THEGroup3 Big Dog Cup final promises to be a keenly contested race, with three Victorian raiders attempting to steal the spoils from a quality local contingent. The only finalist with previous group success is the Stephen Whyte-trained Clash Of Kings, who saluted in the 2014 Darwin Cup last August.
Joe Borg has two big chances in the final, with the race favourite Ralphy Cinel and the well-drawn Come On Fantasy. If Ralphy Cinel can match his time of 34.66 from last week he will be extremely hard to beat, whilst Come On Fantasy should be better for last week’s run.
Darren Russell is also represented by two runners after the scratching of Bon Yeo in the red rug. His reserve runner Farmer’s Gold joins kennelmate Kidatee Croc in the quest for group glory. Both will need to improve on their heat runs.
The Selena Zammit-trained Buck City and Reg Kay trained Good Call Paul appear to be the best of the local chances.
It promises to be an exciting race and is set to jump at 9.15pm local time.
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Three starts back she ran the hands off the clock when posting a blistering 34.64 win here and in her two subsequent runs she has been a tad disappointing. On both occasions she has got quite tired in the run home and with her having to lead to win I think she will struggle tonight. There is going to be a lot of pressure coming from three, four and five and she is going to need everything to go her way.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has won three on the trot over this trip in recent weeks and all three wins have been around the 35 flat mark. I’m expecting him to turn in a similar performance tonight and a 35 flat run would see him maybe sneak into third spot. He has the speed to lead but I think he may get reeled in with about 100m to go.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Made his middle distance debut last week and he was far from disgraced. He was going to make a strong move mid race but he continually got held up and therefore he lost momentum. He has the speed to lead and if he could just step cleanly he becomes a major player. The only concern with him is that his box manners aren’t great and he can make a lot of mistakes in his races but if he puts it altogether he could make this field look second rate.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Likely to start favourite and with a clean getaway he will take a power of beating. After a string of unlucky and somewhat disappointing performances, he showed his true ability with a devastating 34.66 heat win. If he was to begin like that again there is every chance he will roll to the front and he will put a space in them, with slow beginners on his outside he should be afforded all the breaks in the run to the first turn.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Great stayer in the making and he could be the value in this event. He is going to settle well back in the field but he has great track sense and he will be hitting the line hard, this race features quite a few front runners and I’m expecting him to pick a few of them off up the home straight. The box draw isn’t a big concern because he is likely to drop out early and move across to the rail. I dont think he can win but he can definitely take home some minor money.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Easily one of the most talented chasers in the race but reliability isn’t one of his strengths. Last week he put himself into a prominent position early and he showed his true ability with a dazzling 34.88 heat win, obviously if he reproduced that effort he would be a major threat. The concern with him is that he will be looking to get to the rail early and due to his lack of early speed he is likely to be posted wide for most of the journey. Clearly he has a great chance but I’m willing to risk him at the short odds.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has won three of eight over this trip and really caught the eye when placed in his heat. He normally does his best racing when he can lead and dictate the terms, however last week he worked home nicely and was beaten by just under five lengths in blistering time. The last time he exited this draw he blazed across to the early lead and posted an impressive 35.08 victory, if he happens to ping again tonight he may just cause an upset.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Big talent but makes too many mistakes and is desperate for the rail, if the gaps opened at the right time and with a clear run he is capable of winning, however if there is carnage in the race he is the one likely to be causing it.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Loves racing over this journey and would be a genuine winning chance if she started. Two starts back she won here in a slick 34.94 and if she somehow gained a start she would be a force to be reckoned with.”