Trainers focus on Gold Collar heats

Maitland Greyhound Club’s 10-race program at the showground track today will give punters a good look at some of the dogs likely to contest next week’s heats of the Gold Collar series.

Nominations for the series close at 9am on Monday, with the best 32 greyhounds to contest four heats over 400 metres next Thursday.

First and second from each heat will progress to the final on March 21, with the winner to take home $4000 prizemoney.

Maitland Greyhound Club sponsorship and ­promotions manager Fred Robertson said some of the northern raiders likely be nominated for the time-honoured event have already arrived in Maitland and will race at the showground today.

Among them is Old Bonalbo trainer Mathew Reid who has four runners engaged – Arctic Start (race one), Bungiton (race three), Hydraulics (race four) and Miner’s Moss (race 10).

Blackmede trainer Bradley Northfield has also made the long trip to Maitland with well-­performed almost five-year-old campaigner Bralyn County to contest race eight, the Percy and Lochinvar Hotel Chase.

This race shapes as the best of the day with three runners having won their past two starts – Diddy Stike (box four), Oscar Pearl (box six) and True Blue Ethics (box seven).

True Blue Ethics, a three-year-old son of Surf Lorian, is in career-best form and likely to start favourite after coming off two fast victories over 520m at Wentworth Park, but has a poor record from outside boxes and could struggle from box seven today.

Robertson described today’s program as wide open and said punters would find good value across all races.

His best bet is the Ron Bell-trained Steadfast Cosmo in race five, the Maitland Mercury Stakes over 450 metres.

Steadfast Cosmo, a red brindle son of Bomastic Shiraz, strung together consecutive wins in ­brilliant fashion before failing last.

Steadfast Cosmo has speed to burn and Robertson expects a much better effort from the two box today.

Robertson also likes the Glenn Smith-trained Text Me Daddy, which ran ­second to track record holder Little Ed at his previous Maitland start, to salute from the one box in race seven.

The son of Black Enforcer is $3.50 in early betting and is expected to fight out the finish with Kevin Johnson’s rose Sannette and Ray Scully’s Expect No Mercy.

Racing starts at 3.57pm.

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