The talented Nova Willow emphatically announced her return to racing when she showed her 520m rivals a clean set of hind paws to claim her slick 29.86s last Friday.
The Lisa Cole-prepared greyhound was resuming from a six-week spell, therefore Nova Willow is expected to have benefited from the outing, which is scary for her race 9 520m rivals this evening, especially as she has drawn to serve up a repeat dose from the one trap.
In saying that, her adjacent drawn kennelmate Jilliby Litsa also owns a slippery set of paws as seen during her freewheeling Group 1 29.90s 520m Spion Rose victory here last month. She has since maintained that form as seen in her sound Waikato Cup 457m third last week.
Adding depth to this field is the presence of their promising kennelmate Big Time Kaylee, who has won all three of her lower-graded 520m assignments at this venue - the quickest being delivered in 30.13s.
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She contested last week's Group 2 Waikato Classic final where she endured a traffic-impeded 457m race. She backed up that effort with a solid Manawatū 457m Monday second. She has won both of her previous races from the eight trap, which is the trap she will exit from for this task.
The post-race podium prospects don't end with the above trio of talented chasers; the likes of Simply Smooth and Big Time Maple are capable of sneaking into the placings.
The Gary and Sandra Fredrickson-trained Haidee Bale gamely led the vain chase after Nova Willow last Friday when she finished 4.75 lengths astern of her. She benefited from her one-trap draw then; on this occasion, she faces a much tougher task from trap-six.
The open class sprinters will dash over 305m in the race 5 sprint where the Cole-trained Big Time Jonie is seeking a hat trick of Friday 305m wins. His hot current form says he can handle his trap-six allocation in this dash.
Big Time Ziggy is likely to relish her kind one-trap draw and is a realistic chance of reversing her 1.5 length defeat last week by Big Time Jonie when he gunned her down during the run home.
Big Time Fairy controlled the pace throughout when she nailed her Monday Manawatū 410m win and she adds to the competitive nature of this field as does the 1.5 length runner up to her Big Time Kevin.