THREE heats of the Group 1 Gold Cup (710m) will be run at Albion Park this Thursday night featuring some of the best stayers in Australia.
The series is highlighted by champion greyhound Fanta Bale, which comes into the series on the back of a sensational victory in the world’s richest staying race, the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m).
There is plenty of depth in the heats – with star kennel mates Dundee Osprey and Dundee Calypso also making the trek up from Victoria.
The sunshine state will also have good representation in the series – with ‘Queen of the Creek’ Cyndie’s Magic set to contest her third Gold Cup series at just over four years of age – having finished second in last year’s final behind My Boy Brodie.
The first two from each heat as well as the two fastest thirds will qualify for the lucrative $75,000 final which will be run next Thursday night.
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FANTA BALE (8) is a champion greyhound and she meets a line-up in this race which is weaker than her most recent starts in group company. She can handle herself from a wide draw and will be looking to carve across towards the lead in the early stages. She is getting stronger with every run so probably doesn’t need to find the front – but you would want to see her in the first three or four past the post on the first occasion.
EBBY RIPPER (2) is an exciting staying prospect which is very underrated. She will drop back in the early stages and be flying home late – much like the favourite this is a big drop in class so if she handles the track she should go close. If she gets a trouble free run and isn’t too far off them I think she is capable of winning.
MISS FOXY LEE (5) is racing in stellar form and should have the pace to be up towards the lead early. Last few strides is a worry at group 1 level – but if she can pinch a break on them early she is right in this.
BIG EASY RED (7) has a great record over this track and trip – slight query as this is his first run in more than a month although he did trial nicely over 600m recently.
DUNDEE OSPREY (3) is as consistent as they come and he was far from disgraced when second behind Fanta Bale in the Group 1 Sandown Cup last start. Drawn ok in box three and should bounce towards the lead. Not overly strong in the closing stages, but he is as tough as old boots and has the class edge.
CHAMPAGNE SALLY (8) has the home track advantage and she stamped herself as one to watch with an impressive 41.93 victory here last week. Probably boxed better towards the fence, but there is speed in the six so she should get a nice run into the race.
TEDDY MONELLI (6) looks the likely leader and he will be looking to break them up early and score on the bunny. Struggles to run out a genuine 700 although this is easier than his most recent runs so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him win.
STARZA LIGHT (2) is a classy customer – she has run some top races in NSW including a slick 42.06 victory at Wentworth Park three starts back. On times she is probably the one to beat, although she races better when she doesn’t get pressured and there is a fair bit of speed in this race.
DUNDEE CALYPSO (2) is boxed to lead off the two and she has really stepped up to group 1 level at her most recent starts. Won four in a row at Sandown Park before running second and fifth in her heat and final of the Sandown Cup. Once again, this line-up is not as strong as what she has been racing down in Victoria so expect a big run.
CYNDIE’S MAGIC (1) is the local hero and she just finds a way to keep winning. Will drop back in the early stages and be flashing home late – she is up against a top Victorian here so she won’t be able to give her too much of a start – but she is boxed beautifully and must be respected.
OBI KENOBI (6) is better than his recent form reads – he is a proven greyhound over the staying trip and he is going well enough to feature here.
MAGIC HORNET (3) has been racing well in recent weeks – will be aiming to lead and hold on from the back markers.