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.