Temlee winner Cintiarna headlines five quality heats of the Anniversary Cup to be run this Thursday night at Angle Park. The dual Group victor lines up from the awkward box five in what is expected to be a return to form after below par Australian Cup and Golden Easter Egg campaigns. It will be the Sandra Collins-prepared chaser’s first look around S.A’s premier circuit and could be a good indication of whether the constant travel is taking any toll on this outstanding sprinter.
She comes up against the likes of Prank Call who has drawn well in box two and veteran sprinter Point Two Over, who has always appreciated an outside box and is looking to bring up a staggering 28th win around the 515m.
Cintiarna isn’t the only runner to have crossed borders for this series as fellow Victorians Yowyeh and Mepunga Geordie also return to the City of Churches to stake their claims.
Yowyeh has always raced well around the Cardigan Street layout, proven by his S.A Derby win back in 2011 where he knocked off Black Hombre in two excellent sub-thirty runs. There has been a lot of water pass under the bridge since that series and it appears an interesting decision by Angela Langton to tackle the top-end sprint races again, considering the form he has shown as a stayer. The opening heat, of which Yowyeh is engaged, appears particularly difficult as not only will the son of Premier Fantasy have to overcome box four, but also in-form locals Kalden Kurageous and Tercel who have received ideal inside draws. With those two expected take up forward positions in running, it makes life very tough for anything trying to run them down if they set the blistering times we have seen from them recently.
Mepunga Geordie is in a similar boat after also coming up with a ‘visitors draw’. He will wear yellow come Thursday night, and will be afforded no mistakes early with My Little Star drawn three, and Significant Bit for Bob Isaacson expected to be carving across from box seven. My Little Star has found her groove again after defeating a handy field last Thursday night, while the diminutive Significant Bit can fly out and post a hot time when she is on song.
Another interesting race on paper looms in the second heat, where the rush to the first corner will be fascinating. Drawn the red box is the current Gawler 400m record holder, Avid Tyson who will be looking to hold out the talented Koombooyana Girl, along with Just Shine, with all three racing best when on the bunny. That trio have a combined eight wins from their past twelve starts and the pre-post market will be just as interesting as the race itself. There is plenty of depth in this event too, as NSW chaser Young Snozz has also made the trip across but will need luck from box seven in his Angle Park debut.
The Anniversary Cup isn’t the only point of interest in a particularly good card of racing this week, with two heats of the West End Draught Distance Championship also scheduled.
The opening heat of this feature event – again worth $25,000 to the winner at Group 3 level – sees Kalden Mayhem look to continue his dominance amongst the South Aussie staying ranks. The blue dog from the Troy Murray kennel has an exceptional record over this distance (15 wins from 23 attempts) and should be skinny odds to improve on that. His main danger comes from a white bitch named Miss Woods, who has battled against Kalden Mayhem on many occasions, and should be safely seeing herself through to the next round, while the widely travelled Robert Andrew returns from a stint in NSW and will start from box eight.
The second heat is a bit tougher and with further interstate involvement. Mimicking had a very large come-from-behind victory last Saturday night, and has experience around Angle Park where it campaigned for an extended period. He will be giving them a head start one would think, which is a big ask with the likes of Cousin Callum, Abdon Bale and Maddison Dee going around. Maddison Dee interestingly comes through the same formline as Mimicking last weekend, as part of that ultra-competitive staying event at The Meadows.
While two heats for a Group-rated event may seem disappointing at first, Greyhound Racing S.A. should be quite happy with 17 nominations for this one, considering the regular 710m fixtures over the past couple of weeks has contained only five runners. Five heats for the Anniversary Cup is also a positive result, and administrators would be happy to see some of the bigger names ready to compete over both distances for the lucrative prizes on offer.