SEVEN heats of the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup will be run on Thursday afternoon in the Hunter Valley, featuring some of the best one turn speed dogs from NSW and Victoria.
The current favourite to take out the series is Mexican runner Big Ticket which is currently the $5 top elect in Bet365’s all-in market. The son of Fabregas and Bella Portrait is one of the class runners in the series and has placed in four group finals around the circle. He will jump in the first heat and looks one of the safer bets on the card.
Jason Thompson’s Black Frenzy is a speed demon and races well around Maitland. The black chaser ran second behind Dyna Double in the Group 1 Australian Cup two starts back – few dogs in this series bring that kind of form into the race – with Bet365 installing him as the $6.50 second elect to take home next week’s $36,000 winner’s purse.
Temora Cup winner Marbo’s Magic is an exciting pup on the way up and he is rated an $8 shot, while class performers Aston Bolero and Magic Spring are currently $10 and $11 respectively.
For those looking for value in the series, a couple of roughies to follow are:
Your Shout Punk at $21: Electrifying beginner which clocked 25.04 at his debut here last week. Should improve off that run and will give his supporters a sight at nice odds throughout the series.
One Samuel at $51: Drawn in a very tough heat, but he is a flying machine when on song and the track record holder here at Maitland. Will need a lot of luck to make the final but at $51 he is worth a small wager.
Norm The Storm at $51: Another drawn in a tricky race but is well placed in box seven. He should get plenty of time to wind up from the outside and should be finishing strongly down the outside. If he makes it through his heat and draws well in the final he is a genuine hope.
Maja Mahi Mahi at $101: Down on her recent form but is more than capable if right. She is one of only a handful of bitches to break the 25 second mark at the track and if she comes up with a good box in the final she could win the prize for Charlie Lamb.
Lets take a look at the main chances in each heat:
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat one – 4:23pm
The first heat of the Group 2 Maitland Cup kicks off at 4:23pm, with Victorian raider Big Ticket the $1.35 favourite from box four. Trained by Steve Clarke, the 38 kilogram powerhouse has won 22 of his 41 starts in Victoria and has placed in a stack of feature races including the Group 1 Hobart Thousand, the Group 2 Warragul Cup and the Group 2 Shepparton Cup.
His biggest threat appears to be the talented Spiders Brother off box one, but Big Ticket is a class animal and it is very hard to see him being beaten. There is no speed drawn on his outside so he only needs to step on terms and get clear room early – if he gets that he will be winning by the length of the straight.
One Hill is boxed well in the eight and is a very good dog on his day, however I do think he will be hard pressed to see him going past the four.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Big Ticket at $1.35 with Bet365
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat two – 4:39pm
Mahailia is a tiny 26 kilogram bitch – not the type of dog you would expect to excel on a big one turn track such as Maitland – but she loves the Hunter Valley circuit with three wins from as many starts. The daughter of Collision and super producer Dulcinea has brilliant early speed and is drawn to perfection in box two – she only needs to do what she has done at her previous starts here and she should be winning.
Jack Walker is hit or miss at the beginning but is a very fast dog when he gets the start right. He should get a nice run into the race with Mahailia and is under the care of master trainer Jason Thompson which is a massive advantage.
Disturbance clocked an airborne 24.97 here last week, but he will have to overcome box five to salute. If he can begin in 7.68 like he did last week he will be right up there early and few chasers would be able to keep up with a dog carving those times out in front.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Mahailia at $2.50 with Bet365
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat three – 5:04pm
The third heat is one of the toughest to pick a winner with a stack of chances. The current favourite is Black Frenzy for Jason Thompson at $2.20 which has come up with box two. The son of Fabregas and Rose Baby bombed the start last time out in a heat of the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, but is generally a swift beginner capable of running scorching sectionals. He has run 24.93 here over the track and trip and would only need to run up to that time to win.
Ritza Lenny loves the inside and is a very promising youngster. He won last start at Sandown in 29.48 and is is well suited back to a one turn circuit. He does take a stride or two to hit top gear, so he will need to avoid early trouble as he can’t afford to give chasers such as Black Frenzy a start.
Norm The Storm is first up in over a month but is well drawn out in the seven and he should get plenty of room to wind up into a nice spot. He is yet to race at Maitland but he has a big turn of foot and it is a safe bet to say he has had a look at the track in preparation for this series.
Tilly’s Boy won the Group 3 New Sensation at his most recent start at Wentworth Park. He has good early toe but will need to go every bit as good as his only other start at Maitland where he clocked 25.07 late last year.
Suggested bet: PLACE bet on Norm The Storm @ $2.20 with Bet365
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat four – 5:22pm
Mambo’s Magic could not have been any more impressive than at his debut last week, scoring in 24.86 from box seven. He moves into the five this week but he has good early dash and if he gets near the lead in the initial stages he will prove very hard to hold out.
George Sannette loves racing at Maitland and is ideally drawn in box eight. He is a slow beginner and takes a while to wind up so it is hard to tip him with great confidence in a race like this.
Aston Ebert is a new edition to Jason Mackay’s kennel and ran second at his debut over the track and trip in fair time last Thursday. He will need to find a fair bit to be competitive based on that run, however experience says Mackay wouldn’t have a dog in this series unless he thought it could win, so it must be respected.
Black Bordeaux relishes the inside and has been in consistent form lately.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Marbo Magic at $2.10 with Bet365
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat five – 5:42pm
Another Jason Thompson-prepared runner is the favourite to win heat five, with Aston Bolero set to debut over the track and trip. The son of Fabregas and Aston Dream excels on the one turn track down south and is ideally positioned in box two where he has won three times and been placed twice from five attempts.
Tullabong Rock looks a very promising youngster and has recorded a dazzling 24.87 over the track and trip. The only concerns are that he is giving away a lot of experience to some of his more seasoned rivals and will have to overcome box five to score.
Berzerk is a class Victorian, now in the care of Jason Mackay. He has won 18 races down south and has gone well around the u turn tracks in the Garden State. Hasn’t shown his best in a little while but this is a drop in class on his most recent runs.
Barking Bad has got a stack of ability and is well drawn in box eight. He got a bit distracted when winning at Richmond last time out and has since passed a clearance trial at Maitland in 25.25. He will need to find a bit on the clock to win this but he is capable of doing so.
All A Miss has clocked some flying times over the sprint trip at Richmond and Gosford so she must be respected at her debut over the Maitland 450m.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Aston Bolero at $2.40 with Bet365
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat six – 6:02pm
Magic Spring is an absolute speed demon around Maitland with a sensational 24.74 personal best to his name. Prior to his last start he had been down on form, but bounced back in terrific style at Wentworth Park to lead all the way in 29.93. He should get every chance to lead here with two slow beginners drawn either side of him and if he can find the bunny I don’t think anything in this race will be able to run him down.
Maja Mahi Mahi has let her form slip in recent runs but she is a fast greyhound on her day and is more than capable of winning a race like this. Box five is no help but she can show early toe and has broken the elusive 25 mark here in the past. She has a slow beginner on her inside – obviously she needs a few things to go her way – but $3.75 for the place is a nice bet.
Nangar Thunder is trained by one of the best in Dave Irwin and he has a massive motor. One out he would probably beat every dog in this race, but that’s not how racing works and on Thursday he finds himself awkwardly drawn in box four. He is a slow beginner which is going to make things tough as well. Can win but will need a lot of luck to get the breaks.
Sandave Prince holds the track record at Bulli and he a very fast dog. He is another slow beginner which will need luck, however he is well drawn on the fence to drive through on the first bend and be competitive.
Suggested bets: WIN bet on Magic Spring at $2.90 with Bet365, PLACE bet on Maja Mahi Mahi at $3.75 with Bet365.
Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup – heat seven – 6:22pm
Your Shout Punk is a lid pinger and is better suited back to this distance range after recently racing over 520m at Wentworth Park. He debuted over the track and trip last week and clocked a fast 25.04 in his first race in almost a month so expect him to find a bit on that run.
Bob’s Uncle is the quickest dog in the race and was far from disgraced when beaten here in 24.86 last start. The 450m trip is ideal, however his box manners are a concern and is giving away a lot of experience with just six starts to his name. If he gets a clear run in the first 50m he will blow them away, but hard to tip him with great confidence off box five.
Aston Adele put in a nice run here last start when winning in 25.12. Yet to start from the outside of the track but she generally has good early speed so should have no trouble crossing the field and running into some money.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Your Shout Punk at $2.40 with Bet365