More Meadows Magic For Houdini Boy?

KEL Greenough swears it’s by chance but when you name a dog Houdini Boy and he turns out as he has you're excused for thinking it was planned.

Adam Dobbin

15 September 2020

His champion trainer Kel Greenough swears it’s purely by chance.

But when you name a greyhound Houdini Boy and he rapidly becomes synonymous with winning by way of great escapes you can be forgiven for thinking there’s a bit more to it.

In a flourishing career that’s netted eight wins from 17 starts, Houdini Boy has quickly earned a reputation for getting racing fans off their seats.

When he races you anticipate something special. Something extravagant. Something outside the ‘norm’.

So there’s no surprise the prodigious talent is one of the headline acts at The Meadows this evening, stepping out as a piping hot favourite for the 600 metre Group 3 Speed Star series.

Think Carey or Lockett on Grand Final Day, that’s what Speed Star racing should equate to for Houdini Boy.

Cherry-ripe for the occasion.

Noted for his bone rattling finishing bursts, the match race conditions of the Speed Star is right up Houdini Boy’s alley.

His trainer Kel Greenough admits to have been eagerly awaiting the event with his remarkable chaser.

But at the same time he is taking nothing for granted with the $1.40 series favourite.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for his opponent Run Like Jess – you never go to the races thinking you’re over the line and tonight’s no different,” Greenough said.

“I’ve been looking forward to this series for a while but he’s still got to come out and get the job done. As I said I’ve got a healthy respect for Run Like Jess … I’ve seen her trial a few times and she can really gallop.”

This evening’s Speed Star program at The Meadows is a first for the  Broadmeadow circuit with the event’s usual home, Sandown Park, out of play due to track renovations.

Group 3 events will be run and won over all three distances – 525m, 600m and 725m.

The format sees four two-dog match races staged over each distance with the greyhound with the fastest time for each event declared the overall winner.

And it’s that ideal format that sees Houdini Boy the $1.40 overall favourite for the 600m series and an unbackable $1.04 to dispose of Run Like Jess in his match-race.

Boasting a personal best time at The Meadows of 34.16, Houdini Boy is getting within range of Dyna Double One’s 33.91 track record.

But Greenough is remaining measured about the prospect of a record run.

“Some of the trial times Houdini Boy has run has left me scratching my head – I’ve never had a dog like him,” Greenough said.

“He’s run 34.16 so there’s still a bit to find for the record.

“But if it’s a lightning track and he gets a clear run it will be interesting to see what he can run. I’m looking forward to the night … there should be some great racing.”

The 515 metre series is headlined by a gripping opening match race between Catch The Thief and Christo Bale.

In a clash of speed against strength, Catch The Thief is expected to set a lightning pace in front with Christo Bale to power home in the latter stages.

Head to head betting sees Catch The Thief at $1.85 ahead of Christo Bale at $1.90 with the pair dominating overall series markets also.

In the 725m Speed Star, stayer of the moment Sunset Bourbski is all-the-rage to claim overall honours at $1.90, ahead of Sandown Park track record holder Here’s Tears at $3.50.

Today’s The Meadows program gets underway at 4.32pm with the Speed Star events starting at 6.38pm.

Buckle in for some great racing.


How Speed Star night will work:

– Races 7, 8 & 9 to each be made up of 4 x 2-dog match races over 725m, 600m & 525m respectively.

– Matches will be scheduled 7-11 minutes apart.

– Matches are drawn as follows: 1v2; 3v4; 5v6; 7v8.

– Greyhounds to exit box 1 (odd numbers) or box 3 (even numbers), however this won’t necessarily be the case should a reserve gains a start.

– The overall result for each event is determined by the time recorded by each greyhound in the 4 matches.

– Punters also have the option to bet head-to-head in each match, or multi up a few greyhounds to win their head-to-head battles to increase your odds.