TWO heats of the Group 3 Wentworth Park Gold Cup (720m) will be held on Saturday night in the Harbour City, with Victorian Lioness Lulu the favourite to take home the $25,000 winner’s cheque next week following her stunning victory in the Group 1 Association Cup on March 26.
The fawn flash only brings the modest record of 58 starts for six wins and 24 placings into the series, but she has been a different greyhound since stepping up to the ‘half-mile’ with two wins and two placings from five starts, including her win in the Association Cup and a third in the Group 1 Stayers Cup at The Meadows.
Local chaser Sandave Sapphire has improved out of sight in recent runs and is the $4 second elect to take out the final. The Dave Richardson-trained bitch has won four of her past six over the Wentworth Park 720m trip, including a last start 42.27 win on Golden Easter Egg night.
Other greyhounds in top contention are Tizza Nitro and Whittaker which are rated $5.50 and $6.50 respectively, with the market then drifting out to $10 for Phantom Reign and $13 for both Explosive Range and Cristalle Coco.
The top four from each heat will progress through to next week’s decider.
Group 3 Wentworth Park Gold Cup – heat one – 8:50pm
Lioness Lulu (2) has been in great form recently and she seems to have a liking for the Wentworth Park circuit. Last week she was quick to begin from box eight and was never headed when winning the Association Cup in 42.21. The fawn bitch is currently $2.20 to take out her heat, with box two a suitable draw for her to bounce straight on the bunny.
Explosive Range (1) is having his first crack at the 720m and appears suited by the rise in trip. The son of Fabregas and Sheza Surfy is racing with plenty of confidence since stepping up from the sprints, having won four of his five attempts over the middle distance including two slick runs as Gosford (35.15) and Richmond (35.51).
Whittaker (7) was far from disgraced last time out when finishing second behind Lioness Lulu in the Association Cup, albeit seven and one quarter lengths off the winner. He is probably better suited towards the fence, but if he can position up well in the early stages he will be right in the finish.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Lioness Lulu at $2.20 with Bet365
Group 3 Wentworth Park Gold Cup – heat two – 9:13pm
It is hard to go past Sandave Sapphire (2) in the second qualifier as she has now won four of her last six starts over the track and trip. Last time out she recorded a new personal best when stopping the clock in 42.27, with a repeat performance set to see her close to winning this event. She is well drawn in box two to find a nice spot early and go home too good for her rivals.
Tizza Nitro (1) has won three of her past four starts and was far from disgraced when finishing third behind Dublin Bull in a heat of the Association Cup. Should settle just behind the speed and will be working home late.
Cristalle Coco (5) is moody but has plenty of ability when she puts it all together. The daughter of Brett Lee and Cristalle should get room to move with little speed drawn around her and she can give this a shake if she brings her A-game.
Serena Nimbus (3) is another front runner with some sizzling times on the board over the middle distance. She doesn’t have a great record over the track and trip, but if she can get out well she can run nippy times on the bunny.
Suggested bet: WIN bet on Sandave Sapphire at $2.40 with Bet365