The race is conducted over the trying 530m journey and is open to the best greyhounds nominated. The eventual winner will pocket $25,000. The first two place-getters from each heat will go through to next week’s final.
Here’s a look at the four heats:
Heat One – Group Three Canberra a Cup (Race 5 at 5:42pm)
On paper, the race looks to be a battle between Pumped Up Zarr (1) and Rue De Kahn (8). Pumped Up Zarr has recently turned four years of age but the Big Daddy Cool and Midnight Drama (Go Wild Teddy and Ready To Rise) dog is still winning races. He has been racing over the distance events in the latter part of his career however his sprint form at Canberra is good. He has two starts for two wins over the trip and a best of 30.28. He has also won three times from the rails draw.
Rue De Kahn (8), the winner of the Group One National Futurity at The Gardens, will be having her first start at Canberra. She has the ability to show pace and lead and she will need to in order to overcome the wide draw. She has good form from boxes six and seven but is yet to win from box eight. She is a winner at both Wentworth Park and The Meadows so is definitely up to the class of dogs in this heat.
The only other runners that look like a possible chance are Tiger The Weapon (3), Another Call (5) and Tribal Beat (7). They’ve all had relatively recent wins but their form and the times they have posted haven’t been as good as the two main chances.
Heat Two – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 6 at 6:05pm)
The clear stand-out in this race is the Victorian My Bro Fabio (1). The Brooke Ennis trained son of Turanza Bale and Flamenco (Where’s Pedro – Zarbo) has won four of his last five around Sandown and The Meadows and should prove too good in this field. He is strong, loves box one, and can run time so he ticks all the boxes. The only thing going against him is that he is having his first look at the track in race conditions.
If Especially (4) can handle the awkward draw she is the main danger to My Bro Fabio. She is a very consistent beginner and back in July she led My Bro Fabio in a race around Sandown. He ended up winning that event by seven lengths so she really needs to get in front here to give herself a chance.
NSW bitch Lani Banarni (6) has shown solid form coming into this series with six wins from her last 10 starts including two in a row at Wentworth Park recently. She’s hasn’t had too much joy from box six in the past so she will need some luck from the draw.
Cheeky Grant (8) has won five of her last 10 but is yet to record a win from box eight. Her recent wins have been at Dubbo and Wentworth Park.
Another Chance (5) has won over the 400m distance at Canberra. He can show good speed but the query is whether he can run out the 530m strongly.
Heat Three – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 7 at 6:21pm)
Father Skeeta (2) has won his last four in a row and the Aston Galilee and Madam Jessie (Bond – Go Wild Jessie) dog will be looking to make it five in a row from the handy draw. He is yet to have a start at Canberra but is coming off two good wins at Wentworth Park. He’s reliable early so should be right in this.
Shilling Flex (6) has faced the starter just 14 times in her career. She has won five of those races including one at Canberra over this trip in 30.55. Her box manners have been consistent and this should put her in good stead from the draw.
Other winners at Canberra include Van Carrho Flash (4) who has win twice at the track for a best time of 30.73 and Usaine, who has also won two at the track, for a best of 30.75.
Heat Four – Group Three Canberra Cup (Race 8 at 6:41pm)
Zambora Magic (8) absolutely scorched around Wentworth Park two starts back, stropping the clock at 29.49. The Magic Sprite and Secret Powers (Pure Octane – Witch Magic) dog has notched up 14 career wins. He is having his first look at Canberra over this trip. If he replicates his recent Wentworth Park run he is right in this.
Cawbourne Whip (3) has won two at the track including a 30.21 victory last start. The black and white bitch by Dyna Lachlan and American Spot (Molotov – Elite Monelli) has won 15 from 30 in her career and has recorded fast times at Bulli, The Gardens and Wentworth Park. She is a winner of the 2014 Canberra Capital Distance Championship and took out the Group Three Dapto Maiden last year. She is drawn well in box three and will start the favourite.
Pleiades (6) has had six goes at this trip at Canberra for one win and four placings. He finished five lengths second behind Cawbourne Whip last week from box three and he now moves out to box six for this. He has had nine starts from the draw for just one win.
Storm Twister (1) is capable of leading from this draw. He is a last start winner at Nowra in 30.22 and has won from this draw previously. This will be his first run in Canberra over this distance.
Black Daddy (2) is a strong type who hasn’t had much luck in his last two runs from bad draws. He has won in a fast 30.53 over the 535m at Richmond and has won nine from 34 overall. The better draw brings him into the race.