BRAD Hill Billy stamped himself as the greyhound to beat in this Sunday’s Dubbo Gold Cup (516m) final with stunning track record run in his heat on Monday night.
Stepping from box five in the second of four heats, the son of Kinloch Brae and Break Even was only fairly into stride but was able to muster quickly in the run to the first turn, railing underneath the leader Part Of Me (box seven) to take control of the race through the catching pen.
Once on the bunny it was a case of times and margins, with the Ray Smith-trained powerhouse charging away from the field to score by five and three quarter lengths over All A Blaze (box one) in a mind boggling 29.30 – shaving .29 of a second off Tricky Jade’s former time standard set in April 2014.
The black dog, whelped in January 2013, was the class runner of the series, having raced consistently at group level throughout the majority of his career. His career highlights include wins in the 2014 Group 2 Launceston Cup and the 2015 Group 2 Bob Payne Sprint Sprint, while he also placed second in the 2016 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg and the 2016 Group 2 Richmond Derby, third in the 2015 Group 2 Shootout and was a finalist in the Group 1 Topgun.
Also running the hands off the clock in Monday’s heats was Charlie Lamb’s One Hill which recorded a stunning 29.49 triumph from box five. The blue fawn greyhound was slow out of the boxes but was able to work himself into a forward spot by circling around the field in the run to the line the first time, before switching back to the fence to slot in behind the leading division around the first turn.
Once in a prominent spot the regally-bred son of Surf Lorian and One Tree Hill slipped into another gear, driving through along the fence down the back to assume the lead effortlessly. Despite a challenge from the constant Suzi Cargo (box six) swinging for home, One Hill was never in real danger of being beaten as he strode to the line two lengths clear.
The classy Black Driftwood, a recent finalist in the Group 2 Maitland Cup, started as the favourite in the first heat, but was never in contention after an ordinary start.
When the lids flew open Spacecraft (box three) and Awesome Danny (box four) took up the early lead, going stride for stride in the initial stages, with the latter gaining the upper hand down the back.
Meanwhile, rails runner Second Line was a clear last around the first turn, but was able to work his way through the pack along the inside, moving up to challenge the leader around the home turn and bursting through along the fence, recording a one length win over Awesome Danny in a slick 30.08.
The final qualifier was taken out by another box one runner, with Total Platinum using the inside draw to perfection, defeating Tullabong Honey by a length at the finish in a respectable 30.13.
The win was the eighth triumph for the daughter of Premier Fantasy and Total Class, with the black bitch out to secure the biggest victory of her 39 start career on Sunday evening.
The Dubbo Gold Cup is set to be run on Sunday, with the final worth a sizeable $15,000 to the winner.
Watch Brad Hill Billy (5) winning his heat in track record time.