Wenworth Park 720m track record holder, Chinatown Lad was beaten on merit by Gunnadoo Magic in the Saturday night’s Pages Event Equipment Sydney Cup Heats and star NSW stayer Varvatos continued to impress.
41.93 stands as the Wenty record over the testing 720 to the credit of Tasmanian Champ Chinatown Lad trained by Shane Whitney. In the second heat of the Sydney Cup on September 27th, 4-13 fav was posted beside Chinatown Lad as they jumped and he was expected to win easily, fresh from his win in the Chairman’s Cup over Varvatos on September 13. Gunnadoo Magic in the hands of Peter Riley deputising for trainer Robert Britton was next at 8-1.
The favourite was slow out and worked into the race gradually making up a lot of ground late to challenge on the turn. Others Quoted had most of the lead with Gunnadoo Magic fourth early and then never worse than second. Gunnadoo Magic went to the front on the final turn and held on strongly to defeat the favourite by ½ length in 42.71. Octane Al, last on settling was third 1 ¼ lengths further back.
The first heat of the Cup saw the clock stopped in a faster 42.47 by the Greg Board trained Varvatos.
Owner Lorraine Atchison and her trainer are mighty pleased with the way Varvatos is finishing off his races over the 720 at Wenty lately. Second to Chinatown Lad in the Chairman’s Cup Varvatos went out at evens favourite and was a fair way back but made up a lot of ground on Sassy Sprite which led clearly from the start to draw away for an impressive win.
Fallen Zorro gave trainer Shane Whitney his second into the final when it raced close to the lead to finish second by 3 ¼ lengths. Double Trouble for David and Rose Pringle came from well back to fill third 1 length further back.
Varvatos was impressive and provided he does not get too far back early he will be a big threat to Chinatown Lad, which, despite his defeat in the heat, will be favourite to win the final, while Rob Britton’s Gunnadoo Magic showed by his defeat of the track record holder that he has the talent to win.
Shany Whitney has done a fantastic job with both Chinatown Lad and Fallen Zorro over a long and tiring campaign, but both dogs raced below their best last week in the heats and may be starting to “feel” the effects of the multi state staying raids. If Shane can lift them once again for a big final it will be a marvellous training performance, but regardless both he and connections can bu rightly proud of their two chasers and what they have accomplished over an arduous six month campaign.