The biggest names in Australian Staying racing will again go head-to-head this Saturday night when the heats of the Group Three Top Cat Video Cup take place at The Meadows.
$25,000 awaits the winner of next week’s final. Will Xylia Allen add to her bulging bank account? Will Sweet It Is mow them down to claim the cash? Or will Zipping Maggie upset them all again and continue her meteoric rise?
Here is a look at the two heats;
Race 5 – Top Cat Video Cup – Heat 1 – 8:38pm
1 – Zell Bale (Steve Collins) – Jumps up in distance from sprints for this race after two recent placings over 520 metres at Wentworth Park. He may find himself closer to the speed in this but is yet to win beyond 600 metres and faces some hot opposition here.
2 – Madame Black (Michael Trapani) – A winner of just one from 10 who looks way out of her depth in this race and is likely to struggle.
3 – Bailey Rose (Eddie Lieshout) – A young bitch who made the final of last weekend’s Chairman’s Cup in Sydney. She will keep coming but is in a tough race here and place claims appear best for her.
4 – Xylia Allen (Jenny Hunt) – The Queen of the loam who chases her 41st career victory in this race. She finished second in last Saturday’s Group Three Chairman’s Cup. She has finished in the top two placings at her last six outings and, while she has only won one of her four starts over this journey, she is capable of anything. She is the one to beat.
5 – Mimicking (Robert Britton) – A rising five-year-old who lines up for start number 107 here. He has not won since December last year and has only saluted in two of his 34 goes over this trip. He is likely to struggle.
6 – Can Can Hurrican (Patrick Bouchier) – A consistent middle distance chaser who has only recently graduated to the longer trips. He led before fading for third in an easier race over this trip last time out. He could be in front early but looks vulnerable over the concluding stages.
7 – Amity Flame (Anthony Flores) – A handy stayer who has made multiple Group finals and resumes here in her first run since December of 2013. There is a lot of unknowns for her heading into this but there is no doubt that she can gallop and that she loves The Meadows. It may pay to see where she is at this time around.
8 – Zipping Maggie (Peter Daprain) – An exciting young bitch who has won her last five races including the heat and final of the Group Three Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park. She is likely to be prominent early and, if granted some space, she could be a real threat to the favourite here.
Race 7 – Top Cat Video Cup – Heat 2 – 9:22pm
1 – Alcala (Colin Newman) – Average middle distance chaser who has been racing below her best of late. She looks up against it here.
2 – Shot To Bits (Paul Ryder) – An exciting young dog who has won nine from 17, including his last five straight. Likes to race on the pace but came from well back to grind out a tough victory over this trip last start. He looks to be the knockout dog here after his recent track record runs at Bendigo.
3 – Paris Sparks (Dennis Pulis) – Veteran chaser who wound back the clock with a win at Sale last time out. She has won two from seven at this journey but looks tested in this sort of company.
4 – Sweet It Is (Darren McDonald) – Triple Group One winning bitch who flashed home for third in last week’s Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park. She does get a long way back in her races and often needs some room to unleash her run home. Her record at The Meadows is only average with one win from 10 attempts at this trip but she is a much improved bitch from some of those races. If she is afforded some luck, she should go very close here.
5 – Honeydukes (Barry O’Keefe) – A winner of just one from 15 who appears way out of her depth here. She will need a miracle to feature.
6 – Dyna Willow (Steve Collins) – A multiple Group winner with some handy performances to her name at The Meadows. She appears to be a long way down on confidence and struggling to recapture her best from. She could only be taken on trust here but is hard to have based on recent efforts.
7 – Zipping Rory (Bethany Daprain) – Finished fourth in the Group Three Chairman’s Cup at Wentworth Park last week. He is always thereabouts in top company but is yet to really break through at this level. Tends to get back and may need some luck in the running.
8 – Gold Affair Two (Robert Britton) – A consistent race bitch who followed two second placings behind Xylia Allen with a fifth in the Chairman’s Cup final last week. She does her best work when she can land on the speed which is a distinct possibility in this race. Definite each way prospect.