The inaugural Sister Cities Cup will kick off with the Queensland qualifier this Thursday night at Albion Park.
Several top chasers will line up for their shot at a spot in the $27,000 final, which will see two greyhounds qualify through from the Sister Club’s of Adelaide, Christchurch, Auckland and Brisbane.
The Sister Cities Cup was originally the Sister City Cup, a race between Christchurch and Adelaide, however was expanded this year to include New Zealand’s capital and the Sunshine State.
Several top Brisbane performers will make it a hotly contested race, including Group finalist Azakhan, Ryan Ayre’s Bogie Blue, and consistent chaser Sheckler Bale.
Azakhan, trained by Alex Green, has been running superbly lately after performing well in the recent Sky Racing Winter Carnival where he broke the 30-second barrier for a best time of 29.94 on June 30.
Jumping from a favourable box two tonight, he is sure to start a short-priced favourite after a solid run last week posting a blistering time of 30.09 with a 5.76 first sectional from box four.
In box four, Bogie Blue will be a strong threat in this race based on past Albion Park form, however has struggled to find a win in recent weeks.
Scheckler Bale, who only recently made the move from down south, is showing signs of becoming a regular Albion Park winner, having had two starts over the distance for one win and one second placing.
Jumping from box three, the third start on the track should see him only improve for trainer Tom Tzouvelis.
Other top races on the card on Thursday night is the heats of the 2009 SUREpick Ratings Publicans’ Cup.
The fifth grade series, worth $7,600 in prizemoney, is an annual race series dedicated to the Publicans of Brisbane.
The major race, sponsored by form gurus, SUREpick Ratings, will run next Thursday night, September 17.
In Heat One (Race 6) Black Raven will take on Spring Our Ping, Cute Attitude, and Midnight Surf.
Black Raven boasts the best time of the bunch of 30.27, and has a racing resume at Albion Park over the distance of five starts for three top-three finishes.
The Black Enforcer-bitch is in a fairly open race, and will need to be on her game to cross the likes of Midnight Surf from box four.
Midnight Surf has been quick out of the boxes in recent starts, and seems to be improving despite some unlucky runs recently.
Spring Our Ping is another capable of crossing the line first, however, has run into trouble in his last two runs.
Cute Attitude in box one will also be a force to be reckoned with after showing she has what it takes having won six races over the distance.
In Heat Two (Race 7) Ron Ball’s consistent bitch Berella Rhianna will take on Black Peregine.
Berella Rhianna is a very consistent top finisher, having raced against open class company such as multiple Group-winner High Earner.
However, Black Peregrine (in box eight) is sure to contest finding his best form a couple of weeks ago in a solid 30.36 win.
Andy Albion’s Best Bets:
- Race 2 Number 2 Major Spirit
- Race 3 Number 2 Premier Chief
- Race 4 Number 2 Azakhan