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  4. Experts have their say on Golden Ticket match races

Experts have their say on Golden Ticket match races

The coveted Group 3 Golden Ticket goes on the line on Thursday evening at Albion Park as some of the elite dogs from around Australia aim to land a direct passage into the Group 1 $300,000 Gold Bullion Final early next month.

Four exciting match races will be held over 520 metres at Albion Park on Thursday evening with the fastest time recorded in the series declared the winner of the Golden Ticket, which carries automatic entry into the feature Gold Bullion. 

Victorian visitor Aston Ulysses, John Catton’s Little Byrnes, TAB Phoenix runner-up Spotted Elk and reigning Capalaba Cup winner Impact each claimed a heat victory last Thursday night and are certain to be strong contenders for the 2022 Golden Ticket.

Kevin Ellis' Impact ran the quickest heat of the four, home in 29.81 seconds, last Thursday evening and is being tipped as the favourite to claim the Golden Ticket. 

Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse and greyhound writer Alex Nolan have done the form across the four match races and selected who they believe will land in the Gold Bullion Final.

LG: The match race concept is a great series. We are looking at pure speed and track usage in these match races. We will see some really good match ups and they can come from anywhere to win this series.

AN: I love the match race concept as generally there is nowhere to hide. It is very exciting and when you know there is a free pass into the Gold Bullion on the line, then you know every dog will be fit, firing and ready to go.


2022 Golden Ticket Match Races

Extra Malt (Box 1) vs Magical Cyndie (Box 3)

LG: Magical Cyndie is very fast early and she should be able to cross Extra Malt. However, Extra Malt has excellent box one form and should be suited by the match race format.

AN: We know Magical Cyndie can run a really fast first split at Albion Park and I think she will find the front here. However, we also all know how strong Extra Malt is late. Extra Malt has a little bit of experience in match racing, going to the line with Jungle Deuce in the Origin series last year. I think Extra Malt can finish over the top of Magical Cyndie.

Extra Malt Next Racing
Magical Cyndie

Kooringa Lucy (Box 1) vs Little Byrnes (Box 3)

LG: Kooringa Lucy has won seven from eight from the inside draw and ran down Little Byrnes in a heat of the Ipswich Cup last year. They match up again on Thursday night head-to-head. Kooringa Lucy will be very strong at the end. Little Byrnes should be able to lead and if he can pinch a little break, he might be the upset dog in this match. Little Byrnes was the surprise packet out of the heats last week, leading all the way to win and showing a lot of fight. Little Byrnes might just pinch this match race.

AN: Of all the finalists, Kooringa Lucy actually boasts the fastest time over 520 metres at Albion Park. She loves box one. Trainer Johnny Catton has Little Byrnes flying as he was a brilliant winner of his heat last week and I think he can again give a little bit of cheek in front this week.

Kooringa Lucy Next Racing
Little Byrnes

Spotted Elk (Box 1) vs Louis Rumble (Box 3)

LG: This is the match race of the night, being the return bout of the Ipswich Cup Final. There was only 0.1 seconds between them in the heats. Spotted Elk loves the inside but Louise Rumble is a flying machine. Louise Rumble will love the two dog race format.

AN: This is a ripping match race and I am torn with this one because both greyhounds have so much to offer. Louis Rumble was a brilliant winner of the New Years Trophy a couple of starts back and he showed be primed after his heat win last week. Spotted Elk got back to somewhere near her best last week after a couple of disappointing runs on returning from Melbourne. I am probably leaning Louis Rumble’s way as I still think he has improvement to come.

Spotted Elk
Louis Rumble

Impact (Box 1) vs Aston Ulysses (Box 3)

LG: Our fastest qualifier Impact will get plenty of room early as Aston Ulysses can be a little slow out. Aston Ulysses is a strong 600-metre dog. Impact should get on the bunny and shows us some time.

AN: Aston Ulysses has been great in all three of his runs in Queensland however Impact is the fastest qualifier for a reason. Impact is going to get the run to suit here, he should find the front and get the job done.


Fastest time of the night selections:

LG: It is going to be a really interesting lot of match races on Thursday night, I am going with Impact as he will have the benefit of basically having a solo trial on the bunny. I have Louis Rumble running the second best time with Kooringa Lucy in third.

AN: I think Impact is Gold Bullion-bound. He can get things run the way he likes and post a really quick time here. For second I will go Extra Malt as she will not have any traffic to overcome and can always post a fast time at Albion Park and in third Louis Rumble. I still think Louis Rumble has improvement to come.

Impact Next Racing
Aston Ulysses