The 2013 Bulli Ranvet Gold Cup is shaping up to be one of the most exciting races to be staged at the Bulli Circuit in recent years. Amongst the field is a mixture of proven group talent, track specialists and the next generation of budding superstars all competing against one another to claim the $25,000 winner’s cheque and group race glory.
BOX ONE: Mark Azzopardi’s Transcend Time is boxed to win the event. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Elite Oriental is bred to fly especially around the one turn tracks with his dam a winner of the Group One National Futurity at Unibet Gardens and a two time placegetter in the Maitland Gold Cup in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Transcend Time is a multiple group finalist himself taking out the 2012 Group Two Multiquip Bob Payne Spring Sprint at Wentworth Park and since then he has made the finals of the Maitland Gold Collar, The Group Two Maitland Gold Cup and The Group Two Queensland Derby( runner up behind Hello Good Bye). Transcend Time is a winner of 15 from 26 including his heat last week where he clocked 26.35 for the track and distance whilst he also has a perfect strike rate from box one with two starts for two wins. Transcend Time is the most consistent performer in the field who deserves a change of luck.
BOX TWO: Zulu Zeus will be looking to bounce back to the winners list and in turn claim his maiden group victory after his four race winning streak came to an end when running second to Jagger Swagger in last week’s heats. The Frank Hurst trained runner has only had ten starts but has managed five wins in his career with super slick times at Bulli(26.20 seconds), Wentworth Park(29.83 seconds) and Richmond(30.08 seconds). Although he does seem to prefer the outside, if he can begin like he normally does he will be right in contention.
BOX THREE: Victorian campaigner Majestic Lee has been held comfortably at both starts at Bulli. Trained by Craig Treherne the white and black son of Brett Lee and Premier Class has a good motor however he will have to improve off his recent form to be a threat to this classy field. He has won 10 from 25 in Victoria but has not been beginning all that well lately and will not be able to give this lot a start.
BOX FOUR: Londonderry trainer Kristy Sultana will be hoping to turn around her bad luck of late in this event with Tarks Royale beginning wearing the blue rug. He has had three runs back from a lengthy spell and has won all three in impressive style. The son of Primo Uno has won eight from 16 with a best of 26.28 seconds at Bulli. The box is a worry however he has been beginning much better this preparation and should be at his peak in fitness. With a moderate beginner on his inside he should be able to find a nice position in the field and run a cheeky race.
BOX FIVE: Three year old Dinkum is a Bulli track specialist with five wins at the track and distance and three minors from eight starts. The son of Bit Chilli is prepared by Julie Fletcher and ran a fantastic race last week winning his heat by three quarters of a length in a fast 26.25 seconds. He has won 19 races overall from forty starts including a victory from every box. The awkward alley will make things hard for him especially with the flying Jagger Swagger on his outside however he has proven time and time again that he is capable of running times and overcoming bad boxes so must be respected.
BOX SIX: Dual Derby winner Jagger Swagger has been afforded no favours from box six but is the proven group chaser as the winner of the Group One National Derby and the Group Two Richmond Derby earlier this year. The black dog has won 18 from 27 for Mark Azzopardi with a scintillating personal best of 26.07 seconds for the course. He is not a blistering beginner but he does have good pace when he hits the ground so will only need a bit of room to gain a clear run and reach the front of the field.
BOX SEVEN: The second of Frank Hurst’s runners is Zulu Zircon in box seven- a litter brother to Zulu Zeus who is in box two. He is one of the most exciting greyhounds to come out of Hurst’s kennels with the experienced trainer rating both the black speedsters as good as any that he has had at their age. Zulu Zircon captured the attention of spectators when breaking his maiden status at Bulli in a hot 26.24 seconds before stepping out two starts later and running a smashing 26.06 seconds over the 472 metres. Last start he ran a handy second behind Transcend Time from box two. With only five starts to his name this will definitely be the acid test for the 34 kilogram son of Where’s Pedro, but if early indications are anything to go by he is a genuine group class dog.
BOX EIGHT: Mark Azzopardi’s third runner in the event is former Victorian Voltage Peak who ran on well to finish a close second behind Dinkum in his heat. The Talk’s Cheap sprinter has had three starts at Bulli and is yet to crack through for a win however he has run two nice placings. Looking at his form he appears to prefer the inside, but in a race full of speed he may be suited out wide to avoid interference.
FIRST RESERVE: Knocka’s Return is a talented type who is always thereabouts however he will need a bit of luck to gain a start and be competitive at this stage in his career.
SECOND RESERVE: Free Will is a top class greyhound for Anthony Azzopardi who recaptured some of his old form when running third behind Dinkum. He is not quite the dog he used to be based on recent runs and would struggle in this race.