BOX one and a fast Wentworth Park trial have Blabba Mouth poised to be the first greyhound into the $100,000 to the winner Ladbrokes Masters Meteor final by winning heat one tonight at headquarters.
Restricted to veteran greyhounds, the inaugural running of the Masters Meteor, designed to extend the racetrack careers of dogs, will be held on October 20 in conjunction with the $1 million to the winner GRNSW + Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase.
Blabba Mouth has not raced since leading throughout at WP on September 26 but owner-trainer Cheryl Murray has the dog at his best.
Blabba Mouth clocked 29.93 in his last start win but has since got under the 29.80 mark in a WP trial, recording time almost identical to his personal best figures of 29.78, posted when he finished second on September 19.
"He likes having his races spaced and since his WP trial all he has had was a hand-slip,'' Murray said.
"Having box one is a bonus because Blabba Mouth really likes being drawn on the inside.''
Big Daddy Bee, who took out the 2017 group 1 National Derby at WP but has since been campaigning mostly over middle and long distances, returns as a sprinter in heat three of the Masters Meteor.
"He has not raced for around 10 weeks but is going well enough in trials to run a good race over the 520m,'' trainer Raymond Smith said.
Before tackling staying events, Big Daddy Bee scored three wins and four placings from 18 appearances in 520m races at WP but most were against all-comers and he should relish tackling fellow veterans tonight.
Big Daddy Bee's toughest opponent looms as Grafton star Cosmic Bonus, this year's group 2 Woy Woy Poultry Gold Cup victor at Gosford and winner of an impressive 34 from 74 starts.
Cosmic Bonus (pictured), who has box seven, has won his past two starts at Casino and has been successful in three of 11 races wearing the black rug.
Big Daddy Bee's trainer Raymond Smith also has smart sprinter Irinka Lizzy resuming from a spell in heat three of the Ladbrokes Young Star Classic.
"She has not raced since tearing a hip support at the end of June but she has been going along nicely at home,'' Smith said.
"Because she has won half a dozen races I could not risk starting her in the lead-up to this race as the Young Star was restricted to greyhounds with no more than six wins.
"Irinka Lizzy has box six but the draw should not be a problem because she has plenty of early 'toe.'
"Hopefully she has not lost any of that during her time away from the track and providing she retains that dash, the draw should not be a problem.''
Owner-breeder Caroline Hughes has three offspring from her former smart sprinter Lemon Tree Girl in heats one to three of the Young Star Classic.
Among them is the Brian Tame-trained Road Travelled, who is opposed to Irinka Lizzy.
"Road Travelled won his only race, in smart time at Bathurst on October 1, and is nicely drawn in box three,'' Hughes said.
"Ombre Rose, named after my favourite perfume, has box one in heat two but she needed to draw well because while she has good early speed this looks to be the toughest heat.
"Their sister Magic Begins, like Ombre Rose, is trained by my partner Glen McKinley and while she is the slowest of my trio she is also quite quick in the early stages.
"Box six should be okay for her because Magic Begins is inclined to get a bit wide on the turns.''
Club Double (box four) and Fierce Fan (eight) clash in heat four of the Young Star and while they have not raced at WP each has trialled well.
Club Double broke 30sec in a 520m hit-out last week while Fierce Fran got under the 30.30 mark in her solo trial.
Best Bet Blabba Mouth (race 5)
Best Value Irinka Lizzy (race 3)
Quaddie race 5 - 1, 4, 5
Race 6 - 8, 1, 5
Race 7 - 7, 3
Race 8 - 6, 1, 8
$20 for 37.03%