Upsets galore in the heats of the Group 2 Warrnambool Cup last night but wasn’t it a great sight to see star greyhound Shima Shine perform at his brilliant best. Beginning well from box 2, he quickly assumed control before the first bend and then raced away to a resounding 4 lengths victory in a very fast 24.757, clearly best of the eight heats. He proved to be one of three heat winners for trainer Andrea Dailly, with Qwara Bale and Jax Bale also successful. Country Cups king Yoso Bale was an impressive heat winner in 25.08 and will be a leading contender in next weeks final, a cheque of $47,000 awaiting winning connections. His kennelmate, and recent Perth Cup winner, Tiggerlong Tonk, met with early interference before running on well for second in his heat.
Tonight, we see the running of the Rockhampton Cup, with an excellent field assembled following the running of the heats last week. Finding the winner will not be an easy task, it is a very open field. Leading trainer Tony Brett is well represented with three finalists, all with leading chances, while Darren Taylor will have two runners. Over in the west at Mandurah, the final of the Mandurah Derby will see the former Victorian Earn The Answers start a short priced favourite after his very fast heat win last week, despite Domino Mac drawing box 8 after his track record heat run. Two heats of the Mandurah Oaks also feature on a very strong program there tonight.
Richmond Race 3 No 8 Old Ace Banner $3.30 at PlayUp – This dog has a huge motor, but his tardy starts keep bringing about his undoing. Slow away and then into bother at the first bend last week, he stormed home to go down narrowly. He will be improved by the run we have no doubt, so should be closer to the lead tonight and enable him to reel in the leaders in the home straight.
Bendigo Race 4 No 8 Master Avenger $2.05 at PlayUp – Box eight is a perfect draw for this dog, as he takes time to find his feet after box rise. Had enormous speed and will find the lead with ease. Has the ability to run sparkling times. Looks the best of good things and therefore our banker in an multi bets the punters wish to take.
Bendigo Race 9 No 2 Keep It Black $1.45 at PlayUp – Member of the very strong Angela Langton kennel, this fellow has been racing without a good deal of luck of late but this race does look a much easier assignment than his recent outings. Does like the inside and from the bend start here, he should be able to lead throughout.
Rockhampton Race 8 No 2 What A Debacle $3.10 at PlayUp – Galloped on from behind at the first corner in his heat run, causing him to lose many lengths, Ran on very well to finish a close up second. He does love an inside draw and from this box we can see him being in the first two around the first corner, and from there his strength with get him home.
Mandurah Race 2 No 1 Beck’s Monelli $2.30 at PlayUp – Tends to cut down to the rails at box rise, so recent wide draws have not helped her. The speed with come from Oh My Word and former Victorian Post Office Girl, but both dogs tend to scout wide, and this will allow Beck’s Monelli to get underneath them in the middle to latter stages of the race. Very strong to the line last week and she should prove to strong for this field and qualify for next weeks Group 3 final.