere with Thrilling Morris powering home in the fastest closing sectional of 19.59 and a winning time of 25.39.

Heat 1 - winner Thrilling Morris

Heat 2 - winner Uthor Bale

Heat 3 - winner Thrilling Baxter

Heat 4 - winner Big Time Cooper

Heat 5 - winner Canya Moneymaker

Using the Sectionals

If you haven't used the sectionals before as part of analysing greyhound racing form, it's most likely worthwhile having a look at the video below.

David has prepared this video to explain how to use the sectionals on the PN Greyhounds site but the same principles apply.

Greyhound Sectionals

Formpro Sectionals provides all individual sections for the Palmerston North greyhounds.

You can also view the sectionals, speed maps, track records and other information on the PNGRC's website:

We would love to provide sectionals for all greyhound races in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, the key industry decision makers have shown no interest in providing owners, trainers and punters with this vital information.

Longer term, it has to happen but it's clear that the decision makers simply don't understand the importance of sectional times to greyhound racing.