It’s not often that an eight-dog field contains a combined record of 139 wins, but that is exactly the tally for the eight runners engaged in Saturday night’s $12,000 Winter Cup final from Cannington. The race, scheduled to be run over 530m, will be a great preview for the upcoming nationals, with many of the states most accomplished and promising sprinters doing battle.
None are showing more promise though, than the Andrew McLaren-trained Vocal Enforcer. The 32kg black chaser handed in an unbelievable performance to overcome trouble and take out the first heat in 30.45. Beginning well from box two, Vocal Enforcer was checked back to fourth early after Pedrosa sped to the lead and pulled his customary right hand turn at boxrise, hampering the run of several opponents.
Giving the superstar leader three lengths along the back straight in third place, the son of Black Enforcer and She’s Vocal refused to give in and buried up along the rail to get to second. Turning for home and the race was still a very keen contest, but once Vocal Enforcer knuckled down to the task, not even the mighty Pedrosa could hang on, going down by half a length.
Despite the tough heat victory, Vocal Enforcer will not find it any easier to win the final, having drawn box five. Once again the wide running antics of Pedrosa will most likely cause carnage from box two, but only a fool would discount him in any race around Cannington.
Rock Pool will enter the race as fastest qualifier after a flying 30.26 win from box six. It was a one act affair after she was able to cross the field and the ease of which she won suggests she’s in peak fitness. Once again drawing the green rug seems to be a concern for a greyhound that traditionally needs room to stretch out in the early stages of her races, but given another clear run, her presence will be felt.
Also progressing from that heat was former Victorian Cool Wabbit who seems to be enjoying his new home in Western Australian. After transferring kennels from one Britton to another (Robert to Linda) in May this year, Cool Wabbit has tasted victory twice on top of this feature final appearance.
The other expat Victorian to make it through was Oliver Allen, who bounced back to form, winning by 3 lengths. The veteran of 96 races has now amassed over $100,000 in prize money and gets another great chance to boost it further this weekend.
Rousay and Spring Legend managed to qualify behind Oliver Allen in that race, thanks to a three-way photo for the minor placings. Rousay is still improving his career record, which now shows 10 wins and 2 placings from 13 starts, however he would need to begin better from box seven to trouble this hot field.
Spring Legend gets the luxury of box one and should definitely be worth an each-way bet. His form has been very solid over the past month and his heat run was full of merit after being heavily checked on the first corner. Being in the very capable hands of Paul Stuart, expect Spring Legend to be in cherry-ripe condition and he should give a bold sight.
Rounding out this amazing field is Banzai Pipeline, who has only recently come across from Queensland. The four-year-old son of Surf Lorian has been finishing powerfully and will definitely represent value for the trifecta, providing he safely navigates any early interference.
Reserves for the event will be Flying Emu and Whata Surf, who finished third in their respective heats. While both dogs have been good dogs for a long time, one would suggest a good draw and plenty of luck in running is required if they were to gain a start.
The 2012 Winter Cup final will be race five on Saturday night, and will be run at 8.35pm local time.
Jeff Mouritz Gas & Air Winter Cup Open Final box draw
1) Spring Legend
3) Banzai Pipeline
4) Oliver Allen
5) Vocal Enforcer
6) Rock Pool
8) Cool Wabbit.
9) Flying Emu
10) Whata Surf