“It was a brilliant performance in is heat and it just shows that he can do it both ways – he can fly out of the boxes and he can come from behind,” Howell said.
Stepping fairly from box one, the black dog was shuffled back to last around the first turn before unleashing a powerful mid-race burst, weaving his way through the pack to find the front in the home straight.
Watch Cut Loose Max scoring in his heat from box one.
Cut Loose Max recorded a moderate 25.73, and while the time may not have been there, Howell said he was thrilled with the effort.
“I am absolutely ecstatic with him, he is just going really well.
“I was pretty confident going into the race that he would go close to winning, but when he got pushed back to last I didn’t give him much hope.
“I was very impressed with him with how he came home – what he did would be hard to do in a maiden, let alone against top class dogs in a 460 metre sprint.”
A winner of eight of his 29 starts, Cut Loose Max is racing in terrific form, having won three of his past five starts – including two slick 29.37 efforts at Sandown Park.
Howell says his greyhound should have derived great benefit from his heat run and explains he expects to see plenty of improvement heading into the decider.
“He seems to need at least three runs at a track before he starts to find his feet, it will be his fourth run at the track this week and I believe that he will come out running.
“I think he is a very good chance of winning. If people are smart enough to look at the run and calculate the time he would of lost in the run it probably brings him back down to the fastest times anyway.
“He has only got to jump – he is a totally different dog when he pings the lids – once he is in front he is enormously hard to run down, as a matter of fact I don’t think he ever has been run down.”
The favourite for the Geelong Cup is the Jason Thompson-trained Dalgetty which scored an emphatic 25.32 heat win last Friday.
The son of Stagger and Rockin’ Along, currently $1.70 with Bet365, has drawn box one and will be shooting for his 10th career triumph at start number 15.
Also in the market are fellow heat winners Shared Equity ($3.75), Paua To Roar ($5) and Ernest Bale ($7).
The Group 2 Geelong Cup is race eight on the card this Friday night and is set to jump at 9:28pm AEDT.