THE Group 3 Chairman’s Cup series was rocked by scandal over the weekend, with champion bitch Sweet It Is withdrawn from the heats of the $25,000 to the winner feature after returning a positive swab to Benzoylecgonine, a metabolite of cocaine, after winning the Victorian Distance Championship on Saturday August 8, 2015.
Sweet It Is went on to win the Group 1 National Distance Championship Final, held at Wentworth Park last month. She is now prohibited from racing under GAR 79(A)(3)(b) until she returns a sample clear of prohibited substances, with trainer Braden Finn awaiting the analysis of the reserve and control samples, with Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Stewards launching an investigation of the findings.
The news comes just months after Sweet It Is returned positive swabs to the prohibited substance caffeine after winning both the heat and final of the Group 1 Duke of Edinburgh Silver Collar in New Zealand. The New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) are still running their own investigation into the findings.
The scratching of Sweet It Is opened the Chairman’s Cup series dramatically, with time honours going to More In Store which clocked a slick 42.03 from box five. Trained by Mark Gatt, the daughter of Kinloch Brae and Lady Arko settled just behind the pace before railing through on the home turn to shoot clear, scoring by three lengths over defending champ Zipping Maggie.
The second heat saw an upset, with Victorian talent Mepunga Tiara upstaging some of her more fancied rivals in a respectable 42.24. Trained by Jeff Britton, the 2014 Group 2 AWM Distance Championship victor used box one to perfection, strolling to the early lead and stretching out to record a five-and-one-quarter-length triumph over Queenslander Mullaway.
The final of the Chairman’s Cup will be run this Saturday night at Wentworth Park.
2015 Group 3 Chairman’s Cup – box draw
Box 1 – Zipping Maggie – Martin Hallinan
Box 2 – Smooth Number – Allen Hansen
Box 3 – Entreaty – Harry Sarkis
Box 4 – More In Store – Mark Gatt
Box 5 – Mepunga Tiara – Jeff Britton
Box 6 – Mullaway – Joanne Price
Box 7 – Mizzou Tiger – Chris Carl
Box 8 – Gangnam Style – Clint Capuano
1st – Ada Mary – Sharon Grey
2nd – Lithgow Panther – John Chapman
Uno Suzie the one to beat in Canberra Cup
Uno Suzie continued the stellar run of form which saw her annex the Group 2 Black Top at The Gardens with a terrific win in a heat of the Group 3 Canberra Cup on Sunday night.
Jumping swiftly from box six, the daughter of Cosmic Chief and Uno Witch made the race a one act-affair, saluting two-and-three-quarter-lengths clear in 30.57. She has now won 19 races from 50 starts, including her last three in succession, for trainer Anthony Azzopardi.
Time honours from the heats went to Irish Whip for Jason Platts which rocketed along in 30.47. The black and white dog scored in what was arguably the toughest heat of the night, defeating high-class chasers My Boy Snoop and Brad Hill Billy which finished second and third respectively.
The other heat winners on the night were Tullabong Honey (30.72), San Joy (30.74), Second Line (30.75) and Cawbourne Whip (31.10). The fastest two seconds will also progress through to the final, with the box draw to be performed by GRNSW on Wednesday.
Check out Uno Suzie scoring from box six.
Healesville Cup set to be a cracker
One of the best fields to have ever raced up the straight will assemble next Sunday for the Group 2 Healesville Cup over the 350 metre trip.
Group performers La Grand Logie, Shared Bonus, Billo’s Pick, Kayda Shae and Ronray Spirit will all take their place in the $47,000-to-the-winner feature, with the latter set to pocket an additional $50,000 if victorious.
Trained by Terry Reid, Ronray Spirit is in line to collect the Country Cups Bonus, which goes to any greyhound which can win three Country Cups within a calendar year, after already taking out the Warragul and Warrnambool Cups.
The fastest time from the eight heats went the way of Señor Grumpy which clocked a slick 18.881, with Shared Bonus (18.897), Billo’s Pick (18.903), Allkel To Excel (18.997) and La Grand Logie (18.998) also breaking the elusive 19 second barrier.
2015 Group 2 Healesville Cup – box draw
Box 1 – La Grand Logie – Jeff Eaton
Box 2 – Shared Bonus – Jeff Britton
Box 3 – Senor Grumpy – Aaron Ware
Box 4 – Billo’s Pick – Kel Greenough
Box 5 – Ronray Spirit – Terry Reid
Box 6 – Pud – Jose Desaubin
Box 7 – Allkel To Excel – Kel Greenough
Box 8 – Kayda Shae – Kelly Bravo
1st – Danyo’s Slappy – Neil Ryan
2nd – Azza Azza Azza – Wayne Vassallo
In the stewards room
Robert Groizard Jnr has appealed a decision handed down by GRNSW Stewards after he was found guilty of a breach of GAR 83(2) and disqualified for a period of 15 weeks. The specifics of the situation being that a urine sample taken from his greyhound Miss Diddle showed the presence of the prohibited substance Ketoprofen after winning at The Gardens on October 17, 2014.
Groizard Jnr did not accept the early guilty plea of 12 weeks, instead pleading not-guilty to the charge. However, he was found guilty as charged, with Miss Diddle also disqualified from the event in question.
Groizard Jnr will be able to re-apply for his licence as of December 13, 2015.
Run of the week
Aphorism booked his spot in this Thursday’s Group 1 Dapto Megastar with an all-the-way victory in last week’s Megastar Prelude. Beginning well from box one, the black dog was able to rail underneath favourite Fantastic Spiral through the first turn before putting the paw to the floor, sprinting clear to score by five-and-three-quarter lengths in a sizzling 29.56.
Whittaker produced a massive run from box eight to finish second, with Fantastic Spiral holding on to third spot.
All three chasers will join the existing five invitees – Bessy Boo, Keybow, Flash Reality, Rue De Kahn and Fantastic Dotty – in the $75,000-to-the-winner feature.