The Pub TABs in seven Queensland-based hotels will erupt tonight for the 2009 SUREpick Publicans’ Cup.
The $7,600 mixed final is an annual race which sees various Queensland pubs sponsor the night to have a greyhound represent its establishment in the race in the hope of winning the Publicans’ Purse.
The draw and representative hotels are:
1. Honey Bunny – Parkhurst Tavern
2. Pure Surf – Stafford Tavern
3. Midnight Surf – The Gem
4. Fredrick Tycoon – Stafford Tavern
5. Luva Drink – Porters Plainland Hotel
6. Spring Our Ping – Landsborough Pub
7. Real Frosty – Manly Hotel
8. Almich Lass – Wynnum Manly Leagues Club
The heats last week saw Pure Surf qualify the fastest and is sure to be favourite heading into tonight, posting a 30.06 time to win his heat for trainer Paul Cauchi.
Jumping from box two it should be a solid dash to the lead for him after showing blistering box speed in his heat with a 5.76 first sectional.
The only competitor for this early speed is Real Frosty who clocked a 5.73 first sectional from box one to win the other heat of the night by almost six lengths ahead of Almich Lass.
The most appropriately named greyhound of this feature race is Ron Ball’s Luva Drink in box five, who has been performing consistently in recent starts but has been unlucky with box draws.
Again box five will not be a great advantage for the Bombastic Shiraz – Berella Xena dog, and will find it hard to find a position on the rails in the early stages considering the similar pace of Fredrick Tycoon and Honey Bunny on the inside in box four and one, respectively.
Smart Choice has shown great staying ability since restarting his career in Brisbane, including two wins in his last two starts over the distance at Albion Park.
The Bob Giltinan-trained performer will jump from box three in this race, and his early speed is sure to have him in the lead after the first turn.
However, one to watch out for is Brisbane first starter Drifting, who has made the trip up for next week’s Marathon race and will head into this race for the experience.
While it will be her first look at the track, she is sure to be a strong contender with her incredible staying abilities.
Another heading into the Marathon, named the A-Team Thunder (832m) next week is Irish Fantasy, who has struggled lately over the 710m, but will benefit tonight from a vacant inside box when she jumps from box six.
The other strong Best Eight this Thursday night will be the Gem Hotel 520m.
Local performer Azakhan, who was strong favourite in the Sister Cities Cup last week, will be looking to make amens after missing the start and being checked on the first turn as a result.
Jumping from box three, he will have tough competition on his direct inside and outside, with Kallan Bale jumping from box two, and Elma Fud in box four, who are both proven winners in the class and distance.
A rough chance in this race is Premier Chief from box eight, showing incredible consistency in the past two months, claiming places on consecutive occasions in the grade.
The Margaret Quarrel-trained dog is due for a win, and should show some value on the TAB.
Andy Albion’s Best Bets:
- Race 3 Number 8 Yorklea City
- Race 4 Number 3 Smart Choice
- Race 5 Number 1 Shanahan Bale
- Race 6 Number 3 Azakhan
- Race 8 Number 2 Pure Surf