TheSouthCoast of New South Wales plays host to elite racing this Wednesday night when the final of the Group Three SportingbetBulli Gold Cup takes place.
An octet of quality chasers will vie for the $25,000 winners cheque over the 472 metre trip at the spacious one-turn track nestled in the heart of black diamond country, where the mountains meet the sea.
Highly promising pup Silent Effective was a scratching from the final which may have meant a sigh of relief from a few of his rivals. His place will be taken by the veteran Gradence, who won the Cyril Rowe Plate at the track back in January.
The meeting begins at the early time of 6:02pm to accommodate those wishing to watch the State of Origin rugby league. The feature event is race five which will jump at 7:25pm.
Here is a look at at the field in detail with comments from connections on their runners chances;
Comments: Anthony Azzopardi (Trainer) – “The draw is a little bit of a worry if the faster dogs outside him cross down on top of him. But then again, maybe being on the inside might drag him out a bit. He does like to use a little bit of the track. It is all going to come down to the luck he has in the run. If he is within two or three lengths of them in the run, it is going to take a very good dog to hold him out, but it is all going to be about where he is in the run.”
Comments:Nicole McRae (Trainer) – “A lot is going to depend on what happens with the dogs around him. There is a lot of pace drawn either side of him. Hopefully he just gets that little bit of pace early and gets a good run to the first turn. He hasn’t had much luck with box draws his whole career, especially in Group finals but I pulled this one out so I can’t blame anyone else.”
Comments: Ross Burton (Co-Trainer) – “It is a pretty hard field, I think our hopes are pretty slim. That was only his second run on the track. We had put him around without a look at the track and he ran second then last week was his second look. It is good to be in the race but I am a realist, there is some champion dogs in that race. But he is in it to win it, he will be having a go and we will have our fingers crossed.”
Comments: Peter Baker (Owner) – “His dad Disintergrate was in the final of the Bulli Gold Cup like this and I hope his son Bill (Unleash De Fear) can go one better and win it with his early speed. Charlie Gatt is a bloody master-trainer to get this dog back on the track and he deserves to win this race more than anyone.”
Comments: Mark Wilcox (Trainer) – “He is drawn very well. He loves coming from the wide boxes. The main problem with him is that I had to rush him back a little bit from a long break through injury for this race. He may just need another week or two before we see his best. Last week sort of showed that but he should be a little bit better this week.”
Comments:Mark Gatt (Trainer) – “He should run ok, he will drop out the back and be running on at the finish so the box doesn’t really matter too much. It would be nice for him to win the two big races at Bulli but I’m not overly confident of his chances.”
Comments: A consistent on-pace type who was prominent for a long way in his heat run. Would probably only be a place chance at best if he gained a run.
Best Bulli Times
Victorian chaser Walk Hard (5) is the class runner of the field. He sizzled at his first look at the track but has the visitors box to contend with this week. If he lands anywhere near the speed, he will be the one to beat.
Knocka’s Return (8) is boxed to perfection and has a real penchant for the circuit. He is only recently back from a lengthy spell, but if he produces his best, he will be in it up to his ears.
The pace looks to lie with Stilton Blue (4), Unleash De Fear (7) and My Awesome Opal (6). Whoever wins that speed battle will give themselves the opportunity to make their own luck in front and the possibility of pinching the race.
Highly Respected (3) may well land on the fence early. He can be a risky beginner but, should he step, can be prominent. If he misses it he is likely to struggle.
Gradence (2) and My Boy Snoop (1) both have whirlwind finishes and both also like to use the track. Anything caught outside that duet early could find themselves in bother if they are looking for the fence. If either land in the top half of the field in the running, they could blouse the leaders late.