NEIL Staines had a memorable afternoon at Dubbo on Tuesday, qualifying two runners into Sunday’s Cosmic Rumble Gold Cup Final, with his second heat winner Tullabung Honey recording best of the day figures.
The daughter of Barcia Bale and Hidden Assets started from box six in heat four and led all the way in a stunning 29.76 performance over the 516-metre journey. Anthony Azzopardi’s Fancy Top was made the $2.70 favourite after breaking the 25-second barrier at Maitland last week and did a superb job reducing the winning margin to just one length. Tullabung Honey recorded his fourth win on Tuesday from just six starts and looks to have a promising future at just 26 months of age.
Staines’ other heat winner Country Fox also broke 30-seconds, quickly getting to the lead on a wet Dubbo surface and led throughout in a speedy run of 29.83. Former Victorian sprinter Adam Handler was all the rage for Anthony Azzopardi at $1.70, however, after stumbling at box rise, produced a solid effort to run third.
Nightwatchman was the only other greyhound to record a sub-30 time, displaying uncharacteristic early speed at box rise to blow his rivals away by seven-and-three-quarter-lengths in a fast time of 29.89. John Callaughan’s talented chaser is known for his incredible stamina and is a genuine contender in this Sunday’s final if he repeats his box manners.
Other heat winners were Group 1 National Derby finalist Topper Road for Anthony Azzopardi, who clocked a solid time of 30.12 and Total Silence for owner/trainer Leighton Winter which ran 30.43.
Cosmic Rumble Gold Cup Final – Dubbo – Sunday 26th April, 2015 – $25,000 to the winner
1 – Still Searching’ – Melinda Finn
2 – Topper Road – Anthony Azzopardi
3 – Fancy Top – Anthony Azzopardi
4 – Country Fox – Neil Staines
5 – Spring Firechief – Peter Dunne
6 – Tullabung Honey – Neil Staines
7 – Total Silence – Leighton Winter
8 – Nightwatchman – John Callaughan
9 – Total Platinum – Leighton Winter
10 – All Too Fancy – Dennis Barnes