The girls are definitely dominating the staying scene at the moment, with only one male lining up for a crack at the Group 3 Chairman’s Cup tonight at Wentworth Park. The National Distance hero, Smart Valentino, will be looking to salute for the lads when he exits box seven in the feature. However, he has come up against some brilliant bitches that will be ensure it is a hard task for the back marker.
Box 1: Little Grey
The consistent Little Grey heads into the final after claiming her heat last week in a handy 42.55s. The daughter of Bit Chili began well and led all the way, defeating Diamond Lucy by three and a half lengths on the line. Little Grey has a fantastic strike rate from the cherry, with two wins and two minors from five starts, making her boxed where she wants to be. As a young stayer she looks to have plenty of talent, yet it remains to be seen whether she is up to the Group standard of some of her rivals. With over half a second difference between the two heat times, she will need to find a bit to be a genuine winning hope.
Box 2: My Asuncion
The Adele Powell-trained bitch is a daughter of a Group 1 distance diva Just Friends, but will need to find a few lengths to emulate the success of her famous mum. The 26 kilogram lightweight has had two runs over the trip without finishing in the top three on either occasion and has only saluted four times from 37 starts overall. It is hard to recommend her when she is against some proven stayers.
Box 3: Maddison Dee
Maddison Dee is the first of the Victorian raiders and looks to be one of the main contenders for the Group 3 title. The bonny bitch was gallant in defeat when finishing second behind Proven Impala in her heat, despite being eight and three quarter lengths off the winner. She should derive great benefit from her look at the track and from a favourable draw expect to see a big improvement from the Michael Chilcott half-miler.
Box 4: Cawbourne Looney
The inform Lord kennels will be looking to make it two group wins in one week when they line up Cawbourne Looney from box four. On Thursday night, Jodie put the polish on the promising Cawbourne Whip who claimed the Group 3 Dapto Maiden. Cawbourne Looney was aiming to make it five wins in succession when she contested last week’s heat. However, she was outpaced and outclassed by Proven Impala, finishing fourth behind the star Victorian. From box four she will have to avoid early interference, but she looks as if she has enough speed to be racing up near the pace and from there she has a good shot.
Box 5: Diamond Lucy
Ron Bell will have the daughter of Bit Chili and Jamad picture perfect for her big assignment but she will still have to do it the hard way from box five. Diamond Lucy ran an honest race in her heat on Saturday night, sitting second behind Little Grey for the entire trip. She faces a much harder task tonight and may struggle against this talented crew.
Box 6: Lucy Wires
The second ‘Lucy’ in the field will exit box six for Robert Britton. The dark brindle bitch has good form over the middle and staying trips in Victoria and should improve after her look at the track last week. The Flying Penske two and a half year old is a newcomer to the racing scene, lining up for the Group 3 assignment at just her 12th track appearance.
Box 7: Smart Valentino
The National Distance Champion returned to Wentworth Park last week, finishing third behind Proven Impala. The son of Where’s Pedro is as strong as they come and will be hard to hold out if he can place himself prominently within the first circuit. Smart Valentino has a scintillating personal best of 41.96s over the track and distance, which will make him hard to beat despite being drawn out wide in box seven.
Box 8: Proven Impala
The two time group winner should start favourite after her fantastic front running performance last week. Beginning well from box five, the Velocette bitch speared straight to the front of the field and streaked away to score an emphatic eight and three quarter length win in a blistering 42.03s. Box eight is not ideal, especially in a Group final. However, there is not much speed in the race so she should be able to find a spot up near the lead. If she can hit the front it will take a sensational run to chase her down.
1st Reserve: Hotwire
The son of Big Daddy Cool makes it into nearly every group final over the 720 at headquarters. Whilst it would be nice to see him rewarded with a group win it looks very unlikely, even if he does gain a start.
2nd Reserve: Number Krunch
Unlikely he will gain a start and even if he does, he will not be considered a genuine threat.
TIPS: Proven Impala, Cawbourne Looney, Smart Valentino, Maddison Dee.
The Group 3 Chairman’s Cup is race eight tonight and will jump at 9:57pm.