Western Australian duo primed for Group 1 Australian Cup heats

Former Victorian Demon Bale will contest Friday’s Mandurah Cup. PIC: Paul Munt.

ENZO Crudeli has high hopes for his powerhouse duo Equanimity and Demon Bale which will both make the trip across Australia this weekend to contest the heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup (525m) at The Meadows.

The West Australian pair both come into the series in good form. Equanimity (Barcia Bale x She’s Historic Mar ’15) is last year’s Group 1 Perth Cup winner which has won four of his past six starts and also finished third in the Group 3 Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup last month.

The blue dog went across to Melbourne last week, but failed to gain a start in the Group 1 Temlee as second reserve. However, Crudeli says he is feeling good ahead of the heats of the $250,000 to the winner series this weekend.

“He had a holiday for a couple of days, a few days off, but he will be back home this week and freshened up for Saturday night,” Crudeli told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“He hasn’t raced at The Meadows but he had a bit of a bite [on the lure] on Friday morning. He isn’t the type of dog which has to have a run at a track so I’m not too worried.

“It’s a matter of jumping to the lead and hoping for a bit of trouble behind you. I know there are going to be some dogs over there which are faster than him, but hopefully he can get out in front and make his own luck.”

On the other hand, Demon Bale (Bella Infrared x Fyna Bale Mar ’14) has seen The Meadows plenty of times – having started his career in Victoria before being purchased by the Ten Eighty Syndicate and heading to Western Australia mid 2017.

After coming back from a nasty injury sustained last October, Demon Bale has been flying in recent weeks, having now won his past three starts, all of which have been in FFA class at Cannington.

Crudeli said the rising four-year-old stayed home while some of his kennel mates ventured to Victoria last week.

“He doesn’t have to have a look at the track – he was racing around there earlier in his career and he is a pretty seasoned campaigner.

“He is a real hard chaser and I can’t fault him – he is racing great.”

Crudeli said he can’t split his pair heading into the heats this Saturday night and said they both have a genuine chance if they can step well in their qualifiers.

“Early speed is everything – Striker Light proved that in the Temlee when she pinged to the front.

“There isn’t much between Demon Bale and Equanimity – I couldn’t split them if I had to chose.

“You’d have to give them both a chance in the heats. They are taking on the best in Australia, but you have got to have a go at these big races when you get the opportunity.

“To get into these races is what you aim for when you start training greyhounds.”

The heats of the Group 1 Australian Cup will be run at The Meadows this Saturday night.