It has been quite a journey for Lady Arko, just eight months ago she won a 5th grade 457 metre race at New South Wales country track Temora and what a contrast to this Thursday night where she will step up to the biggest challenge of her career and potentially claim the illustrious Group One Bold Trease Carnival Cup worth a handy $50,000 first prize. Having just 16 starts so far with 11 wins and 3 minor placings, all the signs are pointing towards great success for the black and white bitch.
Now under the care of successful Victorian trainer Jamie Ennis, the CCU Syndicate of owners lead by former trainer John Hutchings, will be as confident as ever with her dazzling 41.77 display last week over the 715 metre journey at Sandown Park, outclassing the favourite for the final, So Seductive who clocked 42.21 but was subjected to a several points of interference.
Although she has never exited from box eight in her career, Lady Arko does take advantage of an outside box draw having saluted the judge three out of four times from box seven and two out of three times from box six. Her early speed at box rise will be a key factor to her position at the first turn however the benefit of no dogs crossing her from the right should give the bitch named after legendary Rugby League player Ken Arthurson plenty of room to find her place at the first turn.
Whelped in April 2008, Lady Arko was the result of a repeat mating by Where’s Perdro out of the AWM distance champion Zarbo. If any race qualities possessed by the first litter whelped in 2006 were recurring, it was inevitable Lady Arko would become successful on the group race stage. The 2006 litter out of Zarbo gave the greyhound racing world speed machine Mogambo, who not only made his mark on the race track in breaking the Ballarat track record over the 550 metres in 30.64 but is now one of the hottest young prospects as a stud dog with excellent reports on his upcoming progeny.
Zarbo was bred by renowned breeders Martin and Fiona Hallinan and has an impressive trophy collection herself that includes the 2005 AWM Distance Championship and the Traralgon track record which she also broke in 2005 over the 658 metre distance in 38.35.
Tomorrow night at 8.58pm (Victorian Time), Lady Arko will face her toughest test in a bid to secure her first Group One distance title but not before she has to hold out Mr. consistency and Australian distance champion Blue Lorian and the Kel Greenough trained favourite for the race So Seductive. With all the elements on her side there is no doubt the black and white bitch will be right up the front when they turn for home over the tough 715 metre trip.
Tomorrow night at Sandown Park also features the Group One Melbourne Cup with El Grand Senor perfectly boxed in the two but who will be challenged by the up and coming Jason Thompson star Aston Galilee by Elite State out of legendary producer Elite Oriental will be attempting to record her 7th consecutive win to add to her already impressive 6 victories from 7 starts. The lids will rise for eagerly anticipated Melbourne Cup at 9.57pm (Victorian Time).