The fact that Blazin’ Bomber was the sole Victorian trained greyhound to contest the heats of the G1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup at Albion Park last Thursday night may well be an indication of how much money is on offer in Australia, or whether or not the Group racing schedule needs to be reviewed.
Victoria is the unquestioned powerhouse of greyhound racing in Australia, both on and off the track, and the compressed Group racing calendar saw the running of the G2 Ballarat Cup final, worth $77,000 to the winner (and a further $50,000 bonus for the eventual victor, Zambora Brockie) conducted just 24 hours after the heats of the Brisbane Cup.
For many Victorian trainers, the schedule of the heats, for both Ballarat and Brisbane, made it difficult to contest both races and I guess, therein lies the pleasant dilemma if you have a greyhound who can mix it with the best.
Former Test cricketer turned greyhound trainer, Darren Pattinson, obviously decided that Brisbane was the best option for his talented sprinter Blazin’ Bomber who was impressive when winning last week in 29.75, the second fastest time of the five heats conducted.
Watch Blazin Bomber’s Sky Racing Brisbane Cup heat win here.
The winner of the G3 Speed Star series at Sandown Park earlier this year, Pattinson has had little luck with Blazin’ Bomber in feature race finals with either bad box draws or just plain bad luck responsible for the fact that the son of Kinloch Brae is yet to win at the elite level.
During his forty-five start career which has yielded twenty-two wins and more than $187,000 in prizemoney, Blazin’ Bomber has been a finalist in three Group 1 events but the closest he has got to standing on top of the dais was when he finished third to Zambora Brockie in the Vic. Peters Classic. Add to that he was beaten a nose by Jesaulenko in a heat of the G1 Melbourne Cup three starts back and his record and prizemoney may certainly be better than what it reads at the moment.
Despite yet again coming up with a horror box draw (box 5), I’m tipping that Blazin’ Bomber’s run of bad luck will come to an end this Friday night.
His four starts at the track have resulted in two wins (29.71 and 29.75) and if he can stay in touch with the speedsters in the run to the first turn and receive some clear running at that vital stage, he’ll certainly be tough to beat.
To me, what happens at box rise is undoubtedly the most critical component as to whether or not a greyhound wins or loses any race. Begin well and miss the early traffic jam and you’re a chance – miss the start and get caught up in the ruck and your ticket is often confetti.
Lady Abigail, a noted average beginner who wants to shift off the track in the run to the first turn has drawn box 6 so she won’t worry Blazin’ Bomber when they jump. Outside Pass, the fastest heat winner and current $2.20 favourite has drawn box 7 and is ideally drawn as she will also want to get wide at the start while Not Like Tommy has no early pace whatsoever.
Drawn directly underneath Blazin’ Bomber in box 4 is Whata Nice Size who is very ‘hit or miss’ at the start while Crazy Vixon, Zabdon Ferrari and Thirty Talks, drawn in the inside three boxes, certainly have their share of early pace but will want to hunt to the rails.
I have enormous respect for the Tony Apap prepared Outside Pass who was brilliant when winning her heat last week in 29.61. Her run in the G1 Melbourne Cup final to finish fourth behind Ando’s Mac was outstanding given how upset she became at the noise of the pre-race activities and back on her home track and with a perfect draw, she is the toughest to beat.
Watch Outside Pass' last heat win here.
But of course you can never discount any runner prepared by champion Queensland trainer Tony Brett and on this occasion, he has qualified three runners into the G1 Brisbane Cup final with Zabdon Ferrari, Thirty Talks and Whata Nice Size.
I think Tony’s best chance is with Thirty Talks who was a recent winner of the G3 Ipswich Cup final and has won 10 from 16 at the track and distance including a dominant heat win in 29.77.
It’s shaping up to be a cracker of a race and my tips in the G1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup are; Blazin’ Bomber from Outside Pass, Thirty Talks and Zabdon Ferrari.
I’ll be trackside at Albion Park from 7pm on Sky Racing1 (Channel 526) bringing you all the latest information, interviews and late mail tips.
Good luck and Good Punting
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G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
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Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase