The month of October has quickly appeared from the winter haze, and those based in the Southern part of our great land are starting to get excited. Previously run in the blazing heat of summer, the Group 1 Adelaide Cup is the premier event on the GRSA calendar and now sits nicely in the springtime, bringing a bumper month of racing to a crescendo finish.
Only 36 entries were received this year, which is well down on what is usually expected for such a time-honoured race. However, the fields certainly don’t lack quality and hopefully all readers can navigate their way through such competitive races with a little bit of help.
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT ONE
Quite a tough race to start with. Peter Rocket (box three) continues his road-trip after a brilliant Megastar win at Dapto. He has experience around the 515-metres of Angle Park, but faces some speedy types on this occasion. His fate could depend on Kim Johnstone’s Encosta Kahn (box one), who usually musters well and could keep Peter Rocket off the fence around the first bend. If either one of those chasers find the early lead the rest may struggle.
Hawk Alone for Team Dailly will exit the eight box. He put in admirable runs in both the Derby heat and final here recently, and could represent value if able to avoid trouble.
Farmor Las Vegas (box six) is more known around the Victorian one-bend circuit, but is another that likes to zip out the boxes. Considering the poor draw, and the ability of his rivals, he’s considered a place chance only. Token McLaren (box two) will be near the rear but running on, while the other locals Victa Sam and Galilee Spirit are talented, but face an uphill battle.
Selections: Peter Rocket – Hawk Alone – Encosta Kahn
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT TWO
Ronan Izmir will be odds-on after coming with the red box. He solo trialled in 29.77 last Thursday night and a repeat of that should be good enough to lead all the way. In saying that, S.A Oaks winner Kokoda Spirit makes a return to the track where she came of age, running sub-29.70 in both of her wins during that series. From box eight, it’s simply a matter of whether Ronan Izmir can be crossed, but Mark Morrisey’s dog should qualify as one of the quickest seconds regardless.
Kalden Kurageous (box two) is the best of the locals, and likes the inside draws but is up against some stiff competition. The ever-present Dailly kennel has Osbourne Bale (box three) engaged who won in Melbourne after making the Derby final, but appears a genuine roughie along with the veteran stayer Cousin Callum out in six.
Victa Brooke and Senni Tony will be very big odds, although that didn’t stop the latter becoming a huge upset last month.
Selections: Ronan Izmir – Kokoda Spirit – Kalden Kurageous
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT THREE
Looks a race in two on paper. Victorian sprint champ Tomac Bale (box one) is the likely favourite along the rails, with form lines behind Xylia Allen and Spud Regis. Given the better draw on this occasion, and some recent experience at the track, he’ll begin fairly then zip straight to the front.
Jason Thompson has brought youngster Phenomenal to Angle Park to start from the widest draw. Resuming from injury, he’s a bit of an enigma, and has a range that varies from the sublime to the terrible. He had a look at the track with a 29.67 trial last week, but would want to improve his first split to avoid first-turn trouble. At his best, Phenomenal would seriously challenge Tomac Bale, but it cannot be guaranteed.
The rest of the field is all up in class, but Two Tree Hill (box four) is the one dog accomplished enough to run a place. The vacant box on his outside will assist, but he won’t lead and it will take a big effort to run down the fancied pair up front.
Again the locals will likely start double figure odds, being Kalden Mischief, Significant Bit and Benchmark, while Modest Ruler comes to Adelaide for the first time while some fair Sandown Park form. All those four have similar ability, with the one obtaining the clearest run becoming a placing possibility.
Selections: Tomac Bale – Phenomenal – Two Tree Hill
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT FOUR
Lots of chances here with the draw making things tough to predict. Iona Seven for Robert Britton will probably start favourite after hitting peak form during September. She’s drawn four in a race where early positioning could be crucial.
Fire Tyson (box two) will head towards the middle of the track, and if he begins well it could spell trouble for those runners positioned nearby. Iona Seven might well be one of those, as too could Bubba’s Dream who jumps back up to feature racing second-up from a lengthy spell. It’s hard to predict what sort of run he is capable of at this stage of his career, but at his best would run the time needed to win.
Dyna Cari could become the value factor in the race coming in with two impressive Sandown wins to her name. Despite a poor record at Angle Park (no wins from three tries), and a poor history from box six (one win from nine tries), Dyna Cari could be the one to beat with a clean getaway.
Fair Change for Todd Kelly will get the gun run and is worth including in trifectas, while Young Snozz and Stetson Donna should be safe to risk.
Selections: Dyna Cari – Iona Seven – Fair Change
ADELAIDE CUP HEAT FIVE
Rounding out the heats will be the local sensation Ernie Bung Arrow. Ken Gill must be blessing his luck when Ernie came up with the pink rug, and he will be extremely hard to catch with repeat of his 29.55 Derby-winning performance. Expect him to lead with ease.
The challengers will be coming at the end of the race via the Victorians, Walk Hard and Powerhouse. Walk Hard is an underrated chaser that has a Group 1 Hobart Thousand final on his resume, and has recently proven he can run out the two-turn circuits with as much class.
Powerhouse has started to string his good runs together of late, and despite having tonnes of ability, he has been known to find trouble and let punters down at times. He will be popular in the market though, after an impressive 29.65 solo trial in lead up to this series, but question marks remain over his reliability when pressure is on.
Robyn Mackellar’s Dee Dee Corsair is one of the more consistent breakers in S.A, and doesn’t look terribly drawn with moderate starters on his left. It’s definitely a chaser worth considering for multiples.
Cee Ronaldo appears the next best, while Webster, Mark of Love and Carlos Tyson will be relying on some sharp improvement and perhaps a bit of luck to make it through.
Selections: Ernie Bung Arrow-Walk Hard – Dee Dee Corsair.
Unfortunately defending champion Spud Regis has not made the trip across to defend his title, so a new star is to be crowned amongst those above. The Adelaide Cup final is scheduled to be run on October 10 on what is always the biggest night of greyhound racing in the state. Best of luck to all involved.