Geelong is the epicentre of Group racing in Victoria over the next fortnight as they conduct their Group Two Geelong Cup Series over the 460 metre trip.
The series will kick off with eight heats this Friday night, showcasing plenty of quality.
$45,000 awaits the connections of the winner of next Friday evening’s final and, with greyhounds needing to win to advance, this week’s heats are sure to be crackers.
Here is a look at the main chances in each heat;
Race 3 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 1 – 7:42pm
The first heat sees Brooke Ennis’ powerful chaser Warrior King (2) as the headline act. The Bendigo Cup winner looks to be very well drawn and will be very hard to hold out over the concluding stages of the race. It is his first start at the track but he oozes class and is the one to beat.
El Grand Seal (8) looks to be the likely leader in the race and will give them something to catch. The Rob Britton trained bitch has won one from two at Geelong with a person best of 25.59. She handles the outside boxes well and was a recent Group Two Healesville Cup finalist. She could give plenty of cheek up front.
Dyna Yemen (1) is an exciting youngster who has won seven of his 11 starts. He defeated some seasoned dogs last time out at The Meadows in 29.87 and comes into strong consideration here, particularly if he is left alone early.
Crusade Marjen (3) is undefeated at Geelong in three starts and has also won two from two out of box three. While he is yet to really flatter on the clock, that form is hard to ignore.
Race 4 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 2 – 8:02pm
Darren McDonald’s flying machine Awesome Project (1) takes centre stage in the second heat. The winner of 25 from 49 starts made a successful return from a seven week layoff with an impressive four length win at Warragul just over a week ago. He has a terrific record from box one with six wins from nine starts and should be winning this one.
Lonesome Pirate (8) has won two from five at Geelong including a personal best of 25.50. His form is a little below his best at present but he has a penchant for the track and should be thereabouts.
Waymore’s Blues (6) is another who may not be racing at his best but has the runs on the board at Geelong with a best of 25.56. If he gets a little bit of space early, he may be some sort of chance.
Race 5 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 3 – 8:20pm
Wayne Vassallo’s Azza Azza Azza (3) looks the dog to beat in heat three. The winner of 16 from 22 has also saluted in three of his four Geelong appearances, including a zippy 25.39 effort. He is the main player here.
Exciting New South Wales chaser Silent Effective (6) will provide the main competition in this heat. The Darren Sultana trained conveyance has won 12 from 21 and has a very powerful burst late in his races. Luck in running may decide his fate but he can certainly gallop.
Group One winner Ollie Bale (5) has not been winning out of turn of late but he does have experience at Geelong and is obviously blessed with plenty of ability. He will need to find a forward position to be a genuine winning hope and is probably going to need to improve on his personal best of 25.82 to take this out.
Race 6 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 4 – 8:42pm
Darren McDonald’s precocious dog Over Limit (5) adds excitement to the fourth heat. The young flying machine has won six of his seven career starts including a swift 25.44 at his only Geelong outing.
National Time (2), a reserve for the Adelaide Cup final, will also be one of the big players in the fourth heat. He led for a long way at Angle Park last week and has been to Geelong before.
Musquin Bale (6) is a proven Group race performer who will take a power of catching should he lob on the bunny. He has his first Geelong start here but oozes class.
Race 7 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 5 – 9:03pm
Kelly Bravo rugs up Top Secret (8) in the fifth heat and he comes into the race chasing his third straight win. He has also won both of his starts at Geelong with a best of 25.68. He should be leading and probably winning.
Dyna Nico (1) looks well boxed and has the pace to cause a few of these a major headache. She has impressed of late winning three of her past four and she makes her Geelong debut in this race. She has to be considered.
Buckle Up Mason (3) is a winner of 25 races who is rarely far away from the major end of the spoils. His pace should see him sitting just off the leaders early and given a good crack at them swinging for home.
Fort Allen (7) has not won since May but does have a good record at Geelong, including a best of 25.65. He looms as a knockout chance.
Race 8 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 6 – 9:27pm
In what is a quality heat, the Brooke Ennis trained My Bro Fabio (5) is the star attraction. The recent Canberra Cup winner has a career record of 18 wins from 37 starts and has notched up victories in seven of his last eight outings. He should be good enough to win again in this one.
Crackerjack Dak (4) returns from an unsuccessful tilt at the Adelaide Cup and has a good record at Geelong. He stopped the clock at 25.54 here back in July which is the sort of run that would put him in the hunt here.
There’s A Earn (3) is a winner of 11 from 22 who is in the astute Darren Mc Donald kennel. He has won at Geelong in the past in 25.78 and is a definite each way proposition.
Race 9 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 7 – 9:43pm
Marcus Joe (3) looks to be in good form again and is a huge chance of landing the seventh heat. He ran a solid second to My Bro Fabio last time out albeit seven lengths astern of the winner. He looks to have a bit of class on a few of his opponents here.
Nockabout Auusie (6) can be risky at box rise but when he lobs on the lure, he takes a ton of tossing. He has won two at Geelong including a 25.69 effort. If he pings the lids , he is a massive chance.
Allen Malik (7) has made multiple Group finals and can never be discounted. He will be doing his best work at the end of the race and is one for the exotics.
Race 10 – 2014 Geelong Gold Cup Heat 8 – 7:42pm
The final heat features boom greyhound Luca Neveelk (2). The winner of 19 from 23 won his only start at Geelong a month ago in 25.76. He has been freshened up for an all out assault on the Cup and should be getting the chocolates in this one.
Healesville Cup winner Size Does Matter (3) has been racing in great hear for Brooke and Jamie Ennis since he landed in their kennels in August. He finished second at Geelong last week and , if there is a concern over him , it can be his tardy box manners. He has more than enough ability if he can leave the traps on terms.
Dream It (5) is another from the Ennis kennel who has his share of talent. He also tends to leave the boxes midfield or worse but will be motoring home in the straight.
Wild Douglas (8) loves a wide draw and also loves Geelong. He has won two from three at the track including a 25.62 effort in May. He is the rough backers hope in this final heat.