Early Speed to Decide Group 3 Gold Coast Cup
Last Thursday Queensland's Premier Club hosted four heats of the Group 3 Gold Coast Cup series with the first and second place getters progressing to this weeks $25,000 to the winner final. On a perfect night for racing, the time standard was set by the brilliant Jetta's Girl for leading trainer Tony Brett who stopped the clock in a very fast 29.79. It was an awesome display of box speed by the recent Ipswich Track Recorder holder (431m) as she exploded from the boxes in a lightning 5.57 first section.
With the track in wonderful condition the four heats showed their class and ability with only lengths separating each of the 4 heat winners. Prior to the heats Racing Queensland would have been disappointed in another feature series failing to attract full fields and big name greyhounds. The greyhounds that competed are chasers with above average ability, but despite these local chasers, the event wasn't supported by interstate trainers and runners as in years gone by. It is yet another problem facing the administrators in a struggling Queensland Racing environment.
The highlight of the night was the early speed on display with some lightning quick first sectionals. Prior to the bunny rolling past the boxes for this week's final, it looks on paper that whichever grey can jump cleanest and quickest may be the one to claim victory and Group 3 success.
Group 3 Gold Coast Cup Final – 520m – Albion Park
Box 1 – Battistuzzi (Collision – Dulcinea)
Heat winner is a fast 30.12, he was able to wear down early leader Rose Of Galo and Queensland champ Glen Gallon. The veteran of only 10 starts is an up and coming greyhound with plenty of ability as evidenced by his track best 29.86. The October 2011 whelp looks a greyhound to follow and with his racing ability and style he looks well placed after coming up with the rails draw. Fast early and in the capable hands of Spring Grove trainer Frank Hancock. Winning chance.
Box 2 – Yogi Blue (Cool Effort – Opal Assassin)
Yamanto trainer Peter O'Reilly continues to shine in 2013 with another group finalist in box 2 runner Yogi Blue. The April 2011 whelp has been a bread and butter performer throughout his career, returning 6 wins an 11 placing's from his 31 career starts. A recent trip to South Australia seems to have worked wonders for the blue dog as he ran his best race at Albion Park last week when a close second behind Punch One Out. From the same box draw this week, he looks an each-way chance to taste victory in his toughest test to date.
Box 3 – Punch One Out (Knocka Norris – Little Egyptian)
A brilliant final section saw Punch One Out catch early leader Yogi Blue in a fast 29.85 when she took out heat three last week. The beautifully conformed 27 kilo black bitch has been a revelation since first gracing the track when second on debut at Lismore. A well-travelled greyhound she is a multiple group finalist, having made feature finals throughout Australia during her 42 start career. Having raced against and beaten some of the best greyhounds during her career she looks the one to beat in the final. With 21 wins and 14 placing's and a bank balance in excess of $100,000 she faces the bunny from the same box as her heat win. Great bitch in great hands – the one to beat.
Box 4 – Cecil Henry (Collision – Millennium)
Astute mentor Greg Brennan puts the polish on another group finalist with exciting sprinter Cecil Henry. A heat winner in a strong 30.15 after exciting the cherry draw, he was able to lead throughout in a nice performance amongst the local Queensland brigade in a tight finish. The December 2010 whelp has only had limited starts but does have track experience at HQ where he has faced the starter on 22 occasions for 11 wins and 6 placing's. A poor draw with box 4 in the final, but a young greyhound with ability and in competent and astute hands. Each Way chance.
Box 5 – Maid For Ron (Made To Size – Tina's Show)
Baby bitch Made For Ron continues to show class beyond her experience as she charged home strongly when second behind fastest heat winner Jetta's Girl. The veteran of just 6 career starts (4 wins and 1 second) is prepared by Queensland great Ron Ball. With a sub 30 PB at Albion Park – she does have exceptionally ability and is one of the most exciting up and coming greyhounds in Queensland. Despite her poor draw, and lack of experience she is a strong winning chance.
Box 6 – Rose Of Galo (El Galo – Noir Rose)
Mount Tarampa trainer Albert Kennewell puts the polish on exciting bitch Rose Of Galo who qualifies for another feature final. The February 2011 whelp has an outstanding ability to ping the lids and with box speed winning races she looks one the early challengers in the final. Second in her heat behind Battistuzzi, she has a fast 30.02 PB here. With an overall record of 25 starts for 11 wins and 6 placing's, she is a consistent performer and deserving of Group 3 success.
Box 7 – White Hornet (Cosmic Rumble – Skinny Magic)
Park Ridge mentor Ray Burman continues to shine in 2013 and leading the kennel charge is super consistent White Hornet. The November 2011 whelp is the youngest chaser in the final. Despite the young age he has an outstanding overall record and at HQ his record is outstanding with 13 starts resulting in 8 wins and 3 placing's. Already a feature finalist he has been a wonderful money spinner in his short career with prizemoney already in excess of $30,000. The Skinny Magic litter are winning races throughout South East Queensland with White Hornet the flag bearer and an each-way chance in the final.
Box 8 – Jetta's Girl (Surf Lorian – Kaycee Diva)
Brilliant heat winner in BON figures stopping the clock at super quick 29.79 (5.57, 11.50 and 12.72). The recent Ipswich 431m track record holder is racing in career best form and is perfectly drawn out wide in the pink rug. An overall record of 34 starts for 17 wins and 9 placing's she is wonderfully honest in each of her race track performances. Raced by the Gargoyle's Racing Syndicate, it is yet another feature final for this beautiful daughter of leading Queensland sire Surf Lorian. Prepared by Queensland's leading mentor Tony Brett she will be will fancied in the final and is boxed to win.
Box 9 – Spirits Away (Run's House – Spirit Released)
First reserve Spirits Away ran a terrific heat race when a close third behind series favourite Punch One Out. It was a great performance from the cherry draw by the Paul Haig trained and Philip Muller owned daughter of Runs House. With a strong career winning percentage of 22 starts for 9 wins and 3 placing's she does have an honest each way chance should she gain a start.
Box 10 – Dulcie Dee (Collision – Dulcinea)
Second reserve for the final is the litter sister of heat winner and box 1 finalist Battistuzzi. Another chaser from the Hancock kennel, she is greyhound with untapped ability. Still a baby with just the 10 career starts she has a brilliant record of 6 wins and 3 placing's. A young greyhound going places and one to follow no matter what happens here. Fast early, she will be another with an open each way chance should she gain a start in the rich final.
The Group 3 Gold Coast Cup continues to be a highlight on the Queensland Racing Calendar despite having been moved to Albion Park since the Gold Coast Parklands Track closure in 2008. Recent winners include Velocette (2009) and Don't Knocka Him (2012) amongst a host of well performed chasers of years gone by. This year's final is an open affair, with early speed the key to who will take home the title and first place prizemoney.
Selections – 8 – 7 – 6 – 3