Southern raiders star in Gold Cup & Gold Bullion heats
Tennis star Nick Kyrgios has been dominating sporting headlines over the past two weeks, but his canine namesake can steal the limelight at Albion Park this Thursday.
Zipping Kyrgios is $3.40 equal favourite with Sportsbet for Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club's Group 1 Gold Bullion final and eyeing off a $150,000 first prize cheque.
It's not quite the $337,500 the human Kyrgios took home after partnering with Thanasi Kokkinakis to win the Australian Open men's doubles final at the weekend.
Nonetheless, Cranebrook trainer John Finn and his wife Minnie will have no complaints if their outstanding sprinter can repeat the performance after clocking the fastest Gold Bullion heat time of 29.68.
His closing split of 12.60 at the end of 520m was clearly superior to his fellow qualifiers and stamps the 2019 son of Aussie Infrared – already the winner of 26 races and $258k in stakes – as a key finalist from box four.
The Gold Bullion is Queensland's second-richest greyhound race and the 2022 edition brings together an elite field after favourites dominated the January 27 heats.
Powerhouse New South Wales raider Jungle Deuce kept his unblemished Queensland record intact, notching his sixth win from as many Sunshine State appearances in heat two.
The $1.60 popular pick endured a checkered path early but had his legion of fans cheering with a dominant finishing burst to score in 30.01 (closing split 12.88).
The time was well outside his 29.54 PB for the Albion Park 520m but seems somewhat irrelevant given the strength of the performance and his favourable box two draw in the final.
It also extended a magnificent winning streak to six for the son of Barcia Bale and Forbes trainer Jack Smith, with the pair triumphing in the Group 1 Paws of Thunder final at Wentworth Park prior to venturing north.
Louis Rumble ($1.85) justified his odds-on quote, leading throughout in 29.85 (12.87) in heat three for trainer Steve Kavanagh.
He draws between his two key rivals in box three for the final, while Victorian visitor Do It ($3.30 fav) produced a strong finish after a sluggish getaway to take heat one in 30.07 (12.90) for Jeff Britton.
Do It faces a tougher assignment from box six in the final and accordingly is quoted at juicy double-figure odds in early markets.
Louis Rumble is on the fourth betting line at $5, just behind Orchestrate ($4.50), who fought determinedly to claim heat five in 30.00 (12.90).
The Tony Brett-prepared son of Barcia Bale is an eight-time winner over the 520m distance at Albion Park, with a PB of 29.66 and commands respect from box seven.
Brett is no stranger to success in the time-honoured feature, winning six of the eight runnings between 2011 and 2018 when it was known as the Queensland Winter Cup; the race was rebranded to the Gold Bullion and moved to summer in 2020.
Kooringa Lucy is the only bitch in the final and earned the right by winning the Group 3 Golden Ticket at Albion Park on January 20.
She is a 520m track specialist with 10 wins, nine placings and a 29.54 PB from 23 attempts and has been kept safe in early Gold Bullion betting markets at $8.50 for trainer Mitch Northfield.
Victorians dominate Albion Park Gold Cup heats
Thursday's Albion Park meeting marks the culmination of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival and also features the Group 3 Gold Cup final over 710m.
Victoria was expected to dominate and the January 27 heats largely played to script with Hank The Hustler ($1.70) and Knicks Bale ($3.50) both saluting for southern trainers Jeff Britton and Samantha Grenfell respectively.
Local Bad And Boujee ($10) caused a minor boilover in heat two when lowering the colours of even-money favourite Gypsy Wyong, but the Andrea Dailly-trained bitch retains favouritism in the Sportsbet futures market for Thursday's decider at $3.40.
Gypsy Wyong is a multiple Group 1 winner and will be out to lift the Queensland monkey off her back, having finished second in her only two Albion Park outings to date.