THE biggest night on the Western Australia greyhound racing calendar is set to get underway this Saturday with the running of the Group 1 Perth Cup (520m) and the Group 1 Galaxy (715m).
Despite a total of $250,000 set to be shared between the winners of both events, just two interstate greyhounds will be lining up to take home the title, Trip To Eden for leading Victorian trainer Jason Thompson and Bogie Bekim for South Australian mentor Ben Rawlings.
The lack of interstate raiders, albeit slightly disappointing, has not deprived either race of quality, with two sensational fields set to do battle for group 1 glory.
The Galaxy is race five on the card with Bogie Bekim (box eight) the favourite to salute after drawing favourably in the pink.
Meanwhile, the Perth Cup is a wide-open affair, with five runners under double figure odds, the favourite being Paul Stuart’s Astrozone (box four) at $3.10.
Stuart knows a thing or two about winning big features in his home state, having famously landed the Galaxy-Perth Cup double in 2013 with former superstars Miata and Dyna Nalin.
Stuart has a realistic chance of achieving the herculean feat again four years later, with Topology also looking a leading chance in the Galaxy final.
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Group 1 Galaxy – race five – 715m – 11:37pm AEDT
Jason Thompson is one of the country’s best trainers and he wouldn’t have sent Trip To Eden (4) across to WA for this series unless he thought he was capable of saluting.
The black dog came into the series with great form, winning his past three starts in Victoria including a 42.10 effort over Ring The Bell in a handicap race at The Meadows.
Trip To Eden finished one and a half lengths second behind Topology in his heat last Saturday night, but I am quite confident he can improve heading into the final as Cannington seems to be a track where dogs need a few looks.
Woodvale Flyer (5) is bred to be a star, being by Collision out of former top racer Hot Irish. The black bitch led all the way in 42.17 last week at her first go over the track and trip and is sure to be in this race for a long way on Saturday night.
Topology (6) looks set to get a nice cart into the race on the outside of Woodvale Flyer which should give him every chance of saluting. He has recorded a nippy 42.18 over the track and trip which would see him go close to winning.
Bogie Bekim (8) ran a nice second to Woodvale Flyer in his heat last week and prior to that he had been in sensational form, winning six of his past nine starts. Box eight won’t worry him at all and he is more than capable of winning.
Tips: 4 – 5 – 6 – 8
Group 1 Perth Cup – race seven – 520m – 12:17am AEDT
Pepper Fire (5) is in sensational form and she comes into the event following a fast 29.80 heat win. She showed terrific pace last week and a repeat should see her leading or sitting second in the early stages. If she can find the front they will have to be flying to run her down.
Single Sticka (3) ran a near record 29.59 in his heat and looks the one to beat in the final after drawing favourably in box three.
He has the super smart Astrozone (4) on his direct outside, but if he can getaway like he did last week then he will be incredible hard to beat.
Astrozone (4) is probably the fastest dog in the race, but he is drawn with plenty of pace around him which will make things tough in a final such as this.
Equanimity (1) is another speedy front runner which is drawn beautifully in the cherry which should give him every opportunity to capitalise and run a great race.
Tips: 5 – 3 – 4 – 1