2015 Group 2 Ballarat Cup- free tips, betting preview & best odds

CHAMPION sprinter Fernando Bale returns to the racetrack on Friday night for the final of the Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450 metres).

The son of Kelsos Fusileer and Chloe Allen has drawn box three for the $75,000-to-the-winner feature and is the $1.30 favourite with online bookmaker Crownbet. He comes into the race following a sensational 24.88 heat success where he defeated track record holder Over Limit by four lengths and looks a moral to record his 35th career victory at start 43.

An 11-time Group winner, a win in the Ballarat Cup will take Fernando Bale’s career earnings to a mind boggling $1,418,110 – an average of $32,979 each start.

The only other runner given a chance as far as bookmakers are concerned is Shared Equity, which is currently $7. The Angela Langton-trained bitch recorded a quicker first section than Fernando Bale in her speedy 25.03 heat victory last week, however she will have to contend with a less than ideal draw out in box eight.

Magic Spring ($31 with Sportsbet) is sure to improve on his 25.36 heat win which was his first start in Victoria for new trainer Kel Greenough, but the youngster will have to overcome box six to feature. Nevertheless, the son of Spring Gun and Fascinate Marina is a star in the making, despite having just turned two years of age he has already won eight races at Wentworth Park and has set a phenomenal 24.74 track record at Maitland (450 metres).

Below is the form of each runner in this year’s race, with comments and tips from Australian Racing Greyhound‘s form analyst, Brad Bugeja.

2015 Group 2 Ballarat Cup (450 metres) – 9:28pm AEDT

Box One – Alpha Zeus
Brindle Dog – 30.1kg – March 2013
Collision x Queen Of Cyprus
Prize money: $51,960
Trainer: Jeff Britton
Career: 44: 10-10-3
From box: 7: 3-0-0
T/D: 4: 3-0-0
T/D Best: 25.28
Career Highlights: WON Sandown Park 29.58, 29.71, The Meadows 30.17

“He has always shown great talent but in recent weeks he appears to have gone to the next level with some wins in very strong company. He is better suited to a wider draw but last week he was able to step well and push through early from an inside draw and settle in the top two and he was just too strong in the run to the line when posting a more than handy 25.28. Tonight he is taking on some real stars and he can’t afford to make any mistakes from the inside draw, great effort to qualify but I can’t see him making an impact.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $34 with Bet365

Box Two – Rivergum Drive
Dark Brindle Dog – 31.7kg – October 2012
Dyna Tron x Isseymiyake
Prize money: $57,765
Trainer: Kel Greenough
Career: 41: 14-4-5
From box: 3: 2-0-1
T/D: 3: 2-0-0
T/D Best: 24.90
Career Highlights: WON Bulli 26.15, Wentworth Park 29.72, 29.82, Ballarat 24.90, Sandown Park 29.35, 29.36, The Meadows 29.92

“Absolute beast and when given clear running room, he is capable of matching it with the very best. Last week he was slow to begin but he picked himself up quite well and he was able to settle in a forward spot, from there on he was always going to prove too strong. Tonight he faces a much tougher task but if he happens to come out well, he should be able to settle in the top four early and he could charge home into the quinella spot.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $13 with Bet365

Box Three – Fernando Bale
White and Dark Brindle Dog – 30.0kg – March 2013
Kelsos Fusileer x Chloe Allen
Prize money: $1,293,110
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 42: 34-3-2
From box: 8: 6-0-1
T/D: 3: 3-0-0
T/D Best: 24.84
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, 2015 Group 1 National Derby, 2015 Group 1 National Sprint Championship, 2015 Group 1 Peter Mosman Classic, 2015 Group 1 Harrison-Dawson, 2015 Group 1 Maturity Classic, 2015 Group 1 Topgun, 2015 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, 2015 Group 2 Bendigo Cup, 2015 Group 2 Traralgon Cup, 2015 Group 3 Collins Memorial, 2ND 2015 Group 1 Melbourne Cup

“Superstar who just keeps on winning and doing everything right in his races. After a luckless second in the Melbourne Cup, he was able to bounce back into form with a sizzling 24.88 win here last week. He pretty much explodes soon after box rise and with the lack of speed drawn around him, he should be afforded a clear run in the initial stages and if that is the case, he should be winning quite easily. He is not very attractive odds but he does appear to be a moral and I think if he keeps racing past Easter there is every chance he could give the two million dollar mark a nudge.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $1.30 with Crownbet

Box Four – Ballerino
Black Dog – 36.2kg – November 2012
Premier Fantasy x Come On Luann
Prize money: $77,610
Trainer: Joe Borg
Career: 36: 13-6-9
From box: 7: 2-1-1
T/D: 4: 1-1-1
T/D Best: 25.70
Career Highlights: FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Launching Pad, 2015 Group 2 Warrnambool Classic, 2015 Group 2 McKenna Memorial

“Classy type who has always done his best racing over the 500m journey, however last week he was able to show some good mid race dash and he caught the eye with a strong 25.70 heat win. The time clearly isn’t all that impressive but he did hit the line quite well and with a clear passage he is capable of getting down to the 25.10 mark, however he can be slow to begin and he will need to negotiate through a lot of traffic.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $101 with Sportsbet

Box Five – Unlawful Entry
Brindle and White Dog – 31.0kg – December 2013
Knocka Norris x She Ain’t Late
Prize money: $100,360
Trainer: Brett Bravo
Career: 18: 9-0-3
From box: 3: 0-0-2
T/D: 3: 2-0-1
T/D Best: 25.25
Career Highlights: WON 2015 Group 2 Great Chase, 2015 Listed Cup Night Sprint, FINALIST 2015 Group 3 Silver Bullet

“In recent months he has gone from strength to strength and he capped off a brilliant stretch of form with a powerful 25.25 heat win last week. If he was going to get a clear run, he would definitely be a chance of sneaking into the placings, however he doesn’t like to be crowded in his races and with the early speed drawn on his outside, he is likely to get squeezed out in the initial stages. Great talent and deserves to be in a race like this but I can’t see him featuring from this draw.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $23 with William Hill

Box Six – Magic Spring
Black Dog – 33.4kg – September 2013
Spring Gun x Fascinate Marina
Prize money: $39,296
Trainer: Kel Greenough
Career: 23: 12-1-2
From box: 2: 1-0-0
T/D: 1: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 25.36
Career Highlights: WON Maitland 24.74 TR

“Star NSW speedster and he looked ultra impressive when scoring a smart 25.36 heat win last week. He had to work quite hard in the initial stages to lead in his heat and that probably cost him a couple of lengths on the clock. Three runs back he did break the Maitland 450m track record, so if he was to reproduce that type of form, he would give the 25 flat mark a little nudge. He probably can’t roll the favourite but he could test him early and he could fill the quinella spot.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $31 with Sportsbet

Box Seven – Amaro Bale
Red Brindle Dog – 31.2kg – March 2013
Kinloch Brae x Princess Bale
Prize money: $91,055
Trainer: Andrea Dailly
Career: 60: 15-14-8
From box: 7: 2-1-0
T/D: 2: 1-1-0
T/D Best: 25.23
Career Highlights: 3RD 2015 Group 2 Geelong Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 3 SA Derby, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Silver Chief, 2015 Group 1 Harrison-Dawson

“Extremely honest chaser and he used his rails draw to advantage when posting a speedy 25.23 heat win last week. His first section was right up there with Fernando and if he pinged the lids he could cause some havoc early, the only concern is that he had the red last week, so I don’t think he can come out like that again from the wider draw. Another big concern is that there is a heap of early speed on his outside, so he may get crunched in the first 50m.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $26 with Crownbet

Box Eight – Shared Equity
Black Bitch – 28.2kg – February 2013
Brett Lee x West On Bluebird
Prize money: $116,275
Trainer: Angela Langton
Career: 43: 21-3-2
From box: 4: 1-1-0
T/D: 1: 1-0-0
T/D Best: 25.03
Career Highlights: 2ND 2015 Group 2 Bendigo Cup, 3RD 2015 Group 2 Warrnambool Classic, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Adelaide Cup, 2015 Group 2 Horsham Cup, 2015 Group 2 Geelong Cup, 2015 Group 3 Silver Bullet

“Explosive talent and she absolutely shanghaied out last week when posting a dazzling 25.03 heat win. She posted the fastest first section last week and if she can repeat that she might be able to cross the great Fernando Bale, however if she hesitates just a little, she will have no chance of crossing and she will be posted wide for the majority of the trip. It all comes down to how she steps but if she can come out running, she becomes a serious contender.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $7 with Crownbet

1st Reserve – Over Limit
Black Dog – 29.2kg – September 2012
Cosmic Rumble x Nova Surf
Prize money: $40,470
Trainer: Glenn Rounds
Career: 21: 14-3-1
From box: N/A
T/D:4: 3-1-0
T/D Best: 24.77 TR
Career Highlights: WON Ballarat 24.77 TR, FINALIST 2015 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg

“Injury plagued chaser who really could have been anything. Two starts back he returned to racing with a dazzling 24.97 Warrnambool win and I think he would be the only serious threat to the champ if he gained a start.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $6 with Sportsbet

2nd Reserve – Shared Bonus
Black Dog – 32.5kg – February 2013
Brett Lee x West On Bluebird
Prize money: $65,045
Trainer: Jeff Britton
Career: 51: 18-8-12
From box: N/A
T/D: 6: 2-2-1
T/D Best: 25.22
Career Highlights: 3RD 2015 Group 2 Healesville Cup, FINALIST 2015 Group 2 Horsham Cup

“Can hit the ground running in his races but he ran the race of his life last week and it still wasn’t good enough to score. Unlikely to gain a run but I don’t think he can threaten even if he did.”

Odds to win the Ballarat Cup: $26 with Bet365

Top Four: 3 – 6 – 2 – 8

Suggested Bets:

Trifecta: 3/2,6,8/2,6,8 ($6 for 100%)

Exacta: 3/2,6,8 ($3 for 100%)

Quinella: 3 to rove with 2,6,8 ($3 for 100%)

Trifecta: 3/2,6,8/Field ($18 for 100%)