THE much anticipated appearance, at Sale, of Australia’s champion stayer Miata has been put on hold because of a mix-up with nominations for Boxing Day’s Sale Cup.
The star greyhound was not among the 37 entries at closing time despite being specially flown over to Victoria to trial at Sale last Thursday morning. Miata, as expected, set the track alight trialling post to post over 590 metres.
While it is disappointing for the Gippsland people to be deprived of seeing Miata in the flesh, there is no shortage of talented greyhounds in Wednesday night’s heats.
The first of the cup heats is race three with Tasmanian Bell Haven going into the event with strong credentials. Bell Haven has been campaigning in group class staying events over the past few months with success in the Sydney Cup and Summer Cup and creditable performances in the Bold Trease at Sandown and the National Distance Championship at Hobart.
The hardest to beat will be classy sprinter Proven Impala, who last week ran third in the Brisbane Cup and followed up with a smart win over 600m on Saturday night at the Meadows.
In the second heat, two of last year’s cup combatants, Premier Boloney and Granduer, will be up against the extremely talented, but enigmatic, stayer Bizarre Barbie, who needs clear galloping room to unleash the strongest finishing burst in greyhound racing.
The nominal favourite for the Sale Cup will now be the Kelvin Greenough-trained Jethro, who is already a group one winner of the Hume City Cup and finished a close second to Miata in the Bold Trease at Sandown. Box four should pose no problems for Jethro and he should win the third heat from Johnny Ringo.
Lara trainers Graeme Bate and Robert Britton are both Sale Cup-winning trainers and well represented in heat four. The Bate-trained and Paul Wheeler-owned Irma Bale has already amassed $305,246 and with already having experience on the track is expected to be hard to beat. The Robert Britton-trained Two Tree Hill adds interest to the heats being a quality sprinter tackling a middle distance for the first time.
Supporters of the local hopes in the cup will have to wait until the final heat to see their best hope of a Gippsland victory.
The Michael Fearnley-trained Wy Yung Tiger has been a wonderful greyhound for connections amassing $116,000 in stakes and is rarely far from the money. This is the hardest heat to assess with several chances including South Australian Cousin Callum, the highly-talented AlpeD’Huez and in form Destini Fireball.
The remainder of the program is also very strong with local interest in race one at 6.56pm. The district’s leading sprinter Linden Magpie is trained by John Norden at Stratford and was a finalist in the Melbourne Cup, and from box one, can set punters off on the right track.
The first event commences at 6.56pm.
The final of the Sale Cup will be held Boxing Day night, Wednesday, December 26.