Two cracking fields, restricted to Kiwi-bred greyhounds, provides the features at this evening's Hatrick Raceway meeting,
Both of them carry an $11,000 stake as is the norm for these NZ Racing Series (NZRS) finals for the higher graded chasers. In all of these finals, half of the stake money for the placed runners is reserved for the breeders of those place-getters.
It is a series that has been designed by Greyhound Racing NZ to reward those breeders for their investment in breeding and the initial rearing of greyhounds.
Tirau breeder and owner Gary Harding is represented in both races, with chasers prepared for him by trainer Karen Walsh.
And for one of them, their superstar stayer Thrilling Brat, the NZRS Distance final (race 8, 8.06pm) over the 755m journey takes on a more significant role rather than the stake on offer.
Thrilling Brat has been selected for an elite field of the best staying greyhounds in Australasia to contest the Group 1, $75,000 to-the-winner Zoom Top Invitation over 725m on the Meadows track in Melbourne tomorrow week.
This evening's race sees Thrilling Brat having his final hit-out before crossing the Tasman on Monday. He contested this race last year, finishing a bold second to champion Aussie stayer Miata.
And tomorrow night, on her home track in Perth, Miata is a hot favorite to smash the all-time Australian greyhound career stakes earning record, which currently stands at A$610,070.
Anyway, back to tonight's race where Thrilling Brat will be loaded away into the one-trap.
While most greyhounds relish this desired draw, that isn't the case for this noted wide runner.
Thrilling Brat will run around 800 metres in tonight's assignment, such is his wide racing antics.
The other concern for Walsh is that inexplicably, Thrilling Brat, who has won 22 races and $180,000 in stakes (including in Australia) has never won any type of stake on the Hatrick track.
"Brat needs this race to top him off for Melbourne. His draw and his lack of form on this track is huge concern. He is ready for Friday, so here's hoping," advised Walsh.
Looming as the biggest challenge to Thrilling Brat is the three-time Hatrick Group race winner Know Peace. Prepared by Dave and Jean Fahey, this bloke simply has a love affair with Hatrick, having won a cheque in eight of nine races on this track.
And the following race in the 520m open NZRS final, where Thrilling Brat's litter sister, Thrilling Quest has the eight-trap.
She has been completely luckless on this track prior to her powerful heat win for this final last Friday. She is a serious chance in tonight's final; however it is another Fahey trained chaser who is likely to feature in this event. Jinjarango sizzled around here to win his heat in a flying 29.84secs, as opposed to Thrilling Quest's 30.06sec winning time.