Wagga & District Greyhound Racing Club are gearing up for their biggest night of the year with the $10,000 to the winner Graeme Hull Memorial Cup to be run and won on Sunday night. The time honoured event has attracted a sensational field for the 2013 running with club President Darren Hull expecting a record crowd to converge on the showground.
“If the weather is nice and clear, I think we can get over 1,000 people on course and that would go close to topping the records”, Hull explained, “It is the main attraction in the area over the long weekend and each year we get people coming along who have never been to the dogs in their life”.
The event is named after Graeme Hull, Darren’s father who was a pivotal member in the success of the club and track, “Dad was involved in the industry for over 40 years and was the long term president at the old North Wagga track and also when it located to the showground in 1975”.
Graeme Hull was also a major sponsor of the Wagga Cup, stepping in when the club was in a dire stretch to bring it back to its brilliant best, “He was the sponsor of the event for the past 20 years with the family business Graeme Hull Smash Repairs which is quite a large business in the area”.
This year the race will take on a different tone with the event renamed the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup after his unfortunate passing last year. With the event carrying obvious sentimental meaning for the Hull family, Darren is pleased that the race has attracted some top quality young sprinters.
“This year is really a city class field and is without a doubt the best Wagga Cup field we have seen both with the quality of dogs, and the trainers”.
“From the six heats less than three lengths covered the winning times so it’s shaping up to be a great event”.
In a highly talented field, Darren is keen to see whether the Michael Doggett prepared Grovebrook Ruler can emulate his phenomenal performance in last week’s heats
“I like the way he is drawn in the three. He was very impressive last week coming off the pace to win in the fastest time (30.37 seconds)”.
Despite his dazzling performance at his track debut, Grovebrook Ruler will face a hard task with the powerful Lord kennel qualifying two runners into the final; Cawbourne Classy and Cawbourne Sparky who both took out their heats last week and have drawn in boxes five and six respectively. Both sprinters are sub-30 Wentworth Park victors and possess enough early speed to be prominent in the event.
Also with two in the event is Victorian trainer Michael Carter who has Jimmy Lane and Lilly Lane engaged from boxes two and four. Jimmy Lane took out his heat last week in a good 30.53 seconds whilst Lilly Lane was one and a half lengths behind Grovebrook Ruler in her heat.
Darren also gives rails runner One Inch Punch a great chance in the event after his 30.52 seconds heat win and particularly after coming up with the coveted rails alley.
The other major races on the action packed card are the Warren’s Flyer Memorial, the Cup Consolation, and the Butch Pertzel Memorial where Darren is full of praise for Cudal trainers Amanda and Glen Ginn who have qualified four runners into the final. The brother and sister team put the polish on heat winners Wrapped Tight (23.48 seconds), Major Movo (23.20 seconds), Vayetra (23.21 seconds) as well as Midnight Ivy who was a runner up behind Vayetra with the kennelmates drawing in boxes one, six, seven and four respectively for the decider.
“It was incredible. They came down last week with four dogs who had never seen the track and got three winners and a second in the heats- it is unheard of”, Darren said.
Darren rates fastest qualifier Pebbles Knew the one to beat for Robyn Goodwin after the daughter of High Earner clocked a blistering 22.95 seconds at her track debut, however gives the Ginn runners a great shot, in particular Vayetra who took out his heat in dominant fashion.
“Vayetra’s run was exceptional last week after he nearly got knocked down running through the catching pen. How he got back up and won is beyond me and I think he is drawn well out wide in the seven”, Darren explained.
Ginn herself was delighted with the run of Vayetra but also her other three ‘babies’ who gave it their all to make it through this week.
“They made me so proud last week making it through to the final. We bred, whelped, reared and now train them so it makes it so much more special”.
The four brothers are by Hesa Felon out of Miss Bliss with the talented litter winning 46 races between them thus far. Miss Bliss has been a great producer with her first litter to Bush Legend scoring 41 victories on the race track.
Amanda and Glen live next door to one another and train their greyhounds on a combined 4.5 acre property with the racing industry certainly bred into their blood.
“We used to live in Queensland and our father Bobby Ginn was a top trainer of trotters up there but then when we moved down to Sydney we didn’t have the room for the horses so that’s how we got into training dogs.
“Glen has had them for 35 years and I grew up helping him and dad with the dogs. I got out of them for a few years but then started helping Glen again and from there I fell in love with them and started racing and breeding them”.
With the long four hour drive in front of them this Sunday, the Ginn siblings have a great shot at the $3,000 prize however Amanda also rates Pebbles Knew as the hardest to beat in this week’s final, “The three has speed when it hits the ground and is the one to beat”
“Whoever jumps will win it and whoever wins it we will be happy for them. We would love to win it but if we don’t there is always another race. Win, lose or draw its ok as long as they make it around safe”.
Ginn would also like to thank the hospitality shown by the Wagga & District Greyhound Racing Club last week when traveling to the track for the first time, “ I can’t commend them highly enough. Everyone made us feel welcome and even came up to congratulate us and thank us for coming up,” Amanda enthused.
“We will definitely be going back there in the future”.
The first race at Wagga will jump at 5:02pm with the Club going above and beyond to ensure everyone has a fantastic time. Available on the night will be free pony rides and a jumping castle for the kids whilst the club will also be giving away a free betting voucher for the punters in the crowd.
There would be no better way to spend your Sunday if you are in the area then heading down to the Wagga Club to check out the fastest sport on legs in full flight.