This Saturday night, two classy fields will assemble at Wentworth Park for the heats of The Group Three Betfair cup over the 720 metre journey however much of the spotlight will shine earlier within the ten race card with recent Maitland Gold Cup winner Black Magic Opal making his highly anticipated city debut. Trained at Budgewoi by Leslie Hudson, the extremely promising son of Magic Sprite and prolific producer Awesome Opal will be looking for his sixth straight win after already recording a brilliant twelve victories with three seconds from a mere fifteen starts. The 31 kilogram speed machine was an emphatic victor in last week’s Gold Cup, defeating top class greyhounds such as Bralyn County, Transcend Time, El Brooklyn and Johnny Fire to claim the $40,000 feature by two and three quarter lengths in a scintillating 24.92 seconds- just .04 off the track record held by Exclusive One.
This week Black Magic Opal lines up from the rails box in race one against a speedy fifth grade field which includes the likes of the Graeme Bate trained Luxurious who placed third in the Group Three Nowra Summer Puppy classic at her last start. The daughter of Collision and Paris St Germain will jump from box three and has a good motor, however will have to do everything right with the black bitch developing the mischievous tendency to dart right at box rise- a trait which often brings her undone and will probably hinder Bit Cold who is drawn on her direct outside. This habit may also play into the favour of the emerging superstar drawn in the red, giving him the chance to sneak through along the rails and pinch a break. Mad railer Tourmalet is having his first start at Wenty after a recent hatrick of wins however he will need things to go right from box six. The biggest doubt with Black Magic Opal taking out the event is the fact that he has never had a race start at the track, with the first turn at the Ultimo circuit notoriously tricky for even the most seasoned campaigners, however Hudson has revealed that his pride and joy has previously trialled in a slick 30.04 seconds at the track first look, leaving punters to conclude the biggest bet for the race will be on his times and margins.
Track specialist Sometimes Speedy will return in the FFA event which is race eight on Saturday night. The breathtaking daughter of Collision and Gemstone Supreme will be looking to turn the tables on competitor Charmed Assassin who narrowly defeated her last week in a blistering 29.66 seconds. Drawn ideally in box one the 23 race winner looks hard to beat, however Charmed Assassin is undefeated from his draw (box three) which should provide a mouth-watering battle for greyhound enthusiasts. Looking to defeat both of them will be the Sharron Webster prepared Lagoon Lowanna who began like a rocket clocking an impeccable 5.30 seconds to the first turn and a scorching 29.68 seconds last week from box seven where she will be starting from again on Saturday.
Another feature of the night will be race three- The Betfair blue paws final over 520 metres. Runners qualified for the decider last Friday night with heat winner Master Jeteye looking to have a good chance despite drawing in box five. The son of Collision and the beautifully bred Jet Eye has won two on the trot at headquarters with last week’s success his most impressive, however this will definitely be his acid test with the speedy Collisioner drawn perfectly in box one and track record holder Punch One Out’s litter brother Slick ‘Em Son boxed on his inside in the blue. Trained by Valentine’s Steve Vas, Master Jeteye began well from box five and clocked a sensational second section split of 13.74, claiming his heat by one and a half lengths on the line in a fast 30.08 seconds last week.
The 27 kilogram lightweight has won twelve races with twenty minors from fifty one starts, with Vas optimistic of his charges chance on Saturday night, “I think he is well boxed and that he can lead but he has to jump. He won’t lead until the first turn but should get plenty of room to move as the four goes left and the six usually goes straight”
Vas who only has the one race dog in work at present is delighted with the recent improvement in Master Jeteye which has seen him win three of his past five starts. After correcting a niggling back injury, Vas believes that he has improved greatly and as such has a great chance of running a handy race on Saturday night.
Master Jeteye is also very special to Vas after breeding him from a bitch that he owned named Jet Eye who won three races in town. As a result, Master Jeteye the first dog he has bred and trained himself, with the pocket rocket also his first city winner as a trainer.
“I always had a big plan to breed with Jeteye, it’s been a long process and I have done it the hard way but I have been lucky,” Vas said
“He (Master Jeteye) has earned $27,000, I wouldn’t even dream of a dog to win that sort of prize money”.
Vas also has two bitches that have just been broken in at home from Jet Eye’s next litter to Velocette with her third litter to Dyna Tron currently being reared. Whilst Vas realises that there is plenty of hard work ahead, he is happy to enjoy the good times while they last and hope that his little chasers dream run can continue for a bit longer.
I have also been told that the guys at Cardiff Greyhounds Social Club Trial track will be cheering him home in the final. Vas uses the track to work his speedster and also volunteers on Saturday and Sunday mornings at the trials and adds that he likes to treat his friends at Redhead with a cake whenever Master Jeteye salutes. With the $2000 blue paws bonus on top of the $4650 winner’s cheque, I am tipping that the boys can expect one heck of a cake this Sunday morning should team Vas cross the line in first position on Saturday night.
Keep your eyes peeled for a preview of the heats of the Group Three Betfair Cup which will see Association Cup hero Fancy Liza return to Wentworth Park for the first time since her popular victory on Golden Easter Egg night.