Lara greyhound trainer Graeme Bate says Taipan Bale has the firepower to land his seventh Geelong Australia Gold Cup on Friday night. “Taipan Bale has heaps of early pace, he's not really strong at the end, but this early pace is what you must have,” Bate said yesterday. The Geelong Australia Gold Cup (457m) has a $40,000 first prize and is one of the richest provincial races in Australia.
Bate has won the Geelong Cup six times with Satan's Shroud (1982), Modern Gossip (1987), Fair Sentence (1989), Cerin Bale (1998), Suellen Bale (2001) and Dyna Checa (2006).
Taipan Bale, a winner of 18 of his 41 starts, has earned $57,000 in stakes in less than 12 months' racing.
The black and white dog won the Healesville Cup (340m) in March.
“After that Healesville Cup, he kept running into one of Australia's best in El Galo, they are similar dogs with lots of early pace, and El Galo kept beating me,” Bate said.
“Since El Galo went interstate, it's been good.”
Taipan Bale has won five of his past eight starts and is likely to start favourite at about $3 in the Cup.
The dog will start from box eight – a draw which he has had only three times previously for one win and a third.
“I'm happier with box eight than say box five,” Bate said.
“Taipan Bale's runs in the heat and semi-final have been absolutely tops. I'm hoping he can make it three good runs in a row.”
Bate respects fastest semi-final winner Invisiting Me, which has drawn box three for trainer Steve Shinners.
“Invisiting Me is a really good dog, he has that early pace because he is young,” Bate said.
The other Geelong greyhound in the Cup final is Pako Road, trained by Darren Brown, of Lara.
Champion greyhound Betty's Angel will parade the finalists to the starting boxes.
The Geelong Australia Gold Cup, race eight, will start at 9.42pm at Beckley Park. Entry is free.
Courtesy : Denis Craven, Geelong Advertiser