Country cups king El Galo has reigned supreme in this year’s Group 2 Bendigo Cup, Group 2 Warrnambool Cup and Group 3 Bulli Gold Cup.
And the speed machine is poised to dictate terms yet again in the Group 2 Westside Tabaret Horsham Cup series (480m), which kicks off with four heats tomorrow night.
Runner-up in this year’s Group 1 Australian Cup, El Galo has notched 21 wins (with seven seconds and three thirds) from 36 starts.
Prepared by 2007 Australian Trainer of the Year Jason Thompson, of Pearcedale, El Galo produced the perfect lead-up with a 26.86sec (best of night) win at Horsham last week.
Thompson is striving for his third consecutive Horsham Cup, having scored with Marungi Blaze in 2006 and Winsome History in 2007. He also trained 2003 winner Monsters Inc.
Iconic 12-time Victorian Trainer of the Year Graeme Bate, of Lara, has a three-pronged attack in the heats – Beware, Keeko Bale and Honky Tonk Daddy.
Bate has won the Horsham Cup on six occasions – 1982 Satan’s Shroud, 1984 Propellant, 1988 Hay Dinney, 1998 Lansley Bale, 2000 Kantarn Bale and 2002 Timjim Bale.
Eight of the 32 runners in the heats have won a total of 14 Group events. They are, in heat order:
HEAT 1 – (RACE 5, 8.08PM)
- North Sea 2008 – G2 Warragul Cup
- Que Sera Sera – 2007 G1 Sapphire Crown; 2007 G2 Oaks (SA)
HEAT 2 – (RACE 6, 8.28PM)
- El Galo – 2008 G2 Bendigo Cup; 2008 G2 Warrnambool Cup; 2008 G3 Bulli Gold Cup (NSW)
- Cool Effort – 2007 G2 Geelong Cup; 2007 G2 Shootout
- Ashby Bale – 2007 G1 Vic Peters Classic (NSW)
HEAT 3 – (RACE 7, 8.48PM)
- Cash Express – 2007 G2 Bold Trease Carnival Cup; 2007 G3 Canning Show Cup (WA)
- Paddy’s Flame – 2008 G1 Maturity Classic; 2008 G2 Wangaratta Cup
HEAT 4 – (RACE 8, 9.08PM)
- Regal Thyme – 2008 G1 Silver Chief
Other in the heats with strong claims also are :
- El Masri Bale and Mogambo (Heat 1)
- Bliksem (Heat 2)
- Liam’s Way and Phlox (Heat 3)
- Trew Millions, Cee Four and Atlantic Bale (Heat 4)
The $28,000-to-the-winner final will be decided on Sunday, June 29 and there will be Sky Channel coverage, with live Sky trackside hosting on cup night. Plus 8 x $100 betting vouchers to be won, a jazz band, children’s activities (including jumping castle and giant slide) and lots more.