One of those, Hostile, is trained just 10 kilometres outside of the Melbourne CBD by Darren Beasley and looks a genuine threat in the $250,000 to-the-winner feature. The son of Collision and Restless Style put in a terrific performance in his heat last Saturday, defeating a high class field to score in a quick 29.95 at what was his first start since being scratched from the Group 2 Cranbourne Cup final last December.
“He had to be scratched from the Cranbourne Cup final because he got a bit of a cough, so he needed a few weeks off to get over it,” Beasley explained.
“He had a few trials going into his heat last week, but I think he should have benefited a lot from that run going into Saturday’s final.”
Hostile has drawn in box two for the decider which Beasley thinks is ideal. However, it will not be any easy task, with talented types such as Quartz Bale (box three), Luca Neveelk (box four) and Lamia Bale (box eight) also looking to claim the prize.
“I think he is perfectly drawn – he doesn’t have blistering early speed, but hopefully he can get into a good position sitting second or third and unleash down the back, his last section is his strongest section.
“I think everyone is expecting Luca Neveelk to lead, Quartz Bale is a bit of the unknown factor, but hopefully he (Hostile) can find a good spot early.”
It is a massive thrill for Beasley to make the final, with the hobby trainer having just three or four greyhounds in his kennel at any given time. Adding to the incredible feat, Beasley also works full time with his greyhounds trained from a standard residential property.
“I take them for a walk walk every morning and in the afternoons we take them to Melton, which is around 30 minutes away, to have a run on the straight track a couple of times every week,” Beasley said.
“They really enjoy being able to get out (on their walks), I think that is the good thing about only having a few dogs, you can spend a lot of time with them.”
Hostile is owned by the Chatterwal Syndicate which is managed by Jamie Chatterwal — Beasley’s next door neighbour. Beasley said it was a dream come true for everyone involved in the greyhound to have a runner in Saturday night’s prestigious feature.
“Aside from the Melbourne Cup, the Australian Cup is the biggest race down here in Victoria and it is everyone’s dream to get into a race like it,” he said.
“I am just hoping for a bit of luck, but we are just happy to be in it – I can’t wait for Saturday night.”
At less than three years of age, Beasley is hopeful that Hostile can have a bright future and is keen to capture a feature race victory with his talented chaser.
“He doesn’t turn three until April so hopefully he will have another 12 months or so of racing left in him and he can win a nice race.
“After the Australian Cup I will probably take him to Wentworth Park for a crack at the Golden Easter Egg. It can be hard getting away from work to travel with the dogs, but a dog like him doesn’t come around very often so you have got to go after the big races while you can.”