Group 1 winning sprinter Cintiarna will start from box one in Thursday night’s $25,000 Group 3 Anniversary Cup at Angle Park. After winning her heat from box five last week, she faces a far tougher task in holding off seven dogs who all put in excellent performances around Angle Park’s 515m journey.
After below-par runs in both the Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg heats, the daughter of Bombastic Shiraz began far better at her Angle Park debut, and the ability to repeat her 4.48 first section may well prove the difference between victory and defeat.
She looms as the quality runner of the race with over $200,000 to her name, and the rails draw gives no-end of help, proven by her four wins from six cherry starts. But as far as box one is an advantage, it can result in being behind runners if not on your best behaviour. This is emphasised by the two chasers drawn alongside her in Prank Call and Kalden Kurageous.
Prank Call is arguably the most reliable breaker in South Australia, and with several feature finals under his belt, including the Adelaide Cup final, we know that Paul Barry can get his chaser to perform on the big stage. Prank Call will be the first dog to benefit if the expected favourite, Cintiarna, puts a paw wrong in the early stages of the race, and will become a real threat if he can break clear by the time the field reaches the back straight. With that consistent early speed, Prank Call may represent value if punters send her out at around the estimated price of around $9.00 come start time.
Meanwhile, Kalden Kurageous in box three is a much-improved chaser who adores this circuit and is racing in peak form. His ability to carve out super times when others have struggled has been his hallmark in the past couple of months, and it would require an exceptional performance to run him down if given a clear run in transit. His first section last week was 4.46 which places him right up the front of pack early, and it may be ‘goodnight nurse’ if this former sandgroper owned by Dan Biddle can find the fence as well as the lead of the race.
Veteran Victorian Mepunga Geordie showed a brilliant turn of speed in his 29.73 heat win. Drawn box five on that occasion, he began surprisingly well for a dog that usually likes to muster up from mid-pack. He goes out to box eight now which will certainly not suit, and his box eight record of two wins from twelve attempts would substantiate this. Nonetheless, he isn’t one to be taken lightly and will get room to move with some slower beginners on his inside.
Just Shine is local greyhound who has improved steadily over time and worked his way through the grades with relative ease. Another noted fast starter, he was too good for his opposition in 29.66 in what most considered to be one of the hardest of the five heats. Adding more difficulty from an analysis perspective is his consistency when stepping from the boxes, as he is another that has put down multiple sub-4.50 times to the first post. Drawn outside Cintiarna, Kalden Kurageous and Prank Call, this winner of eleven races for Robyn McKeller looks likely to need some luck in this event, however is a true contender for the prize if allowed to run his own race.
Owner-Trainer Karen Bearpark gets her shot at Group race glory courtesy of Tercel, drawn box six. His form has been pretty solid despite some awful draws over the past month and he is one of the most talented dogs doing the rounds in S.A. The green rug isn’t what Karen would have hoped for leading into this event, however Tercel is a genuine sub-30 second greyhound and he will be staking claims when the field settles mid-race.
In a similar boat to Tercel is Troy Murray’s other entrant Kalden Komoto. Having been based in S.A for the majority of its career, local enthusiasts will be quite aware that this son of Premier Fantasy will be doing his best work late in the race. The one thing that this field lacks is genuine strength runners and Kalden Komoto could make up a heap of ground if those in front have hard runs throughout. His odds of around 20/1 are probably an accurate reflection of his winning chances, but don’t surprised if he picks up a minor placing and bundles a few out of trifecta dividends.
Rounding out the field, Young Snozz is a NSW visitor who was second behind Just Shine at his first look at the track last week. While he has been a tremendous bread-and-butter dog for owner Larry Gibbons, he faces an uphill task to give some of those engaged a start and a beating. Drawn four between two in-form speedsters, she is likely to need some fortune on this occasion, however expect her to win many more races now she’s under the care of local trainer, Petar Jovanovic.
The Group 3 Anniversary Cup looms as a fascinating battle and is scheduled to be run as race six on the Thursday night card at 8.58pm local time.