Thefinalof the Group Two Cranbourne Cup jumps at 9:22pm on Wednesday 8 January 2014 (Race 8). Many will be waiting to see if Phenomenal gets a start as first reserve, as he as opened up favourite in fixed odds betting.
The heats were run on a rain affected track last week, having an obvious impact on times. Last week’s fastest heat winner was Bookkeeper, who has drawn box five for the final. Banjo Boy has been passed fit to run by two separate vets after spiking himself in his heat last week. Ken Virtue told ARG that Banjo Boy was fit and ready to take his place in the final. “The stoppers fine, the dogs condition is excellent and there is not a query over his fitness.”
Comments: Kenneth Virtue (Trainer) – “I think Banjo Boy at his best will be very competitive. The draw suits I would think, unless he makes a mistake himself, I mean by lunging forward and hitting his head on the boxes or something silly, which he’s done in the past. All things equal, he should be well suited by the draw.”
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “He’s a very fast dog. The conditions were terrible the other night, it rained all night. If he can get back on top of the track and get a good track, which you think we would do this week, as hopefully it won’t rain like that two weeks in a row. He’s got a little chance there. He’s a leader and he needs to be in front to do his best.”
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is: Impressive last week in his heat and had one of the fastest first sections, plus the fastest overall time. If he is up there early, he has a strong finish and will likely start the favourite.
Comments: Garry Selkrig (Trainer) – “He should go quite well actually. He’s got box six, if he gets out quick and has a bit of luck he will go pretty good. He likes Cranbourne and goes well there, he ran the second fastest time of the evening there last week.”
Comments: Darren McDonald (Trainer) – “I’m not sure how he will handle the wide box, I havn’t had him all that long. He seems to begin better when he’s drawn closer to the fence. If he can come out and repeat his run the other night, he’s right in the race. He had never been 500 there before and he’s very strong, the distance suits.”
Comments: Trainer unavailable for comment. ARG opinion is: Slow beginner who may find trouble early in this field. He is a strong finisher so if he gets a clear run through the field he could run a place.
Comments: If he gains a start he is a huge chance. He hasn’t began well his last two starts but has shown brilliant mid race pace. He has recorded the second fastest time ever at Cranbourne over this distance.
Comments: Will likely lead the field if he gains a start but probably not strong enough to hold off the challengers aiming up from behind.
Best Cranbourne Times
If Phenomenal gains a start he is one of the big chances, with a flying 29.78 win to his credit at the track. Bookkeeper performed well last week to still run a good 30.22 in trying conditions. His first split was the fastest of all heats and he has a perfect record from box five. Fancy Amigo is expected to go well from box three. He has a good record from the box and if he leads, he will put himself right in the race. Banjo Boy has broken 30 seconds at the track, but will need to improve on his heat run last week. Noaki Spitfire has a good Cranbourne record, but will have to get across from box six and be in front to be a chance. Keybow is a youngster on the rise. He will need to handle the outside and gives away a bit of experience as he has only had 14 starts, but he is showing plenty of promise. Innocent Til was also impressive last week and has a great overall career record. This is a hard final to predict but it should be a keenly contested race.