Thursday night at Angle Park we witnessed Group 1 racing at its finest with seven heats of the Triple M 40th Adelaide Cup where one of the best line up’s seen in the Cup’s 40 year history battled it out for a chance to qualify for the Group 1 Final on October 13.
The fastest qualifier for the final was the Jamie Ennis trained Victorian Cape Hawke who made it seven wins in a row when he was able to lead from box 2 and showed tremendous mid race speed to stop the clock at a blistering 29.33, the quickest time on the Angle Park circuit since Big Time Max ran 29.30 in winning the 2007 Adelaide Cup Final.
He was 2 lengths quicker than the next fastest heat winner Allen Harper for master Victorian trainer Graeme Bate who ran a sensational 29.47 for the 515m leading throughout.
Bate also qualified another two of his kennel stars for the final with pre post favourite Radley Bale winning heat 4 in a sizzling 29.51 and Allen Hertz, fresh from his Paws of Thunder placing, winning the first heat in a slick 29.56 both also leading throughout.
Bate almost had half the field for the final up until the last heat where Kel Greenough’s Clyde’s Angel qualified as the fastest runner up when he finished 3¾ lengths behind Allen Harper in running second with his personal time of 29.70, .01 of a second quicker than the Bate trained Allen Lawson which relegated him to 1st reserve.
Coffex Coffee SA Oaks winner Mepunga Nicky continued on her winning way when she took out heat 3 of the Cup in a brilliant 29.55 making it five wins in a row and remaining undefeated at Angle Park in her three starts in SA. The Jeff Britton trained flyer rated the fastest first split time of 4.37 and the fastest second split time of 16.69 of all heat winners underlining her sensational speed.
Weekend Rush for ex South Australian Justin Illman qualified for the Group 1 final after he ran home powerfully along the rails to win by 2¼ lengths in a handy 29.62. Now training in Victoria, Illman’s charge was unwanted in betting and caused a boil over at double figure odds defeating a top line up including race favourite Aston Galilee who found plenty of trouble on the first turn.
Seven of the eight finalists are from across the border, however, the South Australian flag will be flown by the SA bred Crazy Heart owned and trained by Riverland trainer Bruce Lellmann after she stayed out of trouble in heat 6 of the Cup to run down leader Woodside Fred in the shadows of the post.
With race favourites Kilty Lad and Yowyeh finding all sorts of trouble early in the event Crazy Heart was able to position nicely before running home strongly in a solid 30.11. She started double figure odds in her heat and will probably be longer odds for the final however box 1 certainly suits and with the local support who knows what can happen on final night.
History will be made on Thursday night with the 40th running of the Triple M Adelaide Cup where the winning connections will take home the $75,000 first prize and the title of Group 1 winner.
The final will be race 8 on the program and is listed to jump at 9.25pm (SA time).
Also featured on a fabulous nights racing is the $15,000 Triple M Adelaide Cup Consolation along with the $7,000 Premier’s Cup to be run over the 731m staying trip.
Leading local greyhound bookmaker Peter Damarell has provided his market for Thursday nights Group 1 Final installing the Jamie Ennis trained Cape Hawke as the pre post favourite just ahead of the Graeme Bate trained Radley Bale. Peter will be available on course at Angle Park with his market for the final.
Tattsbet will also be offering a fixed odds market on Thursday nights Adelaide Cup final.
The Triple M 40th Adelaide Cup Final field in Box Draw order and pre post market:
2011 Triple M Adelaide Cup Final
1. Crazy Heart Bruce Lellmann (SA) $31.00
2. Radley Bale Graeme Bate (Vic) $3.60
3. Clyde’s Angel Kel Greenough (Vic) $13.00
4. Weekend Rush Justin Illman (Vic) $21.00
5. Allen Hertz Graeme Bate (Vic) $7.00
6. Allen Harper Graeme Bate (Vic) $4.60
7. Cape Hawke Jamie Ennis (Vic) $3.50
8. Mepunga Nicky Jeff Britton (Vic) $4.00
9. Allen Lawson (1st Res) Graeme Bate (Vic) $13.00
10.Cold Fusion (2nd Res) Neil Falls (NSW) $13.00