It is hard to believe it has been one year since Mepunga Nicky burst onto the scene by winning the S.A Oaks – Adelaide Cup double. Yet Angle Park will be alive again for their Group 1 showcase event Thursday night, and Victorians dominate the pre-post market as expected. With a bit of clever scheduling, some of the Sister Cities Cup finalists have stayed in town, giving the heats a different look. Andrea Dailly has a massive assault on the series, and will be expected to fill several of the final places. Local entrants always cause the occasional upset each year, so underestimate them at your own peril.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 1 (Race 2)
Hannie Bale for the Dailly kennel will be the likely favourite drawn box one, but has been knocked all over the track at her last two outings. She laid down some excellent times in Melbourne before those runs and will take catching if she leads. She may need a little luck in the early stages, as Magic Castle (box 3) and Aston Thomas (box 4) can show early speed and love the track, while Godsend wants the rails and could begin better than most expect. Big Black Mac (box 6) is racing well in Melbourne but may have trouble crossing this field, while Another Dollar (box 8) is a capable NZ runner, however it didn’t appreciate the wide draw last week, and is unlikely to benefit from it here. Tough race to be confident and best to go wide if taking exotics.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 2 (Race 3)
Looks a race in two with Mepunga Geordie (box 1) and Coal King (box 5) likely to battle it out. The latter will be in the back half early on, but trialled in 29.72 at the track this week. Mepunga Geordie is coming back from NSW and is better than her recent form suggests. Krisa Bale (box 2) is a hit-and-miss type and could prove the blowout dog if she begins like she was a month ago. High Crimes is drawn ideally in seven, and should find the lead, but is unlikely to run the time required to win. Lektra Ottens (box 8) is the only other one to keep safe.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 3 (Race 4)
Hard race this one, with the classier interstate dogs drawn awkwardly. This may be a race to look for value, and Head Tuner adores box one. Has only had one run since July, and broke 30 seconds on that occasion in a good win. Point Two Over (box 2) is a veteran of 110 starts, but should never be discounted box good draws. From the interstate brigade, Proven Nitro (box 3) comes off some very strong Cranbourne wins and trialled brilliantly in 29.63, while Schnickey Bale (box 5) has ability and has seen the track already but will need luck from a poor draw. Quo Vadis (box 6) is an in-form runner but up in class, while Streetbike Tommy (box 7) is harder to predict than the weather.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 4 (Race 5)
Probably the best heat of the night. Heston Bale (box 8) is the obvious favourite and was an impressive winner at the track last week. Looks the one to beat with any sort of clear run, which he should get from the wide draw. Hope’s Up (box7) is the reigning S.A Oaks winner, and can carve up the clock if given her own way. Will get space with Heston Bale on her outer, but the class factor here is a notch higher than what she is used to. Yowyeh (box 2) is more of a stayer these days, but loves this track after winning the Derby here last year. Dyna Cari (box 1) and Premier Boloney (box 3) are the only other dangers in a hot event.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 5 (Race 6)
Look for the book-ends to fly to front and battle it out. Zara Zulu (box 1) is racing well at Angle Park and has obviously been set for this. Inside draw will help no end, especially with no early pace anywhere near her. Koombooyana Girl (box 8) is a super young sprinter, and is the only runner capable of leading Zara Zulu, and running a time fast enough to hold her out. Dyna Morris (box 6) and Bagget Bale (box 7) will charge home from the back straight onwards and look the best place chances. Kalden Komoto (box 3) is consistent and may throw value into the trifecta.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 6 (Race 7)
El Brooklyn (box 7) is the fastest dog in the race, but the effect of her last start tumble is yet to be seen and also faces her first look at the track. Try to avoid taking her one-out, and look for the likes of Dyna Lowell (box 1) and Take Me Home (box 3) who are both in form and drawn well. Prank Call (box 5) could speed to the early lead and run a cheeky race, but was run down convincingly last week by Take Me Home.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 7 (Race 8)
Another tricky race to assess. Queenslander Bogie King (box 4) was outstanding in winning the Sister Cities Cup last week, but got plenty of room early that night and he may not get that again. He must be included nonetheless, as too should Gregorieva Bale (box 3) who never seems to run a bad race. He’s spent a few weeks in Adelaide now and should be ready to show his absolute best. Picaboon (box 1) has really taken to the Angle Park track and will be in the market also. There will be interest in Wattle Bee (box 2) and Dyna Iceman (box 4) too, although they are probably worth risking.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT 8 (Race 9)
This looks a one-act affair after Spud Regis (box 2) trotted in to win the S.A Derby. His first sectionals were ridiculously fast in that series and there is nothing here capable enough to run those times. For quinella and trifecta players, Jordy Pordy (box 5) is a proven traveller after winning in Perth earlier in the year, and won well two starts back at Sandown. Dyna Steal (box 3) is a consistent Free-For-All performer who will be given room by the favourite’s speedy exit, and Hannah McLaren (box 8) has run 29.72 from the same box, although that was some time ago. Hard to see anything else featuring in the final heat of the night.