There will be plenty of tired punters on the eastern seaboard this weekend. This is mainly due to the late night racing of Western Australia hosting the rich Perth Cup and Galaxy series this Saturday night.
A fantastic program of no less than twelve Group 1 heats always provides an excellent opportunity for Greyhounds WA to showcase the excellent condition of racing across the Nullarbor.
A calendar change for 2011 has both finals moved from mid-March to an early February timeslot, making for an interesting ‘road-trip’ feel about the summer racing schedule. After the Brisbane Cup back in November, Hobart Thousand in December and January’s Adelaide Cup series, it sets up a nice platform for Cannington before the show rolls on to the Golden Easter Egg in Sydney.
The night begins with a bang as Sale Cup winner Symmetry battles local All-Stars Sprint hero Uno Kendra. The brilliant Kalden Athena returns back to Cannington in the same race and Tasmanian veteran Accounts is a rough chance as well.
Gold Heritage looks likely to add to his Cranbourne Cup victory in the second heat despite drawing box four. West On Max is in form and may present value along with Ima Hologram for Jason Thompson.
Heat three looks a speed battle between hot youngster Kilty Lad, fresh off an Adelaide Cup title, and Hobart Thousand champ Octane Show. Former local turned South Australian vistor Kalden Mayhem is part of the impressive Troy Murray kennel looking to spoil the Victorian party.
Brisbane Cup winner He Knows Uno is up against defending champion (and comeback queen) High Earner in what should be a very entertaining fourth heat. Penthouse is in form after running third in Adelaide and will be expected to be in the finish also.
Heat five is the best chance for the locals to shine with Pedrosa expected to be very hard to beat on his home deck. Group winner Rock Pool is no slouch and they both will have to be at their best to run down the talented Victorian Greywinds Doll who has drawn nicely in three.
New South Wales enters the equation in the sixth heat with Numero Uno Bale drawing box one for the Wheeler camp, but the widely-travelled Dark Duo is perfectly boxed out in eight and is racing well.
South Australia has a two-pronged attack on heat seven with Point Two Over and Aston Rachael engaged. West Aussie topliner Blue Goose is drawn wide and Graeme Bate stakes a claim with Badja Bale.
Finally the hardest heat to pick has been left to last. Bramley’s returning home and looking to get back to the winners’ circle, along with a host of other runners amongst the chances.
Looking at the first heat of The Galaxy where Queensland iron-dog Dashing Corsair comes back to Cannington where it won the National Sprint title. He looks suited again with Slick Lee the obvious second pick. They both look pretty safe to progress to the final.
Local chaser Pillow Torque ventured east for a staying campaign and looks destined to be one of the pre-post favourites for this series. It would be a tragedy to see it miss the final in heat two. Blue Lorian never stays out off the podium for too long and has won on the track many times before. Expect them to run fill the quinella spots.
A close race should occur in the third heat with boom youngster Bobby Boucheau looking to topple Association Cup victor Seek and Destroy. Pickle Mickle is strong as an ox and Kay Size is capable of leading all the way at its best. Hard to separate those four runners on form.
Rounding out the Galaxy heats is as close to a 715m match race we’ve seen in Perth. So Seductive and Nellie Noodles face off in a race that should be genuine entertainment every step of the way. Nellie has been struggling to recapture her best but is mesmerising on her night and we have seen the talent that So Seductive can possess. If there was to be a party-spolier, Hallpack Jack has proven himself as a genuine stayer, and will have plenty of racing room early on.
So unless you’re lucky enough to be on course, it seems Saturday night is definitely the time to put the coffee maker to good use. Just remember not to make plans for next Saturday night either, when the finals and consolation events of both events will give you plenty of excuse to sleep in again on Sundays.