No less than four states are represented in the 2012 Sky Racing Perth Cup final, after a thrilling nights’ racing last Saturday. Victorians make up half the final field with four qualifiers, the standout of those being the Andrea Dailly trained Heston Bale.
Despite putting in a pedestrian heat time of 30.72, it was the way The Meadows track record holder recovered from several checks in order to steal victory. Beginning from box six, it was only a few strides after the start that Heston Bale collided with Kalden Aurora, costing both greyhounds a few lengths approaching the first bend. With Forty Two Below taking up the front for David Hobby, the rest of the field jammed up, causing Proficient to being shoved wide, taking Heston Bale with it.
The margin between Heston Bale and the leading division was at least seven lengths down the back, but you got the sense that the fight was never over. Coming around the home turn, Forty Two Below was in a battle with Prince Elite, with Heston Bale going three wide around them. In a position where many others may have thrown in the towel, Heston Bale used all of his tenacity to score by half a length over Forty Two Below in a remarkable race.
Fellow Victorian Autoamerican put in what could be the run of its career to give multiple Group winner Dyna Tron a start and a beating. In what was an intense struggle from the get-go, the Steve McKenna trained chaser lobbed third for the majority of the journey, before making its move in the home straight, winning by a length in a blanket finish. Considering that the son of Brett Lee had to sit three wide from the start, the time of 30.68 was not a true indication of Autoamerican’s ability.
Lektra Jay and Mepunga Geordie are the other two finalists from the Garden State. Lektra Jay was another that did it the hard way, having to come from midfield to land the prize in 30.51. With five lengths to spare on the line, it was the way the Phil Lenehan owned dog raced away from the local opposition to demonstrate the strength on display in Victoria at present.
Mepunga Geordie was happy to makes its own luck however, taking the lead in the opening stages and recording 30.30 on his way to an impressive win. Dual Group winner, Mystic Apple, was favourite for the race but was buffeted from the very early stages and was never given a clear crack at them. Meanwhile, Mepunga Geordie highballed in front and scored comfortably over Flying Machine. Jeff Britton finally gets the chance to compete at Group 1 level with this son of Premier Fantasy, after it was listed as a reserve in the Silver Chief final recently won by Godsend.
With High Earner winning the final the past two years, it seems the Sunshine State will again have an excellent chance to take the main event. Brisbane Cup winner Glen Gallon proved that travelling was no issue after smashing his opposition in a stellar time of 29.87. What made the run even better was that fact the Glen Gallon actually stepped away quite poorly, and narrowly missed a scrimmage which saw Or Else come down in a spectacular fall. The field opened up after the contact, and Glen Gallon took full advantage to gather the lead and put 5 lengths on them very quickly. It was a case of ‘times and margins’ off the back, as the gap had really opened up. Tony Brett’s charger scored by 13 lengths on the line and will most likely start favourite for next Saturdays’ final.
Out of the three New South Wales runners to have been gifted box one, two of them grabbed the opportunity to record strong heat wins. Oaks Road for trainer Mark Gatt was impressive after mustering quickly to find the lead. Holding off a determined field that including Blue Goose and Rousay, the well bred son of Spiral Nikita held off all comers to stop the clock at 30.28 – the second fastest time of the night.
Oaks Road’s Littermate, Thing Missing will be the other half of the NSW duo, after getting the upper hand in a titanic struggle with the Ben Abercrombie runner, Hot Irish. In a two-dog war, Things Missing stalked Hot Irish all the way, who had begun the better to find the lead. But in a dual that felt like it lasted an eternity, the interstate visitor grinded hard to win by a head in 30.40.
They may have had to wait until race twelve, but the locals had been given some Perth Cup faith when veteran top-grader Uno Reltub won the final heat in 30.74. In what was to be a rough finish, the winner of 21 races managed to cling on to beat a field which included Divine Law and Queen of Cyprus. It was Victorian runner Shintaro Samurai that can count itself as the unlucky one, given it was flashing home before being jolted to a stop on the home corner. Full credit goes to Linda Britton however, who once again manages to find herself amongst the nation’s elite with a runner in W.A’s premier greyhound event.
The box draw for the $210,000 final has been released, with Heston Bale and Oaks Road getting the best of it, while Glen Gallon will need to fight his way from box four.
2012 Sky Racing Perth Cup Final $140,000 to-the-winner
1) HESTON BALE (VIC) – Andrea Dailly
2) OAKS ROAD (NSW) – Mark Gatt
3) MEPUNGA GEORDIE (VIC) – Jeff Britton
4) GLEN GALLON (QLD) – Tony Brett
5) LEKTRA JAY (VIC) – Andrea Dailly
6) UNO RELTUB (WA) – Linda Britton
7) THINGS MISSING (NSW) – Mark Gatt
8) AUTOAMERICAN (VIC) – Stephen McKenna
9) HOT IRISH (WA) – Ben Abercrombie
10) FIFTY SIX CHEVI (WA) – Gavin Van Dieman