Greyhound Bralyn stalking fifth consecutive win at Casino
BRALYN Stalker has copped his fair share of growing pains but he has become a real star for Backmede trainer Bradley Northfield.
The flying sprinter aims for his fifth consecutive win in the first heat of the Group 3 Charcoal Inn Casino Cup (484m) today.
Bralyn Stalker debuted in December last year but shortly afterwards was sidelined for almost six months with metacarpal and toe problems.
Since returning, though, he has recorded a stack of wins and looks a strong chance to earn a place in next Friday's $25,000 final, one of the biggest races of the year in the Northern Rivers.
"It was frustrating," Northfield said.
"You do start thinking, 'will he be able to come back from this?'
"He's a big greyhound, too, and it took a while for him to grow up and hit his straps."
Since returning in June, Bralyn Stalker has taken his record to nine wins from 13 starts.
He starts from box seven today and faces some tough opponents, including the likes of Sassy Dior (box one), Wild Roses in box three and Wilhelm, who has drawn box eight.
"It's not a bad draw for us," Northfield said.
"Bralyn Stalker won a couple of times from the outside.
"His good early speed is his main attribute. He can find the front in the first 50 metres.
"He handles the track well so I'm optimistic he can win again."
The 55-year-old is among the Northfield clan, who have enjoyed plenty of greyhound racing success over the years.
Bradley's brother Glen, cousin Charlie and his brother Mitch are also involved with the sport.
Other notables to watch in today's heats include last year's winner, Glenreagh Rocket, and Glamour Row (heat two).
Charlie Northfield's Kingsbrae Molly aims to continue her remarkable record at Casino in heat three. She has never finished lower than second in all of her 19 races at Queen Elizabeth Park.
Cosmic Dryva, recent Group 3 Townsville Cup runner-up Pace Ventura and 2013 Casino Beef Week Cup winner Bogan Miss are in heat four.