The Patrick Estate mentor puts the polish on Hougenie (box two), Sheza Keen Size (box three) and Cervelo (box seven) – all of which won their respective heats at the $25,000-to-the-winner series over the weekend.
When asked which greyhound was his best chance in this week’s final, Ruetschi was unable to split Cervelo and Sheza Keen Size.
“There is not much between them – they are both really well boxed and I honestly couldn’t split them,” Ruetschi told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It all depends on the start, with an ounce of luck they can probably run one-two, but I am just hoping one of them can take it out for their owner, Lenny Antonio. He has put a lot into the dogs recently and it would be great to see him win his local cup.”
Starting from box one in his heat last Saturday, Cervelo pounced straight on the bunny and never looked in danger, scoring a dominant one length victory over Apatite in a best of night 30.33.
“It was a very good run and he is probably the most improved dog racing in Queensland at the moment,” Ruetschi said.
“He has come from nowhere from when I got him to now – he has improved so much and he is going really well.”
Cervelo, $4.80 with Bet365, will start from box seven in the final, with Ruetschi pleased with the draw.
“He is boxed beautifully – I like him out wide because he likes to come off the bends there. He has won from out wide before so I think he is boxed lovely.”
Looking to upstage Cervelo will be kennel mate Sheza Keen Size, currently the $2.90 favourite, which is set to contest the race from box three. A winner of nine of her 18 starts, the black bitch looks set to lead if she can reproduce her sectionals from her slick 30.35 heat victory.
“She loves the track – she goes super at Ipswich and she has had five starts from box three for three wins, so she is well boxed as well.
“If she can run her 5.31 to the first mark then she is going to be right up there early, but Cervelo has early pace too so I am hoping that they both begin well – if they do they will be very hard to beat.”
Rounding out Ruetschi’s chances is the ultra consistent Hougenie which stepped down from the middle distance trip when qualifying for the final in a handy 30.56.
While her trainer says she will need plenty of luck to figure in the finish, it is obvious the daughter of Zear Zafonic and Una’s Pride holds a special place in his heart.
“She broke the track record over the 600 a few starts ago and then she went to Lismore and won the Stayers Trophy race on Cup night for the second year in a row.
“There was a lack of racing over the distance up here for her and I was considering taking her to Melbourne for the Hume Cup heats, but decided to freshen her up after Lismore and save her for this race.
“She went great in her heat, but she is going to need a lot of luck in the final because she is a back marker.
“In saying that she is one of the most versatile bitches in Australia – not many stayers of her calibre can successfully go backwards and forwards between the sprint and staying distances – she really has done a super job.”
2015 Group 3 Ipswich Gold Cup box draw & market
1. Macnivek – $6.50
2. Hougenie – $10
3. Sheza Keen Size – $2.90
4. Simpatico – $5.50
5. Apatite – $13
6. Elusive Desire – $7.50
7. Cervelo – $4.80 with Bet365
8. Cash In Motion – $6.50
1st Reserve – Big Dac – $26
2nd Reserve – Titan Ash – $26