Thursday night will see all industry eyes firmly fixed on Albion Park, with the running of the 2013 Group 1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup Final. The winning connections will pocket a cool $75,000, and the box draw has made the race a really open affair.
Can Australia’s best greyhound in Xylia Allen win from box 7? Can Tomac Bale give trainer Mark Delbridge his first Group 1? Or will a local hope join 2012 Queensland champion Got A Moment on the list of winners? With the start all important, and the new boxes giving tenths to a chasers race time, will we see the lowering of Made To Size’s long standing track record? These questions will all be answered as the boxes open and Albion Park crowns another Group 1 winner.
2013 GROUP 1 - SKY RACING BRISBANE CUP FINAL – 520m - 8:52pm Qld Time
Box 1 – TOP STORY – Sandra Hunt
Career Record - 32 Starts – 14 – 6 – 6 - Best Time at Track 29.77
Top Story finished one and a half lengths behind Battistuzzi in his heat, where he chased hard throughout and never shirked the task. The son of Knocka Norris and Bomber Babe is a track specialist, having made a number of group finals here through his injury plagued career. With limited starts due to ongoing injuries, it has been a wonderful training performance to have him qualify for yet another group final. Prefers an outside draw but in feature finals box one suits. A quality chaser who gives 110% every start, strong chance.
Sandra Hunt (Trainer) - “It’s a really hard race and we are up against it despite being drawn in box one. He’s a greyhound that races better out wide, but with the draw we are just hoping that he can be inside any first corner trouble. He’s the fastest dog we have ever had but has had to race with a career plagued by injury. He has to lead to win.”
Box 2 – TOMAC BALE – Mark Delbridge
Career Record – 28 starts – 15 – 3 -1 – Best Time at Track 29.63
He was the fastest heat winner in a super quick 29.63 BON, after leading from the boxes to the catching pen. Tomac Bale is a Group winning son of Dyna Lachlan and Princess Bale, and is from a wonderful litter of chasers. He was super quick early and gave nothing else a chance after exploding from the boxes at what was his first look at the track and trip. He will benefit from that experience and again draws favourably in box two where he has had two starts for two wins. He is a big chance to give trainer Mark Delbridge his first group 1 success.
Mark Delbridge (Trainer) - “I think that he has every chance and I’m just hoping that he can begin. He has been missing it lately, but last week was good and he jumped well. I’ve run second a couple of times in group one’s, so it would be nice to win one.”
Box 3 - BATTISTUZZI – Frank Hancock
Career Record – 17 starts – 9 – 2 – 3 – Best Time at Track – 29.77
Battistuzzi won his heat in a personal best 29.77 after leading throughout in a dominant performance and is a three time group finalist, who has just turned 2 years old. The son of Collision and Dulcinea is from an outstanding litter and does excel at the track and trip, with his box speed and racing sense a big advantage. He does prefer an outside box draw and box three hasn’t been favourable in his short career. He is a young greyhound who continues to improve and deserves a group win for his ability. He is the first group one finalist for the Hancock team and could win on Queensland’s biggest stage.
Edith Hancock (Owner) - “We are absolutely wrapt for the dog. He has just turned two years of age and this is his third group final. I don’t think he is well drawn, as we prefer him to jump from a wide draw. The Melbourne dogs look hardest to beat and it’s just a pleasure to be in the final.”
Box 4 – HAWKO’S MISTAKE – John Edwards
Career Record – 56 starts – 16 – 10 – 9 – Best Time at Track – 29.94
Hawko’s Mistake ran second in his heat behind interstate visitor Farmor Las Vegas, chasing hard throughout to lose by a length and a half on the line after beginning well from box eight. He is a favourite of his trainer, who admits he is the best chaser he has trained. By Buckingham Chuck and Ellie’s Diamond, he has been plagued by poor box draws. That continues for the final where he draws box four, a box he is yet to win from. Considering the quality of the field and his poor draw, he only looks a place chance.
John Edwards (Trainer) - “Honestly I don’t think he can win after coming up with box four. He’s lucky to still be racing with the amount of injuries that he has had to cope with. Box four makes it tough and to win he has to lead and find about eight lengths. I don’t think he can cross Tomac Bale.”
Box 5 – FARMOR LAS VEGAS – Robert Britton
Career Record – 45 starts – 18 – 14 – 1 – Best Time at Track – 29.85
He won his heat from box four in a quick 29.85 at his Albion Park debut. The son of Knocka Norris and Farmor Cee You has travelled extensively in his career, winning on eight different tracks for the powerful Britton kennel. Possessing good early speed, his career has exploded in recent months, making a number of feature finals and racing against Australia’s best. He draws awkwardly in the final after coming up with box five, which isn’t favourable for the February 2011 whelp. He has started from box five on six occasions for one win and one placing. Last week was very impressive and if he leads he can win.
Robert Britton (Trainer) - “I’m more hopeful than confident. It’s definitely a good field with quality dogs. To win he will need to do everything right and probably lead. He is not a great box dog, but he can muster speed very quickly. I’m taking him up a day earlier this time as last week he didn’t travel the best and I think that told in his last sectional.”
Box 6 – KISS ME KETUT – David Burnett
Career Record – 36 starts – 16 – 6 – 5 – Best Time at Track – 29.95
Kiss Me Ketut won his heat in a solid 29.95 after leading throughout from box eight. He is a Ready2Race Sales success story from 2012, where a $21,000 outlay has produced prizemoney well in excess of $100,000 and the title of Melbourne Cup Finalist. The son of Bombastic Shiraz and Spiral Siyan has won from every box and draws box six for the final, where he has a record of four starts for three wins. Whilst he isn’t as strong as some of the other finalists, he can lead and take advantage of any trouble behind him to feature here. Kiss Me Ketut is a celebrity greyhound that will be well fancied in betting and will improve on his heat time.
David Burnett (Owner/Trainer) - “He is suited by an outside draw and he won’t cut down to the fence until he has to. I definitely prefer drawing here rather than inside. It’s his fifth group final at 28 months of age, and it would be great to see him win this one. I’ve left the dog up in Queensland with Geoff Jones this week to acclimatise to the weather and he has been spoiling him, the dog is jumping around. I’m just hoping he can avoid the first turn trouble.”
Box 7 – XYLIA ALLEN – Jenny Hunt
Career Record – 49 starts – 20 – 10 – 8 – Best Time at Track – 29.81
Australia’s best greyhound whose heat win had to be seen to be believed, coming from behind to win after copping significant interference in a time of 29.81. She is a tenacious chaser who would run through brick walls, and has a remarkable ability to lift herself up from the canvas when others couldn’t. This beautiful daughter of Turanza Bale and Tayah Bale qualifies for the fourteenth final of her brilliant career. She draws box seven in the final, which is the only box she is yet to taste success from. Xylia Allen is an outstanding sprinter who is a strong winning chance.
Jenny Hunt (Trainer) - “She could win or she could run last. I just hope that she has every chance and doesn’t get knocked around or bumped too much. She is in form and I know that she will give her best.”
Box 8 – CAPTAIN CLARRIE – Peter Ruetschi
Career Record – 39 starts – 15 – 4 – 6 – Best Time at Track – 30.11
Captain Clarrie was the slowest heat winner in 30.11, chasing hard throughout to just nab the leader on the line. The son of Elite And Classy and Where Are You has been a wonderful chaser throughout his 39 start career. He is a group performer who was third in the recent Ipswich Gold Cup, and box eight won’t worry him. He set an Ipswich PB from this box when winning his Ipswich Cup heat. In five starts from box eight he has won three times and been placed on the other two occasions. He is prepared by form trainer Peter Ruetschi, who has had a wonderful 2013 with a number of feature finalists. The Captain may not have the accolades of the other finalists, but deserves his chance and not without some hope.
Peter Ruetschi (Trainer) - “He is drawn ideally in box 8 and it’s where we wanted him to draw. With any interference inside and a clear run I think that he is a real live chance in the race. It was his first look from the new boxes last week and good judges have said that it will improve his time by a tenth or two. He’s on the comeback from injury and going as good as ever. I think if Xylia Allen jumps nothing will beat her. It’s my first group 1 finalist and anything can happen.”
9 – ROSE OF GALO – Albert Kennewell
Career Record – 31 starts – 11 – 7 – 3 – Best Time at Track – 29.99 (2nd)
Lead for 519 meters in his second place finish behind Captain Clarrie. She is very quick early, which is her biggest asset. She is by ill-fated sire El Galo out of Noir Rose. She isn’t as strong as the others and looks only a place chance if lucky enough to gain a start through scratching’s.
10 – TEE BRADY – Tom Tzouvelis
Career Record – 26 starts – 6 – 6 – 4 – Best Time at Track – 30.09 (2nd)
He ran second in his heat after leading and being run down by an unstoppable Xylia Allen. This highly thought of chaser has been well travelled throughout his career, racing in four states including the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. By Cosmic Rumble and New Coin, he looks only a rough place hope if lucky to start.
The final looks an outstanding race on a wonderful card of racing. ARG wishes all finalists and connections the best of luck and a safe trip around.