THE eagerly awaited first Wentworth Park appearance of undefeated provincial speedster Tamou Banner highlights Saturday night's three heats of NSW's most time honoured event, the Ladbrokes Vic Peters Classic.
First held in 1951 at Harold Park, the Group 1 race was switched to the Wentworth Park grass track in 1987 and has been held on the current Wenty sand surface since 1993.
Tamou Banner, who has won each of four races over 400m at Bulli and 450m at Maitland, has box one in heat three, the strongest of the qualifiers to decide the field for the $75,000 to the winner final on November 3.
While Tamou Banner has not been tested beyond 450m, his young trainer Luke Adams is confident the dog will run out a solid 520m at WP.
"I would have preferred to see him drawn wide but box one is better than being in the middle of the field,'' Adams said.
"Tamou Banner has had a couple of hit-outs around Wentworth Park and while he has not gone the full 520m I think he will run it out.
"He is capable of coming out running from the starting boxes but whatever he does on Saturday night I reckon he can improve on if he makes it through to the final.''
Tamou Banner's toughest rivals loom as the Jason Mackay-trained Zipping Tayla and smart Victorian youngster Deliver, from the powerful Seona Thompson kennels.
Zipping Tayla, who has box four, has won seven of 14 starts in strong provincial company while Deliver, who is going into Saturday's race without the benefit of a trial on the track, has had six wins and four seconds from a dozen Victorian outings.
Double What makes his debut from box one for Sydney trainer George Borg in heat one of the Classic after winning three of six short course starts at Sale, a Victorian country course.
"I have given Double What a couple of trials at Wentworth Park and he has gone okay,'' Borg said.
"He has not raced beyond 460m but the time he posted for me in a 520m trial at Wenty was satisfactory.''
Hardest for Double What to beat looks to be the Kayla-Jane Coleman-trained Ouzo, who is yet to win at WP but was a certainty beaten when second from box eight on September 26 and again had no luck when sixth, from box five, a week later.
Ouzo has since scored two impressive 520m wins at Dapto and should relish her box two draw on Saturday night.
Fierce Fran, who has box three, is another contender in the first heat and trainer Michael Clayton has advised punters to forget her seemingly disappointing fourth at WP on October 20.
Fierce Fan overcame an early check to run down Faun Flame to win on debut at Wentworth Park on October 10 but after jumping smartly could manage only fourth position to Federal Lilly 10 days later.
"In that latest race another dog crossed Fierce Fran in the run to the first turn and because she is inexperienced, she didn't seem to know what to do when that happened,'' Clayton said.
"Then another greyhound got underneath her and forced her off the track so under the circumstances her run was better that it looks on paper.''
Awesome Catch (pictured), trained in Victoria by Vince Tullio, has been set for the Vic Peters and after winning from box one at Wentworth Park last Saturday night, has drawn the rails trap again in heat two.
Awesome Catch is boxed to win but will face stern opposition from front-running Queenslander Mottza, who has had a win and a second from two Wentworth Park outings.
A surprise starter in heat two is the speedy See Me Now, a new addition to the kennels of successful trainer Caroline Hughes.
See Me Now has had four starts over 307m at Bathurst for two wins and two seconds and has not been tested over Saturday night's 520m trip.
"She has good early pace and we paid $8000 for her after seeing her Bathurst runs,'' Hughes' partner Glen McKinley said.
Best Bet Zipping Mitzy (race 2)
Best Value Bogan Doonie (race 1)
Quaddie race 5 - 2, 1, 3
Race 6 - 1, 5
Race 7 - 1, 4, 3
Race 8 - 4, 8, 5
$20 for 37.03%