It’s going to be a very busy month in South Australian greyhound circles with feature races approaching think and fast, from Angle Park all the way to Strathalbyn.
The first highlight will be the unique Sister Cities Cup series which kicks off tonight. The race covers both sides of the Tasman Sea, where qualifiers from Angle and Albion Parks do battle with the best of Auckland and Christchurch.The 2011 final will be held in Christchurch on September 22 and will carry a NZ$40,000 prize.
The South Australian leg consists of two heats, with the winner of each going straight through to New Zealand. The first heat should be a well contested race and appears very even on paper. The young, and unusually named, Vanilla Gorilla (box 6) has been in red hot form winning four on the trot. But with the likes of SargeantTrigga (box 3), and Aston Elite (box2) engaged you would think a 30.12 best time would have to be lowered for Vanilla Gorilla to get to the line.
Led Zeppelin looks the obvious threat in the second heat from box three, but Aston Thomas (box 8) has shown plenty of dash in the past. Wot Price George comes back to the sprint trips after taking on Satanic Cash and Kalden Mayhem over 700m recently and will appreciate the cherry draw. Stove Rocks (box 2) has once again drawn inside out, but is expected to make a run late in the race.
Brisbane will conduct their heats this Thursday night, with the box draw for those being released in the coming days. The recent National Sprint series has shown that the Queenslanders have plenty of depth in the grades at present, so those races will be watched with interest.
Last Wednesday made it obvious that another feature series isn’t far away, with a prelude of the Coffex Coffee S.A Oaks being held. The heats for the series aren’t until September 8th, but the prelude gives local dogs a chance to gain automatic entry into the national Group 3 event.
Jessenia Bale, Black Majestik and Heel Clicker were three greyhounds to benefit and earn their spot.
One interstate visitor to be making an appearance in the Oaks will be the undefeated, record-breaking Western Australian, Miata. The small fawn dog gave locals a spectacle last week when she trialled around the 515m in preparation for the event. With the best winning time on the night being 29.94, Miata showed just how hard she will be to beat when stopping the clock at 29.65. In 2010, W.A had plenty of success with Kalden Athena, and the domination looks set to continue with Paul Stuart’s new track sensation, while the talented littermate, Starlight Delly should also be coming across.
The Coca-Cola S.A Derby prelude will be run this Wednesday afternoon, with the heats to begin a week after the Oaks, on September 15. Victoria is once again set to have a big influence on the series, and the locals will have to be at their best to keep the $36,000 in the home state.
The provincial circuit will also come to life in September with the main coursing event of the year, the Waterloo Cup, being held on the weekend of the 17/18th September. The Strathalbyn Cup final scheduled to run 25th September, and should attract some talented entries, as the winner will be granted automatic entry into October’s Group 1 Adelaide Cup.
It will be the second running of the 2011 Adelaide Cup, after the event was moved from its original summer timeslot. Kilty Lad will be trying to win the same race twice in the one year after being successful in the January version.