Intermediate and lower-graded greyhounds receive an opportunity for some Friday evening racing with all of the normal Friday "big guns" heading north to the Manukau Stadium for Sunday's set of Group 1 heats.
Compelling fields have been drawn for the $80,000 Auckland Cup (527m) with four heats to be contested to find the finalists who will run in the March 28 final.
Similarly, four heats for the straight-out speed merchants will determine who will return to contest the $30,000 Railway Sprint (318m).
Lisa Cole-prepared runners head the TAB Futures market for both events. The recent Group 1 Hatrick Classic (520m) winner Federal Marshall is offered at $5 and $2 for the Auckland Cup, while the durable three-time Group 1 winner Trojan Hoarse is quoted at the same prices for the Railway Sprint.
This evening's main 520m event (race 9) is for the C3/4 greyhounds where the consistent Cole-trained Big Time Smile can secure a deserved win from the three-trap following her competitive recent 520m and 457m efforts.
Kennelmate Big Time Tommy is likely to relish drawing the one-trap and a form turnaround by him certainly wouldn't surprise.
Last year's Hatrick Classic winner, Bigtime Bruno, brings vast racing experience into this field and his claims here cannot be lightly dismissed.
Haidee Bale is returning here after her recent Manawatu 457m assignments. She has previously produced solid races in strong 520m fields here and Gary and Sandra Fredrickson will have her primed for a strong performance.
Other post-race podium contenders here include Classic Rapper and Dapper Rapper for local conditioners Suzie Kite and Brian Marsh respectively.
Race 7 is a straight C3 520m event that is looming as an even-looking paw wrestle. Big Time Mac has been gamely chasing home a smart kennelmate lately and he is provided with an opportunity to nab another win here from trap-four.
Jilliby Sophia has previously proven competitive from trap-eight and she is provided with swooping claims from that trap.
Consider the reserve contender Big Time Rocket as the combo's booster as he is likely to slot away into the one-trap. He brings the field best 30.26s 520m time into this race and the ace-trap certainly will enhance his stake claims.
Turakina trainer Melissa Olden has accepted with three chasers in this event with Cossie Cooper (three) and Kongs Out Again (two) drawn to deliver competitive races