Greyhound racing enthusiasts will see Australia’s best stayers go head to head next week with an all-star field making the cut in the heats last night of the Group One Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup.
Last night’s three heats were run for the opener of the 2009 Sky Channel Winter Chasing Carnival, with first and second of each heat, and the two fastest third placings of the night, qualifying.
Group One Sandown Cup winner Mantra Lad showed his class last night running in the quickest time of the night of 41.78, six lengths ahead of Headley Bale.
The Graham Jose-trained performer by Pure Octane and out of Al Fresco hit the lead on the first turn and continued to improve throughout the race to claim victory.
Mantra Lad has drawn a favourable box three in the final, while Headley Bale will jump from box four.
In Heat One, Forty Twenty again reigned supreme, clocking in at a very strong 41.93, seven lengths ahead of proven southern bitch Lady Moscato in his usual pick-up fashion.
The John Herd-trained youngster, who is owned by a syndicate from the St George-Illawara Leagues Club, won the Garrards Winter Chase Final last week.
Drawing box five in the final should not bother the emerging two-year-old, with a racing style that chases leaders down in the run home.
Winning in a time of 42.00, Queen Lauryn showed her impressive first sectional speed of 15.94, the fastest first section of the night, and stretched out as far as eight lengths in front on the first straight.
An impressive performance from Chinatown Lad put pressure on her, however, resulting in a winning margin of one length.
Queen Lauryn drew box eight in the final next week as hoped by trainer Tony Brett.
The connections of Chinatown Lad had plenty to celebrate about after his impressive chase, drawing box one in the final.
The fastest qualifying third placings of the night fell to the two Albion Park regulars, with Bob Giltinan’s She’s A Penske, who’s drawn box six, and Gary Gilbert’s Irish Fantasy, who is in box seven.
The two were underdogs on Unitab, with She’s A Penske in Mantra Lad’s heat priced at $71, and Irish Fantasy behind Queen Lauryn in that heat at $21.
Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club general manager Luke Gatehouse said the final next week will be one of the best races of the year.
“If this field was a film, it would be a major Hollywood blockbuster,” said Mr Gatehouse.
“These are without a doubt the top stayers in Australia and the box draw will see them very well matched,” he said.
“Each has a very different racing style, so I think we will see the winning margin being no more than a whisker.”
“I would encourage anyone who loves a great night out, and sport in general, to come and witness what is going to be one of the greatest fields of stayers you will see.”
“Choosing the best four stayers in Australia is going to be a very tough job, considering the depth of talent, which is evident by what we saw in last night’s heats,” he said.
“I can predict it will be a very long and hard decision who makes the cut.”
The Hawkins Media Solutions Superstayers is a $22,000 feature invitational race, which selects the best four stayers from around the country, to be run on Thursday night, July 2.
Next week’s Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup Final will be the opening night of the 2009 Winter Chasing Carnival, and to celebrate the Brisbane Club is staging a free Family Fun section including jumping castle, facepainter, music, and roving entertainment. Punters will also get the chance to win a $500 win bet on the Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup Final through a losing ticket competition.
2009 Group One Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup Final
- 1. Chinatown Lad
- 2. Lady Moscato
- 3. Mantra Lad
- 4. Headley Bale
- 5. Forty Twenty
- 6. She’s A Penske
- 7. Irish Fantasy
- 8. Queen Lauryn
- 9. Seminole
- 10. Killough Orchid
The Sky Channel Winter Chasing Carnival features the following key dates:
- June 4 – $74,000 Group 1 Cartwright Property Group Gold Cup
- June 18 – $38,000 Group 2 Brandons Electrical Qld Derby
- June 25 – $22,000 Group 3 Big Dog Cup
- July 2 – $22,000 Hawkins Media Solutions Superstayers
- July 9 – $38,000 Group 2 Imagetec Gold Coast Cup
- July 23 – $74,000 Group 1 Garrards Winter Carnival Cup