The Group One Adelaide Cup will be conducted on Friday night at Angle Park.
For the history buffs, the first Adelaide Cup was run in 1956 at Waterloo Corner and was won by Oakland Chief. The race eventually ended up at Angle Park in 1972. Doug Payne won the first three Adelaide Cups at Angle Park with Bristol Miss, Valjuka and Bristol Sue.
It's fair to say the Adelaide Cup has an impressive honour roll. Notable winners of the race include champion bitches Sandi's Me Mum and Highly Blessed, the one and only Rapid Journey and Angle Park track record-holder Brett Lee (28.88!). More recent winners include Collide, Miss Spicy, Big Time Max, Whippy's Image, El Galo, Dyna Lachlan, Kilty Lad, Mepunga Nicky, Spud Regis and last year's winner Ernie Bung Arrow.
This year's event is highlighted by the remarkable achievement of Victorian trainer Jeff Britton. Britton has four of the eight finalists in the race.
The fastest qualifier is Britton's Texas Titan, whose connections are based in SA. However, there wasn't much on the clock between all the finalists so it will be a very hotly contested event.
Here's a look at all the finalists and how some of the trainers think their charges will go;
Jeff Britton (Trainer) – “She is well drawn. I am hoping she won't get out too badly as she is not the greatest box dog. She does show pace once she hits the ground though so I am hoping she will be at least sitting in third going around the first bend. Allen Deed likes to run up the track a little and the three is slow early so I am hoping for some room along the fence. She isn't a one dimensional bitch as she can go under or go around dogs.”
ARG opinion is – One of the local chances in the race. He returned from a long spell in fine style last week to record his ninth win at the track. He won at odds of 30/1 and is at long odds to win the final in current betting. He will need everything to go his way as he is coming up against some talented Victorians and Group winners in this final.
Jeff Britton (Trainer) – “She loves the fence and goes left. She also goes well from wider boxes. She has to jump in front of Mepunga Armagh, meaning Mepunga Armagh will have to miss the start. She has really taken well to Angle Park as she loves the run-on lure. It has really fired her up. She has been a different dog at Angle Park and racing there helps when they come back to Victoria.”
Lauren Harris (Trainer) – “He has not been done any favours by the box draw. If he is going to win then he will need to go mod to low 4.30's early. We know he can do that because he done it when he went 29.75. If he can do that, I think only Allen Deed could run him down.”
Kelly Bravo (Trainer) – “We are really happy he made the final. He was our second choice runner as we went over more for Gimme Fuel. We are hoping he can improve as he was having his first look at the track last week and got a bit lost on the first turn. Hopefully he can handle the turn better this week. I am not too concerned about the draw as there might be a bit too much pressure if he was drawn on the fence; there's less chance of getting interference out wider.”
Jeff Britton (Trainer) – He likes it out wide but the eight box is a long way off the track at Angle Park which makes it hard to get around all the dogs. If it was box eight at Sandown I would be happy! He is racing well and does possess some track sense. If I solo trialled him and Oakvale Destiny there would be nothing between them”
ARG opinion is – Very unlucky last week from the wide draw but he kept trying and missed out on winning by the barest of margins. He won the 2014 SA Derby not too long ago so he is a logical winning chance if he gets a start.
Best Angle Park Times
Britton's runners hold the key to the race. He has the brother/sister duo boxed on the wings. Both are slow beginners, however they both appear to be well boxed. Oakvale Destiny (1) will be hoping for some room on the fence. It has been suggested that Allen Deed likes to use a bit of the track so this will give Oakvale Destiny the room she needs. Texas Titan (8) also likes to use a bit of the track but Britton indicated that it may be too hard to get across from the wide box at Angle Park as the boxes are so far off the track.
Britton's other two runners, Mepunga Armagh (4) and Cosmic Wise (5), are boxed in the “guts”. Mepunga Armagh goes straight but Cosmic Wise likes to cut to the rail so she may very well hamper her kennel-mate in the early stages. Winbrook (3) will need to do everything right and deliver up a repeat of last week's performance. Valladares (6) connections believe he has the speed to lead and he will need to show that to get over from box six. Blurred Lines (7) impressed at his first look at Angle Park and is likely to be improved for the run. Allen Deed obviously looms as a big danger as he unleashed an enormous run home last week to lose narrowly.
All in all it makes for a very interesting race. The field jumps at 9:48pm.