Phenomenal favourite for Sale Cup

AUSTRALIA’S up and coming star greyhound of middle distance racing, Phenomenal, has a firm grip on the 2013 Sale Cup and the $75,000 winner’s purse.

In his heat on Wednesday night, Phenomenal treated patrons to a stunning display of sustained speed over the 650 metre trip to advance to Thursday night’s final.

Beginning safely from box three, the Jason Thompson-trained speedster led clearly through the first turn running slick sectionals and finally stopping the clock in a blistering 36.96 seconds.

The 37-second barrier is one of the toughest benchmarks in greyhound racing and Phenomenal now joins 2009 cup winner Mantra Lad and later Jessie Rumble as the only greyhounds able to achieve this feat.

Phenomenal’s seemingly vice-like grip on the cup loosened slightly following impressive performances by Dyna Willow and Lucy Wires in the final two heats and later drawing awkwardly in the final box draw.

Sydney Summer Cup winner Dyna Willow was having her first look at the Sale circuit and was most impressive cutting across the field at the first turn and leading all the way in the second fastest qualifying time of 37.23s.

American import Lucy Wires made it three finalists for Lara trainer Rob Britton with a barnstorming finish to take the final heat in a time of 37.51s.

The box draw conducted manually on course by chief steward Glen Fish saw the favourites Phenonenal and Dyna Willow draw wide in seven and eight respectively with the coveted number one box going to local hope, the Yinnar South-trained Kayo Marciano.

The Greg Neocleous-trained greyhound has impressive statistics over the cup trip having had four starts for three wins.

Despite his ideal box and good form on the track, Kayo Marciano will need to trim his personal best time to be a winning chance.

Despite the awkward draw, Phenomenal should put himself into a winning position at the first turn and prove too classy.

The 2013 Sale Cup will be run as race eight on the 12-race program at 9.49pm.

Patrons on course will share in the $30,000 voucher giveaway by being one of the first 2000 people through the gates. Every patron will also receive an entry for a chance at spinning the big wheel for a chance to win $20,000 cash or a car.

Admission is free with complimentary carnival rides, including the giant slide and F1 racing cars, musical entertainment, Koko the Clown and face painting available from 5.30pm.