Four heats of the Group 2 Shepparton Cup will be conducted this Monday Night. This great event has again has attracted some of the states biggest names, along with some promising youngsters and the inevitable interstate invaders.
Heat one looks a rather open affair, with Gardam Prince likely to start favourite from box one. A winner of 23 from 33, he is also unbeaten at the track from three starts. NSW runner Hooky Booky also looks well suited in the race, and had a look at the Kialla track last week, winning well from box two in 25.19BON. He must overcome the awkward six alley this week, but is fine form for trainer Mark Bell. Although drawn badly, Dawbilows Haven for Gary Ennis must be kept safe along with Cyclone Ned from box seven.
The second heat sees the very consistent Go Go Allegro, up against flying Tasmanian Big Moose. After making the Geelong Cup final recently, Go Go Allegro does look hard to beat, as he is another who is unbeaten at the track. But with picket-fence form and a good draw, Big Moose will be right in this and looks likely of making another feature race final. Out of the others, Din’s Son definitely has the class to cause an upset, as does Hot Price for owner-trainer Graeme Euvrard, starting from box seven.
Excellent chaser Remo Rubik is engaged in heat three and looking to add the Shepparton Cup to his Wangaratta and Traralgon Cups. Not only is the star Geoff Mitchell dog already a group winner, he has drawn wonderfully in box one, has been successful two out of three at Shepparton and is coming off an effortless win at Ballarat in a BON time.
Also looking likely to make the final is Mark Gatt’s runner Winsome Joe. Having won nine of his first thirteen, the son of Brett Lee and Winsome Silver looks to have a big future. Joshua Allen appears the only other threat to Remo Rubik, and is hoping to make it back-to-back group finals, after his S.A Derby run last week behind Dyna Forte.
Box one again looks the place to watch in the final heat, with True Kiheal hoping to make in five wins straight. Kym Hyde has been doing a great job with this chaser, having made the Canberra cup final recently, as well as winning at Bathurst, Richmond, Dapto and last start at Sandown now in the Victorian kennels of Darren McDonald.
But there will be plenty of competition looking to end the streak of True Kihael, with at least three other chances in the race. Lady Gaga was sharpened with a short course win at the track last week, making her strike rate 10 from 15. The second of Butch Deverell’s runners from Tasmania, Eagle Eye, normally begins like a rocket and disposed of a high quality field at Hobart recently. Alotto Mojo must always be considered, particularly from box eight where it whipped a field at the track back in August and Papa Cool for Tony Cortese is also capable of a bold showing, if given a clear run.
With previous winners such as Hanify’s Impact, Slater, Whisky Assassin and Knockabout Wok, the Shepparton Cup is one of the highlights of the calender, as this year looks no exception.