Mandurah Greyhounds held eight heats of the Mandurah Mail Birthday Cup on Friday night over the 405 metre distance. The winners from each of the heats made it through to next week’s $37,000 final, with the fastest two runner-ups the reserves.
David Hobby took out the first heat of the night with Ritchie Rich jumping from box two. Andrew McLaren was given a run in the heat with Celtic Katie from box one after the scratching of Linda Britton’s Saving Bundles. Celtic Katie and Flying Special jumped to the front of the field. Track record holder Uno Reltub jumped as $3.20 favourite from box six, but he only began fairly and was checked into sixth position, only in front of De Wade and Winsome Blackie. De Wade used the rails to push through into second position with Celtic Katie but Ritchie Rich’s strength was too much for the pair in the closing stages, winning the race in 22.84. The judge couldn’t split second place between De Wade and Celtic Katie.
Tryline lead out of the boxes in the second heat of the night until Paul Stuart’s Fancy Dreamer worked to the front in the early stages. Mandurah Cup winner Te Amo was working hard outside Fancy Dreamer after jumping from box eight. The lead changed for the last time when Te Amo’s flashed past Fancy Dreamer winning in the second fastest heat time, 22.55.
Luba Monelli made it two starters into the Birthday Cup for trainer David Hobby. The black bitch pinged from box five, paying $2.60 for the win. Her only worry in the heat was West On Manu jumping from the red box. After the lids opened it was a two dog race between the chasers backed into single figure odds. The race didn’t lack early speed, even with the scratching of Linda Britton’s Gone To Heaven. After the two leaders pulled away from the rest of the field, West On Manu checked of the heals of Luba Monelli. This gave her a few extra lengths to pull away, taking out the third heat in 22.54 seconds, the equal fastest qualifying time.
After resuming from an injury-enforced spell, Gomes took out the fourth heat from box one paying $6.90 for the win. Kody Charles’ Rock Attack lead the field by two lengths coming out of the boxes, but Gomes didn’t need any early speed for the clear rails run he received. Favourite Sveta Monelli had every chance early on, wearing the green rug but checked with Bluey’s Fate (Box two) in the home straight preventing her from a clear run home. Gomes cleared out to win impressively, running 22.69, giving Linda Britton her second entrant into the Birthday Cup Final next week.
Christine Bennett’s Bohemiam exploded out of box five to lead the speedy Burzynski in heat five. Sadie’s Guess checked off the near 32 kilo Burzynski to run to second briefly until Burzynski hit his stride. Ben Abercrombie’s Burzynski chased down the very gallant Bohemiam late in the race to win in 22.79, securing his place in the final.
Hello Knocka made it three runners in the Birthday Cup Final for Linda Britton in the sixth heat of the night. Tim Mullany’s Egotistical held favouritism at $3.60 as the boxes flew open. It was Special Annie who found herself in front of the field; Hello Knocka drove through to second after missing the start slightly. Thunder Rama from box eight used the outside of the track to snatch the lead and find the rails. Hello Knocka, wearing the white and black rug, worked hard down the outside to grab Thunder Rama in the last couple of strides, clocking 22.75.
The seventh heat of the night went to the hard working Special Jim. Too Many Times pushed to the front from box five, but felt pressure from the rest of the field who crowded him and checked him out the back. Bill Skipper’s Special Jim and Weowna Quickstep made the most of the contact, storming around the outside of the field from back in the pack, whilst Meroslava wearing the pink rug took the lead. Special Jim and his green rug cleared out and flashed past the finishing post in 22.88, giving Bill Skipper a runner in the final.
The last heat of the night also went to Bill Skipper, with Special Pup winning in the equal fastest heat time. The scratching of Paul Stuart’s Dark Inclusion saw Te Amo’s brother Rapido Kid wear the white and green rug, jumping from box seven as favourite. The talented youngster was up in class but proved he meant business when he courageously pushed his way through the field after coming out of the boxes last. Bill Skipper’s Special Pup was off and gone though after working the rails to find the lead and clearing out to win easily, hardly feeling the pressure from Rapido Kid in the home straight who finished second.
Birthday Cup Final Box Draw
|2||Ritchie Rich||David Hobby|
|3||Special Jim||Bill Skipper|
|4||Luba Monelli||David Hobby|
|5||Special Pup||Bill Skipper|
|7||Hello Knocka||Linda Britton|
|8||Te Amo||Linda Britton|
|9||Fancy Dreamer||Paul Stuart|
|10||Rapido Kid||Linda Britton|