There is no rest for the wicked as Victorian feature racing shifts to the picturesque town of Warrnambool this Wednesday evening, where a quintet of Cup heats will take place under the watchful eye of the grand old twin sentinels that are the Lady Bay lighthouses.
For those lucky enough to advance to next Wednesday night’s 450 metre Group Two final, a $43,750 winners cheque awaits the connections of the victor.
Let’s take a look at the main chances in each heat;
Race 4 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 1 – 7:58pm
The scratching of super star Paw Licking (6) has thrown the first heat wide open.
Empire Allen (5) is always thereabouts at this level. He comes into this on the back of a sixth in the Bendigo Cup final after running second to Paw Licking in the heats. He is a very consistent chaser with the only worry being that he has just one win to his name in 2014 which was back in mid February.
Whata Good Size (2) is a winner of 23 from 44 career starts who is in the astute Jason Thompson kennel. He narrowly missed a berth in the Bendigo Cup Final, running second to Deadly Vane in his heat. He has finished in the top-two at his last eight starts and should be close to the speed throughout.
Izack Bale (7) flew at Bendigo last start and has also clocked a slick 25.47 here in the past. If he can replicate Sunday’s effort he will be in this up to his ears.
Race 6 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 2 – 8:38pm
The freakish Black Magic Opal (7) headlines the second heat. The Jason Thompson trained son of Magic Sprite and Awesome Opal (Most Awesome – Opal Glow) had strung three on end before a seventh in the Bendigo Cup final on Sunday. He should be winning this.
Jordan Allen (8) comes into this after racing in the final of the Group One Golden Easter Egg where he finished sixth. This will be his first go at this track and distance but he is a classy customer.
Nic Nat Nui (6) has a penchant for the Warrnambool circuit winning four from eight here with a best of 25.26. If he comes out well, he is a knockout chance in this one.
Race 8 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 3 – 9:18pm
Group Two Warragul Cup winner Walk Hard (3) makes an appearance in the third heat as he begins his quest for a second provincial cup win. He had been racing well before a fourth at Sandown over the longer trip followed by a no-race at Wentworth Park in a heat of the Golden Easter Egg that featured a lure malfunction. If he is anywhere near his best, he is the one to beat here.
Ollie Bale (2) won a heat and semi of the Golden Easter Egg before finishing last in the final. He is already a winner of the Group One Silver Chief and has to be considered a major player here.
Take Charge (8) is an up-and-comer who has registered a slick 25.20 here at his only start at the track. If he can exit the wide box smartly he could be some sort of chance.
Vapourash (5) is a very talented chaser but his box manners usually leave him needing luck in the run. Should he get some, he is capable of flying here and has a best of 25.17.
Mepunga Moss (6) has won her last five starts, four of which were at Sandown. She has a best of 25.24 here and is in the type of form that is hard to ignore.
Race 9 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 4 – 9:38pm
Ronan Izmir (2) is a provincial cups king and loves the Warrnambool circuit. The son of Elite State and Adhara Izmir (Collison – Chevron Izmir) was a finalist in last weekend’s Bendigo Cup where he finished fourth. He is undefeated here in three attempts and boasts a sizzling best of 25.01. He looks the one to beat here.
Deadly Vane (3) ran a barnstorming second in the final of Sunday’s Bendigo Cup. He had won three on end before that and won his only start here in 25.29. He looks to be the main danger to Ronan Izmir should he get a bit of room to move early.
Premier Event (8) has won three from six over this trip and boasts a handy 25.21 but will need to be at his best to win this.
Quara Bale (5) has won six of her last eight starts and was impressive in her win at Bendigo on Sunday. She has good early speed and could put herself right in the picture on the credence of that.
Race 10 – Warrnambool Cup – Heat 5 – 9:57pm
Innocent Til (6) looks perfectly placed to take out the final heat of the evening. The son of Premier Fantasy and Proven Polly (Black Enforcer – Proven Tops) has won four of his last five, with his other start being a close second to Crump in the Horsham Cup final. He was another greyhound who was involved in the lure malfunction in a heat of the Golden Easter Egg and has had a two week break since that race. He will take a power of beating here.
Veyron Bale (8) was a finalist in the Bendigo Cup final on Sunday, his form has only been moderate but he does have some class on a a few of these.
Top Secret (4) does not win out of turn but he was a recent Bendigo Cup finalist and returns to his favourite track here where he has won three from four, including a best of 25.31.