The box draw for the $600,000 2014 Melbourne Cup Final has been conducted at Sandown, with Keybow drawing the coveted red box.
Keybow will not have all the running to himself early though as there will be plenty of pace coming from the outside boxes, with speedsters Star Recall and Luca Neveelk drawing beside each other in boxes six and seven.
Chica Destacada has also drawn very well in box two for Doreen Drynan.
Fatest Melbourne Cup heat winner Dyna Villa has drawn well out in the extreme outside draw in the pink rug. A repeat performance of his equal best of night 5.00 first sectional could see the Jenny Hunt trained son of Collision off and gone on the first corner.
Australian Racing Greyhound expect Keybow to start the clear favourite for the final in fixed odds markets. Be sure to check out the different promotions and free bets being conducted on greyhound racing’s night of nights.
2014 Group 1 $600,000 Melbourne Cup Final Box Draw
Keybow – Darren McDonald Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan Above All – Robert Britton Awesome Project – Darren McDonald Cosmic Wise – Jeff Britton Star Recall – Jeff Britton Luca Neveelk – Gerald Kleeven Dyna Villa – Jenny Hunt Reserves Cawbourne Whip – Anthony Azzopardi My Bro Fabio – Brooke Ennis
2014 Group 1 Bold Trease Final Box Draw
Sweet It Is has drawn box three for the Bold Trease and will be extremely hard to beat with any luck in running.
Space Star appears to have drawn extremely well in box four outside the noted slow beginner, as has Zipping Maggie in box two for Peter Dapiran.
Blinker’s On has drawn the pink for the final after qualifying from that box in the heats.
Beks – Patrick Bouchier Zipping Maggie – Peter Dapiran Sweet It Is – Darren McDonald Space Star – Robert Britton Reap The Benefit – Michael Chilcott Mystic Twist – Mark Cauchi Coulta Rock – David Curtain Blinker’s On – Brooke Ennis Reserves Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly Manila Express – Captain Abbott
The final field for the Group One Melbourne Cup has been determined after eight hotly contested heats of the event were conducted at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
Time honours went to the Jenny Hunt trained Dyna Villa (29.21) just ahead of Chica Destacada (29.22), trained by Doreen Drynan.
Darren McDonald and Jeff Britton both have a strong hand in the final, qualifying two runners each.
McDonald has a great record in the Melbourne Cup. He has already won three of them with Hallucinate (2004), Surgeon (2007) and Shanlyn Prince (2008). Awesome Project or Keybow could make him the only trainer to ever win four.
Here’s a look at how each of the heats were run and won;
The Melbourne Cup heats opened with a win for New Zealand as the Alison Lee owned Above All (5) qualified first for the rich final. Above All is trained by Rob Britton and he had great success with another of Lee’s New Zealand chasers, Clone Your Own.
The Magic Sprite and Kara Janx (Fashion Thief – more Than This) dog had only raced nine times for five wins prior to his heat run. For this event he had drawn the squeeze box and was racing plenty of Group winners.
Lucy Lobster (8) grabbed the early lead while Humphrey Bale (1) was also hunting up on the inside. Above All was positioned nicely in third, advantaged by having the tardy beginner Oakvale Destiny (5) on his inside. Rounding the first turn, Above All squeezed through Humphrey Bale and Lucy Lobster to take the lead and secure a 6 1/2 length win in 29.37. Weston East (10), the second reserve, ran home well for second and Oakvale Destiny (4) was third.
A New Zealand bred chaser last won the Melbourne Cup in 1974, courtesy of Kwik Metal. She was a bitch by Gabriel Mist and Metal Joey (Keen Metal – Russkar).
Class prevailed in the second heat as Awesome Project (3) atoned for his unlucky Shoot Out run to begin well and score by 4 1/2 lengths in 29.38 at the juicy odds of $6. Once the Darren McDonald chaser hit the lead, no other greyhound in the field was going to get him. The Collision and Honour Phase (Big Daddy Cool – Hunter Tylo) dog notched up his eighth win at Sandown while Hostile (1) and Ritza Hattie (5) filled the minors.
McDonald continued with his winning touch in the third heat, handling the Doreen Drynan trained Chica Destacada (6) for a smart 29.22 win. Banjo Boy (1) looked to be beautifully boxed but he dwelt at the start and cost himself valuable ground. Chica Destacada, a diminutive black bitch by Cosmic Rumble and Eluthra (Most Awesome – Buena Sarah), crossed beautifully from box six and was able to stave off Cawbourne Whip (2) by a length on the line. Mepunga Hayley (8) rounded out the placings.
Things could not get any better for McDonald after Keybow (8) came out in the fourth heat to win and qualify for next week’s final, giving McDonald two cracks at winning his fourth Melbourne Cup. The box draw was perfect for Keybow as he stuck outside the pace and worked his way around the tight pack of leaders. Crackerjak Dak (3) just couldn’t get to the lead clearly, hampered by Take Charge (1). While Keybow was making his run down the back Iva Vision (6) was also running strongly into the picture. However, Keybow is a known strong chaser and once he was in front he was not going to go down easily. He stopped the clock at 29.35. The Take The Kitty and Key Exit (Over Flo – Atlanta Belle) dog scored by five lengths over Iva Vision and Oakvale Flyer (4).
WA chaser Star Recall (2) turned a last at Sandown the previous week into a first this week. The High Earner and No Recall (Big Daddy Cool – Bradshaw Girl) bitch is now based in Jeff Britton’s kennels and had failed to impress the previous week at the track. In taking out heat five, she recorded 29.34 to record a comfortable 4 1/2 length win. She was able to lead from go to whoa to make her third Group One final. Tiggerlong Amigo (4) tried his hardest to catch the leader but had to settle for second while Hekate Belle (5) wound up in third.
Unbeaten records at the track are hard to ignore and Dyna Villa (6) proved that by taking out the sixth heat and lowering the colours of the much fancied My Bro Fabio (7) in the process. My Bro Fabio was gallant in his 1 1/4 length defeat but he just had too much ground to make up after a slow getaway. Dyna Villa, a dog by Collision and Roxio Bale (Droopy’s Vieri – Francesca Bale), has now won seven from seven at the track and is a real smokey for next week’s final if he can repeat the early sectionals he clocked in this victory. The Jenny Hunt trained dog recorded a personal best of 29.21 and gives the Wheeler family a runner for the big one.
In the final heat of the Melbourne Cup, Buckle Up Wes (7) was unable to break his Sandown hoodoo, suffering interference in the early stages and finishing down the track in seventh. Cosmic Wise (1) was able to use the advantage of the rails alley to qualify for her second Group One final in the space of a month, after recently making the final of the Group One Adelaide Cup. The Cosmic Chief and Wise Penny (Bombastic Shiraz – Awesome Berger) bitch keenly contested the lead early with One Dee (2) and eventually won that battle on the approach into the first turn.the Jeff Britton trained chaser was not worried from that point, crossing the line 1 3/4 lengths in front of Joey Valdez (3) and One Dee (2). In the process, she clocked her personal best at Sandown of 29.39.
The box draw for the Melbourne Cup will take place at midday on Friday, 14 November.
The finalists are (in heat order):
Above All – Robert Britton (29.37) Awesome Project – Darren McDonald (29.38) Chica Destacada – Doreen Drynan (29.22) Keybow – Darren McDonald (29.35) Star Recall – Jeff Britton (29.34) Dyna Villa – Jenny Hunt (29.21) Luca Neveelk – Gerald Kleeven (29.42) Cosmic Wise – Jeff Britton (29.39)
Space Star made an auspicious debut for the Robert Britton kennel by setting the fastest qualifying time of the four Group One Bold Trease heats at Sandown on Thursday night.
The young son of Bekim Bale and Tonto Tears (Kiowa Sweet Trey – Tears) was having his first start for the Lara based kennel since coming from New South Wales. He clocked a rapid 41.65 for the journey in a 4 1/2 length win.
After jumping midfield from box six, Space Star quickly worked to second and then took over from early leader Flying Twist (1) as they passed the winning post the first time.
From that point on he extended his lead with the only likely danger to be champion bitch Sweet It Is (2) who was finding her share of trouble back in the field.
Space Star proved too good staving off the fast finishing Sweet It Is in a convincing win. The sky could be the limit for this dog if Britton can continue to get him to produce efforts like that.
Earlier Coulta Rock made the most of his opportunities to land the first heat in what was a mixing affair for Longwarry trainer David Curtain. The result was certainly nothing flattering on the clock with the time for the journey being an average 42.76.
After jumping midfield from box four and finding some early interference, the son of Velocette and Coulta Sally (Go Forever – Coulta Tess) found himself second as the field went into the back, some six lengths behind tearaway leader Galloping Rocky (8).
Swinging for home, Coulta Rock railed underneath the tiring leader and plugged home to win in a dour effort. Reap The Benefit (2) ran on well from midfield to grab second and a spot in next week’s final with She Shall Rock (7) a close third.
Beks sprung an upset in the third heat for Dennington mentor Patrick Bouchier when he arrived right on time to claim the race in 42.04.
The son of Bekim Bale and Flaming Doll (Ginger Bread Man – Hot Doll) left box six in seventh placing and slowly weaved a passage through the field to claim Zipping Maggie (2) and Dyna Kayla (3) in the concluding stages.
The fourth and final heat was a rough and tumble affair that saw an all-the-way win to Mystic Twist for trainer Mark Cauchi in 42.06.
The daughter of Velocette and Valley Twist (Surf Lorian – Valley Girl) made her own luck up front when four dogs came down behind her at the first turn leaving her as practically the only runner left unscathed.
She opened up a big break which formed the catalyst for her victory with the favourite Blinker’s On (8) only able to get within two lengths of her on the line.
The qualifiers for the final are listed below in no particular order with the box draw to be conducted at midday on Friday.
Coulta Rock – Dacid Curtain Reap The Benefit – Michael Chilcott Space Star – Robert Britton Sweet It Is – Darren McDonald Beks – Patrick Bouchier Zipping Maggie – Peter Dapiran Mystic Twist – Mark Cauchi Blinker’s On – Brooke Ennis
Dyna Kayla – Andrea Dailly Manilla Express – Captain Abbott
10WESTON EAST (NSW)Res.2121429.36(2)A Langton (Anakie)
Tough race to kick off the cup heats but I think Campaspe Will can get the job done from his favourable wide draw. He was desperately unlucky here last time and if he can step like he did last week he should be able to settle in a winning position. Kiss Me Ketut has returned to form in recent weeks and he is aiming for a hat trick of wins. If he pings the lids he should give them something to catch. Oakvale Destiny ran a bottler in the Shootout here last week and if she finds the rail early she should be able to make some sort of impact. Above All is a flying machine and is obviously going to be well supported but he is poorly drawn tonight and a big risk.
Top Four: 7 – 2 – 4 – 6
Boxed Quinella: 2,4,6,7 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,4,7/2,4,6,7 ($9 for 100%)
Trifecta: 7/2,4,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2,4,7/2,4,6,7/2,3,4,5,6,7 ($36 for 100%)
Race No. 2Tab Melbourne Cup Ht27:25 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
Another tough race but it’s hard to look past the well drawn Hostile. Last week he stepped cleanly and reeled off ridiculous sectionals before posting a 29.28 victory. From the red he should have enough speed to hold them out and if he does it should be all over. Ritza Hattie is all class and she can ping the lids in her races. She has a sizzling 29.37 PB here and if she happens to find the bunny early she will give a great sight. Dyna Yemen is the real deal and he looked ultra impressive when posting a commanding 29.35 win here last week. If he can get away on terms he should be in the mix at the business end. Awesome Project is always a chance in this type of company and he must be respected, whilst the exciting Secret Spell will be short odds but I think she is a risk from the wide draw.
Top Four: 1 – 5 – 4 – 3
Win bet on Hostile
Exacta: 1,4,5/1,3,4,5 ($9 for 100%)
Quinella: 1 to rove with 3,4,5 ($3 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/3,4,5/Field ($18 for 100%)
Race No. 3Solo Bold Trease Ht17:43 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 715 metres at Sandown park Of $11,750 Prizemoney. 1st: $8,000 2nd: $2,500 3rd: $1,250.
1MIMICKING (NSW)5235342.15(8)R Britton (Lara)
2REAP THE BENEFIT 21225NBTM Chilcott (Heathcote)
3MEPUNGA TIARA 7664641.95(8)J Britton (Anakie)
4COULTA ROCK 34125FSTDD Curtain (Longwarry)
5DOUBLE RINSE (NSW)35242NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
6BIG KAT 2137242.13(3)C Schlensog (Anakie)
7SHALL SHE ROCK 1313341.90(5)D Crawford (Pearcedale)
Double Rinse turned in a monster performance when placed behind Blinker’s On last time out at The Meadows and a repeat of that effort would see her just about lead all the way tonight. She is yet to feature in her three tries here but she has improve a lot of late and I expect a big performance tonight. Shall She Rock has the class edge and she has won three of seven here, she normally begins well and if she finds the bunny early she will prove extremely hard to reel in. Big Kat is never far away in these types of races and her effort behind Shall She Rock here three runs back was far from disgraceful. Mepunga Tiara rounds out the chances, she is much better than her recent efforts indicate and she should be suited by the rise in distance.
Top Four: 5 – 7 – 6 – 3
Win bet on Double Rinse
Quinella: 5 to rove with 3,6,7 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 5,7/3,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 5/3,6,7/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 5,7/5,7/Field ($12 for 100%)
Race No. 4Solo Bold Trease Ht28:08 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 715 metres at Sandown park Of $11,750 Prizemoney. 1st: $8,000 2nd: $2,500 3rd: $1,250.
1FLYING TWIST 1124441.80(6)A Dailly (Anakie)
2SWEET IT IS 2211141.46(3)D Mcdonald (Devon Meadows)
3BAILEY ROSE (NSW)23262NBTE Lieshout (Drouin West)
4MANILA EXPRESS 12141FSHC Abbott (Edenhope)
5JUST DUCAL 1615542.03(1)J Roberts (Devon Meadows)
6SPACE STAR (NSW)31532FSHR Britton (Lara)
7LOVE AFFAIR (NSW)73337NBTA Dailly (Anakie)
8PUMPED UP ZARR (NSW)1651142.60(8)N Staines (Yass)
9HEAPS OF ABILITY Res.2518641.69(7)C Schlensog (Anakie)
Space Star has recently joined the powerful Robert Britton kennel and this superstar in the making should make a good impression in his Sandown Park debut. He is suitably drawn out wide and he is armed with a dazzling turn of foot soon after box rise. He has won 11 of 19 starts to date and in most of those wins he has run the hands off the clock. Sweet It Is has the class edge and she set the track alight with a 41.46 win here last time, she is going to give Space Star a bit of a head start but she is too good to dismiss. Flying Twist has the good draw and she should land on the bunny early, she races much better when in the lead so she should give a nice sight at odds. Bailey Rose could be the value, she has been placed in five of seven here and she could be a nice place bet again.
Top Four: 6 – 2 – 1 – 3
Win bet on Space Star
Exacta: 2,6/1,2,3,6 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 6/1,2,3/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2,6/2,6/Field ($12 for 100%)
Race No. 5Tab Melbourne Cup Ht38:31 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
Very open affair and I’m going with the well drawn Mepunga Hayley. Her recent form isn’t flashy but she hasn’t experienced a lot of luck in recent times and from the pink she should get a clear run early and clear shot at them as they head into the first turn. S he has an enormous engine and if she gets through the first bend she will take a power of beating. Clash Of Kings should have beaten Above All here two runs back and he is well placed near the inside. His box manners aren’t great but he does muster pace at a rate of knots, if he is given a clear run in the first 30m he should settle in the top two early and he will give a great sight. Banjo Boy has been under an injury cloud of late but if he is sound he is obviously a great chance, he will need to lead to win but from the red he should get every chance. Cawbourne Whip is the value, she stormed home here last week and she will be much better for that run.
Top Four: 8 – 3 – 1 – 2
Win bets on Mepunga Hayley and Clash Of Kings
Boxed Quinella: 1,2,3,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,3,8/1,2,3,8 ($9 for 100%)
Race No. 6Tab Melbourne Cup Ht48:52 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
10HAILSTORM BILLY (NSW)Res.6374329.35(2)A Langton (Anakie)
Keybow returned to his best at The Meadows last time when posting a blistering 29.72 win and a similar effort tonight will see him win again. He can sometimes be a little slow to begin but with a slow beginner drawn directly underneath he should be afforded a clearer run into the first bend even if he does miss away. Iva Vision captured the Shootout here last week and he should prove hard to hold out again, he is poorly drawn tonight but he is going too well at present and he is capable of overcoming some difficulties in running. Take Charge is drawn to hold them out at the first bend and he caught the eye with a speedy 30.00 Meadows win two runs back, his last 30m is always a struggle but if he holds them out early he should set up a nice lead mid race. Crackerjack Dak is back in form and he has won five of six here, he must cross and lead to win so maybe place claims look best tonight.
Top Four: 8 – 6 – 1 – 3
Win bet on Keybow
Exacta: 1,6,8/1,3,6,8 ($9 for 100%)
Quinella: 8 to rove with 1,3,6 ($3 for 100%)
Trifecta: 8/1,3,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Race No. 7Tab Melbourne Cup Ht59:12 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
Star Recall was never out of trouble here last week and she should show immense improvement. Prior to coming to Victoria she had posted two sub 30 second wins at Cannington and if she can reproduce that form she should be running around the 29.10 mark on the bunny here. Allen Deed is a freak and he should have won the Shootout last week, if he can get through the first bend tonight he will prove extremely hard to hold out. Peloton Bale has the good draw and he should get all the breaks as they head into the first bend, if the two favourites happen to make some mistakes he should be there to pounce. Oscura and Nockabout Aussie are the two run on dogs in the event, they are great place prospects and it could be worth anchoring them for third and fourth in the exotics.
Top Four: 2 – 3 – 1 – 7
Win bet on Star Recall
Trifecta: 2,3/2,3/Field ($12 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,3/1,2,3,7 ($6 for 100%)
Quinella: 2 to rove with 1,3,7 ($3 for 100%)
Race No. 8Tab Melbourne Cup Ht69:35 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
My Bro Fabio is flying and with any sort of luck he should win. His two efforts to win at The Meadows over 600m of late have been massive and prior to that he turned in a strong effort to win here in 29.23. He is capable of just about anything and as long as he gets through the first turn he will prove very hard to hold out. Dyna Villa is unbeaten here in six tries and if he steps cleanly he should give the favourite something to catch. Lamia Bale has been racing well here of late and she deserves a change of luck, it’s a tough ask from the pink draw but she may give a sight at odds. Bessy Boo is a gun NSW speedster and he will improve on his steady trial effort here last week, if he goes around at silly odds he might be worth an each way ticket.
Top Four: 7 – 6 – 8 – 1
Trifecta: 7/1,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
Exacta: 6,7,8/1,6,7,8 ($9 for 100%)
Quinella: 7 to rove with 1,6,8 ($3 for 100%)
Race No. 9Solo Bold Trease Ht39:55 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 715 metres at Sandown park Of $11,750 Prizemoney. 1st: $8,000 2nd: $2,500 3rd: $1,250.
Zipping Maggie has been a little unlucky but also disappointing of late but she looks suited in this event. She normally begins well and with a good getaway tonight she should be able to lead from go to whoa. Dyna Kayla is resuming from a short spell and she trialled well here recently over 515m. Being fresh, she should be able to settle in the top two early and she should be thereabouts at the end. Lady Toy is a strong finisher and she is never far away over this journey, from the red she should settle a little closer than normal and a big performance is expected. Sisco Rage is airborne and he should put some pressure on early, his last 50m is a worry but he is still a strong chance.
Zipping Rory is a tad hit or miss early but when he does bounce on the bunny he is capable of running ridiculous times. Las time out at The Meadows he landed on the lure and scored a commanding victory in a scorching 42.46. This race is a bit stronger but if he finds the early lead he will take a power of beating. Blinker’s On can find trouble in his races but he is super talented when given clear running. He is aiming for five in a row and with an ounce of luck early he will be right in the finish. Shot To Bits hit the line strongly when scoring here last time in 41.87 and if he can settle in the top four he should make an impact again, he is a star stayer in the making but he is still learning the trade.
Top Four: 7 – 8 – 5 – 2
Win bet on Zipping Rory
Exacta: 7,8/2,5,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 5,7,8/5,7,8/1,4,5,7,8 ($18 for 100%)
Race No. 11Tab Melbourne Cup Ht710:34 PM (VIC time)
S/E Heat event over 515 metres at Sandown park Of $17,250 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750.
1MARCUS JOE 3224229.24(4)B Moloney (Marcus Hill)
2LUCA NEVEELK 11113FSHG Kleeven (Denison)
3WEBLEC BELLE (SA)3141229.71(1)J Britton (Anakie)
Marcus Joe has the gun draw and he is all class. Last time out at The Meadows he was runner up in the Silver Bullet and he reeled in Luca Neveelk in the closing stages of that event. From the red tonight he should settle just behind Luca Neveelk or with a good getaway he could have enough pace to hold him out and he is always strong in the run to the line. Luca Neveelk is flying and he has blistering early speed. He is making his race debut here but I’m sure he would have had a few trials previously. Dream It returned to his best with a scorching 29.23 win here last week and he must be respected again.
Top Four: 1 – 2 – 4 – 6
Win bet on Marcus Joe
Exacta: 1,2/1,2,4,6 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/2,4,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2/1,2/Field ($12 for 100%)
Race 12 – Melbourne Cup Heat 8 – 10.54PM
National Time is a classy speedster and if he reproduces his 25.16 winning effort from Ballarat two runs back he will prove very hard to reel in. His last 40m is a concern but I’m expecting him to set up a big lead mid race. Buckle Up Wes recently won the Group One Topgun recently and if he gets away cleanly he should get the cash, my concern with him is that he is yet to feature in his two tries here. Cosmic Wise has the good draw and she has the ability to lead or come from off the speed.
It is the Group One that every greyhound participant wants to win and they get a chance again as the heats of the Melbourne Cup take place at Sandown Park on Thursday night.
As expected, the eight heats are brimming with quality as 64 greyhounds compete for their spot in next week’s $420,000 to-the-winner final. Only the winners from each heat will secure a place in the final.
Here’s a look at the chances in each heat;
Heat One – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 1 at 7:04pm)
The first heat features a number of Group race winners and it’s hard to pick any stand-out chances.
Oakvale Destiny (4), who boasts two Group race victories, lines up in box four. She was one and a quarter lengths second behind Iva Vision in last week’s Shoot Out. The hard chasing blue bitch has just the three wins from 11 at Sandown with a best of 29.67. She gets back early but is strong so keep an eye on her as she will be the one pouncing at the end.
Kiss Me Ketut (2), who was a finalist in last year’s Melbourne Cup, has been a little out of sorts with his form but has managed to find some consistency in his last two runs, winning at Sandown and Geelong. He has got five wins at Sandwon for a best of 29.46. He has led all the way his last two starts and when he finds the front early he is always hard to get past.
Two chasers in this heat have both had less than 10 starts but they have racked up 10 wins between them. Wagga Wagga based dog Creative Karisma (3) will be having her first shot at Group glory for trainer Kevin Podmore. She has won five from eight with four of those wins coming at Sandown. She finished third behind Dream It last week and faces a big test to qualify. Above All (5) has had five wins from nine starts and has sizzled around Sandown in 29.33. The Magic Sprite and Kara Janx (Fashion Thief – More Than This) chaser has moved over to Robert Britton’s kennels from New Zealand and has been impressive.
Lucy Lobster (8) arrives for her first stint of racing in Victoria after taking out the Group 1 Vic Peters recently at Wentworth Park. The Brett Lee and One Tree Hill (Gable Lafourche – Mockingbird Hill) chaser boasts plenty of early toe and she will need to display that to lead from box eight. The draw looks like it will suit as she tends to race off the rail.
The other chasers Humphrey Bale (1), Top Secret (6) and Campaspe Will (7) all have claims as they are experienced Victorian chasers. The form of Humprhey Bale and Campaspe Will suggests they will need some luck whereas Top Secret, who is a model of consistency, has a knack for making Group race finals.
Heat Two – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 2 at 7:25pm)
Awesome Project (3) was desperately unlucky in the Shoot Out last week, copping interference in a four dog field. His ability is well known and he just needs a clean run early to stamp his authority on this heat.
Secret Spell (8) won the Group 3 Puppy Classic at Cranbourne recently. The Bartrim Bale and Wicked Witch (Larkhill Jo – Witch Magic) dog has won seven from eight. He won here at Sandown from box eight last week in a fast 29.26, leading all the way and running a smart 5.02 early. He looks the goods and presents a big threat to Awesome Project.
Another threat comes in the form of Hostile (1) in the rails alley. The Collison and Restless Style (Surf Lorian -Double Guess) dog won here at Sandown last week in 29.28. He finished second behind Secret Spell at Cranbourne recently.
Dyna Yemen (4) has won five of his last eight and won at Sandown last week in 29.35. That was his second win at the track from four attempts. He has early speed and has won two from box four.
Other chasers in this heat include 2014 Group 1 Vic Peters runner-up All Strung Out (2), 2013 Group 2 Laurels winner Ritza Hattie (5), Adelaide Cup finalist Mepunga Armagh (6) and the strong SA Derby finalist Wind Whistler (7).
Heat Three – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 5 at 8:31pm)
Banjo Boy (1) is drawn perfectly in box one. The 35kg white and black chaser has five wins from box one to his credit and he has won his last two from this draw. His best time at Sandown from five wins at the track is 29.34.
Group 1 National Sprint winner Chica Destacada (6) got a look at the Sandown track last week, finishing one and a quarter lengths second behind Hekate Belle in 29.29. She should find some improvement from that run.
Warrior King (4) has been mixing his distances of late. The brother to My Bro Fabio has his fair share of ability and returned to the winner’s circle at The Meadows last week. His winning form at Sandown is only average with just the two wins from 11 starts, but he has placed on six other occasions. He has recorded a best of 29.25.
It would be great to see Group 1 Maturity winner Mepunga Hayley (8) return to her brilliant best. Her form has been a little disappointing, as she has won just two from her last eight. She has four wins at Sandown for a best of 29.29 and two wins from box eight.
Other runners in this heat include Kerrigan Bale (7), Buckle Up Mason (5), Clash Of Kings (3) and Cawbourne Whip (2).
Heat Four – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 6 at 8:52pm)
Crackerjak Dak (3) has a formidable record at Sandown winning five from six. He has been beginning well his last few starts and if he does the same again he will take some catching.
Keybow (8) looks well drawn again after streaking away for a convincing win from this box in the Group 3 Silver Bullet at The Meadows recently. It was a dominant return to form and connections will be hopeful he can repeat those efforts again and add another Group race final to his impressive resume.
Shoot Out winner Iva Vision (6) has now won his last two at Sandown and will be searching for three wins in a row. He stopped the clock at 29.27 last week, leading all the way. He will have to do everything right from the poor draw.
Oakvale Flyer (4) has a bit more early pace than her sister Oakvale Destiny but she has just the one win from her last eight starts. She has won five from 11 at Sandown but will need everything to go right for her from the draw.
Take Charge (1) is a box one bandit, winning four from five. Looking at the competition in this heat, he will need to use the draw to all of his advantage.
The heat also features Blurred Lines (2), Crawf’s Bread (5)and Gorham Bale (7).
Heat Five – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 7 at 9:12pm)
Hekate Belle (5) has the right form on the board coming into this heat, winning her last two at Sandown with a best of 29.29. She flew along early last week, recoding 4.99 to the first mark. If she can do that again she can overcome the poor draw.
Star Recall (2) is a well performed chaser from WA and she will be looking for her first win at Sandown. She raced last week and had no luck from box two, finishing last behind Hostile. She should be improved for the look at the track.
Allen Deed (3) recently took out the Group 1 Adelaide Cup in fine style. That win has since been followed by a fifth in the Topgun and fourth in the Shoot Out. He is the sort of dog that needs room to move to put himself in a position to finish strongly. A lot will depend on the pace on the inside and on his outside.
This heat also features Tiggerlong Amigo (4), Peloton Bale (1), Oscura (6), Nockabout Aussie (7) and We Are Geelong (8).
Heat Six – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 8 at 9:35pm)
All eyes will be on Group 1 Hume Cup winner My Bro Fabio in heat six. The black 35kg flying machine won the Hume Cup in devastating fashion. He steps back to the 515m sprint and can be afforded no mistakes in the early stages. If he gets a trouble free run he will be tough to defeat. He has scorched around the Sandown circuit in 29.09 and has five wins at the track over this distance.
Texas Titan (3) is a consistent chaser who is strong. He may be able to put himself into the race from box three. He finished fourth behind Allen Deed in the recent Adelaide Cup final. He presents value for those that like an each-way bet.
Despite being tardy early, Bessy Boo (1) has drawn his box. The Bekim Bale and My Black Bess (Bit Chili – Major Coinage) chaser has won five times from box one and placed on another five occasions. He trialled at Sandown in 29.72 last week and will need to improve on that time to challenge some of the others runners in this field.
Dyna Villa (6) has won six from six at Sandown has box six for this heat. He won last week in 29.77 from box seven but he has a best time of 29.46. His record from this draw is good with three wins and three placings from six attempts in the green rug.
The remaining runners in this heat include Shoulders (2), who has been up and down with his form, Summer Wages (4), Superfonic (5) and Lamia Bale (8).
Heat Seven – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 11 at 10:34pm)
The likely leader in this race comes in the form of Group 2 Geelong Cup winner Luca Neveelk (2). He is very speedy early and will be giving the rest something to chase.
Hawk Alone (5) knows what it takes to make a Melbourne Cup final, finishing third in the event last year. He has just returned to racing from a three month spell and finished second here last week in his first run back. He has a best of 29.38 at the track.
Marcus Joe (1) is a quality chaser with seven wins at Sandown for a best of 29.24. Oddly though, he is yet to record a win from box one.
Ollie Bale (8) has found some much needed form in his last two runs. He has managed to begin, find the lead early and win in his last two races around Sandown and Geelong. He has just the four wins from 20 at Sandown and a best of 29.32.
Dream It (4) clocked his personal best of 29.23 in a Melbourne Cup Prelude last week. He isn’t without a chance.
Weblec Belle (3), Dyna Ostrander (6)and Kiltah Magic (7) are the remaining runners in this heat.
Heat Eight – Group One Melbourne Cup (Race 12 at 10:54pm)
We have to wait until the final heat to see if Tasmanian champion Buckle Up Wes (7) can make yet another Group race final. This year’s Topgun winner is yet to record a win at Sandown from two starts. Overall he has 30 career wins and has earned connections more than half-a-million dollars. It would be great to see him break his “maiden” at Sandown in this heat. He gets every chance as it is a relatively quiet heat.
National Time (5) is a noted beginner with early speed. The big question mark will be whether he can hold out Buckle Up Wes. He has managed just two wins at Sandown from 11 goes.
Musquin Bale (6) has loads of class but is jammed between the speed. He has stopped the clock at 29.29 previously.
Cosmic Wise (1) is well performed from box one and made the final of the Group 1 Adelaide Cup recently. She won at the track last week in 29.76 and has a personal best of 29.52.
The remaining heat runners are Bazza’s’s Gift (8), Maximus Glider (4), Joey Valdez (3) and One Dee (2).
Victorian syndicate manager Hays Bailey is sitting on cloud nine at present, having notched up his first Group One win on Saturday night with brilliant sprinter Lucy Lobster.
Bailey formed a syndicate with his fellow university students and friends, switching from horse racing to try their luck with greyhounds. After purchasing a moderate greyhound, the syndicate got the opportunity to purchase a regally bred chaser from successful breeder Charlie Lamb.
“I got in contact with Charlie (Lamb) and he had some really well bred pups by Brett Lee out of his good bitch One Tree Hill. We now have three other greyhounds we’ve purchased off him (Lamb) and hopefully they turn out as good as Lucy Lobster has,” said Bailey, who understandably was elated after Saturday night’s stunning victory.
“All of us were just hoping she would get through to the semi’s and then the final and it was so exciting to win that race with so many good dogs around her.”
Lucy Lobster stepped beautifully from box five and battled with Jewel Action for the lead, prevailing by half a length at the finish in a speedy time of 29.85.
“Every single week she jumps well and puts in so much effort. In the back straight when Jewel Action hit the front I thought maybe our chance to win was over.”
“To see her kick back at the finish was awesome and the whole syndicate celebrated at our favourite place; the Golden Century seafood restaurant in Chinatown.”
Fittingly her peculiar race name didn’t come from the syndicate’s traditional post race trip to a seafood restaurant in Sydney, but was the combined efforts of two owners.
“Me and one of the other owners were quite intoxicated and came up with her name in Sha Tin. I’m not sure where Lucy came from, however it just seemed to work with Lobster. We have a lot of similar names that we will use for our other dogs coming through.”
Saturday night not only provided the syndicate with their first ever group victory, but also their first city winner, a feat which has been a dream of Bailey’s for quite some time.
“I grew up going to the TAB in Melbourne and all I’ve ever wanted is a dog that could break 30-seconds at a metropolitan track.”
“I had so many people come up to me after the race offering their congratulations and that was really nice.”
Lucy Lobster also added another milestone to her already impressive resume on Saturday, cracking the $100,000 prizemoney barrier.
“I keep looking up her stats and it’s amazing to see her prizemoney go from $20,000 to over $100,000 in one week.”
The aptly named ‘Sweet Lady Punt’ syndicate will now turn their attention to Sandown Park, with Lucy set to take on some of the best greyhounds in Australia in the Group One Melbourne Cup. Astute Victorian trainer Robert Britton will put the polish on this talented chaser, who will be looking to secure her fifth straight win and tenth of her career.
“I will go and watch her trial at Sandown and hopefully she goes well. An inside box in this race would be nice, but she has such good early speed and hopefully can produce that in Victoria.”
“We will target the Laurels after this and possibly the Gosford Gold Cup and National Futurity. It’s really good we have so many race options for bitches only.”
The Group Three Gold Coast Cup has a recent honour roll that indicates pure quality. Tonight at Albion Park, eight zippy greyhounds will look to become the next to etch their name alongside that illustrious company when the 2014 final takes place.
Punch One Out, Don’t Knocka Him, Velocette and El Galo have all taken out the coveted event in the last five years with a couple of those names already proving very handy in the breeding barn. Other notable winners include Vapour Whirl and the great Flying Amy.
This year it will be Farmor Las Vegas and Happy Haswell who dominate the betting market, however it is a field jam-packed with greyhounds who have more than proven themselves at the Breakfast Creek circuit and no mistakes will be afforded to any serious aspirant.
Robert Britton (Farmor Las Vegas) is the lone interstate trainer with a finalist while locals William Elson and Peter Ruetschi have both qualified two runners each for the race.
Here is a look at the field for the $25,000 Group Three 2014 Gold Coast Cup;
1 – Farmor Las Vegas ($1.95) – Robert Britton - The 2013 Silver Bullet and recent Townsville Cup winner has recaptured some form of late and boasts a sensational record from the inside draw. He has won six from 10 when sporting the red rug and looks ideally placed for this final. He finished strongly to take out his heat in 29.82 and should be right in the firing line again this week. His record is simply too good to ignore.
2 – Give You Credit ($9.50) – Peter Ruetschi - A very consistent Albion Park greyhound who amazingly exits box two for the first time at his 38th career start. He has performed well in the past from inside draws and does his best work when he leaves the boxes well. He will not be too far from them at any stage here and, at the very worst, he is definitely one to consider for the exotics.
3 – Bill’s Fantasy ($23) – William Elson - A speedy type who will be looking to open up a break and hang on in this one. He led last week before being over powered by Farmor Las Vegas and can be a little bit vulnerable over the last 100 metres of his races. His record from box three is outstanding with four wins from six outings in the white vest. There is no doubting that he can lead, but it is a case of cross your fingers and hope for luck after that.
4 – Happy Haswell ($2.45) – Reg Kay - One of the most exciting greyhounds in Queensland at the moment who has won 12 from 16 and registered some very impressive times in the process. He set the standard in the heats with a swift 29.74 victory. The obvious concern is the fact that he is rarely the best served at box rise and could be susceptible to interference early if things do not go his way. Given a clear run, this race is his for the taking.
5 – Chant ($12) Tony Brett - A talented sprinter in the hands of big race trainer Tony Brett. Although he can be a little risky early, there is no doubting his ability if he can land on the speed. He led all the way for a personal best 29.84 in his heat win and he will need to repeat that to be a genuine chance here. His record from box five is less than flattering with just one placing from four attempts and it could well be the box that makes things difficult for him again in this final.
6 – Cyndie’s Special ($9.00) William Elson - An ultra consistent bitch who has been in the top two at 14 of her last 20 starts. She finished strongly to grab second behind Chant in her heat beaten a quarter of a length. Her moderate early speed may see her needing luck from box six and she will be hoping for room to move early to give herself a genuine crack at them in the home straight.
7 – Gunspeed ($51) Shane Ellis - The rank outsider of the field who has been racing in career best form in recent weeks. He ran on fairly to finish 1 1/4 length second to Outa Tempo last week in moderate time. He loves wide draws and is undefeated from boxes seven and eight in three outings. He may lack the genuine class needed to win a race like this and will need to improve on his best of 30.06 to be any real chance.
8 – Outa Tempo ($41) – Peter Ruetschi - Another greyhound who is rarely far away from the winner every time he heads out. He took out the slowest heat last week when he won in 30.08. His personal best is only fractionally better than that and he is yet to win in five attempts from box eight. Based on that, this looks too tough.
9 – Visualize It ($10) – A lightly raced conveyance who would be far from the worst if she got a call up here. She registered a toey 29.83 win here two starts back before finishing third to Happy Haswell last Thursday night in the heats. She is a definite hope, particularly if she can gain an inside draw which is where her best records are from.
10 – Yogi Blue ($6.00) – Peter O’Reilly - A regular Group race finalist who appeared in this final last year. Tends together back a little in some of his races before motoring home. He would also be worthy of each way consideration of he gained a start, particularly from an inside draw.
The Group Three Townsville Cup jumps at 9:12pm on Tuesday night. A great field has been assembled to chase the $25,000 prize.
The Townsville Cup was originally conducted over 643m and started back in 1981. The inaugral winner was Sharp Admiral. The Cup was first raced over the 498m distance in 1992, which was won by Michaelangelo.
In recent years, the Cup has been taken out by Mr Metz (2010), Velocity Regina (2011), Hanson Senor (2012) and Spirited Flame (2013).
The Townsville track record of 28.57 is held by Velocity Regina and was set back in August 2011. She was trained by Tony Brett, who has a finalist in this year’s Cup. Brett has been a busy man flying over the country. ARG spoke to him as he was returning from Perth with Flash Reality. After cancelled and delayed flights to and from Perth, Brett was happy to be returning to the Sunshine State to rug up Exhibitionist for the Cup.
Are Ate is this year’s fastest qualifier for the final and he has drawn wide in box seven.
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Hopefully he will go well. I am certain he is better off in 1 than any other box. He has been struggling with injuries the last six to eight months and he is not the dog he was. I hope the box brings him back into the race. If it was eight months ago before the injury, I would be much more confident. He’s there now and we can only hope it works out well.”
Comments:Michael Hickmott (Trainer) – “I am really happy with the draw. He is better from the inside as he gets around the corner better. I am happy with the dog inside him as he is not real quick out and tends to go straight. He has been trialling track records and if he gets going he will be a big chance.”
Comments: Peter O’Reilly (Trainer) – “I think he will go all right. It was a good run last week but he will need to come out good this week as he missed the start last week. He is fine and ready to go.”
Comments: Peter Simpson (Trainer) – “The draw probably won’t worry him. To be a chance he’s got to come out like he did last week and open up a big break as there’s a couple of stronger dogs in the finish. He’s a good chance of leading as he typically shows early pace. If he comes out and gets in front, he will need to rely on a fair bit of luck in the run home. I am happy with him coming into the race. He’s had a walk on the beach to freshen up.”
Comments: Peter Simpson (Trainer) - “She might find it hard with these dogs. I don’t think the fields have been as strong as this in past years. She will need a lot of luck. Any one of the eight dogs can win it.”
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “She will need to jump really good. I was happy with her run last week but a bit surprised she got run down. She will strip fitter this week. The wide box is good at Townsville if you begin as the inside boxes tend to bottleneck into that first turn. You can get into strife out of box one if you miss it. She is definitely in with a chance.”
Comments: Mike Chapman (Kennel Representative) – “We are happy he is in the final. I would prefer a better box as there is a bit of speed in the four and the six. He likes the inside but he has gone well from outside boxes. The dog is feeling good and we were very happy with his run last week. He has settled in at Townsville better than he did at Darwin.”
Comments: A consistent performer who isn’t without a chance if she gets a start. Led last week but was run down at her first look at the track.
Best Townsville Times
This is a tough race and the Townsville club will be pleased with the quality of the final field. Are Ate (7) was outstanding last week and if he gets an ounce of luck early he will be hard to beat. The Victorian chaser Farmor Las Vegas (1) has a good record from box one but he will need to do everything right from that draw at Townsville. He overcame adversity in the heats to score and after a horrid run with injuries it would be nice reward for him if he can win.
The likely leader looks to be Pace Ventura (4). He sizzled early last week but faded at the end. With his early speed he has to be considered an each-way chance. Another with early speed is Exhibitionist (6). The Tony Brett trained chaser led her heat and was run down but Brett has stated she will strip fitter for the run so she is right in this.
The local hope, Post Box (2), could deliver the Cup back to Townsville if the race pans out for him. He loves the inside and loves Townsville which is a good combination. It won’t be a surprise if he performs well.
Fred Sealey (8) is well boxed outside and, like most in the race, he was having his first look last week and can also improve.Yogi Blue (3) won well last week but did miss the start. He can’t afford to do that this week. Glamour Row (5) won at big odds last week and is unlikely to repeat that effort again.
Group racing headed to Far North Queensland on Tuesday night at Townsville, with six heats of the Group Three Townsville Cup over the 498m distance. The heats featured dogs trained by top-class trainers Tony Brett and Robert Britton and also featured plenty of city winning greyhounds.
The six heat winners and two fastest seconds will contest the final on August 26, 2014. The final is worth $25,000 to the winner.
Yogi Blue (1) was clearly the class dog in the first heat, being the only FFA graded dog in the field. He had the perfect draw and duly saluted for trainer Peter O’Reilly. Pace Ventura (6) shot out of the boxes and was six lengths clear down the back straight. Yogi Blue was handy in second and overcame the weakening Pace Ventura down the home straight to draw away for a half-length victory in 28.79. Third place-getter was the fast-finishing Lilly Bellebird (7).
It was Yogi Blue’s first start at the track and the Cool Effort and Opal Assassin (Whisky Assassin – Zane’s Girl) dog has an overall career record of 22 wins from 72 starts. He is already a Group One finalist and is a city winner at Albion Park and Wentworth Park and will be considered one of the main chances in the final.
The Robert Britton trained Farmor Las Vegas (4) was the favourite in the second heat but the Victorian trained chaser almost didn’t make it to the track with kennel-hand Peter Riley stating earlier in the day “just the one racing tonight with Steve and Farmor Las Vegas hopefully making it in time for the Townsville Cup Heats tonight – next time the Boss tells the transporters the connection is too close, they will listen!” Despite this, all turned out well as Farmor Las Vegas made it to Townsville and took out the second heat in a tough chasing display in 28.92.
The Knocka Norris and Farmor Cee You (Black Enforcer – Farmor Zippy) dog was squeezed out of the race early and had to settle for fourth down the back straight. Wild Roses (7) was setting the pace out front with Zabini (1) and Tejay’s Grand (2) in hot pursuit. Farmor Las Vegas, who had been to the track on two previous occasions stuck to the rail and was able to run down the three greyhounds in front of him to win by a length over Webster (8), who put in an eye-catching run after being back in the pack for much of the race. Tejay’s Grand filled the minors.
Farmor Las Vegas has now won two at Townsville with a personal best of 28.73. He is the winner of the 2013 Silver Bullet at The Meadows and he has made multiple Group race finals in his career. This is another to add to his resume.
Tony Brett’s charge Chant (8) was considered the main chance in the third heat but he wasn’t able to handle the wide draw at his first look at the track and could only manage fourth. Cawbourne Hazard (1) emerged the leader after the first few strides but he couldn’t hang onto that lead down the home straight with $10 chance Glamour Row (5) finishing too strongly to win by three quarters of a length in 29.18. It was an exciting finish as Gumlow Star (6) just got past Cawbourne Hazard to take second spot.
It was Glamour Row’s first race start at the track. The Go Wild Teddy and Rose Chalice (Surf Lorian – Glass Placard) bitch is trained by Peter Simpson and has now won 18 races.
Cyndie’s Special (5) and Fred Sealey (6) didn’t have the best draws but they featured heavily in the fourth heat. In fact, Fred Sealey had never won from box six but he changed that statistic by reeling in Cyndie’s Special in the closing stages of the race to win by an increasing two length margin in 28.97. Both greyhounds were having their first look at the track under race conditions and Fred Sealey handled it just that little bit better than Cyndie’s Special. Fearless Ruler (2) was the only other chaser in the field to stay in touch with the two front-runners and was able to secure third place.
Fred Sealey has won 13 career races from 49 starts and the Made To Size and Charming Molly (Whisky Assassin – Oreo) chaser is trained by Amy O’Reilly.
Post Box (6) gave the locals something to cheer about when he ran down the Tony Brett trained Exhibitionist (1) to snare a win by the barest of margins in 28.91. It was a huge finish by Post Box who was back in the field early and had to use plenty of the track. Road Warrior (8) unleashed an equally impressive finish to claim third prize. Exhibitionist finished second and may have done enough to qualify for next week’s final.
Post Box, trained by Michael Hickmott, is a black dog by Fear Zafonic and You Can Too (Brett Lee – Jeanie’s Queen). He has now won seven from nine at the track and he has a best time of 28.84.
Are Ate (2) finished off the heats in style, winning by the proverbial country mile in the fastest heat time of 28.67. He led from go to whoa and really staked his claim for the final next week with a strong run home that broke 15 seconds.
Are Ate, the 2014 Group Two Devonport Cup winner and 2014 Group Two Ipswich Auction winner, was vying for favouritism with Bill’s Fantasy (5). Bill’s Fantasy bombed the start and with that, lost all chance of challenging Are Ate and could only manage third. Cool Sprite (1) was the runner up.
Are Ate was having his first start at Townsville and the Lochinvar Marlow and Long Long Mama (Vesuvio – Eyre Intent) dog has now won 22 races for trainer Rachel Scott.
The finalists for next week will be – Yogi Blue (Peter O’Reilly), Farmor Las Vegas (Robert Britton), Glamour Row (Peter Simpson), Fred Sealey (Amy O’Reilly), Post Box (Michael Hickmott), Are Ate, (Rachel Scott), Pace Ventura (Peter Simpson) and Exhibitionist (Tony Brett).
It is being billed as a clash between two of Australia’s most exciting stayers, but in reality it is much more than that.
This Thursday night Sandown Park will host the final of the AGRA National Distance Championship Victorian Final. It is likely to be the most anticipated of all of the state finals in both the sprint and distance events.
If nothing else, it is most definitely equal of the quality of any group one event over the longer trip that you are likely to see in the next 12 months.
A quick snapshot of the field shows champion bitch Xylia Allen, multiple Group One winner Sweet It Is along with other Group winners Born Ali, Dyna Willow and Mepunga Tiara, what a race!
The winner will collect $12,000 and book their place in the national final at Cannington on August 23rd.
1 – Mepunga Tiara ($5.50) – Jeff Britton - A very consistent bitch who had made multiple Group finals before she finally broke through by winning the Group Two Victorian Distance Championship at The Meadows recently. Loves to do her work from in front and has finished in the top two in six of her eight appearances from box one. She registered a personal best of 41.95 in her heat win. She has not missed a place in her four starts at Sandown Park and should she find the front early, she will be a major player here.
2 – Xylia Allen ($2.60) – Jenny Hunt - Australia’s champion sprinter/stayer who is nearing the all-time stakes earnings record set by Miata. She was back to winning form in her heat with a swift 41.70 win which was her 10th win in her last 11 starts. She is the one to beat and if she is anywhere near her best, she is unstoppable.
3 – Looby Lu – SCRATCHED
4 – Sweet It Is ($2.40) – Darren McDonald - A dual Group One winning bitch who’s racing style has thrilled race-goers in recent times. She is yet to break the 42-second barrier at Sandown Park in winning four of her eight starts there. If she gets a clean crack at them then she will be flying home late. Luck in the running is everything to her chances.
5 – Dyna Willow ($8.50) – Steve Collins - Possibly the forgotten dog of the field who has her fourth start back from a three-month layoff in this race. She has won four of her seven starts from box five and has a personal best winning time of 41.99. She has been a bit slow away from the boxes in her three second-placings since her return and will need to be closer to the pace to be a winning hope.
6 – Born Ali ($34) – Robert Britton - The Group One Galaxy winner who has been racing well below her best of late. She has not won since late March and has a less than flattering record at Sandown Park with just one win from seven starts. This race looks too tough for her on current form.
7 – Zipping Rory ($10) – Bethany Daprain - The youngster of the field who speared the lids and set the time standard of 41.67 in last week’s heats. He is yet to salute in two goes from box seven but if he can come out again like last week he will not be far off the pace. He looks to be the knockout chance.
8 – Liara Allen ($34) – Steve Collins - A consistent bitch who has only recently graduated to top-tier racing. She is yet to win beyond 700 metres which is a concern in this sort of company. It would be a surprise to see her winning this.
9 – Echelonic Action ($41) – Robert Camilleri - A brother to Sweet It Is who has been racing constantly over the middle distances but is yet to win beyond 700 metres. This looks like a very tough assignment for him.
10 – Zipping Joe ($20) – Darren McDonald – A Sandown Cup and Victorian Distance Championship finalist who would not be out of place in this final. Needs a bit of luck during his races due to his lack of box manners but has a big motor and will be running on.
Very open race to kick start the night and the box draw should play a major factor. Dyna Rapidash has been pinging the lids of late and from the red draw she should be able to punch through and hold the early lead. She has won at her past two appearances over this track and journey and she appears to be getting stronger with every run.
Lena Allen score a strong 30.23 heat win last week and she should get a nice sit in the early stages behind the red. She is quite strong in the run to the line and if she can avoid bother at the first turn she should be in the mix. Deli Allen is the run on dog in the event and she is also racing in great style at present, her box draw doesn’t help but she is expected to get back early so she should be able to find the rails soon after the start. Witch Bale can be hard to follow but she is more than capable and she rounds out the winning chances.
6BUCKLE UP AXEL (TAS)13642FSHS Mills (Tooradin)
7BIG KAT 11416NBTC Schlensog (Anakie)
8LITTLE RED (NSW)46151FSHR Britton (Lara)
The promising Beks turned in a monster performance here last week when placed behind Coral and he should appreciate the big drop in class tonight. He can be slow to begin in his races but he is getting a lot better at working his way through a field and therefore with an ounce of luck in running he should prove too strong.
Big Kat looks the obvious danger, she has been placed in two of four runs here and she recently defeated the exciting Dewana Angel at Cranbourne over the 699m trip. She likes to track wide in her races so the outside draw is an advantage and her box manners of late have been much better. Little Red has recently joined the strong Robert Britton kennel and she scored an impressive 32.77 Horsham win in her Victorian debut, if she can handle the track at her first look she should be in the mix.
Top Four: 3 – 7 – 8 – 2
Win bet on Beks
Boxed Quinella: 3,7,8 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 3,7/2,3,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 3,7/2,3,7,8/1,2,3,4,7,8 ($24 for 100%)
Race No. 3Rsn – Racing & Sport7:57 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $7,600 Prizemoney. 1st: $5,320 2nd: $1,520 3rd: $760.
8JACK SILVER (NSW)1412330.08(6)M Carter (Violet Town)
Although Viral Bale was beaten here last week, he was far from disgraced. After missing the kick he worked his way through the field and he managed to battle on and hold on for the minor money. From the red tonight he should be able to drive through early and I would expect him to just about hold the lead or at worst sit just behind expected leader Top Secret. He has a steady 30.77 PB here but his recent provincial wins suggest that he is capable of going much quicker these days.
Top Secret led for a long way here last week and I would expect him to be prominent in the early stages again. His last 40m is always a concern but if he happens to zip away off the back straight he may just steal the prize. Kerrigan Bale and Galahad round out the winning chances, both have loads of ability and both like racing over this trip, they just require an ounce of luck in the early stages.
Top Four: 1 – 2 – 4 – 6
Each Way Viral Bale
Trifecta: 1,2,4/1,2,4,6/1,2,3,4,6,8 ($36 for 100%)
Crackerjack Dak has won four of eight over this journey and he looks well placed in this event. Prior to his defeat here last time he scored a brilliant all the way win at Geelong in a blistering 25.54, tonight he has the luxury of a slow beginner being drawn underneath and a wide runner drawn directly on his outside. If he can get away on terms he should be able to hold the early lead and he will prove very hard to gun down.
Dream It is well drawn but he can bomb the start at times, if he steps cleanly tonight he should make good use of the red box, he is clearly the most talented greyhound in the field and he just needs room at the first bend to feature. Awesome Project is in rare form but with a wide runner drawn directly underneath he is going to need all the breaks. Peloton Bale loves racing here and he will be steaming home late, his effort here last week behind Great Spartacus was massive.
This race appears to be a match race between track specialist and super star chaser Keybow. I’m going to give Marcus Joe the edge, his isn’t drawn very well but Crawf’s Bread should give him a night cart across in the early stages and if he can settle in the top two as they head for the back straight I don’t think Keybow will be able to reel him in.
Keybow is a freak and obviously his 29.58 PB here is an indication that he handles this track quite well. The pink box is a little concern tonight and Wise Ella might get in his way in the early stages. He is obviously a strong winning chance but he can’t afford to give Marcus Joe too big of a head start. Grand Faith could be the smokey in the event, he was a sizzling 29.49 Sandown Park winner in June and he has enough speed to hold the early lead.
Top Four: 6 – 8 – 3 – 5
Win bets on Marcus Joe and Grand Faith
Quinella: 6 to rove with 3,5,8 ($3 for 100%)
Race No. 6Ajs Corporation8:57 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 event over 725 metres at The meadows Of $8,225 Prizemoney. 1st: $5,750 2nd: $1,645 3rd: $830.
The exciting Untraceable is making his much anticipated staying debut and he looks poised to get the cash. He can make a few mistakes in his races but with the speedy Perfect Tess drawn directly underneath, he should get a clear run soon after box rise and that will allow him to settle much closer to the speed. I think he should either be in front or at worst just behind the leader at the post the first time and he will take a power of beating.
Lady Toy is a strong chaser and she too has been crying out for this trip. She is likely to be giving the favourite a head start but if he doesn’t get the trip, I would expect Lady Toy to be the one running over the top of him late. Perfect Tess should set the pace early but I have my doubts about her running out a strong 725m, whilst Oxley Major is always thereabouts in these types of races.
Mepunga Moss is drawn to fire to the early lead and she has won three of her five tries over this trip. She recently led all the way and beat the freakish Chica Destacada in a heat of the Group Two WA Oaks and prior to that she was beaten by less than two lengths by the brilliant Mepunga Hayley in the Damsels Dash at Sandown park. Her form line is very strong and from the red she should get every chance to lead all the way.
Nockabout Aussie is a frustrating chaser, he has enormous ability and in his 25.43 Shepparton win on Monday he absolutely powered to the line. He doesn’t like to be crowded in his races but there is a bit of pace around him tonight so he should be able to drop onto the rail and some gaps might open up for him. If you’re on him he will give you some anxious moments but if he gets the gaps at the right time he will give the favourite a run for her money.
Top Four: 1 – 3 – 4 – 2
Trifecta: 1/2,3,4/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,3/1,3/Field ($12 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,3/1,2,3,4 ($6 for 100%)
Race No. 8Macro Meats Final (gobis)9:42 PM (VIC time)
Grade 5 Final event over 525 metres at The meadows Of $19,650 Prizemoney. 1st: $12,000 2nd: $3,500 3rd: $1,750 GOBIS: $2,400.
Quick Succession posted brilliant sectionals in her slick 29.98 heat win last week and a repeat of that effort should see her be a major player again. She has been pinging the lids of late and it’s really hard to find another runner that can match her in the first 200m. Obviously her chances hinge on her ability to lead but if you go through her form, she has led in four of her past five starts so it’s almost a moral to lead.
Wind Whistler has produced three enormous efforts here in recent weeks and he appears to be getting better with every run. He is going to get back early and he will be relying heavily on luck but he will keep on coming and he might be a great dog to anchor for second and third in your exotic bets. Dyna Alchemist is a real up and comer but he can’t seem to draw a box, once again he will need a heap of luck from box six but I am a big fan of this one and he may be over the odds.
Mepunga Fearon has come up with the good draw and he had a great hit out here a week ago. Last Saturday he pinged the lids from the pink box and he put a space in his rivals off the back straight before scoring an impressive 30.08 win. From the red he should lead again and I think he is capable of probably getting down to the 29.90 mark.
Hawk Alone is a very consistent chaser and he tends to race well at this venue. He is going to need a little bit of luck as they head into the first bend but he is still good enough to win even if he finds a bit of trouble. Gimme Fuel hasn’t had a lot of luck in his recent runs and if he can follow Mepunga Fearon through at the first turn he should be in a prominent position mid race and he can return to form.
Very even affair and I think Mepunga Armagh gets his chance to return to form. Tonight he has a keen railer drawn directly underneath and that should allow him to get a nice cart across in the early stages. Prior to his last start he had been showing tremendous early speed and if he can step away cleanly he should have enough speed to cross. Apart from Campaspe Will there aren’t many strong chasers so if he can cross he should get away with the prize.
Campaspe Will is a gun and he only requires an ounce of luck to feature. If you knew he was going to get a clear run early you would be all over him, however he has plenty of speed drawn on his outside and he will need a lot to go right for him to get through the first bend unscathed. Innocent Til is the ultimate professional and he has a top record here, however his past few runs have indicated that he is quite at his best at present.
Top Four: 8 – 1 – 2 – 5
Win bet on Mepunga Fearon
Quinella: 8 to rove with 1,2,4,5 ($4 for 100%)
Race No. 11Le Pine Funerals10:42 PM (VIC time)
Mixed 4/5 event over 600 metres at The meadows Of $8,745 Prizemoney. 1st: $6,120 2nd: $1,750 3rd: $875.
Tick Bale hasn’t experienced a lot of luck in his recent races but tonight he finds himself in a much weaker event and surprisingly he isn’t too badly drawn in the middle. This race is packed full of slow beginners and I can see him actually settling in the top two at the post the first time and if that’s the case he will prove far too brilliant for this lot.
Rebelation could be the smokey in the event, his form at present is quite poor but I think he has the speed to lead this event and he will gain a heap of confidence if he lands on the bunny. Reen’s Fabian scored a sizzling 29.35 Sale win recently and he should be in the mix throughout, whilst Dyna Orion has been crying out for this trip and he only needs a little luck early to feature.
Top Four: 5 – 7 – 6 – 2
Win bet on Tick Bale and Rebelation
Boxed Quinella: 2,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 5,6,7/2,5,6,7/2,3,4,5,6,7 ($36 for 100%)
Race 12 – 525M Special Event – 11:00PM
Crowdza Captive is a very reliable beginner and if she can reproduce the effort which saw her lead all the way at Sandown in 29.66 she should prove too zippy for this lot. She has a little bit of speed drawn on her outside but she should have sufficient speed to hold the early lead. If she leads the only runner you don’t want sitting on her heels is the powerful Heidi Go Seek.
Heidi Go Seek is dropping considerably in class and she only needs an ounce of luck in the early stages to feature. She has a blistering 29.73 PB over this trip and she really should appreciate racing in this type of company. Who’s Doing What is a talented SA chaser and she could cause an upset if the favourites make some mistakes in the early stages.
The rich red loam of Winnellie Park will play host to the 2014 Group Three Darwin Cup final on Friday evening.
A field littered with interstate raiders will vie for the $25,000 winners cheque over the testing 537 metre trip.
Three trainers will each rug up two dogs in the final with Victorians Robert Britton (Highbury and Engine Alley) and Darren McDonald (Rumbling Rick and Where’s The Surf), along with Queenslander Tom Tzouvelis (Le Sirenuse and Tee Brady) all qualifying a pair of runners.
Stephen Whyte (Clash Of Kings) and Jeffrey Cumming (Rumble Street) make up the field of eight.
Here is a look at each runner in detail;
1 – Clash Of Kings ($2.25) – Stephen Whyte - Set the time standards in the heats when flew around Winnellie Park in 31.33. His pedigree suggests that he can take the race out. He is a son of Fear Zafonic and the 2009 Darwin Cup winner Queen Lauryn (Token Prince – Cheeky Sprite) who will be hoping to replicate his mothers triumph here. Last week was his first start from box one and it looks to suit him perfectly. He is the one they have to beat.
2 – Rumbling Rick ($10) – Darren McDonald - A winner of 17 from 48 who was beaten 8 1/2 lengths by Clash Of Kings in his heat run. He should have some improvement in him this week but he will need to.
3 – Le Sirenuse ($5.00) – Tom Tzouvelis - A well performed Queensland youngster who finished second to Rumble Street in her heat. She may need to find a few lengths on that performance to trouble these.
4 – Where’s The Surf ($4.00) – Darren McDonald - One of the big guns in this race who could not quite mow down Highbury in his heat. He is likely to improve and if he comes out in the first couple, he will be right in contention when it matters the most.
5 – Tee Brady ($18) – Tom Tzouvelis - A seasoned interstate campaigner who lines up in his second Darwin Cup final here. Finished third to Highbury last week but was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths. He has finished in the top three at eight of his last ten starts including three wins. He could be the knockout at big odds.
6 – Highbury ($6.50) – Robert Britton - Speedy customer who staved off some strong challengers to win his heat in 31.63. He will be hoping to find the front early and do the same again in this race. He has handled wider draws in the past including last week’s effort from box seven.
7 – Rumble Street ($6.50) – Jeffrey Cumming - Returned to winning form last week with a 31.67 heat win from this box. Almost all of her wins have come from outside boxes which has to bring her into calculations here.
8 – Engine Alley ($18) – Robert Britton - An injury plagued greyhound who had his first run for 374 days last week when he finished third to Clash Of Kings from this box. If he recaptures anywhere near his best career form he could surprise a few of these but it is very hard to draw a form line from that one run. Take him on trust.
9 – Saleen ($51) – Graeme Ferns - A consistent local who has been placed in 30 of her 51 starts but only managed to win seven of them. She will be tested if she gains a start.
10 – I’m Ziva ($51) – Kerry Perrett - A winner of four from 21 who would need luck to feature in this class.
“Clash Of Kings looked outstanding running the fastest heat and the red box is perfect for him. Where’s The Surf must be respected and Le Sirenuse hit the line well in her heat after copping plenty of trouble so she certainly wouldn’t surprise.”
Bunyip trainer Stephen Whyte holds all the aces heading into Friday night’s Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup final after the regally bred Clash Of Kings (1) qualified fastest in the three heats held at Winnellie Park on Monday night.
Whyte will have plenty of challengers with three trainers managing to qualify two dogs each for the final. Robert Britton, Darren McDonald and Tom Tsouvelis all qualified a pair for Friday’s $25,000 to-the-winner event.
Class Of Kings is a son of Fear Zafonic and 2009 Darwin Cup winner Queen Lauryn (Token Prince – Cheeky Sprite) and he took out the second heat in emphatic fashion, scoring by 7 1/2 lengths from Rumbling Rick (2) and Engine Alley (8) in the time of 31.33.
It was Clash Of Kings’ fifth win from just nine starts and he will be a force to be reckoned with after drawing the coveted rails alley for Friday’s final.
Earlier in the night, Robert Britton justified his trip north when Highbury (7) took out the opening heat. The son of Collision and Apology (Bond – Temperance) stopped the clock at 31.63, defeating Where’s The Surf (4) by a head with Tee Brady (8) filling third place.
The final heat of the night was taken out by Rumble Street (7) for Queensland mentor Jeffrey Cumming. The daughter of Hallucinate and Rumble Charm (Spiral Nikita – Rumble Spirit) registered the time of 31.67 en route to defeating Le Sirenuse (2) by four lengths with Saleen (1) in third.
The box draw for the Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup is as follows;
1 – Clash Of Kings – Stephen Whyte 2 – Rumbling Rick – Darren McDonald 3 – Le Sirenuse – Tom Tsouvelis 4 – Where’s The Surf – Darren McDonald 5 – Tee Brady – Tom Tsouvelis 6 – Highbury – Robert Britton 7 – Rumble Street – Jeff Cumming 8 – Engine Alley – Robert Britton
Top line racing heads north this Monday night when Winnellie Park hosts three heats of the Group Three 2014 Darwin Cup.
The race is run over the 537 metre trip, with the $25,000 to-the-winner final to be conducted on Friday August 1st. This year’s heats have attracted plenty of interstate raiders who are set to do battle with some of the Northern Territory’s most talented sprinters.
Here is a look at the main chances in each of the three heats;
Race 4 – Darwin Cup Heat One – 8:41pm
Darren McDonald will rug up the smart Victorian performer Where’s The Surf (4) in the first heat. The son of Where’s Pedro and Nova Surf (Surf Lorian – Nova Keroma) has won 15 of his 42 starts and amassed over $50,000 in prizemoney. He would have to be considered as one of the series favourites.
Highbury (7) is another Victorian raider who has won eight from 28 for Robert Britton. He has won two of his last four over shorter trips and may find himself prominent early.
Queensland mentor Tom Tsouvelis brings his sprinter Tee Brady (8) back over for the cup again this year. He is no stranger to interstate travel and has contested group races in New South Wales and Victoria in the past. He was also a finalist in this very race in 2013 which is an experience that should sit him in good stead again this year.
Swansea Jacky (2) is prepared by local trainer Graeme Ferns and has an impeccable record. She has won no less than 23 of her 48 outings, with all but one of those being at this track. Her local knowledge could be an advantage in this.
Are Ate, who also won the Group Two Devonport Cup, has been racing predominantly over 600 metres at Albion Park of late, where he has won three of his last five. He looks a major player here.
Rumbling Rick will exit box two for Darren McDonald. The red fawn dog, who is owned by former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting, has carved out some fast times since moving from Tasmania to Victoria and is in this race up to his ears.
Engine Alley (8) is the query runner after being off the scene since 2013. The 537 metre trip will hold no fears if he is primed for the first up run and the Robert Britton trained chaser will be hoping to improve his career record of 12 wins from 25 starts.
Race 6 – Darwin Cup Heat Three – 9:25pm
Robert Britton looks to hold a strong hand in the third-and-final heat when 2013 Silver Bullet winner Farmor Las Vegas dons the pink rug to jump from box eight. He is a winner of over $150,000 in prizemoney and looks to be back in winning form on recent efforts. He is a massive hope here.
Youngster La Sirenuse (2) looms as a big threat for Tom Tsouvelis. She has won seven of her 17 career starts including some very rapid Ipswich efforts. She is drawn to be right in this.
Rumble Street (7) will be looking to bounce back to form for her Queensland trainer Jeff Cumming. She has not won since late June but has the ability to be in a race like this on her day.
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Race 1 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat One – 7:14PM
First heat features the exciting speedster Mepunga Hayley, however I’m not convinced that she is a good thing. My fear is that she appears to have fallen back into her old habit of bombing the start. With that being the case I think the speedy White Spyro should be able to cross to the early lead and she may just pinch the race. She was placed in the Bendigo Cup Final at her last start and although she isn’t the strongest chaser, I believe that she is a little stronger than what she was when she posted her solid 30.21 PB here.
Obviously Mepunga Hayley is the main danger, she has the ability to lead or come from off the speed, however you would feel more comfortable if she could fix her box manners. I have no doubts she has panels on this lot but there are some handy ones in this so she can’t afford to make too many mistakes. Grand Faith must also be respected in this event, he is normally a very reliable beginner and he recently caught the eye with a sizzling 29.49 Sandown Park win. Dello Bale is a must for your exotic bets, he will get back in the early stages but once he finds the fence he will wind up and hit the line hard.
Top Four: 7 – 4 – 2 – 3
Win bets on White Spyro and Grand Faith
Boxed Quinella: 2,3,4,7 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 4,7/2,3,4,7 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2,4,7/2,3,4,7/1,2,3,4,5,7 ($36 for 100%)
Race 2 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat Two – 7:38PM
Capullo Bale is a real up and comer who really caught my eye when scoring at Geelong recently in 25.60. On that occasion he pinged the lids and went into overdrive soon after box rise and he never looked back, he then followed that up with an 11 length win at Ballarat. He is making his Metropolitan debut but I’m assuming that he would have trialled here previously and he shouldn’t have too much trouble running out a strong 500m.
Living Proof has the class edge and he showed he is back to his best with a brilliant placing at Shepparton behind Hooksy on Monday. He was average to begin in that event and after settling three lengths off Hooksy he managed to hold that margin to the line. The box draw doesn’t help tonight but he has won two races here previously and he can come from off the speed to win. Angvella comes here with brilliant QLD form and she has drawn favourably out wide. She is having her first look at the track but if she gets through the first bend unscathed she will make her presence felt.
Top Four: 2 – 4 – 3 – 7
Win bet on Capullo Bale
Trifecta: 2,4/2,4/Field ($12 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,4/2,3,4,7 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2/3,4,7/Field ($18 for 100%)
Race 3 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat Three – 7:57PM
QLD speedster Give You Credit is making his Victorian debut but he did have the benefit of a solo trial at The Meadows last week. On that occasion he stopped the clock in a solid 30.23, that time would not be good enough to win tonight, however if you look at his sectionals, he appeared to be at least three lengths off his best and at his second look at the track he should be able to improve dramatically. He is normally a reliable beginner and he likes to use a bit of the track in his races, from the seven box he should get every chance.
Zipping Brock has been racing in consistent style without winning of late and if he can get some luck in the early stages he will make his presence felt. He has been racing in FFA company of late and he should appreciate the drop back to age restricted class. He is very fast when given room early and he may be the value. Shamus Allen has experienced a lot of luck in his past two starts, however he did win his seven starts prior and he is too good to dismiss, if he steps on terms he should be in the mix throughout.
Top Four: 7 – 3 – 5 – 6
Win bets on Give You Credit and Zipping Brock
Boxed Quinella: 3,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 3,7/3,5,6,7 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 3,5,7/3,5,6,7/1,3,5,6,7,8 ($36 for 100%)
Race 4 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat Four – 8:20PM
Glenn Rounds has a strong team at present and he is sure to have a couple in the final and I think Bottom Dollar is going to be one of his major players. With Push It drawn in the red, Bottom Dollar should be able to follow her through at the first bend and he should be able to pick her off as they go past the second sector. He is making his debut at the Meadows, however I’m sure he has trialled here in preparation for this series.
Push It has been a little disappointing in her past two but from the red she should be able to pounce on the early lead and that will allow her to regain some confidence. I don’t think she can hold off Bottom Dollar in the run home but she should have enough in the tank to hold on for the quinella. Joey Valdez hit the line hard here last week when placed behind All Strung Out, he is normally a better beginner than he showed last week and I’m sure he will look to make amends this week. They appear to be the only three winning hopes.
Top Four: 2 – 1 – 4 – 3
Win bet on Bottom Dollar
Trifecta: 2/1,3,4/1,3,4 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2/1,3,4/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2,4 Boxed ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,2/1,2/3,4,5,7 ($8 for 100%)
Race 5 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat 5 – 8:40PM
One of the most open heats on the night but I think we can find some value with NSW star Rue De Kahn. She trialled here last week and recorded a very poor 30.44, however it was her first look at the track and she should be able to find plenty on that performance. Prior to that she had been racing in brilliant style at Wentworth Park and if she can bring that form to the Meadows she will definitely turn some heads. After her poor trial performance she might be over the odds.
Lektra Brave hasn’t had a lot of luck in his past two starts here but prior to that he had been racing in top form on the provincial circuit. He is capable of pinging the lids and he has gone very quick when scoring at Sandown previously. Zipping Felix really caught the eye when placed at Sandown last time over 595m, on that occasion he was in the firing line throughout and he went down narrowly to class chaser Musquin Bale, a repeat of that performance will see him feature here.
Top Four: 7 – 2 – 3 – 8
Win bets on Rue De Kahn and Zipping Felix (I expect both to be over the odds)
Trifecta: 2,3,7/2,3,7,8/1,2,3,6,7,8 ($36 for 100%)
Boxed Quinella: 2,3,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Race 6 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat Six – 8:57PM
Warrior King captured the Group Two Bendigo Cup Final last time over an unsuitable trip so it’s hard to go past him considering he is stepping back up to his favourite journey. From the red he should be able to settle in the first two or three and once they head to the back straight I would expect him to go into overdrive. He is a very powerful chaser and if he is given a clear run he really should make light work of this line-up.
Shoulders is the obvious danger based on his two sub 30 second wins here of late. Both times he has stepped cleanly and led throughout but he also appeared to hit the line very strongly. The second of those wins was in a quality field and he hit the line eight lengths clear of his rivals. Grand Legacy could be the surprise packet, he is capable of pinging the lids and he has scored two brilliant 450m Warrnambool wins in recent times. American Muscle must be included in your exotic bets, he will get back in the early stages but once he finds the fence he will start to wind up and he will hit the line strongly.
One of the most exciting heats of the night as we get to see superstar Hooksy take on the up and coming Deadly Clear and Summer Wages. Hooksy is going to start at a short quote but it will take a brave punter to take him on. On Monday night he showed that he is back to his best with a slick 25.17 Shepparton win and if he steps cleanly tonight, onlookers will have their eyes glued to the semaphore board awaiting to see what he stops the clock at.
Deadly Clear is an explosive talent but he can sometimes be unreliable at box rise, however when he does hit the ground there aren’t many chasers in the land that can match him for pure speed. He has had six weeks off and he should be ready to fire first up. It is worth noting he did score at Sandown three runs back in a ridiculous 29.12. Summer Wages has only had five starts and this clearly his toughest test but he did score at Sandown in 29.50 on debut and he will only get better with more racing. Pappa Gallo has been racing in good style of late and he can maybe run home into third spot.
Top Four: 2 – 8 – 3 – 6
Trifecta: 2/3,6,8/3,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2/8/3,6 ($2 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2/8/Field ($6 for 100%)
Race 8 – Maturity Classic Heat Eight – 9:40PM
Another intriguing affair and I think we can find some value with Zipping Snoopy. Exciting sprinter Eliza Blanche is expected to start a short priced favourite, however from the pink box it is unlikely that she will get any favours. Zipping Snoopy finally showed his true potential when winning a heat of the Bendigo Cup in 23.68 a couple of weeks ago and if he can bring that form to town he should be able to get down to the 29.80 mark and that would be enough to win tonight. Lady Goldenpaw being drawn in the red can only enhance his chances as I would expect her to kick up and lead early and he should get the dream run through.
Oakvale Destiny looks the danger for mine, she has been racing in sensational fashion of late and she is capable of doing it at both ends. She is making her Meadows debut but she has showed in the past she is very adaptable and that shouldn’t pose too many problems. Eliza Blanche is obviously a chance but I believe she is extremely poorly drawn and she will have trouble crossing in the early stages.
Top Four: 2 – 6 – 8 – 1
Each Way Bet on Zipping Snoopy
Boxed Quinella: 1,2,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 2,6/1,2,6,8 ($6 for 100%)
Race 9 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat – 10:05PM
Another even affair and you’re probably going to laugh at my top selection but I’m a huge fan of Dyna Alchemist and I believe he is going to go round at big over’s tonight. I have been following this one since his debut at Ballarat and he has continued to impress me with every run. He needs to improve his box manners but he is going to be a class chaser for a long time to come. Clearly this is a big test for him tonight but at the $20 or better I think he is worth an each way ticket. Even if he doesn’t feature tonight, keep your eye on him in the future as I believe he is a star in the making.
Duchess Bale is a class act and she should make her presence felt, if I wasn’t such a fan of Dyna Alchemist she would clearly be my top pick. Remarkably she is unbeaten in her six tries here and she has a good habit of pinging the lids. With slow beginners either side she should get every chance to settle in the first two. Luca Neveelk is making his Metro debut and I think he may need a run or two in town before he shows his best. Sisco Rage could be the smokey in the event, he should get a nice cart across from Duchess Bale and he has been desperately unlucky in his recent performances.
Top Four: 5 – 7 – 8 – 3
Boxed Quinella: 5,7,8 ($3 for 100%)
Win bets on Dyna Alchemist and Duchess Bale
Trifecta: 5,7,8/5,7,8/Field ($36 for 100%)
Race 10 – 525M Maturity Classic Heat Ten – 10:25PM
My Bro Fabio turned in an enormous performance at Sandown over 595m and although he is dropping back in distance, the effort was too good to ignore. After a slow start and finding bother he in the run, he unleashed a withering finishing burst before going down narrowly to the classy Musquin Bale in good time. He is likely to get back early again but he should be able to work his way through the field and he does have a dazzling 29.69 PB over this journey.
Stilton Blue is a gun NSW speedster who has joined the powerful Robert Britton kennel. He is normally a faultless beginner and he has been racing in great style in his home state. I’m assuming that connections would have trialled him here in preparation for this and if My Bro Fabio is out the back finding bother I would expect Stilton Blue to steal the prize. Bayman Bale showed that he is back to his best with a sizzling 25.86 Warragul win and he may be the value at double figure odds. If he was to step cleanly he has sufficient speed to lead and he can run time on the bunny.
Top Four: 6 – 2 – 4 – 8
Trifecta: 6/2,4,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2,4,8/6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Quinella: 6 to rove with 2,4,8 ($3 for 100%)
Race 11 – Maturity Classic Heat Eleven – 10:42PM
Campaspe Will has won three of his four tries over this journey and after a month off he should be primed to put his best foot forward. He is clearly one of the fastest chasers in the series and all he needs is an ounce of luck and he will get the cash. Fortunately for him, he has slow beginners drawn either side and that should allow him to get sufficient room to muster speed in the early stages. I would love to see him land on the bunny as I believe he can run sub 29.70 on the lure.
Jubilea Bale is another up and comer who should progress well through this series. Two starts ago he scored a sizzling 29.57 Sandown Park win and the most impressive part of that victory was her 4.98 first section. If she begins like she did at Sandown she should lead easily and she will prove very hard to reel in. Dyna Orion returned to form from this draw last week with a smart 30.02 win, however he can bomb the start at times and he can’t afford to make too many mistakes tonight.
Top Four: 4 – 6 – 1 – 2
Exacta: 4,6/1,2,4,6 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 4/1,2,6/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 4,6/1,2,4,6/1,2,3,4,6 ($18 for 100%)
Race 12 – Maturity Classic Heat Twelve – 11:00PM
Dyna Ostrander has come up with the gun draw and I think he will finally get his chance to show his best. Five starts ago he scored a brilliant 29.85 Geelong win and since then he has raced with minimal luck. I have a huge opinion of this chaser and I think he can be class chaser for a long time to come. From the red he should have sufficient speed to lead and I think they will have their work cut out trying to reel him in whilst running sub 29.90. With the likes of All Strung Out and Humphrey Bale in the field, we should be able to get some value at around the $4 mark.
All Strung Out is a class act and in time he is going to be the countries number one stayer, however at present he is racing in great style over the sprint trip and last week he powered to the line when scoring in 30.11. He is poorly drawn out in the pink but he is good enough to overcome these difficulties. Humphrey Bale does his best racing here and he has been racing in open class for some time now, whilst Seabrook Sam has been turning heads of late with some sizzling Warrnambool wins. Seabrook Sam didn’t have a lot of luck in his Meadows debut last week but with a clean getaway tonight he can make amends.
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “I have the two slowest qualifiers so I am not overly confident. However, in saying that I have drawn really well as they have drawn the boxes they ewant. I’m not underestimating the fact that other dogs went quicker.”
Comments: ARG opinion is – Returned to the winner’s circle last week in a big upset, scoring at odds of 45/1. He is a track specialist but is a steady beginner and that may work against him in a Group final.
Comments: ARG opinion is – Fastest heat winner who had his first win since April when taking out his Bendigo Cup heat. He was able to lead all the way from box three, the box he has drawn for this final. It will be interesting to see if he can repeat last week’s performance.
Comments: ARG opinion is – Extremely talented greyhound who gets his chance to prove himself in his first Group race final. He has won 12 from 13 and with that kind of record, it is hard to bet against him.
Comments: Michelle Mallia-Magri (Trainer) – “I’m hoping he wins. He is in with a big chance. There is no pace on his outside and the dog on his inside has pace so that might pull him out of the box. I would rather be drawn closer to the rail. He loves Bendigo and trialled 23.79 as a pup. Every dog is in with a chance. Most of the dogs in the final are strong but have no early pace so if you can begin well and run a strong 500 you can win it.”
Comments: ARG opinion is – Class dog of the field who has been in and placed in a number of Group finals. His form had been an bit off since the Easter Egg but he performed strongly last weekm suggesting he may be coming back into form. He is a fair beginner bit can show pace if he gets the room. He can’t be written off in this field.
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “I have the two slowest qualifiers so I am not overly confident. However, in saying that I have drawn really well as they have drawn the boxes they ewant. I’m not underestimating the fact that other dogs went quicker.”
Comments: Made the final of the earlier instalment of the Bendigo Cup this year but ran last to Paw Licking. He then went on to have a month off an returned to racing in early June for two placings. He is a young dog that is showing plenty of talent but he will need some luck if he gets a start.
Comments: Fast bitch who is an each way chance if she gets a run. Performed well at her first look at the track behind fastest heat winner Zipping Snoopy.
Best Bendigo Times
This is a hard race to pick as the best boxed dog (Pippa Shiraz) is the slowest qualifier. She has only been unplaced once from eight starts from the rails alley. It is always a bonus to lead a Group race as it gives you more of a chance. She will need to lead to factor but given her record from the box she is an each-way chance. In a similar situation is Senor Socks. He recorded 24.06 last week from box eight. He has drawn that box again and the wide alley suits him down to the ground. The trainer of both these greyhounds has stated that the box draw brings these two dogs into the race.
The middle boxes look to hold the key to the race. Fastest heat winner Zipping Snoopy is in box three and next to him in box four is star on the rise, Luca Neveelk. The yellow rug will be donned by White Spyro, who recorded the fastest first section last week and a repeat of that will see her leading again. Luca Neveelk should improve on his run from last week as it was his first race start at the track last week. He has won his last 10 races, which is outstanding for any greyhound and he would not look out of place with a Group win to his name.
Class can never be ignored, so Warrior King, from box seven, has to be given some consideration. He is an experienced Group campaigner and has a flying 23.48 to his credit at the track.
Of the others, Elite Devil loves Bendigo but he has to contend with a tricky box six draw. Flying Bolt, from box two, is unlikely to salute at big odds two weeks in a row.
This week will see the second running of a Bendigo Cup in 2014. This, presumably, is to avoid having a gap of 16 months or so between competitions, with the new plan of staging the club’s flagship race in late June, early July instead of late March, early April.
In some ways it is easy to take it for granted that Bendigo has been a long-time successful operation, but the truth is that for about a decade after it opened (in March 1956), it struggled. Racing behind a mechanical lure in Victoria had only just been introduced; before that, races were run behind a pacemaker. Owners, trainers and the general public were used to seeing pacemakers, not a mechanical lure, and so nominations for the new Bendigo track were often small.
The first Cup was run in 1957, over 400 yards (366 metres) and annexed by Cantee. As to the actual date, placings, times and the rest, information appears to be almost non-existent. The brindle son of Rocket Jet (out of Magenta), Cantee won 12 races in his career, including the 1957 Harold Park Classic (now Vic Peters Memorial Classic).
Once more the early years are a little hazy. Between 1957 and possibly 1971, it was run over 400 yards. There are gaps where the winners for 1962-1964, 1966-1967, and 1969 are officially ‘unknown’. Certainly in 1972 the race was run over 535 metres, as a handicap. In 1973 the distance changed to 528 metres and was run as a handicap until 1978. No race was run in 1979. In 1980 it was run over 430 metres, but in 1981 it went to the new distance of 545 metres. Between 1982 and 2014 the Cup has been run over 430 metres, apart from 2001 when it was held over 545 metres.
When Is The Race Run
From 1986, and possibly, or probably, since its inception, the race was held in either November or December. This continued until 1994. No event was held in 1995, and from 1996 until 2000 it was run in March. The 2001 final was run in January. Then from 2002 until 2014 it was finalised in either March or April. Now it will move back to a June/July date.
Biggest Winning Margins
Of those for which I have information, the biggest margin is owned jointly by 1972 victor Leicester Edie and 2006 winner Dragway Flex, both scoring by seven lengths. Next best is Thorgil Tex who won the 1994 final by six lengths.
Closest Winning Margins
There have been plenty of these. Naphlio (1988), Hard Rain (1990), He’s Jake (1991), Lansley Bale (1998), and Paw Licking (April 2014) all won by a head. Hey Brother (2002) scored by a neck and Buka Sunset (1987) by a long neck.
Most Successful Trainer/s
Graeme Bate with Lansley Bale (1998), Dragway Flex (2006) and Taipan Bale (2009), and Jason Thompson with El Galo (2008), Peggy May (2012) and Ronan Izmir (2013) share the honours with three apiece. Tom Dailly with Whitten’s Legend (2000) and Renzo Bale (2001), and Robert Britton with Hey Brother (2002) and Airbourne Bale (2007) are next with two each.
Only Dual Winner/s
Only Reserve/s To Win
None I’m aware of.
Natsody Beau (third 1997 & 1998), Open Country (fifth 1997, fourth 1998), Power Zone (second 1998 & 1999), Go Diesel (seventh 1998, third 1999), Smack Wallop (second 2004, Won 2005), Dyna Checa (seventh 2006 & 2007), Taipan Bale (second 2008, Won 2009), Stagger (eighth 2012, third 2013), Ronan Izmir (Won 2013, fourth 2014).
Some Beaten Stars
Hot Spell (second 1987), Bee Sting (third 1987), Freewheeler (third 1988), Rodeo Blue (second 1989), Young Darren (sixth 1997), Solve The Puzzle (eighth 1998), Miss Tantine (fourth 2000), Railroad Wish (second 2001), Zaability (second 2002), Big Smig (third 2002), Creative Wish (third 2004), Collide (fourth 2005), Paddy’s Flame (third 2008), Dyna Tron (second 2012), Arizona Dozer (fourth 2013), Black Magic Opal (seventh 2014)
When Leicester Edie won in 1972, the first prize was $1,000. In 1987, when Buka Sunset was successful, he took home $4,000. Lansley Bale collected $12,000 for his 1998 victory, Renzo Bale $16,000 in 2001, and Hey Brother $20,000 in 2002. Peggy May earned $40,000 in 2012 and Paw Licking took out $43,750 earlier in 2014.
Mets Man, an Irish import by the American sire Sandman, took out the 1989 Bendigo Cup. Smooth Approach (1975 Winter Stake, Harold Park), Dunmain Scholar (1975 Anniversary Trophy, Olympic Park & 1976 Victorian National Distance Championship State Final), and Kanangra Band (1977 Dave Alexander Memorial, Harold Park) are the only other Irish imports to have won a major race in Australia.
For the past eighteen months Victorian Country Cups have been dominated by the magnificent sprinting trio Paw Licking, Ronan Izmir and Black Magic Opal however with two retired and the other on the sidelines the time is right for an emerging star to step up to the next level and the TAB Bendigo Cup to be run next Friday night may just produce that runner.
After mixed fortunes for some of the fancied pre post runners in the heats an intriguing final has been compiled for the 425m event worth $45,000 to the winner.
One of Victoria’s most promising up and coming sprinters Luca Neveelk could not have been more impressive in a determined heat win clocking a slick 23.87 however he must contend with an awkward box four draw in the final if he is to claim his first black type trophy.
Luca Neveelk’s victory took his record to twelve wins from just thirteen career starts and he could not have been more impressive after having to work hard in the early stages to gain clear galloping room before proving far too strong for the smart Universal Size in the run to the line.
The fastest heat time was recorded in the eighth and final heat when Zipping Snoopy uncharacteristically exploded out of the boxes and clocked slick sections en route to an effortless 23.68 victory and like Luca Neveelk he will carry the same rug in the final as he did in the heat – the white.
Coincidentally four of the eight finalists will line up in the final carrying the identical rug colour to their heats after Warrior King and Senor Socks drew seven and eight respectively in both heats and final.
Warrior King proved too strong for the free rolling Matt’s Entity and Top Secret over the concluding stages of his heat when he clocked 23.84 while Senor Socks looks ideally drawn out wide after using the eight alley to perfection registering 24.06 in his run off.
Senor Socks is one of two finalists for trainer Robert Britton who will rug up the “wing” runners with Pippa Shiraz, a 24.07 heat winner drawing nicely in box one.
Bendigo track specialist Flying Bolt showed a glimpse of his old form when running down the highly talented and odds on favourite Harry Keeping in 23.92 and he will start from box two in the final.
Recent Wagga Cup winner White Spyro never gave his more fancied opposition a chance when he flew the lids and ran away with a 23.78 heat win from box eight however he moves to box five for the final and Elite Devil moves from the suitable inside draw of box two where he saluted in 23.85 to a tough box six draw.
The Group 2 TAB Bendigo Cup final will be race seven on Friday night at 9.10pm and will highlight a card of racing that includes the $10,000 to the winner 3BO FM 93.5 Winter Cup final over 660m, the GRV VBIS Maiden Series final over 425m ($7,500 to the winner) and the Bendigo Advertiser Super GOBIS final over 500m.
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Race 4 – 530M WA Oaks Heat One – 10:09PM
The first heat looks to be a battle between three classy speedsters in Liara Allen, Oakvale Flyer and Replica Queen. All three have recorded numerous city wins and they can also test the clock. After accessing each chasers strengths and weaknesses, it’s hard to look past Victorian star Oakvale Flyer. The Robert Britton trained chaser has already made a number of Group Race Finals and two starts ago she smashed a quality line-up when scoring at Sandown Park in 29.48. Obviously the early speed of Lady Goldenpaw may be a concern, however Oakvale Flyer has the unique ability to win races by either leading or coming from off the speed.
Liara Allen returned to form with a strong 30.22 Meadows win from this draw last week and with some luck early she should figure prominently again. Her box manners aren’t the best, however she has a slow beginner drawn directly outside and she should get every chance to drive through at the first bend. The fact that she has raced here previously also enhances her chances. Replica Queen is one of WA’s up and coming stars and she has a tremendous record here having won eight of twelve and she boasts a slick 30.46 PB. She is normally a lid pinger and she is likely to set the pace, my only concern is that in her previous races she has not had a lot of pressure applied to her mid race. Tonight I’m anticipating her to be feeling a lot of heat from a few runners off the back straight and she will need to pull out a big effort to hold off some of her stronger competitors. It is a very interesting and strong heat and the winner should come from one of those three.
Top Four: 3 – 1 – 8 – 4
Win bet on Oakvale Flyer
Trifecta: 3/1,4,8/1,4,8 ($6 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,3/1,3/Field ($8 for 100%)
Race 5 – 530M WA Oaks Heat Two – 10:32PM
Another quality line-up look set to do battle. Victorian superstar Mepunga Hayley should start short odds and if she can do everything right she should advance to next week’s rich final. Last week at The Meadows she bombed the start and she continued to find trouble in the run, however she picked herself up and continued to hit the line strongly. Prior to that defeat she had strung together five consecutive wins and they were all in explosive fashion. During that stretch she was pinging the lids and recordings sizzling sectionals. There is a little bit of early speed in this event, but if she happens to step on terms she will have too much natural speed for her rivals.
Queensland Speedster Le Sirenuse is making her WA debut and comes here with strong open class form in her home state. Her box manners can be a little bit of a concern at times but when she hits the ground she does muster pace at a rate of knots. Although she is a keen railer, tonight’s draw shouldn’t be too much of a disadvantage. From the pink if she misses the kick she will still get plenty of room to muster speed. Free Candy appears to be the only other winning hope in this event, she has won six of 15 here and her quick 30.46 PB was recorded in her last start win. She isn’t armed with an abundance of early speed but if she gets enough room in the first 50m she should be able to hold her position.
Top Four: 2 – 8 – 7 – 5
Trifecta: 2/7,8/Field ($12 for 100%)
Trifecta: 2/7,8/4,5,7,8 ($6 for 100%)
Exacta: 2/7,8 ($2 for 100%)
Race 6 – 530M WA Oaks Heat Three – 10:50PM
This is probably the most exciting heat for mine. WA star Gone To Heaven will do battle with two gun interstate visitors in Mepunga Moss and Chica Destacada. It’s always hard to tip against the home field advantage but I am a huge fan of Chica Destacada. Prior to her last start defeat she really caught my eye with two blistering Wentworth Park wins in 29.51 and 29.49 respectively. Her latest win was from an awkward draw so tonight’s wide draw shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Victorian raider Mepunga Moss is another who has been racing in sizzling form of late. Three starts ago she led throughout at Sandown when scoring in 29.43 and she followed that effort up with a brilliant second behind the in form Mepunga Hayley. She has a fair bit of pace drawn outside her tonight but she should have sufficient speed to fire through early. Local star Gone To Heaven rounds out the winning chances, she has the tremendous record of 10 wins from 16 tries here and she boasts a ridiculous 30.09 PB. My only concern with her is that she has been a tad disappointing in her past few and if she isn’t on the bunny she doesn’t always show her best.
Top Four: 7 – 3 – 4 – 2
Trifecta: 3,7/3,7/Field ($10 for 100%)
Trifecta: 7/3,4/2,3,4,6,8 ($8 for 100%)
Race 7 – 530M WA Oaks Heat Four – 11:07PM
Oakvale Destiny is another star Victorian and he should give the Britton family another finalist. Two starts ago she unleashed a powerful finishing burst to score at Sandown Park in a smart 29.67 and on that effort she should have their measure here. The empty draw underneath should enhance her chances and I can see her settling around third through the first turn and she should take over off the back straight. She is likely to start fairly short but she is all class and I would be very surprised if she got rolled.
Regal Patch looms as the likely danger to the favourite, last week she showed solid early speed and was far from disgraced when placed here in solid time. This is obviously her toughest test but I don’t think it is totally beyond her. Angels Chorus and Kerry Spice appear to be the other place hopes as both have been racing here in consistent style.
The coveted Group One Peter Mosman Classic heats will kick off tonight at Wentworth Park, with an enticing $75,000 on offer for winning connections in three weeks time.
Six competitive heats will be conducted over the 520m distance, with the first four placegetters moving through to next week’s three semi-finals.
To be eligible for the series all runners were required to be born on or after 1st December 2011.
Heat one will jump at 8.07pm.
Group One Perth Cup winner Keybow returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since contesting the Golden Easter Egg heats back in April and comes off a second placing in the Group Two Queensland Derby a month ago. Darren McDonald’s charge has a sizzling 29.45 personal best at the track and will be primed for this event from box three. My Kinda Music attracted plenty of attention during the New Sensation series at Wentworth Park in April, where she finished third behind the freakishly talented Hookesy in 29.36. Trained by Allan Pringle, the daughter of El Grand Senor and Ice Dancer recorded a flying 29.69 at headquarters last month.
Push It will be looking for her fourth straight win at the track after an impressive 29.70 performance last week from box three. Despite not having won from the outside alley, Dean Swain’s talented chaser has an excellent Wentworth Park record of three wins from six starts and the exceptional early pace to cross from out wide.
Chica Destacada has returned to her brilliant best and produced a sensational 29.49 performance at the track two weeks ago, with an equally impressive 29.51 win the week prior. Doreen Drynan’s chaser has an outstanding record at headquarters with five wins from nine starts and despite the awkward box six, has enough early pace to trouble this classy field.
Jason Mackay’s Zipping Delta has come up with the coveted red rug and produced an outstanding 29.59 performance last week and a 30.61 run at Richmond the week before. The daughter of Bekim Bale will be doing her best work at the finish, so look for her to flash home. All Strung Out will be looking for his fourth straight win after solid performances at Warragul and Sandown Park over the past three weeks. He comes into this heat with plenty of confidence and will exit from box three.
Darren McDonald has another strong hope in this heat with Tiggerlong Amigo, who has an excellent career record of nine wins from eighteen starts and has won four of his past five outings. An impressive 29.72 stewards trial at Wentworth Park on Monday and a handy box three draw makes this son of Cosmic Chief a huge threat to take out this heat. Oh So Striking comes off a win at the track on Monday night in 30.07 and recorded a flying 29.56 at Gosford last month, giving trainer Darren Sultana plenty of reasons to favour this son of Cosmic Rumble’s chances. Having won five of nine career starts, this greyhound can be risky at box rise, but has a huge motor that should see him figure at the finish. Hilda’s Boy shocked everyone with a near record 29.32 win at Gosford two weeks ago and a repeat of that performance should see this son of Just The Best challenging this field.
Cawbourne Whip is in red-hot form at present and comes off a blistering 29.38 win at Wentworth Park last week and will only need to step cleanly to claim this affair for trainer Jodie Lord. The daughter of Dyna Lachlan and American Spot has a superb record at the track of four wins from seven starts and will be looking for her fourth straight win. Aurora Girl has a fast 29.72 personal best at the track which was recorded two weeks ago and is ideally drawn near the rails, with all of her career wins coming from boxes one and three. Trained by Marie Burton, the daughter of Cosmic Rumble can be risky at box-rise; however can find her way to the finish.
Lady Goldenpaw makes her debut at Wentworth Park for Victorian trainer Robert Britton and has some impressive personal best times, including 29.66 at Sandown Park, recorded back in March. The daughter of High Earner has good early pace and will need to use it, exiting from the awkward box six.
Group Three New Sensation winner Hookesy returns to Wentworth Park for the first time since captivating the greyhound world with some sizzling performances around the two turn circuit, including a blistering personal best of 29.36. The son of Hondo Black trained by Tanya Auld, will have to overcome the testing box five, however should demonstrate another superb performance as one of the series favourites.
Unbelief has come up with the red rug and has an excellent Wentworth Park record of four wins from six starts and saluted impressively last week in 29.79. Rue De Kahn has produced solid form of late and last month recorded a flying personal best of 29.64. The Group One National Futurity winner has the ability to cross from the outside alley and push for a semi-finals berth next week.
Tommy Brislane is airbourne at present, having won four of his past five outings, including a 29.74 performance at Wentworth Park and an equally impressive 26.17 win at Bulli. The son of Premier Fantasy and Mary Virginia has an outstanding career record of five wins from six starts and will give trainer Steve White a huge chance of making the semi-finals. Stilton Blue comes off a second placing in the Group Three Bulli Gold Plate and has a solid personal best at the track of 29.82.
Golden Easter Egg winning trainer Brooke Ennis returns to Wentworth Park with the talented Deadly Vane, who will exit from box eight and comes off an brilliant win at Shepparton in 25.05. The winner of 13 races from 22 starts has the pace to cross from the wide draw and will have plenty of watchers as he makes his Wentworth Park debut.
Josh won the 1949 Easter Stake, run over 800 yards (732 metres) on the loam track at Harold Park. Josh scored by a neck from Be Faithful, who had been knocked back to last at the start, running 44.0, 1/10th outside the track record then held by Be Faithful. On the same night, classy sprinter Dream’s Image annexed the Youthful Stakes, running 27.2 for the 500 yards (457 metres).
Busy’s Charm took out the 1969 Muswellbrook Championship, defeating Greenane Prince by two and a half lengths and running 33.1 for the 600 yards (548 metres).
Macareena suffered a rare defeat when she was beaten a head by Coal Lad in a match race over 425 yards (388 metres) at Dubbo in 1954.
South Australian sprint champion Bristol Sue won the 1975 Patron’s Cup, run over 512 metres at Angle Park, by a long neck from Pigalle King for trainer Doug Payne.
Tasmanian duo Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro ran first and second for trainer Shane Whitney in the final of the 2008 Sandown Cup. Chinatown Lad scored by almost five lengths from his kennelmate.
Pixie Eyes defeated Pebble’s Beach by just half a neck with New Wish three-quarters of a length away third in the 1991 final of the Sandown Cup.
The last meeting to be run on grass at Wentworth Park was held in 1992.
For possibly the first time ever in a major race, the 2013 Harrison-Dawson saw all eight finalists finish in box order. New Zealand sprinter Clone Your Own (box 1), prepared by Robert Britton, defeated Imry Bale (box 2) by a head with Queensland champion Glen Gallon (box 3) third. Schroder Bale (box 4), Premier Event (5), Hurricane Isaac (6), Garrick Bale (7), and Kevin Bale (8) finished fourth through to eighth repectively.
Milimsimbi, trained by Stan Cleverley, equalled the 450 yards (411 metres) track record at Cessnock in 1969, running 23.8. He took his record to three starts for three wins.
West Australian superstayer Miata won her heat of the 2012 Sandown Cup in 41.17 to smash the previous track record of 41.54, held by Lady Arko.
The Ed Tucker-trained Gold Grotto snared the 1972 Sandown Sprint Championship from Melbourne Cup winner Gerard The Gent with the classy Delbairn third. The field was arguably one of the best ever assembled for a major race with the likes of NSW St Leger winner Romantic Top fifth, and future Gabba star Garron Court sixth.
The wonderfully-named Isa Brown won the 2002 Australian Cup, the first conducted over the new distance of 525 metres. Trainer Robert Britton also rugged up Hey Brother, which finished sixth.
Future Queensland star Pied Rebel won his first race start, over 363 yards (331 metres) at Beenleigh, in 1969. Pied Rebel would win his first five race starts, including a track record at Tweed Heads and the Queensland Cup before being sent to Sydney to be trained by Paul Cauchi.
Woolley Wilson won a Free For All over 580 yards (530 metres) at Wentworth Park in 1973. The victory took the Geoff Watt-trained sprinter’s career prize money to $34,491, which made him the third-highest in Australian history behind Zoom Top and Shapely Escort.
Proven Lethal, prepared by Jason Thompson, won the 2004 Sandown Cup by almost four lengths from Springvale Jinx, running 42.12 to set a new track record.
Train A Journey took out the 2006 Maturity Classic at The Meadows, winning by four lengths from Red Legend and picking up $50,000 for trainer John Galea.
This race, the richest, or equal richest, in the country at times, is awash with history. This year will mark its 13th running over 525 metres at the Meadows, and it’s 56th overall. It’s also interesting to see what alleys have provided the most winners of the event since the move to the Meadows.
The first Australian Cup set the template for the prestige of the event. Run in 1958 as a handicap event over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne, the winner was the great Rookie Rebel, owned and trained by Wally Hooper. Rookie Rebel was the backmarker, off eight yards, and short-priced favourite. Despite a severe check at one point in the race, Rookie Rebel stormed home to defeat the smart NSW racer Magic Babe by three lengths in 36. 2/16ths, the fastest time registered in a handicap. He earned £800 ($1,600) for the victory.
The Australian Cup was run over 675 yards (617 metres) at North Melbourne as a handicap from 1958 to 1962. No race was held in 1963 when the move was made to Olympic Park. The new distance was 560 yards (511 metres) and it remained a handicap in 1964 and 1965. From 1966 to 1995 it was run at Olympic Park. When that track closed, the Cup took place over 515 metres at Sandown Park from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 it moved to the Meadows and was contested over 518 metres until 2001. Since 2002 it has been run over 525 metres at the Meadows.
When Is The Race Run
The first Australian Cup was held on 31 March 1958, and has been held either in late February or March through most of its history. The exceptions have been when it was run in May from 1995 to 1997 and again in 2002, and January in 1998 and 2000.
Only the one: China Trip, in 1992 and 1993.
Only Reserves to Win
Biggest Winning Margins
Eaglehawk Star won by seven and a half lengths in 1985; Brett Lee blitzed the 2001 field by seven lengths in the last Cup contested over 518 metres; South Australian speedster Ginger won by six and a quarter lengths in 1989; NSW champion Benjamin John scored by six lengths in 1969 and Listowel Sue won by five and a half lengths in 1977.
Closest Winning Margins
The dead-heat in 2003 between Blackjack Tom and Most Awesome is obviously the closest of all time. Old Tops won in 1964 by half a head, becoming the first winner of the race at Olympic Park and also the first from NSW. Regal Post downed Dundalk Star by a head in 1987. China Trip won both her Australian Cups, in 1992 and 1993, by a head. Black Diro won by half a neck in 1971.
Most Successful Trainers
Queensland mentor Jim Coleman was the first to train dual winners, in successive years with Ungwilla Lad (1975) and Odious (1976). Then Garry Ball trained China Trip to win two in a row. Darren McDonald prepared Brett Lee in 2001 and Pure Octane in 2005; Robert Britton put the polish on Isa Brown (2002) and Tasman Queen (2008); Andrea Dailly has scored with Dyna Lachlan (2010) and Spud Regis (2013), and Graeme Bate has one and a half winners: he prepared Blackjack Tom in 2003 (who dead heated) and Velocette in 2009.
Idle Mate (third 1958, second 1959), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Fawn Nulla (third 1966, Won 1967), Ungwilla Lad (Won 1975, third 1976), Count D’Argent (fourth 1977, Won 1978), Tangaloa (second 1979, Won 1980), Franklin Deano (eighth 1990, Won 1991), China Trip (Won 1992 & 1993), Bomber Gleeson (third 1992 & 1993), Super Impact (seventh 1994, sixth 1995), El Galo (second 2008 & 2009), and High Earner (fell 2010, second 2011).
Some Beaten Stars
Magic Babe (second 1958), Shan’s View (sixth 1960), Dennis Direct (second 1961), Tamaroo (seventh 1962), The Stripper (second 1964), Takiri (eighth 1965), Cheltenham Lass (second 1966 & 1967), Kinta’s Son (fifth 1966), Miram Miss (sixth 1968), Petite Panther (second 1971), Milo’s Charm (second 1972), Bristol Miss (fifth 1972), Miss Baines (second 1973), Tempix (second 1980), Acclaim Star (sixth 1980), White Panther (eighth 1980), Chariot Supreme (sixth 1984), Acacia Park (eighth 1984), Legendary Kid (third 1986), True To Do (second 1993), Hotshot (fourth 1998), Reggemite (seventh 1999), Go Wild Teddy (second 2001), Dutchy’s Angel (third 2001), Cyrus The Virus (fifth 2003), Monster’s Inc (second 2004), Paua To Burn (seventh 2006), Train A Journey (second 2007), and Glen Gallon (seventh 2013).
Meadow Vale (1960) was the first Tasmanian to win the Cup, defeating Fair’s Orders and thereby giving trainer Peter Reid the quinella.
Dennis Direct, the runner-up to Copeland in 1961, later went to the United States to race.
Take A Bow, who won in 1962 to take his record to eight wins from just 11 starts, including the Sandown track record, was the sire of 1969 winner Benjamin John.
Busy’s Warrior, third to Pete’s Advice in 1981, was later disqualified for a positive swab, and Hotshow Vintage, second to Arvo’s Express in 2000, was another who was later disqualified.
Apart from the 2003 dead-heat for first, there was a dead-heat for third, in 1987, between Fernando Prince and Shining Chariot.
The Australian Cup was the richest race in the country between 1960 (when it was worth £1,400 to the winner) and 1962 and from 1964 to 1979 (that year it shared equal billing with the Melbourne Cup, both races being worth $30,000 to the winner). In 1983 it was worth $50,000 and again became the richest race, until 1989. Since then, it has shared top billing in 1996, and 1998 to 2000.
Since the move to the Meadows and the 525-metre distance, winners have come out of six boxes, but the majority, perhaps not surprisingly, have exited box one (four winners). Box two has provided one success (St Pierre) and box three one and a half. No winner has worn the blue rug or the green. In fact, the last winner to come from box six was Brett Lee and I am fairly sure the last winner to come from box four was Franklin Deano in 1991.
The term “freak” is bandied around a little too loosely when it comes to racing animals in the modern era. But when it comes to greyhounds, Zoom Top is the very definition of the word.
The “fawn flash” was arguably the most versatile greyhound of all time. From the Richmond Oaks over 292 metres up the straight, to the 795 metre Beenleigh Cup, she could do it all, often in the same week.
In all, the flying fawn bitch known as Sweetie, raced 136 times between 1967 and 1969 for 68 wins, 25 seconds and 14 thirds and she amassed over $59,000 in prize-money.
It is only fitting that one of Australia’s top staying events is named in honour of the famous daughter of Black Top and Busy Beaver, who was prepared by the legendary Hec Watt.
This Saturday night the Zoom Top will take place at The Meadows, when eight of the best stayers in the country will contest the Group One= over 725 metres. The invitation-only race is worth $75,000 and has attracted a stellar field in 2014, who have won 136 career races and earned over $1.4 million in prize-money between them.
The race will take place at 8:40pm amid a card of absolutely top-shelf racing.
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative) - “It was a great run last week in Perth and she has the box this week, hopefully we can go one better. There’s going to be a lot of pace in the race, but hopefully she can just sit right behind them and make the right decisions. “
Comments: Michael Chilcott (Trainer) - “She is going as good as she has ever gone. We drew a tough heat in Perth but you get that. She’s competed in three group-finals at the Meadows as well as the National Distance Final and had the pink box every time, so getting near the fence gives her half a chance. If she can go somewhere near her best sectional early and find the fence, all we will need is a bit of luck around that first corner to be a chance.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Cheetah Zorro put in an average run at The Meadows after her win in the Bold Trease at Sandown, then we struggled to get a race for a while because she is grade three at both city tracks. So we missed a number of opportunities at running over 700 and I do think that has played on her a bit. But I’ve been working hard on her to get her back. In Perth she didn’t have a lot of luck but again I was a little bit disappointed, but I don’t think she’d had enough runs over the 700 over the last month. I’ve stepped her work-rate up and she’s trialled quite well, so I think we are back on track.”
Comments: Tony Brett (Trainer) – “You’re always a rough chance when you are a front runner but we will see what happens. He might not quite yet be a group class stayer, ability-wise it’s just a little bit too far for him at the top level. We nommed for the Rookie Rebel, if it was picked a couple of days later he would have been in after winning the Big Dog final. But when he didn’t make it I was more than happy to have a go at the Zoom Top. He does run the 720 but if those really good stayers get near him, e just can’t hold them out.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Lucy Wires had a minor fibula injury after the Summer Distance Plate in Sydney. It was a three-week injury and she’s trialled well. She will go into the race fresh and whatever she does I think she will improve on the following week. Still, she is a naturally strong dog and I’d say that running the distance isn’t a problem for her like it might be with others.”
Comments: Norm Rinaldi (Trainer) – “There is plenty of pace but he’s drawn out wide and he does like it out there on the track. A few of them might stumble out a bit and get tangled up, you never know, fingers crossed we have a bit of luck. We will be in there trying, don’t worry about that. He’s still capable, in Sydney (Summer Distance Plate) they gave him no hope but he lost by a nostril to Dyna Willow. That little bitch Dyna Willow, she is a tough campaigner, she’s a real up-and-comer.”
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – For all of Tom Dailly’s expert comments, check out his podcast on the ARG website in which he discusses his chances and more. Dyna Kayla is one of the most promising stayers in the land and should land close to the speed from the favourable draw. She could go very close to taking this out.
Comments: Veteran bitch who has been consistent without winning of late. Led last weekend’s Group One Galaxy before finishing third. Could definitely give some cheek should she get a start.
Best The Meadows Times
The bookends, Dyna Willow (1) and Dyna Kayla (8) look to hold plenty of keys in this race. Dyna Willow looks drawn to perfection and could well find herself with the perfect sit on Benarkin (4), who is the likely early leader. Youngster Dyna Kayla has to contend with the outside draw but has her share of early zip, it will be a good test of the up-and-comer.
Lucy Wires (5) has been given very little luck in the way of the box draw, but she is fresh. If she lands anywhere near the front, expect her to power home.
Born Ali (7) was terrific when she took out last week’s Perth Galaxy but will need luck from the wide draw, while Maddison Dee (2) may be well suited by the inside.
With so many genuine chances this shapes up as a superb Group One final, befitting of the Zoom Top insignia.
One of the hottest fields for the Group One Galaxy is set to go around on Saturday night at Greyhounds WA Cannington at 8.27pm Perth time and it’s hard to not to sense the excitement and nerves for trainers and owners involved in the $80,000 race. WA has three chasers in the final; Linda Britton’s Reverberate (box 4), Paul Stuart’s Ash Flash (box 8) and Lionel Rees’ Hellmuth (box 6). The best chance is with Stuart’s young stayer Ash Flash, who is set to jump paying $4.50. Victorian Born Ali for Robert Britton holds favouritism overall, currently paying $2.80 for the Galaxy win.
Born Ali is not the only talented stayer that Victoria has to offer; Lenny Jones’ Sweet It Is won her heat in the third fastest time of 41.99. Infinite Wish has somewhat of an advantage after having an extra start at Cannington the week before heats. It helped her find the in the heat, taking the corners better then the following week, but she was unable to reel in a high flying Born Ali. Dyna Willow, Gold Affair Two, Born Ali and Sweet It Is will all benefit from their run last week so expect them to come out running quicker times.
Comments: Kristie Collyer. (Handler): “Box One is definitely an advantage, especially with her early speed. Dyna Willow would be the dog to beat, if Born Ali is in front with Dyna Willow behind, there is a good chance she will run over the top of Born Ali.”
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG comments – The inside box will improve her chances after jumping from box eight last week. She has the third fastest qualifying time coming into the race after running down fellow Victorian Gold Affair Two.
Comments: Tammy Collins (Handler) - “Dyna Willow prefers box three to any of the other boxes. It will come down to the first corner and what jumps and makes it to the front. Born Ali is the dog to beat from box one.”
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment- (ARG comment): She is up one run on her other travelling companions which gives her a bit of an edge. She has a lot of early speed to contend with in the race so she will need to be a length in front of them on the first corner to have a good chance at winning the race.
Comments: Trainer unavailable to comment (ARG comment) – With just the one win over the 715 metre trip this race looks very much out of the WA chaser’s reach. Hellmuth is also a slow beginner but has strength behind him.
Comments: Paul Stuart (Trainer) – “Ash Flash is probably a level below the Victorian dogs in the race but in saying that you can’t knock her form here; she ran good times at Cannington a couple of weeks ago which puts her up there with them. It is the first time she has raced against a really good field and the way she races she should appreciate having the good dogs in the race. She should get every opportunity to perform but there are some good dogs in the race.”
Comments: ARG opinion is - Dyna Werribee failed to jump last week which proved costly because Born Ali and Infinite Wish got enough of a lead to prevent Dyna Werribee from running the pair down. Her time although isn’t bad,it wouldn’t be enough to get her across the line if she gets a start in the final.
Comments: ARG opinion is – Sassy Bullet has the ability to fly out of the boxes and break away from a pack but this Galaxy field has too much early pace and strength to let Sassy Bullet get away with too much if she gets a run.
Best Cannington Times
2014 Galaxy Heats
Pedro’s Finest is set to pull on his racing rug for the 150th time in his career, taking away from the excitement of the big races for a split second. Although unable to make it through to the Group One Galaxy after running fifth in the heat last week, he will jump from box one for trainer John Iwanyk and the Pride Of Five Syndicate in the 715m FFA.
It’s finally that time of year for WA racing; when a number of Australia’s best greyhounds brave the heat for their working holiday in the West, with the end result a rug the Perth Cup final (530 metres) and a chance of winning $140,000.
General Destini has made the trip over to Perth for the second time. Last year he ran second in the Perth Cup heats from box four, running 30.56. Jumping from box one will increase his chance of winning the race dramatically, but he will have to improve on his best WA time of 30.43 if he is going to finish first across the line. He’s currently paying $2.80 for the win.
Andrea Dailly’s Hawk Alone is set to jump second favourite ($3.00) from box three. He comes to Perth without a win at Cannington from his three starts, but strength should be on his side after having multiple starts over 600 metres at the Meadows.
Keybow for Darren McDonald is the fourth visiting greyhound in the first heat. The youngster with only 16 starts to his name is set to jump from box two, paying $3.20 for his first WA start. The black dog came second in the Cranbourne Cup two starts back over their 520 metre distance. He came home well, which should hold him in good stead for the extra 10 metres he has to run at Cannington.
All four WA representatives are in double figure odds, West On Santo for Linda Britton jumped well last week and is in career best form. Box six won’t do him any favours, even though his best time was run from box five, and the jump in class may be too much. Paul Stuart’s Dannie Bale (box eight) has the WA experience and time of 30.31, but his form of late has not been great.
WA holds favouritism in the second heat, with Paul Stuart’s chaser Hillbilly Flash jumping from box one and paying $2.00 in the pre-post markets. The white and black dog is searching for his fourth consecutive win and he ran a personal best time of 30.30 three starts back. He almost repeated his efforts last week running 30.35.
Victorian chaser Veyron Bale (box two) for trainer Andrea Dailly has had four starts at Cannington for one win in a time of 30.67. Two starts back at Wentworth Park he ran a best of the night performance over 520 metres in a heat of the Paws Of Thunder. The 520 metre trip at Wentworth Park is his longest distance recently, with multiple successful starts over 400 metres at Sale, Geelong and Ballarat; hopefully Cannington’s 530 metres won’t knock him around too much.
Linda Britton’s Enough Talking ($24.00) has run the second fastest recorded time coming into the heats. Although he is without a Cannington win for 14 starts, the black dog is slowly finding his form. He will have to do everything right from box six to win the race.
Victorian Iona Seven ($1.60) for trainer Robert Britton has been in hot form of late, winning the Group 1 Paws Of Thunder. She has drawn out wide for her two wins and drawing box seven in the Perth Cup heat cant come as too much of a disappointment.
Ben Abercrombie’s speedy beginner Burzynski is jumping from box one and paying $4.50 for the win. He has the capability to cause problems if he can find the lead early, but has not won at Cannington in six starts. However, if he finds himself in front of the field early on, it will be a hard task for chasers to run him down.
Steven Collins’ Liara Allen ($6.00) is searching for her eighth win in her first start at Cannington. Her last three starts have been over distance, which should help her when it comes down to the final stages.
Zelemar Fever is the deserving $1.60 favourite in the fourth heat of the Perth Cup. She is in flying form of late, breaking the 30-second barrier on three occasions; running her personal best time of 29.90 last week. The little black bitch has had superb box draws recently; wearing the red rug in three of her past six starts. Jumping from box seven this week is her only hurdle.
Linda Britton’s second chaser Te Amo (box four) is without doubt a speedy bitch. Her downfall a lack of strength over the 530 metre trip, especially when she has greyhounds like Mepunga Fearon and Zelemar Fever to contend with.
Mepunga Fearon ($15.00) has drawn box six for his second start at Cannington. Last week he found trouble on the first corner but ran home well to finish third. Although this is a tough heat, his run last week will give him a helping hand.
WA’s traveling sensation and reigning Perth Cup winner Dyna Nalin will jump as the $2.00 favourite from box seven. He is yet to win since returning from a working vacation, finishing third and fifth. Despite his dip in form he is too talented to let the opportunity to take a second Perth Cup pass him by.
The Linda Britton trained Gone To Heaven has the least experience in the fifth heat, with only eight starts to her name. She has won on seven occasions, bit at her last start she finished fourth after finding trouble throughout. The sentimental bitch jumping from box five definitely has the speed to contend in the race. She ran her personal best time of 30.23 from the same box.
Andrea Dailly’s Allen Deed is jumping from box four paying $5.00 for the win. He’s also inexperienced, with just 11 starts and six wins. He is yet to race at Cannington but muse be respected after his Silver Chief heat victory.
Dyna Beth for trainer Andrea Dailly is currently the $2.50 favourite and jumps from box three. Even without a win in her last four starts, the second place getter in the Melbourne Cup has enough class to take out the sixth heat of the Perth Cup.
Paul Stuart’s Fancy Dreamer has a perfect record from his six starts at Cannington and his fastest winning time of 30.22 from box six is the fastest of the WA competitors in the heat. He is currently paying $3.00 to win from box seven.
High Recall is a talented up and comer from the Britton kennels. She has won seven of her 10 starts, the majority of them in impressive times. The little black bitch ran her fastest time of 30.32 over the 530 metre trip two weeks ago. Her inexperience against this class of dogs will be her main issue.
Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale is set to jump as the $2.40 favourite from box six for Andrea Dailly. His first start at Cannington will prove a hard one, with Star Recall and Crump both past runners at Cannington and in good form.
Star Recall for Linda Britton is jumping from box five and paying $5.00 for the win. The little black bitch has won on five occasions from just eight starts. Her inexperience may work against her in this class, although her past four starts have all been wins at Mandurah. The jump in distance may also make things a little hard for the youngster.
Crump has returned to WA for his first Perth Cup series, after last travelling to WA for the Group 2 Derby. He won his Derby heat in an impressive 30.38, but he was unable to overcome box eight in the final finishing fourth to Boris Fields. Jumping from box four in the Perth Cup heats Crump is paying $3.80 to defeat this talented field.
Both Sveta Monelli and Prue Bale hold $2.50 favouritism in the last heat of the Perth Cup. Sveta Monelli has recently defeated the likes of On Coin and Zelemar Fever and is in career best form. She looks hard to beat from a WA perspective, even from box six.
Victorian Prue Bale has the red for only the second time in her career and she’s a last start winner at the Meadows from box four. Prue Bale will not be able to give Sveta Monelli much room if she wants to secure a rug in the Perth Cup the following week.
Awesome Project ($7.50) for Darren McDonald is searching for his sixth consecutive win from mostly outside box draws. Wearing the pink rug on Saturday night shouldn’t come as too much of a disappointment after his recent box draws and strength should be on his side after successfully competing over 600 metres at the Gosford racetrack.
Out of the 64 greyhounds that are competing in the $10,000 to the winner heats of the Perth Cup, only eight will earn their rugs and privilege to race in WA’s biggest event, the Perth Cup. The box drawn for the Perth Cup will be drawn out on Sunday the 2nd of February at the Greyhounds WA industry night.
As trainers prepare their greyhounds for the Perth Cup series they spare a thought for Brenda and John Crossley, who are unable to race their superstar On Coin, who fell two weeks ago and sustained a shoulder injury. On Coin would have been a serious contender in the Perth Cup heats.
An emotional Peter Riley has handled Iona Seven (6) to a win in the Group 1 Sportingbet Paws of Thunder. The Robert Britton trained bitch began well, registering a blistering 5.32 to the first mark. She never looked back and recorded a two length win in a personal best 29.56.
After numerous scratchings, Punch One Out (7) secured a start as first reserve. She started the race as favourite but was not able to match it with Iona Seven early, nor get her down the home straight. She ended up in second. Buckle Up Wes (4) didn’t begin as well as last week, but still mustered enough speed to be up near the leader. He duelled with Punch One Out for much of the race and was beaten by one length for third.
This is Iona Seven’s first Group 1 victory and she is sure to have made connections very proud. She was bred by Francois Sidrak and is owned by Michelle Sidrak. Her breeding is Swift Fancy-Iona Habit (Fenceline-Dancing Habit).
Lucy Wires (5) came out humming last week to go within a whisker of the track record and qualify the fastest for the Group 2 Sportingbet Summer Distance Plate at Wentworth Park on Saturday night. The final is Race 6 on the card at 9:10pm.
Comments: Norm Rinaldi (Trainer): “Fingers crossed. He’s had an interrupted preparation after he pulled a toenail out and we’ve been getting him back from that. From box one, we’ll see what happens. He went okay last week, he’s a little bit under-prepared but hopefully he’ll give a good showing. He’s over the toenail now and should give a good account of himself.”
Comments: Mark Swift (Trainer) – “He loves Wentworth Park, he always performs well there. I like him close where he is rather than out. I think Lucy Wires and Benarkin will lead him as he has no early speed but if he’s sitting in the top four he can run them down providing Lucy Wires doesn’t get too far ahead. When he went the 41.88 there a while back, his run home was better than hers (Lucy Wires) the other night. He made the wrong decision in his heat last week. He’s just got to let them not get too far ahead. They’re good dogs and you’ve just got to hope for a bit of luck.”
Comments: George Tsohalis (Owner) – “We are hoping. We had a setback after the third in the Summer Cup and we’ve nursed her along. She has had very little work coming into this series. To do well, she has to be up there early as you can’t give these dogs a start. If she can get in front of Destini Fireball and lob on the rail, I’m confident she can run a place. It depends on what Lucy Wires does, if she jumps out it’s all over. I’m extremely happy with the draw.”
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is – Led a long way last week and was run down by a more seasoned stayer. May well lead here again but there will be plenty waiting to pounce in the closing stages of the race.
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) – “Lucy Wires is my best chance I think based on last week and the time she ran. The box draw has turned the race upside down. The last two times she has come out good, has been from inside boxes. I think she will be very hard to beat if she gets a clear run in the first half of the race.”
Comments: Tammy Collins (Kennel Representative) – “It is a tough race, she’s going to need a bit of luck early and she’ll be in it. She missed the start last week but the six also came down on her and had her twisted sideways all the way into the corner. She doesn’t like a lot of pressure like that either, so if she can jump with them and sort of have a bit of room to muster she’s okay.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) - “He makes every second final, but doesn’t win a lot, but saying that he’s the type of dog that could run a place. He is going well at the moment. If it turns out to be one of those roughly run races, he’d be the dog you would be looking at as he will be coming home with a wet sail.”
Comments: Robert Britton (Trainer) - “I was absolutely wrapped with her run last week. I’m a bit disappointed she drew the eight. She hadn’t been to Wentworth Park over the distance and I expect she can be a big improver in the race if she can get a clean run.”
Comments: ARG opinion is: She hasn’t run a place at Wentworth Park and has not run anything flash at the track to date. Will struggle if she gets a start.
Best Wentworth Park Times
This will be an interesting final. Lucy Wires (5) isn’t generally known for leading and many will be wondering if she can do it three times in a row, after pinging the lids in a handicap event at The Meadows, and in last weeks heat. She has box five for the final, a box she hasn’t started from before. If she doesn’t lead, she will need to put herself in a position where she isn’t being knocked around by other dogs in the run to the first turn.
Destini Fireball (1) has been a grand Group race campaigner and he’s drawn the suitable inside draw. He was chasing Lucy Wires for a long way last week. He could very well lead from this draw, but he will have to contend with Benarkin (2) early as Benarkin showed great early speed to break 16 past the post the first time. He was eventually run down by Born Ali (8) who will be drawn on the extreme outside for this final. She won her first start over 720 metres at Wentworth Park last week in 42.35. She will have to run quicker then that to win this final.
Dyna Willow (4) was hampered early last week but if she leads this week, it will be hard for anyone to get hold of her on the line as she has recorded 41.92 on two previous occasions at the track. Set To Shine (3) needs to be up there early to be a chance. She has had a hampered preparation, but is getting fitter each run and did run third here in the Summer Cup in December.
Mimicking (7) will be back near the tail of the field early, but he always runs an honest race and depending on what happens in the run he can always run home for a place, as he has never been unplaced over this distance at Wentworth Park.
A big danger in the race is track specialist Smart Valentino (2). He would have gotten a lot closer to Lucy Wires last week but he made the wrong decision rounding the home turn and climbed all over the back of Destini Fireball. He likes the inside draw and will be looking to pounce down the Wentworth Park home straight.
The winner of this race will receive $40,000 for their efforts.
This year will witness the 57th running of the Paws of Thunder, one of the longest-established age classics in New South Wales.
The first event took place on 14 December 1957 and was taken out by the Victorian sprinter Idle Sign, trained by Bill Conroy. Idle Sign defeated Strange Guy by three-quarters of a length with Miss Stream third in a fair 32.1 for the 580 yards (530 metres) grass circuit at Wentworth Park.
That first race was marred by the late scratching of the favourite Half Fast -a great name if you think about it, or say it with the right inflection- by order of the stewards. They believed the greyhound was lame, and despite assurances by the owners, Half Fast was scratched. The miffed owners wanted to trial Half Fast after the last to prove he had been fit, but were refused permission, so they drove all night back to Grafton and trialled the dog the next morning. He broke the track record.
The race was known as the NSW St Leger from 1957 until 2000. The last winner of the NSW St Leger was Some Secret. The race has been known as the Paws of Thunder since 2001. The first winner under that name was Suellen Bale. In that year the race was worth $100,000 to the winner.
From 1957 to 1985 it was run over 580 yards, or 530 metres, on grass at Wentworth Park. With the remodelling of the Glebe track, it was run over 457 metres at Harold Park in 1986 (and won by Memories Gate). From 1987 (won by the first champion of the new course, See Yah) it has been back at Wentworth Park, on grass over 520 metres until 1992 (won by the Victorian Iago) and on loam from 1993 (won by Leon Mal) until the present.
When Is The Race Run
From inception in 1957 to 1999 it was run in either early or mid December. In 2000 it took place in November, then from 2001 to 2011 it was run in October. With a rescheduling to January as of 2013, the event was not held in 2012.
Biggest Winning Margins
This record stands to the credit of 2010 winner Lochinvar Marlow who scored by eight lengths. The 1999 winner and Wentworth Park specialist Stately Bird won by seven and a half lengths while Might Aussie was the best of the winners on the ‘old’ track, scoring by seven lengths in 1975.
Closest Winning Margins
Victorian Leprechaun Pace holds this record, scoring by just half a head from fellow Victorian Shanlyn Prince in 2007. Miss Warcroft downed Victorian star The Stripper by a head in 1963. Five other finals have been won by just a neck: 1969, Beau Brin; 1979, Lord Raleigh; 1990, Dixie Lass; 2002, Modern Assassin; and 2003, Winsome Shot.
Most Successful Trainer/s
Three trainers have managed to win the event twice: John Finn, with Winsome Shot in 2003 and Sheikha in 2013; Don McMillan with Leon Mal in 1993 and former Tasmanian Elle’s Commando in 1997, and Victorian trainer Robert Britton scored with Iago in 1992 and One Tree Hill in 2008.
Some Beaten Stars
Victorian star Tamaroo (second, 1960), Rocket Mac (second, 1961), The Stripper (second, 1963), Roman Earl (second, 1966), Benjamin John (third, 1968), Sammie Sparrow (fifth, 1968), The Smoother (second, 1969), Pied Rebel (third, 1969), Plunder Road (sixth, 1969), Black Diro (third, 1970), Cabernet (third, 1971), Benny McGrath (third, 1972), Woolley Wilson (fifth, 1972), Tegimi (second, 1978), Turbo Top (fourth, 1983), Legendary Kid (second, 1985), Camden’s Ghost (third, 1985), Master Hilo (second, 1989), Valley Mail (third, 1989), Warren’s Flyer (fifth, 1991), Kedo’s Millie (fourth, 1996), Bobniak (second, 1997), Flash Joan (second, 1999), Big Sam Banner (fifth, 2002), Elite State (third, 2003), Sun Hero (third, 2004), Paua To Burn (fifth, 2004), Black Enforcer (fourth, 2005), Betty’s Angel (third, 2007), One Tree Hill (fifth, 2007), Mantra Lad (second, 2008), El Galo (third, 2008), Oaks Road (second, 2011).
Ebony Minda from Tasmania won the second running, in 1958.
Benny McGrath smashed the long-standing track record when he won his semi-final of the St Leger in 1972, but found trouble and finished third to Likely Light in the final. Likely Light had equalled what was then the track record in winning her semi-final earlier in the night.
Sensational New Zealand sprinter Brother Bee was scratched from the 1974 final, and a year later the brilliant Alpha Brava was a late scratching. Call Me Hobbs became the first New Zealander to make the final and actually start, in 1976, running second to Palaver. Waiwera Marika, in 1998, finally notched a win for the Kiwis.
Zoom Top won the 1968 final, trained by Hec Watt. His son, Geoff, trained Busy’s Chief to win the 1974 final, after missing out with Benny McGrath and Woolley Wilson in the 1972 running.
Fine Arama notched its seventh win in just eight starts at Wentworth Park in taking out the 1977 final in race record time.
Promises Free won the 1981 final at only her third race start. She went on to win her first 14 races in succession.
The only dual finalist has been One Tree Hill, fifth in 2007 and the winner in 2008.
Lucy Wires excited the greyhound racing audience in her heat of the Group 2 Sportingbet Summer Distance Plate at Wentworth Park on Saturday night by going within one tenth of the track record for the staying distance. Naturally, she was the fastest heat winner and will head to the boxes as favourite for next week’s final. Here’s a look at how both heats panned out and the final box draw and field for next Saturday’s final.
Summer Distance Plate Heat One
Born Ali (7) was a three and three quarter length winner in the first heat in a time of 42.35
Benarkin (2) led the field by a long way down the back and it was a very strong effort for Born Ali to gun him down and run away with the win. Benarkin is still learning the staying caper and wasn’t disgraced, running 42.59.
Veteran Mimicking (4) was at the back end of the field early but worked his way into the run to run home over Set To Shine (8) for third. Set To Shine copped a check rounding the turn the first time but was able to qualify for another Group final at Wentworth Park.
Summer Distance Plate Heat Two
Trainer Robert Britton completed a training double in the staying heats with Lucy Wires (2) making her return to Wentworth Park a victorious one. She scorched around the Glebe circuit in 41.82, which was within a whisker of Miata’s 41.81 track record. The record looked under threat from the moment the boxes opened and Lucy Wires came out running. She is normally making her run from behind but on Saturday night she bounced on the bunny and it was all over.
Destini Fireball (7) tried his heart out chasing Lucy Wires but he was unable to make up any ground and wound up third.
Smart Valentino (3) was storming and home and it would have been interesting to see if he could have challenged Lucy Wires down the home straight but as he rounded the home turn he climbed all over the back of Destini Fireball, which halted his momentum. He was still able to overcome Destine Fireball to fill second place, seven lengths behind Lucy Wires.
Dyna Willow (4) had no luck in the run after being stuck midfield for the early part of the race. She was still able to run fourth and qualify for the final next week.
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