The race has witnessed some quality stayers win in recent times, including Chinatown Lad (2008), Queen Lauryn (2009) and He Knows Uno (2012).
Victorian chasers have been dominant in the race in the last few years, winning three of the last four finals. Nellie Noodles won in 2010, Bobby Boucheau saluted in 2011 and Destini Fireball took out last year’s Gold Cup. They boast the two favourites this year and it will be no surprise to see the trophy heading south again.
Here is a look at the finalists with comments from the trainers;
Comments: ARG opinion is – The undisputed queen of staying racing in Australia who seems to set track records for fun. With a clean getaway she will take a power of catching and if she is anywhere near her best is all but unbeatable. Clearly the big gun in this final.
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) – “I think if anyone can beat Xylia Allen she might be the one, but in saying that we have to really hope that she comes out well and then see what happens. We would probably still need Xylia Allen to miss the start a little bit and hope for some luck.”
Comments: Angela Langton (Co-Trainer) – “She will have to begin very well, she isn’t draw too bad because she lies to use a bit of the track so she won’t cut down on Infinite Wish. She is going to need a lot of luck though.”
Comments:Keiron Butler (Trainer) – “She just needs a bit of room getting to that first time. Everytime she races there she seems to feature in the stewards report three or four times. If she is within a few lengths of them down the back, they would want to be watching over their shoulders because she will be running home very well. I just hope we can get a clean crack at them.”
Comments: Bruce Linnan (Trainer) – “Yeah well, she came out good last week, I think she ran the fastest first section and I don’t think the dog drawn on her outside is terribly fast away so hopefully we can get around them, that is our only chance. I was a little bit disappointed in her run last week, I think she was entitled to win once she led because she can run the time that they went, but maybe I saw box one and got a little bit too eager and over-worked her, she was a little bit flat. But each week is a different proposition.”
Comments: James Shaw (Trainer) – “I think he is not drawn too badly out in the eight, I think the seven ran the fastest first sectional last week so hopefully we can gate a cart across. If we can have half a dozen dogs behind us as we pass the 700 metre boxes the second time then I think we are in with a hope.”
Comments: Is yet to win a 700 metre race to date. Is highly unlikely to be able to match it with the big guns in this one.
Best Albion Park Times
If Xylia Allen (1) jumps and runs anywhere near her best then we are more likely to see her break Dashing Corsair’s track record than for her to get beat. She is all class and only has to put it together on the night to give this field a donkey-licking.
Infinite Wish (2) could be the main danger if she steps well but her main worry is the dog drawn outside her. Golfing Amy (3) has the propensity to jump well and carve left and Infinite Wish will need to avoid her early.
Mepunga Tiara (4) could be afforded space early and can lead a field like this if Xylia Allen doesn’t. She is classy enough to hang on for a long way and could pinch it at big odds.
Know Class (8) needs to stay out of trouble early and find room to grind home in his dour style. He looks a place chance.
Set Her Again (7) is fast early and has registered a handy 41.83 here in the past, she could be another vying for the lead in the early speed battle.
Eleazar (5) will need a lot of luck in the run to be able to unleash his best and only looks a rough place chance, while Mullaway (6) looks hopelessly outclassed.