THE2015Shepparton Gold Cup will give some of the best chasers in the land a chance to add $45,000 and a Group 2 title to the trophy cabinet. An amazing spread of established group performers and up and coming stars will contest one of the most intriguing country cups of recent times.
The undoubted current “King Of The Loam” in Dyna Villa will have his work cut out against the new kids on the block in Azza Azza Azza, Ronray Spirit and Armed And Ready. The winner of a staggering $634,990 will be looking at cracking the $700k mark on his quest to become greyhound racing’s first million dollar dog.
The hardest to beat will be the Wayne Vassallo-trained Azza Azza Azza from the inside. Although he can be a bit risky early, if he jumps and runs the same times as last week he will be near impossible to run down. Tonight might be the night that this immensely talented chaser announces himself on the big stage.
Warragul Cup winner Ronray Spirit and the Darren McDonald-trained Armed And Ready will be extremely hard to beat with early luck as well.
Like any feature race, the start will make the race and this promises to be an exciting charge to the first turn.
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has always showed tremendous potential and always looked like he would be a perennial country cups contender. Last week he shanghaied out and he made Luca Neveelk look pretty ordinary when posting a blistering 24.93 heat win. He posted best of the night sectionals in his heat and if he begins like that he should hold them out and win, the only concern with him is that he can bomb the start at times.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Was well placed in the wide draw in his heat and once he found the early lead he was always going to be hard to reel in, he is a Derby winner so it’s no surprise to see him in a final like this but he isn’t at his peak at the moment and from the inside draw I can’t see him making an impact.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Recently captured the Warragul Cup final and is a great chance of grabbing his second country cup. Last week in his heat he copped a knock soon after the start but he picked himself up quickly and assumed control. His winning time of 25.33 is just fair but I think if he pings the lids and finds the bunny like he did at Warragul he will be able to get down to around the 25 flat mark and that makes him a major player.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has a great record here and powered to the line in his top 25.34 heat win, the concern with him is that he will get a long way back early and I can’t see him giving classy chasers a head start and reeling them in. He isn’t the worst though and if there happens to be some trouble up front he may be able to run home into a place.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has turned in some monster performances in recent weeks and one out he would beat any runner in this field. Last week he got held up mid race and he gave Dyna Villa a big head start but once he got into some clear running he went into overdrive and he almost picked the leader up. Once again the box draw will make life difficult for him but if he can somehow find the rail and avoid bother he will be breathing down the leaders necks as they turn for home and he may just cause an upset.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “One of the most reliable chasers in training and he reminds a fair bit of El Galo. Last week he flew the lids and set a cracking pace before posting an impressive 25.18 heat win, he got a little tired in the run home but I think he will be better for that run and if he finds the lure again tonight I believe a sub 25 second run could be on the cards. The draw isn’t great but it’s hard to knock him because at the present time he just keeps pinging the lids. I think he is under the odds but he is clearly a great winning chance.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has been a consistent sprinter for quite a while now and it is great to see him make a final of this calibre. His effort in his heat was very impressive and a similar effort tonight could see him sneak into the placings. The concern tonight is that he is likely to settle well back in the field and he will have to try and reel in some classy animals.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Exciting prospect who looks ideally drawn in the pink draw. He generally pings the lids and once he hits the ground he goes into overdrive. His heat winning time of 25.18 was just fair and Allen Malik got very close to him in the run home, however it was his first look at the track and I would expect him to improve a fair bit on that run. On Warragul Cup night he did post a ridiculous 25.58 win, which was just under three lengths faster than the actual cup. He is my tip for the race and I think he could have enough speed to burn them off and getaway mid race.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “His record speaks for itself and he was a tad unlucky not to make the final. He got shown up in his heat by Azza Azza Azza but I think if he happened to gain a start he is more than capable of turning the tables. He has already won a couple of country cups and it would be great to see him gain a start.“
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Strong effort when placed in her heat and she has been racing in consistent style of late, she is capable of showing good speed but I think these days she is better suited to racing over the 500m journey. Unlikely to gain a start but even if she did I can’t see her being a major player.“