THREE heats of the Chairman Cup are set to be held at Wentworth Park on Saturday night, with some of the best greyhounds from NSW and interstate heading to the Harbour City circuit for a crack at the $25,000 to the winner series.
The race, conducted over the 720m trip, has been won by some fine stayers since its inception in 1984, with greyhounds such as Flashing Floods (2007), Chinatown Lad (2007) and Amity Bale (2008) all appearing on the honour roll.
The 2016 Cup looks set to be another exciting affair, with Group 1 National Distance finalist Cardiology, NSW GBOTA Stayers Challenge final winner Iona Muffin Top, Group 1 Albion Park Gold Cup victor My Boy Brodie, Group 1 Association Cup champion Lioness Lulu and six-time group finalist Whittaker heading the nominations for Saturday’s heats.
Cardiology is the current favourite in Bet365’s all-in market to take out next Saturday’s final, rated a $6 shot with the leading online bookmaker. She will contest a sensational heat against Miss Foxy Lee, Come On Fantasy and More In Store, all of which are on the second line of betting to win the decider at $9.
Whittaker is also perched on the $9 quote, with the market then drifting out to $11 for both Hooter Harnett and Lovelace.
Lioness Lulu and My Boy Brodie both represent value at $21 and $26 respectively – with both capable of playing a key role in the series despite racing slightly below their best at present.
The first two from each heat plus the two fastest thirds will progress through to the final to be run and won on September 10.
Group 3 Chairman’s Cup – heat one – 7:28pm
There is a stack of speed in the opening heat of the night which makes it hard to predict where a lot of these front-running types will be placed in the run around the first turn.
Decided to go with Victorian stayer Come On Fantasy (2) from the ideal draw. She likes to race up on the pace and she might be able to find a nice spot on the fence in the early stages. She holds a 41.92 personal best over the track and trip and, despite being almost four years of age, she showed she still has plenty of class about her with some slick wins at Sandown Park (41.87) and The Meadows (34.62) in recent weeks.
Miss Foxy Lee (3) fell at her last start but assuming she hasn’t taken any harm from that run mentally she should be right in this. I have the feeling we will be calling her the best stayer in NSW in a few months so expecting a big performance from her here.
Cardiology (4) was far from disgraced when leading the National Distance Championship for a long way before tiring to finish sixth at Angle Park last start. She is back to Wenty for this series where she has won five of her seven starts and she should make her presence felt.
Nangar Flame (6) is debuting over the track and trip but he should be in this event for a long way.
More In Store (5) has strung together some really nice wins here lately but has speed boxed all around her in this race and might find herself squeezed out early.
SUGGESTED BET: Win bet on Come On Fantasy at $4.60 with Bet365
Chairman’s Cup – heat two – 8:10pm
Ringer (6) is a Victorian greyhound which has won one from six over the staying trip down south, however this race is much easier than what he has been contesting. He is debuting at the track which is a slight concern, but if he can land up near the lead he will be in this race for a long way.
My Boy Brodie (8) is the class runner of this heat but he has been below his best since returning from Queensland where he won the Group 1 Gold Cup back in June. However, this is slightly easier than his most recent runs and he should get every chance of returning to the winner’s list.
Whispering Soul (7) should be up near the front early – she will need to pinch a break to hold on over the closing stages but is one for the exotics.
Hooter Harnett (1) has the ability to run a nice race and is well drawn on the fence.
SUGGESTED BET: Win bet on Ringer at $6.50 with Bet365
Group 3 Chairman’s Cup – heat three – 8:27pm
Katie The Weapon (6) has been racing consistently of late and she is right in the mix to land herself a spot in the final. A repeat of her 42.20 personal best would see her win on Saturday night, but she can’t afford to get too far back from the awkward draw.
Tanks Punk (5) is a newcomer over the staying trip and he comes into the event on the back of a slick 29.80 win at Gosford on Tuesday night. He should lead this event clearly and if he can stretch out his impressive middle distance form then he will be figuring in the finish.
Whittaker (8) is probably better suited on the fence but he is a class act and must be respected.
Lioness Lulu (7) is racing well below her best, but she is resuming from a short freshen-up for this event so it will be interesting to see if that sparks her up again.
SUGGESTED BET: Place bet on Tanks Punk at $3.80 with Sportsbet