FIRSTrunin 1956, the Warragul Cup has been won by some true champions.
Names such as Tempix, Chariot Supreme, Hotshot, Carlisle Jack and El Grand Señor are on the honour roll and on Friday night another star will carve its name alongside the greats.
This year’s edition is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting affair with a talented field chasing the $45,000 winner’s cheque.
The clear favourite is Luca Neveelk (box one), which scored a gutsy win in his heat last week when defeating the classy Big Ticket (five), a finalist in December’s Hobart Thousand. Both chasers are right in the race, however, Luca Neveelk has been greatly assisted by drawing box one.
The race looks to have plenty of speed with Jubilea Bale (box two), Narralee and Ronray Spirit (eight) all capable of challenging Luca Neveelk and Big Ticket for the early lead.
Despite not being a lid-pinger, Ride The Rails also looks a massive chance after his scintillating 25.49 heat win for trainer Kelly Bravo. The black dog has a massive motor and will just need a bit of clear room early to be able to put himself in the race.
Let’s have a look at each runner individually and hear what Australian Racing Greyhound’s expert tipster, Brad Bugeja, had to say.
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Class act and already a multiple Country Cup winner. Last week he was fair to begin but he showed a great turn of foot to assume control. He appeared to get a little tired in the run home but he should have derived a lot of benefit from that run and I would expect him to hit the line better here. He is drawn to lead and if he does hold them out I can’t see anything reeling him in.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Surprised a few with her heat win last week and she is likely to find this beyond her. She does her best racing when she can lead and I don’t think she has enough pace to cross the red. This is a big rise in class and I can’t see her hitting the scoreboard.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Freakish talent who has tremendous pace when he is given room. He used the red draw to advantage when winning his heat in a dazzling 25.58 and if given a clean run early he becomes a major player. The big concern with him is he doesn’t have great box manners and he doesn’t like to be crowded in his races. I’d prefer to risk him here as he doesn’t look well placed.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Fastest heat winner here last week in 25.49 and if he pings the lids again he will really test Luca Neveelk. There is no doubting his talent and high speed but he normally doesn’t begin like that and with just a fair getaway he may get squeezed out early. He is obviously a great winning chance but he is going to need some luck in the first 50m.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Appeared to have Luca Neveelk beaten in his heat but just seemed to die on his run in the last 30m. The box draw hasn’t done him any favours because like Caustic Bale and Ride The Rails, he isn’t a great box dog and he takes a few strides to get going, however, unlike the other two he has been put up at $15+ fixed and that is massive overs. He started equal favourite in the Hobart Thousand final and one out he is just as talented as any chaser in this event. He isn’t my top pick but at that price I’m willing to take a chance.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja:“Is one of the hottest chasers in training and his heat effort was enormous. After beginning slowly he worked his way through the field and he was taking a heap of ground off Caustic Bale in the run home. I don’t think he can win but he is a must for your exotics as he will be hitting the line very hard.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Absolutely faultless beginner and her early sectionals are good enough to match any chaser in this event. I don’t think she has the class to hold them off in the run home but if she crosses the red early she may be able to sneak away mid race. I dont think she will win but she is over the odds and her early speed could cause some mayhem in this race.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “He is an exciting talent and he is my smokey for the final. He is drawn to get a nice cart across in the early stages from Narralee and he looked impressive when scoring in 25.67 here last week. Two starts back he flew around Ballarat in 24.94 and after having his first look at the track here last week he should have derived a lot of benefit from that run. He could be around the $16 mark for the final and that is over the odds.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Class type who has won two of three here and his placing in the heat was impressive. If he could draw the red or pink he would have a great chance because that would allow him to drive through into a prominent position. He is unlikely to gain a run but he would have claims if he did start.”
ARG’s Brad Bugeja: “Super talent who hit the line well in his heat, he is still learning the caper but in the future he is going to be a major player in Group race events. Unlikely to start but like Alex’s Entity he would have some claims if he gained a start.”
Best Warragul Times
Top Four: 1 – 8 – 5 – 4
Win bets on Luca Neveelk and Ronray Spirit (obviously more on Luca Neveelk)
Quinella: 1 to rove with 4,5,8 ($3 for 100%)
Exacta: 1,5,8/1,4,5,8 ($9 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1/4,5,8/Field ($18 for 100%)
Trifecta: 1,5,8/1,4,5,8/1,4,5,6,7,8 ($36 for 100%)