Agreat group of finalists has been assembled for the Group One Australian Cup on Saturday night at The Meadows. At 9:43pm, Australia will know the winner of one of the biggest races on the greyhound racing calendar and connections will be $250,000 richer.
Keybow is the fastest qualifier, with all but two dogs breaking the 30 second barrier in the heats.
The winner will also have their name added to the illustrious honour roll of recent Australian Cup victors which includes Spud Regis, Zara Zulu, St. Pierre, Dyna Lachlan, Velocette, Tasman Queen, Pete’s Conquest, Miss Spicy, Pure Octane, Bogie Leigh, Most Awesome, Blackjack Tom, Isa Brown, Brett Lee and Arvo’s Express. Historical winners include Rookie Rebel, Benjamin John, Tangaloa, Eaglehawk Star, Ginger, China Trip, Mancunian Girl and Tenthill Doll.
Looking at that list, it’s definitely a bit of a “stud maker” race for the lads that win.
Here’s a look at the form of each of the finalists.
Comments: David Burnett (Trainer) – “I’m hoping to run the same as I did last week and if I do that he will be competitive. I got him back out of the boxes again. We’ve just had this issue since the Brisbane Cup that we just haven’t been able to pinpoint a problem. When you’re racing in top grade all the time you don’t know whether it’s actually a problem, whether it’s the field or whether it’s the box, but you’re always making these excuses up. We did find a problem, an injury, that once fixed made him come out of the boxes better and made him go around the corner better. There’s been some concern in the market about the box draw not being good for everybody because they believe Kiss Me Ketut will probably run off on the first corner which he did in the Melbourne Cup and elsewhere but hopefully this injury problem we’ve found has fixed that and he certainly went well Saturday night. When the pressure was on, he went around the corner beautiful. He’ll rail beautifully this week hopefully.”
Comments: Paul Stuart (Trainer) – “It’s a good draw. There’s a fair bit of speed inside and out. If he does his normal habit, he should get a clear look at the rails. He has every opportunity and there are really no excuses. It is whether something comes out and gets a look at the bunny and runs 29.7. If there’s trouble, hopefully he will be in striking distance.”
Comments: Jason Thompson (Trainer) – “He’s got a chance although he’s drawn badly. He will need to do everything right. His heat win was good but that was from a good box. He will need to begin and go as this is a lot worse draw. He will need a little bit of luck. There’s a big difference between being in box four in a Group One final and an impressive win from a good box in a heat.”
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “His lack of early pace is going to be a bit of a problem and being drawn out in the six has done him no favours, so he’s going to need a fair amount of luck to get into the race.”
Comments: Ted Medhurst (Trainer) – “He’s got it ahead of him from the box draw. He is more than capable. He began ordinary last week and I know he can begin a lot better. I can’t fault the dog, he is in good form. It is his second Group One final on the mainland. He ran third in the Paws of Thunder recently. I am thrilled to make the final and if he wins, that would be a big bonus.”
Comments: Barry Moloney (Trainer) – “It will be quite difficult really. They’re all pretty much good beginners. It’s going to be a bit of a charge to the corner. I can’t see how he can get across but you don’t know what’s going to happen inside either. It’s going to be hard. He loves The Meadows, it’s his favourite at this stage. He’s had 11 starts for five wins there.”
Comments: Handy dog but faces a tough test if he gets a start. Will need a suitable draw and some luck in the early stages.
Best The Meadows Times
Keybow (2) is the obvious favourite. He is racing in a rich vein of form that seen him capture the Group One Perth Cup from the same box he has here in the final. He ran the perfect race last week and if he puts it all together he will loom as the winner.
Kiss Me Ketut (1) returned to Group race winning form last week. He was pressured throughout last week but stood tall to record a personal best. His trainer is hoping he has found the issues with his recent tendency to run off at the turn and after railing beautifully last week, we could see a winning performance from Kiss Me Ketut if he does the same again on Saturday.
Dyna Nalin (3) is chasing the prize money record. He lacks the early speed but makes up for it in race nous. He loves The Meadows and is very consistent. With an ounce of luck early, he may just break Miata’s prize money record.
Innocent Til (4) is a little hit and miss at box rise. He has great mid race speed but we’ll have to wait and see what happens in that first 50 metres.
Hallelujah Henry (5) has to lead to win. His trainer advised that he is capable of breaking 5 seconds to the first mark and if he does that, he may well find himself in front.
Musquin Bale (6) has returned to form with style in recent weeks and is a dog that puts in 110% every time. He will be trying very hard but it’s the average box draw that’s the concern and he has a speedy dog drawn to his outside in Buckle Up Wes (7). Buckle Up Wes handled his first race track appearance at The Meadows with ease last week and will no doubt be improved by the look at the track. He hasn’t missed a place in his last 10 starts and is an each way chance.
Lastly, Maturity winner Marcus Joe (8) has the extreme outside. His trainer did acknowledge that the draw will make it hard for his dog and hopes for a bit of luck to go his way in getting across the field. He’s a fast dog, with a 29.66 PB at his favourite track.
This is a very tough race to pick a winner. There’s plenty of dogs in the market and as such, plenty of chances. This is usually the recipe for a great race so don’t forget to tune in on Saturday night.