The fawn bitch started from box two in the first of two heats, pinging the lids wearing the black and white rug and going straight to the early lead. Swinging into the straight on the first occasion and the Mark Giddings-trained chaser had a clear lead over capable middle distance chaser Explosive Range, with Nureyev making up ground into third spot.
The leading trio stayed virtually in that formation for the entire trip, with Lioness Lulu kicking clear in the run to the line to score by three and a half lengths in 42.24. Young Gun rattled home from the tail of the field to clinch second in the shadows of the post, with Nureyev finishing in third and Explosive Range tiring last to finish a close fourth.
Lioness Lulu will move into the final as the one to beat, with the daughter of Big Daddy Cool and Jackie’s Capri now a winner of three from three over the track and trip in the Harbour City, including last week’s Group 1 Association Cup.
It has been a meteoric rise to stardom for the 26 kilogram pocket rocket which was virtually unheard of within the world of greyhound racing just seven starts ago, having only recorded four wins and 21 placings from 52 starts.
However, since stepping up to the staying trip in February this year, Lioness Lulu has now recorded three wins and three placings, with $112,225 now beside her name after her Association Cup win as well as her third placing in the Group 1 Superstayers (725m) at The Meadows – not bad for a $2,000 purchase.
Lioness Lulu will have some tough competition in next week’s decider, with the second heat taken out by Tizza Nitro in solid style. The black bitch was only fair to begin from the inside draw, but was able to hold her position on the fence as front runner Serena Nimbus assumed the early lead.
Racing through the catching pen and the lead changed again, with Angry Thunder swooping around the field to take up the top spot. Despite rolling to a clear lead down the back, Karen Midson’s greyhound tired in the run to the line, with Tizza Nitro still holding her spot on the fence and charging to the front in the home straight.
The daughter of Nitro Burst and Tizzalango crossed the line three quarters of a length clear of Phantom Reign, with favourite Sandave Sapphire filling the trifecta back in third, three lengths behind the winner which clocked 42.55.
Group 3 Wentworth Park Gold Cup box draw
1 – Golden Gate
2 – Phantom Reign
3 – Tizza Nitro
4 – Explosive Range
5 – Nureyev
6 – Sandave Sapphire
7 – Young Gun
8 – Lioness Lulu
1st res – Whittaker
2nd res – Cristalle Coco