The 2013 Group Three Ranvet Gold Cup had everything you could possibly want from a group race on paper and the form and excitement came to life last night in what was a thrilling event from start to finish. Triumphant in the event was race favourite Jagger Swagger for Mark Azzopardi however the dual derby winner had to work extremely hard to claim the $25,000 winner’s prize.
The pace setter, as expected was kennel mate Transcend Time who began flawlessly from the rails alley and hit the lead in the run to the first turn. On his outside from the checks was the young sensation Zulu Zeus who stalked him in second place however it was not long before Jagger Swagger mustered enough speed to join the leading pair around the side. Once he was level with the leader, the son of Premier Fantasy showed an enormous turn of foot to quickly accelerate to the lead and kick clear on the home turn. From there many spectators would be forgiven for thinking that the event was done and dusted however Zulu Zeus was not going down without a fight for trainer Frank Hurst, flashing home with a tremendous finishing burst to give punters and Azzopardi alike a scare with just a head separating them going past the post. The winning time last night was a scintillating 26.01 seconds which was also a new personal best for the speed machine over the track and distance. Holding onto third position was the ultra- consistent Transcend Time who gave it his all but just found his kennelmate too strong on the night finishing eight lengths behind the leaders whilst Hurst’s other competitor Zulu Zircon was a neck behind him in fourth position.
Trained at Appin Jagger Swagger now hold the imposing record of nineteen wins from just 28 starts whilst to his credit he has also put together two seconds and four thirds during that time. The 36 kilogram heavyweight has shown plenty of potential since the start of his lucrative career stringing together nine of his first twelve racetrack appearances. In these starts were best of day times at Appin (20.90 seconds), four best of night performances at Bulli (26.39, 26.07, 26.10, 22.41 seconds respectively) two best of day times at Maitland (25.20 and 25.14 seconds) and finally a best of night at Richmond (30.35 seconds). As if these terrific times were not enough, Jagger Swagger was also a two time group race winner going into the event.
In February the black speedster took out the Group One National Derby at Unibet Gardens in a flying 29.66 seconds and just two starts after that claimed the Group Two Richmond Derby in a super slick 30.35 seconds over Zipping Milo. Since then Jagger Swagger has competed in the Golden Easter Egg Series at Wentworth Park whilst he also made the final of the Group Two Queensland Derby last month finishing fifth behind Kel Greenough’s sensational Hello Good Bye.
Now with three group wins to his name in just under half a year Jagger Swagger is certainly developing a stunning record for himself which will make him highly sought after when he ultimately retires to stud. With his glowing performance lighting up the track last night, the brilliant chaser looks one of the main contenders for the Group One Rapidvite Peter Mosman with the heats to be conducted this Saturday night at Wentworth Park. The heat draws for the $75,000 to the winner feature will be out today, and with Jagger Swagger just scraping into the age classic by a matter of weeks, it looks the ideal series for him should Azzopardi choose to head there. Jagger Swagger relishes the Ultimo circuit with a flying personal best of 29.56 seconds over the 520 metres recorded in March.
Runner up Zulu Zeus as well as fellow finalist Zulu Zircon are also likely to line up this Saturday night at Wentworth Park with Frank Hurst hinting earlier this month that the target for the two electrifying littermates after the Ranvet Gold Cup would also be the Peter Mosman series. Both ‘Zulus’ are equally talented according to Hurst however much of the hype has surrounded Zulu Zircon in the early stages of his career with the son of Where’s Pedro capturing the eye when taking out his first three starts and clocking an airborne 26.06 seconds at Bulli at only his third race appearance. Contrary to this it was Zulu Zeus who stepped into the spotlight last night and proved that whilst he does not turn two until August, he is a genuine group quality greyhound in the making. A winner of five from eleven, the exciting youngster is already a Wentworth Park winner in 29.83 seconds whilst the start prior to that he ran a jaw-dropping 30.08 seconds at Richmond.
All eyes will focus on Wentworth Park this Saturday for the heats of the Group One Rapidvite Peter Mosman. Run over three weeks it is a renowned series for identifying the future stars of the track.