With the glitz and glam of group racing it is an unfortunate fact that many of our country clubs get over looked- even when it is time for their major race meetings. The Wagga and District Greyhound Racing Club certainly won't fall into this category with six sensational heats of the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup to be held this Sunday before the extravagant final next weekend with a staggering $43,000 on offer throughout two consecutive weeks of racing. The Cup final itself offers a lucrative $10,000 winner's purse which has attracted some high class chasers from all over NSW as well as interstate.
Named after former President of the Wagga and District Greyhound Racing Club and Cup sponsor Graeme Hull, this year's running will certainly be sentimental after Graeme's passing last year.
Club secretary Rod Oakman conveyed the clubs delight at the depth competing in the series, “We are ecstatic with the quality of dogs we have attracted for the meetings”
“They should both be great days- it is no longer just an ordinary cup meeting, it really is city class due to the dogs that are in it”.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat One
The first heat gets right into it with recent Wentworth Park winner Minza Red One lining up from box five. The son of Bombastic Shiraz has been racing competitively at the Ultimo circuit in FFA class with a dominant 29.77 seconds success four starts back followed by a couple of handy placing at his last two appearances in town.
Victorian chaser Lilly Lane also holds a strong chance from the rails alley bringing with her consistent form from Warrnambool, The Meadows and Shepparton including a last start Meadows win in 30.05 seconds.
Top trainers Rod McDonald and Andy Lord have also made the trip to Wagga with a host of strong chances with both trainers engaged in the first heat. McDonald will line up with two year old Dana Meeka from box four who will be looking for win number eight on Sunday whilst Lord has the promising pup Cawbourne Ottey jumping from box eight who is coming off the back of two best of day triumphs at Canberra in recent weeks.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat Two
Heat two will see former Jason Mackay runner and Punch One Out's litter brother One Inch Punch jump from box one. The black speedster was a winner two starts back at Wentworth Park clocking a slick 30.06 seconds whilst he has won a handy six races from twenty starts for mentor Neil Staines.
His biggest threat looks to be Omar Gee from box four. The son of Trewly Special is a winner of eighteen from 40 and a winner of three of his last five starts in Victoria whilst last start he ran second behind the freakishly talented Black Magic Opal at Shepparton.
Also with a chance in the second heat is yellow rug runner Jinja Zelly who has only had six starts but has won two impressive races at Dapto with three placings also during that time.
Cawbourne Brodie, a Jodie Lord representative is a sub-30 Wentworth Park winner so should be respected from the six.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat Three
The class runner in the third heat is Michael Doggett's excellent sprinter Grovebrook King who has won four of his last five starts including two Wentworth Park wins (29.89 and 29.99 seconds). The white and black dog does prefer the inside but can handle a wide draw and should go close.
Zipping Rocco is a pup hailing from the famous Hallinan breed being by Slater and out of Navigator Miss. The Charmaine Roberts trained dog has won seven from fourteen including Wentworth Park (29.90 seconds) and Bulli (26.49 seconds).
Jodie Lord's rails runner Cawbourne Sparky is very consistent and should not be left out.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat Four
Heat four has another Victorian looking the goods with Jimmy Lane lining up from box three. The son of Dyna Lachlan has won thirteen from 38 including some quick times at the Meadows in his recent starts. Despite finding trouble last start at Sandown he should be able to bounce back from the good draw.
Dalta Bale looks well suited in box one for trainer Margaret Bannerman and has been racing in good form at the provincial tracks at her recent starts.
Dana Hayley represents good value for Rod McDonald in box six. The daughter of Where's Pedro and super race bitch Dana Beatrice is bred to run and has won fourteen from 46 including a 30.08 seconds Wentworth Park win in April.
The other major player in the fourth heat is yet another Jodie Lord greyhound in Proven Daisy who is boxed out wide in the pink. The black bitch can handle box eight as shown four starts back when she claimed a race in town in a nippy 30.11 seconds.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat Five
Cosmic Apache looks a live chance in the fifth heat although drawn poorly in box four. The white and black son of Cosmic Rumble won over the track and distance two starts ago followed by a placing at Wentworth Park after missing the start.
Wayne Sugars has a great shot in the heat with his charge Sweet Pose who has been racing in fantastic style over recent weeks. The bitch by Bombastic Shiraz has strung together three wins at Richmond, Bulli and Wentworth Park followed by an unplaced run in town before running just one length second to the boom bitch Double Twist last start.
Black Texas is drawn in box three and has developed into quite a country track specialist with ten wins from 25 starts whilst he also took out a race in town late last year. The Terry Okeefe trained dog has won his last two starts with a win over the 400 at Wagga before claiming the best 8 at Cowra last start. He is stepping up in distance since recent runs but that isn't too much of a concern.
Benchmark is a quality greyhound better suited out wide so box one is a problematic however if he can jump in front he is a live chance.
Graeme Hull Memorial Cup Heat Six
The sixth and final heat will see Michael Doggett's highly talented Grovebrook Boy return to the track for the first time since March. Before his break he had been racing in great form against some top quality dogs including Billy The Sid, Mythical Eagle and Gotta Be Fancy. Grovebrook Boy is a winner of fifteen races from just 40 starts and assuming he is fit for the series, he should be the one to beat.
Jack Silver found all sorts of trouble at his last start at The Meadows for Michael Carter but before that he had run a stack of placings in good company in Victoria. He is a very classy animal with ten wins and nineteen minors from 43 starts and should be the testing material from box three.
Cawbourne Classy also has claims from the one for Andy Lord with an all the way victory at Canberra last start.
The first race kicks off at 5:02pm this Sunday with the Graeme Hull Memorial Cup heats definitely worth tuning in for if you cannot make it trackside. Heats will also be run this week for the Butch Pertzel Memorial with both finals to be held next Sunday on what will be a terrific twilight meeting at the Wagga and District Greyhound Racing Club.