Move Over Melbourne, It’s Brisbane Cup Time

With the Sandown Superdog series over for another year, it’s time to focus further north with the 2011 Group 1 Sky Channel kicking off this Thursday at Albion Park.

Five heats of the prestigious event are scheduled, and the depth of talent is arguably the best seen in Brisbane for many years.

Runners from , and Western have made the trip north to tackle the locals who will no doubt be hard to beat once again.

Heat one is headlined by the local superstar Iso Octane, who has nine wins from ten starts around Albion Park. Drawn two in this event, the son of and Tiny Milly will be looking to atone for two recent defeats during the series. To do so, he’ll need to hold off the fast finish of Victorians Radley Bale and Allen Lawson.

Radley Bale is overdue for a win, and would need to start well from box four. While his record at the track is poor, only a brave punter would discount the reigning Golden Easter Egg winner. Allen Lawson is almost back at his best after a good win three starts back, and again finishing powerfully to just go down last start at Sandown.

Bekim Bale has come up with box three for the second heat, and it will be interesting to see him use the long straight at Albion Park to wind up and fly home. Coming back in class after the final, Bekim Bale looks hard to beat with a clear run. That is unless super chaser Cold Fusion begins like he did in the Ipswich Cup, settling a couple of lengths off the lead and being too strong. He has box eight and should get some room to move early.

Numero Uno Bale is another coming back from the Melbourne Cup and has drawn his favourite box number one. A mad-keen railer, Numero Uno Bale may just take a handy spot around the first bend and will be coming home like a train. Best of the locals looks to be Migaloo Magic, who could well lead this field and has broken 30 seconds in his only win at Albion. He may be a value pick with the aforementioned trio likely to dominate the market.

Moving onto heat three where Sprint Champion Metz Magic returns home and will start from box three. In a tough affair, he is up against a host of interstaters and will need to be at his best. NSW has Gable Drum and the Vic Peters winner Spring Gun engaged, while Victoria is represented by the talented from box seven. Vocal Enforcer has trekked across the country from W.A and looks well boxed out wide. He comes into the race in great form after winning the less than a month ago. Speedy chasers Radical Dos, Time Will Tell and Maybe Elite round out the toughest race of the night.

Seven locals in the fourth heat will be looking to stop Shereen Bale who will start from box eight. She ran a close second in the Melbourne Cup last start and looks likely to begin well and go close here. The obvious danger is the winner of the 2011 Brisbane Cup, , who adores the track, with ten wins and three placings coming from only fourteen starts here. Look for him to be scorching late in the race and hoping to make it back to back cup finals. Glen Gallon is overdue for a win but possesses plenty of ability. He comes out of box four and may be the knockout dog of the event.

Several of the Melbourne Cup finalists have been given good chances in earlier heats, so it is only logical that the cup winner Dyna Tron will start short odds in the final heat. He will look to lead from box four and will be hard to stop with his current form. Bogie King and Allen Hertz look the most likely to catch him, with the latter drawing the better near the rails. Citi Hawk upset some smart types in the Ipswich Cup consolation last week and may be worth including for the multiples.

The five heats are races four to nine on the program with the Brisbane Cup final to be run the following week. A high quality trophy race over the 600m adds support to what is surely a highlight meeting for greyhound racing in Queensland this Thursday night.

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