Punk pair packing plenty of punches heading into Cup heats

JIMMY Coyle is heading into this Saturday’s Group 3 Chairman’s Cup (720m) heats with two chances of qualifying for the $25,000 feature on September 10.

Coyle owns and trains littermates Funky Punk and Tanks Punk, who have won 21 races between them. Both are yet to win over the testing ‘half mile’ trip at headquarters.

The first to compete on Saturday night will be Funky Punk, which has drawn box seven in race one. The black bitch will be having her third start over the staying distance and has come up against a superb field including Victorian bitch Come On Fantasy (box two), classy campaigner Miss Foxy Lee (box three), National Distance Championship representative Cardiology (box four), last start winner More In Store (box five) and Nangar Flame (box six) who is striving for four wins on the trot.

“It shocked me to see so many good dogs in the one heat, but they can’t all win and all I know is we will be in there trying,” Coyle told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“I think she should lead from box seven as she likes it out wide and I am hoping she will get a clear run early – last week she didn’t lead and she baulked at the leader which cost her a bit of ground.

“She is fit and healthy and this is probably her last chance over the 700 – this will be her third go over the trip so if she doesn’t run it out well on Saturday night then we will be stepping her back down to the other distances.”

While Coyle concedes Funky Punk has a tough task in front of her, he rates Tanks Punk, a winner of four of his past five starts, a big shot of taking out his qualifier at his debut over the 700.

Among the brindle dog’s recent wins are three scorching victories at Gosford – two over 600m in 34.90 and 34.61 – and one over the sprint trip in 29.60.

“He is flying at the moment.

“He has had plenty of 600s leading up to this, but unfortunately about two weeks ago I had to scratch him because he tore a dewclaw.

“That set us back a week so I am not sure how that will effect him at this stage, but he did win well at Gosford on Tuesday night over the 500.

“He has a fantastic run home – I trialled him last week at Richmond and he ran 35.77 with a 15.50 run home which is pretty smart and I wouldn’t expect the additional 100m to do him any harm.

“He has drawn an easier heat compared to the other bitch and although Whittaker is in the race as well as a couple of other seasoned stayers I think he will go well.”

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By Spring Gun out of Punk Angel, Coyle rates Tanks Punk as the best of the two, despite his sister having won three more races throughout her career.

“The best race dog of the pair is Tanks Punk without a doubt – he can do anything that dog.

“Funky Punk is a good little trier, but she needs things to go her way sometimes whereas Tanks Punk can create his own luck.”

For Coyle, a win in next week’s final would be a massive thrill, having bred the litter himself from his prolific producer, Punk Angel.

While another litter sister, Good Odds Angel, won last year’s Group 3 Laurie Healion at The Gardens under the tutelage of Frank and Tracey Hurst, Coyle is yet to prepare one of his own breed to win a feature race.

Another member of the line, Evil Punk (Collision x Punk Angel) came agonisingly close for Coyle on numerous occasions, running second in the Group 1 National Derby and the Group 2 Richmond Derby, while he also qualified for the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg, the Group 1 Vic Peters and the Group 2 Bob Payne Spring Sprint.

“It would be fantastic to finally win a race with the breed,” Coyle said.

“I have had a heap of chances at it but haven’t quite managed to win one yet… Frankie Hurst has one of the dogs from the Spring Gun litter and won one straight away, but it would be nice to have a turn at it myself.

“Hopefully one of these two can finally do it for me.”

Group 3 Chairman’s Cup – all-in market

Cardiology – $6
Miss Foxy Lee – $9
Come One Fantasy – $9
More In Store – $9
Hooter Harnett – $9
Whittaker – $9
Katie The Weapon – $11
Lovelace – $11
Tommy The Weapon – $15
Nangar Flame – $15
Trending – $21
Whispering Soul – $21
Lioness Lulu – $21
Cawbourne Bright – $21
My Boy Brodie – $26
Ringer – $26
Medliena Girl – $41
Carjack Arrest – $51
Tanks Punk – $67 with Bet365
Young Gun – $81
Olivia Benson – $101
Funky Punk – $126
Iona Muffin Top – $126
Ricky Boy – $201
Bambi On Ice – $501