Big Dog Challenge, preview, comment, ratings and tips

It’s rare when a box draw goes the way of all main chances but that is the case in tonight’s 2011 Big Dog Challenge (600m) at Albion Park (600m).

A classy field has gathered after two 2011 Big Dog Challenge heats held last Thursday which saw some tight finishes.

While Pure Adrenalin has always been ultra consistent, he has stepped up to another level lately.

He recently stopped the clock over 520 in 30.15 and last week was the quickest 2011 Big Dog Challenge heat winner in  35.41 sec beating the highly regarded Isadel and Metz Magic.

Pure Adrenalin likes to race off the rail and box seven in the final suits his style.

It is the same case with the 2011 National Sprint champ Metz Magic who has drawn in box eight for the 2011 Big Dog Challenge final.

The Ron Ball-trained son of Bombastic Shiraz copped interference twice in last week’s heat and finished third to Pure Adrenalin beaten under a length.

Metz Magic raced once in 19 starts from box eight and won in 30.02 sec over the 520m at this track.

He has the class to take the 2011 Big Dog Challenge final and will be better for his first try over the 600m last week.

Isadel and Mercy Rule also have class.

Serial city dwellers with good consistent records.

Mercy Rule is closer to the end than the start of her career but is still racing well.

Mercy Rule won the Vince Curry Consolation as a pup and has also made the final of the Group 1 Winter Cup and Brisbane Cup final this year.

She has performed best from inside boxes throughout her career and from box one gets her chance.

Trainer Pam Field says Mercy’s Rule needs to lead to become the 2011 Big Dog Challenge winner.

“She’s run a 10.04 first section at Albion Park over the distance,” she said.

“But she’s got a bit of speed in Isadel and Ronray Reward drawn outside her.

“She’s been remarkably injury free, very consistent and very honest.”

Isadel rarely leads and gets beaten but Pure Adrenalin knocked it off fair and  square last week.

From three starts at 600m she has won once and placed twice.

Her win was in 34.96 sec and was just one of her 18 wins in 42 starts.

Isadel can lead here and in that case would be better for last week’s 600m run, her first over that trip since October.

The Graeme Bate-trained galloper Stack ‘Em Flat is another who will be better for its heat win in 35.71sec.

The dogs Brisbane minder Tom Tzouvelis plans to “get tough”

“Graeme told me to give him an easy week after his second to Iso Octane here last week, we’ll get into him this week for the final,” he said.

That effort against Iso Octane when beaten a nose was impressive when Stack ‘Em Flat stormed home.

Stack ‘Em Flat is a winner of 32 races and handles any box.

2011 BIG DOG CHALLENGE 600m –comment, ratings and tips

 1 MERCY RULE (Pam Field): Has won five of eight starts over this trip here and loves box one. Good second to Iso Octane on Monday over 520m. In form and can win. Rating 7.

2 STACK ‘EM FLAT (Graeme Bate): Finished well from back in the field to win a heat last week in 35.71. With great trainer and rarely runs a bad race. Likely to improve. Right in it. Rating 7.

3.ISADEL (Christina Apap): Honest bitch who led and caught in the last stride last week. Has broken 35 secs over this trip. Can lead and rarely runs a bad race. Right in it. Rating 7.

4 RONRAD REWARD (Robert McGregor): Showed good pace last week from box one and appeared to have its chance when beaten length in slowish time. Had box one last week and it looks a tougher task from this draw. Rating 3.

5 MENTAWAI (Michael Menken): Very consistent of late and led past two when narrowly beaten. Likes to race off the fence. Chance of leading here is more remote and box makes it tough. Perhaps a place but happy to leave out. Rating 4.

6 NOIR WARRIOR (Peter Ruetschi): Won here in 35.33 and 35.44 recently which is right up with last week’s heat times. Likes to rail and box makes it a little tougher. Honest but place may be best. Rating 4.

7. PURE ADRENALIN (Darren Russell): Racing well having won the past two. Likes to run wide on the track and this box suits. Likely to be biggish odds despite being the quickest heat winner. Eachway chance. Rating 6.

8. METZ MAGIC (Ron Ball): Very good when he gets it right. Slow early and works his way through the field from there. Won at lone previous start from box 8. Definitely good enough to win. Rating 8.

TIPS: Metz Magic 1, Stack ‘Em Flat 2 Mercy Rule 3 Isadel 4.

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