Greyhound Racing Preview

Westeros Out To Challenge Dominant Favourite In Mandurah Birthday Cup

Astrophysic is a raging hot favourite to take out the Group 3 Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup (405m) tonight, but if there is one greyhound who could expose a chink in his armour its Westeros.

Trainer Jamie Marsh has Westeros back to his very best form after a series of niggling injuries and drawing on four consecutive wins, the Kinloch Brae greyhound looms as a serious threat.

Westeros, to step from box three, hasn’t been ignored by punters and sits on the second line of TAB betting at $4.  Astrophysic is $1.40 after drawing pole position.

Marsh admits Westeros will need all of the luck to go his way but says he holds a glimmer of hope if Astrophysic is put under pressure near the home corner.

“Astrophysic can roll off the bend under a little bit of pressure so with luck we get a chance to sit on him and try and rail up underneath,” Marsh said on TABradio.

“But you certainly can’t put a foot wrong to beat him because he is the Mandurah Track Star for a reason.  We will need all the luck.”

With four and five wins behind them, Westeros and Astrophysic enter the Birthday Cup as the best performed greyhounds in the $25,000 feature.

Westeros holds a strike rate of 14 wins and six placings from 40 starts with prizemoney in excess of $34,000.  Marsh is delighted he is back racing competitively.

“He is back one hundred per cent fit after niggling injuries,” Marsh said.

“Confidence is an amazing thing with dogs after a couple of wins.

“There was a stage there where we thought he would never come back.

“He had a pretty bad injury and a few issues.

“It’s just a bonus to have him back and winning races.

“Whatever happens tonight will happen.

“It’s fun to be there to have a crack.”

Astrophysic is seeking redemption from punters after going down as the favourite in last year’s Birthday Cup when a luckless fourth to kennel mate, Sialia.

The reigning Mandurah Track Star looks an unstoppable force from his draw and with a record of 35 wins from 42 starts over the 405m.

In an ominous warning to his rivals, trainer Paul Stuart says there is further improvement to come from Astrophysic.

“He went well last week in the heats, but he can go quicker after a few weeks off,” said Stuart.

“If he finds the front he is a hard dog to run down.

“He has everything in his favour.”