This Thursday’s final of the Betfair Tasmanian Gold Cup is shaping up as one of the most competitive races at Hobart this year. With many of the fancied runners progressing from the heats, it seems the box draw may be the deciding factor.
NSW runner Disintegrate will start from box seven and will probably be starting favourite. His first look at the track brought out a dashing win in 25.97, making him the fastest qualifier from the four heats. Less then a handful of dogs have broken the 26-second barrier at the Elwick circuit and Charlie Gatt’s runner will be hard to hold out with a repeat performance.
The heat win of Disintegrate was made to look even better considering he was able to beat the in form Stylish Monty by over six lengths. But it may not be so easy this week, as Monty has come up with box eight which will suit him to the ground. The Anthony Dawson trained greyhound usually finishes his races with a powerful burst down the middle of the track, and he gets every chance to do the same again this week and win the cup.
Another of Tasmania’s classiest runners is the Butch Deverell trained Eagle Eye. After failing to flatter in two previous runs, Eagle Eye absolutely pinged the lids in the heats to win from box one and has come up with the same draw again for the final. It’s worth noting that he has been sharpened since then, with a shortcourse run at Launceston on Monday, where he began well to finish second. This brindle speedster is more than capable of winning this trophy, but would need to lead in order to hold of his challengers.
The box draw has also made things interesting for notable quick beginners Akka Boy and Little Spaniard. With both runners coming from boxes five and six respectively, and unlikely to be able to concede a start and win, their chances may solely rest on the box manners of Eagle Eye. Furthermore, there will be plenty of pressure coming from the two runners out wider, and staying out of trouble looks unlikely.
Box two will be the exit for Robert Sutcliffe’s runner Fisherman. While still winning his heat in 26.29, this sprinter uncharacteristically tired in the run home last week, and would need to improve in order to defeat this company. In saying that, Fisherman has loads of ability and could well be a knockout chance if was able to get a break in middle stages of the race.
The outsiders will be shock heat winner Overspeeding and the lightly raced Cradoc Park. The latter was first-up from a six week spell last week, and was a very good effort behind Eagle Eye. The big query is whether he will be able to get a clear run from box four, particularly in a race shaping up to be a mad dash early. Overspeeding has a similar problem from box three, and will most likely be giving away a big start to his classier opponents.
Donna Goodluck won this race last year with Dash Of Mystique and once again this years winner will have to earn every penny of the $5000 winner’s cheque.