The old adage ‘better late than never’ applied to Devonport last Tuesday afternoon, when a lure malfunction interrupted the eight heats of the $25,000 Group 3 Devonport Cup. It did turn out to be a stellar program however, despite the competitors in heat two catching the bunny as a result of a power failure.
Before the delay, the racing action kicked off with Tassie’s great speedster, Topline Doovee returning to her brilliant best when leading all the way from box five. After beginning only fairly, Mick Stringer’s wonderful bitch careered away from High Choice by 8 lengths, clocking 25.87 in the process.
Heat two was unfortunately decided by a random draw, after the lure pulled up sharply sending greyhounds in all directions. The lucky runner to progress to the final was Munich Monelli for local trainer Margaret Rossendell.
Heat three followed some hour and a half later, but was definitely worth the wait with a fantastic finish highlighting the quality of the event. Toohey’s Queen rocketed out of the boxes and set up a nice break looking to make it four wins straight, before Buzzin joined the lead just before the final turn. The race changed complexion in the straight when stronger dogs Where’s Ned and Byron’s Choice went up to the two leaders. But they were all overshadowed by the amazing finish of race favourite, Accounts who rifled through the middle to secure his place in the lucrative final. Having come from last at the midway point, Accounts only managed 26.22 but was gave one of the most impressive runs of the day.
Defending champion of the event Taipan Bale for Graeme Bate was engaged in the next heat, but could only managed third spot behind the in-form Shunted for Victorian trainer David Burnett. Super Joe Cool made it a Victorian trifecta by finishing a game second, and will line up in the Consolation Event as a result.
Cradoc Park made it four wins in a row and became the second finalist for Mick Stringer after taking the fifth heat in 25.80. Not known for his early speed, Cradoc Park managed to begin quite well on this occasion and settled behind Elite Texan and Crime Fighter. When Elite Texan fell away in the straight, Crime Fighter looked to have it all wrapped up, before Cradoc Park clicked into gear to take the win by a narrow margin.
Heat six was completed in the fastest time, with excellent greyhound Gardam Prince adding to his amazing strike rate. Leading easily from box seven, Gardam Prince clocked 25.66 to run away by 3.75L over Stylish Monty and Bee Gee Mac. Having now won 29 out of 41 starts, Darren McDonald’s blue flyer atoned for his disappointing sixth in the Hobart Thousand heat back in December.
The last two heats wrapped up with two roughies making it hard for punters. Anthony Bullock grabbed a spot in the final when Sting led all the way to defeat the highly fancied visitor Gioves Thunder in 25.97. This was then followed by Rulla Shaw running on very strongly to defeat Eagle Eye in an identical time.
Unfortunately for those two runners, the box draw for the final has will see the two fastest heat winners drawn very nicely. Topline Doovee will start from the coveted red box and Gardam Prince will be gunning out of box two. Presuming one of those two dogs will lead, it seems highly improbable that they can be run down, given the times both chasers are capable of. Accounts looks the strongest of the finalists and could make the race very interesting if he is able to camp on the leaders heels. Shunted looks the best of the rest, but both he and Cradoc Park will need lots of luck from middle boxes. Munich Monelli, Sting and Rulla Shaw all look to be safely held on paper, but have already shown they are capable of causing big upsets.
The heats have also set up a fascinating consolation event. Stylish Monty, Super Joe Cool, Eagle Eye and Toohey’s Queen are all engaged and were all very game runs in their respective heats. Interestingly, Topline Doovee is the defending champion of the Consolation, and Stylish Monty gets another attempt after being scratched from the event last year.
$25,000 Group 3 Dowling McCarthy Hankook Tyres Devonport Cup
- 1) Topline Doovee – 25.87
- 2) Gardam Prince – 25.66
- 3) Accounts – 26.22
- 4) Sting – 25.97
- 5) Shunted – 25.84
- 6) Cradoc Park – 25.80
- 7) Munich Monelli – No winning time
- 8) Rulla Shaw – 25.97
- 9) Stylish Monty
- 10) Crime Figher
Angus Evans Memorial Cup Consolation
- 1) Stylish Monty
- 2) Eagle Eye
- 3) Crime Figher
- 4) Super Joe Cool
- 5) Beijing Bond
- 6) Tooheys Queen
- 7) High Choice
- 8) Bee Gee Mac
- 9) Wattle Weary
- 10) Winklee Wonder