THE2015 Group 1 Australian Cup will be run and won at The Meadows on Saturday night offering a whopping $250,000 to winning connections. The series attracted some of the best greyhounds in the country, but there were plenty of upsets in last weekend’s heats with many greyhounds flying under the radar to qualify for the decider.
We are left with a very open race with the current $3.80 favourite with William Hill being Paul Stuart’s Quartz Bale (box three) The light fawn heavyweight tips the scales at nearly 38 kilograms but is all class as he showed last week in his blistering 29.60 heat win.
Quartz Bale is one of three Wheeler-bred greyhounds in the final with the leviathan owner/breeder also represented in the feature by Samus Allen (box seven) and the ultra-consistent Lamia Bale (box eight).
While many Group 1 races are dominated by leading trainers, this year’s Australian Cup will see some of the sports smaller participants looking for glory at the elite level. Sisco Rage (box one), Hostile (box two), Luca Neveelk (box four), Emrys (box five) and Recruitment (box six) all come from lesser-known kennels but are all in with a realistic chance of claiming top honours.
The Group 1 Australian Cup final is race eight at The Meadows on Saturday night and will jump at 9:35pm.
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “He has probably been one of the hottest chasers in the state for the past two or three months but he unfortunately doesn’t have many wins to show for it. His efforts in the heat’s of the Warragul and Shepparton Cups were enormous and he capped off a great stretch of form with a win here last week. He surprises a few when he led last week but he has always shown great speed, it’s his box manners which are the problem. The red draw is a big plus tonight and if he can push through at the first turn he will prove very hard to hold out.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Has always had tremendous ability but he can find trouble in his races, last week he did well to win when coming from off the speed and he is probably better suited drawn closer to the inside tonight. He is capable of matching it with any of these chasers one out but his box manners do worry me and I’m a little worried he may get squeezed out in the run to the first bend.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Gun WA speedster and I couldn’t believe he went round at $13 last week. He is a little hit or miss early but when he steps he is capable of great things. Last week’s time of 29.60 was super impressive and a repeat performance tonight will probably see him win. I would have preferred him drawn on the outside of Luca Neveelk as that would have given him a cart into the race but being drawn underneath means that he might get crowded. He is a great winning chance but he just needs an ounce of luck in the first 50m.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “All class and is the most reliable beginner in the final. Last week he flew the lids and reeled off the best second sectional of any finalist before scoring in 29.98 and that was after the rain had fallen. It was probably a 29.80ish run overall on a good track and with that being his first 500m try for over two months he is likely to show great improvement tonight. He should have no trouble finding the early lead tonight and if he can build up a three length lead off the back straight, it might be enough for him to hold on. Early speed wins big races and he is my tip for the event.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Extremely strong chaser and he is going to be a great stayer in the near future, he turned in a terrific performance to score in his heat and he is worthy of his spot in the final, however he meets a brilliant lineup here and he is likely to be giving some gun chasers too much of a head start. Can maybe sneak into third spot but I’d prefer to wait and see him in feature staying events in the future.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “The penny has finally dropped with this chaser and he is finally putting it altogether. In recent weeks he has scored two commanding and impressive victories over this journey and if he had drawn inside I would have considered him a great chance. He has shown in his career to date that he races better from inside draws and with the speed underneath I can’t see him getting across into a prominent position as they head for the back straight. Great job to make the final but I dont think he will be a factor.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Racing in dazzling form and at present she is really pinging the lids. She has won seven of ten over this trip previously and if the pink stays out of her way early she will be right in the mix. Last week’s sectional of 5.03 would see her sitting outside of Luca Neveelk at the first bend and she will then be able to apply the pressure mid race. I think she might struggle to reel him in but if she happened to cross him she will be off and gone with the prize.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Was absolutely airborne in the first 100m here last week and once she led she was never going to be reeled in. She has produced fast sectionals in her career previously but I think last week’s effort was a once off. From the pink draw she is going to have trouble getting across and I dont think she can win tonight. With some breaks mid race she might be able to sneak into a place but I can’t see her taking home the major prize.”