The AJS Corporation Silver Chief series kicks off this Saturday, with 88 of the country’s best young male sprinters aiming to take out the first Group 1 event of the 2017 season.
This year’s headline act will be brilliant Queensland sprinter Thirty Talks, fresh off his outstanding victory in the Group 1 Brisbane Cup earlier this month. The son of Where’s Pedro and Unfinished has won 21 of his 33 starts, including $276,541 in prizemoney. He will be having his first look at the Broadmeadows circuit.
The winners, seconds and 10 fastest thirds from Saturday’s heats will progress to the semi final stage on New Year’s Eve. The final – on January 7 – is worth $100,000 to the winner.
Heat highlights include:
Race 1 - Amigo (box eight) is looking for his sixth straight win on the weekend. He has handled wide draws well more recently. He faces fellow star youngster Flawless Bling (box seven), who ran 30.03 at The Meadows two starts back.
Race 2 – Boom youngster Aston Dee Bee (box seven) recently broke the 460-metre track record at Warragul, and faces his biggest challenge to date off a wide draw. The early speed in the race is certainly present through the likes of Haristotle (box two), Allen Indy (box five) and Leo’s Gift (box six).
Race 3 – Reefon Treasure (box four) is a powerhouse sprinter with a top 29.76PB at the track. He is one of the leading fancies in the series. Sassy Ginger (box two) has won 10 of his 18 starts, while Electromagnetic (box five) is capable of overcoming the poor box draw.
Race 4 - Myrniong Corner (box one) is beautifully drawn and already boasts 29.54 and 29.64 runs over the 525-metre journey. He takes on Melbourne Cup finalists Matt Machine (box four) and impressive NSW-bred chaser Rockstar Troy (box two).
Race 5 - Silverali (box two) is a terrifically versatile chaser dropping back to a sprint journey after a successful stint over the half-mile. Kennelmate Telarah Flash (box one) has speed and is drawn to be prominent throughout.
Race 6 - Ballarat Cup placegetter Weekend Binge (box seven) looks to have the class edge on some of these and he’ll be looking for his first win at The Meadows. Nature’s Gent (box four) and Dream Future (box three) are lightly raced and clearly talented.
Race 7 – Pretty open affair with Allen Punter (box five) looking to replicate his 30.05 win at The Meadows three starts back. He faces Hit The Highway (box six) – a powerhouse chaser with nine wins from 16 starts near his name.
Race 8 - Star Queenslander Thirty Talks (box seven) is in rare form, winning two Group races in the last four weeks, including the Group 1 Brisbane Cup in a flying 29.57. His main danger looks to be Reckoning (box four), who ran 29.86 last start at The Meadows. Aston Ah Chee (box two) is also a quality chaser.
Race 9 – Former WA chaser Eminent Reality (box eight) looks to be the real deal and did handle box eight in his top Sandown win on December 8. Hit The Runway (box one) isn’t super fast to the post the first time but he makes up for that with good mid-race and finishing speed. Deadline To Meet (box six) broke 28 seconds at Bendigo last start.
Race 10 - Dyna Boomer (box two) has been racing against top class greyhounds from early on and should appreciate this company. South Australian-trained chaser Aston Kody (box six) is fresh off a 29.59 victory at Angle Park and comes to Victoria in fine form. My Mate Harry (box four) looks to have a bright future.
Race 11 - He does rely on some luck early, but Lightning Frank (box five) has the ability to win the last heat of the night. Gilberto (box one) is very handy on his night and is drawn well, while Eddie Eagle (box seven) has broken 30 seconds at The Meadows.
Full fields for Saturday’s heats
Huge family night for Group 1 final on January 7