This Monday sees the third of Tassie’s Group race trio completed, with the running of the Group 2 Country Club Launceston Cup. The series kicked off with eight heats last week, with only the winners progressing to the $40,000-to-the-winner final.
Previous winners of this great race have included talented locals Fine Horizon (1999 & 2000), Top Shiraz (2001) and Obie Trice (2004) as well as interstaters stars as Jeanie’s Queen (2002).
This year’s event sees Butch Deverell going for an amazing hat-trick of wins, after littermates Akka Boy and Big Moose have taken the Cup in ’08 and ’09 respectively. But the seven locals engaged will be hard pressed to stop the lone Victorian and likely favourite, Gardam Prince.
2010 COUNTRY CLUB LAUNCESTON CUP BOX DRAW – (Group 2) 515m
- 1-PEDRO PRONTO – Robert Grubb (Where’s Pedro x Stylish Dotty)
A member of a very successful litter and considered one of the best breakers in Tasmania. He had the red box last week, and used it to perfection when strolling to victory in 29.89. Looks to be one of the main chances, and could very well boot up and lead again. If the favourite doesn’t step well from box six, Pedro Pronto will look the winner for a long way. He’s right in this.
- 2-UNO KEYSY – Len Howard (Primo Uno x Cyclone Keysy)
Definitely a surprise packet from the heats, Uno Keysy managed to run his more accomplished opponents off their legs in 30.20 from box one. He began really well on that occasion and would need to do the same to feature here, although he is not usually known for his box manners. The inside draw helps again, but he does look desperately outclassed here, and will be very long odds. Not likely.
- 3-BIG ZEUS – Butch Deverell (Pure Octane – Edan Rose)
This dog has improved out of sight in recent weeks, and does seem to show his best at this track. Has the added pressure of giving Butch Deverell and his dam, Edan Rose, three consecutive Launceston Cups. In saying that, he has drawn awkwardly in box three, and is likely to be conceding a start. He does lack the class of some of his rivals, but he loves being an underdog and only seems to win when he’s not expected to.
- 4-WHERE’S FLY – Troy Murray (Where’s Pedro x Somerton Lass)
The only South Australian to make the final courtesy of a dashing win in 29.86 last week. Began like a bullet from this exact box and gave nothing else a chance. Previous form in Adelaide was fairly solid but this would be a definite class rise. Improvement is likely after his first look at the Mowbray circuit, and could surprise if he leads. Not without a chance and should be good value.
- 5- SULTAN’S SWING– Debbie Cannan (Big Daddy Cool x Prestige Girl)
By far the youngest chaser in the field recently turning 2 years old, this black speedster has done little wrong in his thirteen starts to date. Having won ten of them, he has shown great track sense and has shown courage burrowing along the rails recently. He has been a little tardy at boxrise, and simply cannot afford to miss the kick in this company. He’s got a bright future but the jump in class looks a touch steep, and the draw makes it harder.
- 6-TRILOGY MISSION– Donna Goodluck (Surf Lorian x Ginger Legs)
Another bolter from the heats, Trilogy Mission won his heat in 30.12 from box three. It’s hard to mount a case for him, as this the hardest race has been in and has a horror draw. Has only missed a place once on the track but he’d have to be the beneficiary of interference to keep up.
- 7-GARDAM PRINCE – Darren McDonald (Black Enforcer –She’s Travelling)
Easily the best dog in the field on ability alone. Has a fantastic strike rate and usually fires out of the traps. Normally suited to one bend tracks, but looked right at home over the 515m in the heats when scoring in 29.83BON in the strongest of the heats. Has proven himself at Group level already, taking out the Shepparton and Devonport Cups in the last few months. The only query looks to be the draw, with some speedy dogs drawn inside him. The equation looks simple however – if Gardam Prince crosses to the lead from box seven, he wins.
- 8-FISHERMAN – Robert Sutcliffe (Where’s Pedro x Stylish Dotty)
The epitome of a ‘Track Specialist’, Fisherman simply adores Launceston. Having won 10 from 14 with 3 minor placings, it won’t be a surprise to see him vying for the lead early. He pinged the lids last week and was able to cross the speedy Eagle Eye before scoring by almost 7 lengths in 29.96. Box eight in the final will not help him, as he needs to lead and there are plenty of dogs with pace drawn better, including his littermate Pedro Pronto. He’ll need luck to find the rails, but will be trying his heart out. Don’t Discount.
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The race looks to be between the speedier dogs, and holding the lead will be all important. In the end, you can’t go past the most accomplished dog and Gardam Prince looks likely to make it back to back Group victories. Pedro Pronto maybe holds the key to the race and box one is a huge advantage. The best of the rest looks to be Fisherman, and has to be given a place chance.