The Buxton Winter Cup final headlined the Victorian provincial scene this week, with a superstar field assembled, including three Group race victors tackling the $10,000-to-the-winner event.
Held over the extra ground of the 596-metres trip, two heats were held last week with Boris Fields for Jason Thompson and Proven Impala for Joe Borg entering the event in winning form. Boris Fields had come up with his favourite cherry draw for the final, and as such would start as the $2.40 popular pick with Proven Impala at $3.40 from box seven.
Recent Darwin Cup winner Take It All was on the next line of betting ($5.20) and would exit the four alley, while Sachin Bale from box six was also under double-figure odds ($8.50).
However, someone forgot to tell punters that Two Tree Hill from the Robert Britton kennel was deep in calculations, as the son of Bombastic Shiraz came out with a smooth beginning and took the trophy home in 34.46.
Having never started over the track and trip until this series, Two Tree Hill obviously benefitted from the experience gained in his heat and turned the tables accordingly bringing up his 21st win overall and sixth win from box three. Paying $32.70 on the local TAB, punters were left scratching their heads and nursing their wallets after reserve runner Quo Vadis completed the $132.00 quinella, with the trifecta returning over $3,000 thanks to Czar claiming third spot, also for the Britton kennel.
Both Boris Fields and Proven Impala were in the midfield pack early on and were never able to get a crack at the leaders from there, finishing fifth and seventh respectively.
The win of Two Tree Hill caps of a stellar week for the Britton kennel, who also took out the $3,050 prize given out at Horsham earlier in the week, thanks to Skinny Vinnie leading all the way in the Vic Bred Grade 5 final.
Carrying a $1000 GOBIS bonus, the race was completed in a winning time of 27.40, but the talented El Galo x Who Told Helen pup would give punters a small scare, winning by just over a length as a hot $1.70 favourite.
It adds to a rich vein of form for Skinny Vinnie with seven of his eleven career wins coming in his last ten starts. That hot streak includes a metropolitan Grade five series when saluting at good odds, and at the time of writing lines he up in the Free-For-All race at The Meadows, worth $6,260 to connections if successful.
As was reported last week, Anthony Flores from the quaint surroundings of Yinnar South would be represented by Hurricane Isaac who zipped around the 513 metres as fastest qualifier from the six heats with a 29.48 run.
Proving he was the premier greyhound competing in the series, Hurricane Isaac got the job done again in the final, winning convincingly in 29.82 over Superstar Magic for Maureen Brown and David Knocker’s Deutronium. Drawn poorly in box five, the $4.20 second favourite was only fair to begin, but found himself sitting just off the speed as the pack flew down the back. Clicking into overdrive in the concluding stages, the margin quickly blew out to four lengths once the February 2011 dog found the lead.
Also owned by Mr. Flores, the son of Paddy’s Flame and Amity Rose is building a handsome reputation as a strong 500-metre style greyhound, and the Castle of Mey Trophy takes his overall purse to $41,288.
Looking ahead, and there is more dosh up for grabs in the coming days, with feature events taking place at Sale on Sunday, Shepparton Monday as well as the rich $7000 Warragul Oaks final on Tuesday night.