After 10 months of retirement, glamour sisters Betty’s Angel and Miss Mini Mouse will return to the track for the second Schweppes Melbourne Cup Prelude series at Sandown Park this Thursday.
Betty’s Angel, the winner of 20 of her 39 career starts and $436,620 in prizemoney, completed the 2006 Group 1 Sapphire Crown – Group 1 Schweppes Melbourne Cup double before being crowned the 2006 Victorian Greyhound of the Year. She also won the 2007 Group 1 Perth Cup, and has contested 12 Group finals through her glittering career. She was retired after finishing third in her heat 2007 Schweppes Melbourne Cup.
Miss Mini Mouse burst onto the racing scene with an emphatic win in the 2006 Group 2 South Australian Oaks. She finished second behind her litter-sister in the 2006 Schweppes Melbourne Cup, one of eight Group finals she contested through her career. She was retired after finishing sixth in the final of the 2007 Schweppes Melbourne Cup, having won 13 of 38 career starts and $129,585 in prizemoney.
By Brett Lee and out of renowned brood bitch Leprechaun Yap, the pair was destined for a career in the breeding barn.
“They both came on season at the same time but we only had space to put one of them in pup. We decided on Betty but she missed,” said trainer Paul Bartolo.
“They never handled retirement very well.
“Their barking would drive me mad so I said to (wife) Diane they have to go. She told me that I’d go before they do so we decided to bring them back to racing.”
Despite not having raced since November 2007, Bartolo is confident of a forward showing on Thursday night.
“They’ve both trialled well at Geelong and at the Meadows – I’d expect them to break 30 seconds at Sandown if they can find the lead early.
“Being out of racing for so long I’d have rather put them in an easier race to start off with, but they’re in top grade at all tracks so we’ll just have to hope for a good box.”
Unfortunately for Bartolo, the pair will have their work cut out for them on Thursday night after Betty’s Angel and Miss Mini Mouse drew box five and seven respectively.
The pair will targeting the Group 1 Solo Sapphire Crown before embarking on their third Schweppes Melbourne Cup campaign.
Betty’s Angel will be aiming to become the first greyhound to win two Schweppes Melbourne Cups, while Miss Mini Mouse will attempt to become the first greyhound to compete in three Cup finals.
If successful in her pursuit of a second Cup, Betty’s Angel would also eclipse Rapid Journey’s long standing Australian prizemoney record of $530,995.