2017 UBET Adelaide Cup - Preview Written by:
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In front of a strong school holiday crowd and in fine but chilly conditions some of the best sprinters in the land ventured to Angle Park to see who would qualify for next Friday nights Group 1 UBET Adelaide Cup final.

The first heat was a two dog battle between Victorian pair Aston Dee Bee for Seona Thompson and Raw Ability for Anthony Azzopardi. Raw Ability showed blistering speed to lead early in a flying 4.33 first split with Aston Dee Bee in hot pursuit. Down the back straight Aston Dee Bee obtained an inside run and the pair were neck and neck as they matched motors. It looked like Aston Dee Bee was gaining the ascendancy however Raw Ability would not go away and the pair duelled into the final straight. As they reached the winning post Aston Dee Bee did a little bit the better on the line to win by ¾ lengths in a blistering 29.60 with Raw Ability brave in defeat with both qualifying for next week’s final. The heat brought back memories from the 2009 Adelaide Cup final when Victorian star El Galo held off local champion Scull Murphy after they staged a similar battle for supremacy.



The second heat was won by Victorian Bewildering for Seona Thompson giving her two automatic qualifiers into the Cup. Bewildering ran a sizzling 29.52 for the 515m journey after coming from box 8. He began well and ranged up alongside early leader High Eden Frost for local trainer Jan Jones. Down the back straight Bewildering started to open up his shoulders and raced past the local going onto win by over 4 lengths and stamping himself as a big threat next week. High Eden Frost battled on extremely well to grab second and also qualify for next Friday’s big race where Jan Jones will be hoping the son of Banjo Boy and Zardae can go one better than kennel mate Strictly Mambo who ran a slashing second in the 2010 Cup behind superstar Dyna Lachlan.



The next heat looked a battle on paper between boom Victorian Zara’s Entity for Kel Greenough after her brilliant 29.29 trial last week and multiple Group 1 star Lightning Frank for trainer Matthew Wright who has been gradually working back to his brilliant best. The race however didn’t go to plan early with both stars finding some trouble and congestion on the first turn. As they entered the back straight Zara’s Entity found herself in second spot and began to motor home while Lightning Frank was back midfield looking for clear running. Off the back straight Zara’s Entity had moved to the lead with Lightning Frank giving chase strongly. The pair was flying home with the lure driver doing his best to keep in front of the star chasers. As they reached the line Zara’s Entity claimed a solid victory in a slick 29.83 by 1 ½ lengths from Lightning Frank who was making ground right up until the finishing line. The overall time was strong however the run home of Zara’s Entity was brilliant in a slick 12.49 and makes her a big show in next week’s final. Unluckily Lightning Franks’ overall time did not get him through to next week however his sizzling 12.43 run home suggests he is right back to his best and he is on target for the big races over the coming months.



The fourth heat saw the matchup between Victorian pair Striker Light for Brett Bravo and last year’s Adelaide Cup winner Aqua Cheetah for Seona Thompson. Striker Light had the better box draw, coming from the red and she made full use of it early spearing through to lead on the first turn. Aqua Cheetah who came from box 4 began fairly and was midfield early and looking to find the rails. Down the back straight Striker Light was off and gone opening up a big space between herself and her rivals. She got to the second split faster than any greyhound in the series in a sizzling 16.68 while Aqua Cheetah was gradually finding his way through the field and still a big chance to qualify. Off the back straight there was big trouble taking care of all off Striker Lights challengers and leaving her in no danger of winning. She got a bit tired over the concluding stages to run a solid 29.92 for the 515m journey however she done the damage early to her rivals. Local chaser Hukanui for Tony Rasmussen continued his excellent form and flashed home for second only 2 ½ lengths away and has next week’s Consolation of the Cup in his sights. Aqua Cheetah finished 5th without a scrap of luck and unfortunately won’t be there next week to defend his crown.



Heat 5 saw local superstar Worm Burner return home to a track where he dominated for the past 2 years winning an incredible 37 races. SA Owned and Bred by Cameron and Yvonne Butcher the son of Oaks Road and Little Looper has been plying his trade in Victoria under the astute care of the Thompson’s where he has been in super form since returning from injury. Prior to the start the “Worm” was jumping around and looked so happy to be back on the Angle Park loam which he has performed so well at. The large crowd was quiet in anticipation as the green light was turned on and the boxes flew open. Early leaders were Jacqui Blax, High Eden Snow and Barton Bale for Tony Rasmussen who accelerated nicely out of the front straight to take up the lead. Worm Burner began well and sat in early for a trail before moving to second down the back straight. The big brindle dog put it to Barton Bale of the back straight with the star chaser opening up a break on his rivals as he charged to the finishing line to the delight of the crowd. Worm Burner won by almost 5 lengths in a brilliant 29.59 with the biggest cheer of the night reserved for him as he crossed the line. He has drawn 6 in the final and will be hoping for a touch more luck than last year’s Adelaide Cup when he was an unlucky second in the Group 1 feature. High Eden Snow ran second for Jan Jones and Barton Bale was an encouraging third after three months off the track.



The final heat saw Cairnlea Kenny step out as one of SA’s best chances in the series and the son of Premier Fantasy and Cairnlea Elle didn’t let anybody down. The Petar Jovanovic sprinter has been in career best form and even a slow beginning and minor trouble early didn’t stop him from swooping home to claim the final heat. He ran a flying 29.77 in defeating Zipping Inglis for Victorian trainer Matthew Lanigan who ran a solid second while leader Aston Kody held on well for third. Race favourite Ando’s Mac had no luck during the run and finished near the tail of the field.



After all the heats were run and qualifiers determined it was established that both High Eden Snow and Zipping Inglis had run the identical time of 29.93 in the reserves position however the finish lynx system allows for 4 numbers after the decimal point so it was confirmed that High Eden Snow had run 29.9256 and was declared the first reserve while Zipping Inglis was declared second reserve after running 29.9283.

After the box draw was conducted last night many judges believe this year’s Adelaide Cup final has drawn together one of the best fields in the race’s long history and next week a star greyhound will etch their name into the history books as a Group 1 winner.

The Group 1 UBET Adelaide Cup Final will be run on Friday 13th October and carries total prizemoney of $107,500, with the winner to receive $75,000. It will be race 8 on the program and is listed to jump at 8.58pm (SA time).

The Final field in Box Draw order is:

1.  High Eden Frost  Jan Jones (SA)

2.  Aston Dee Bee  Seona Thompson (VIC)

3.  Striker Light  Brett Bravo (VIC)

4.  Raw Ability  Anthony Azzopardi (VIC)

5.  Cairnlea Kenny  Petar Jovanovic (SA)

6.  Worm Burner  Seona Thompson (VIC)

7.  Zara’s Entity  Kel Greenough (VIC)

8.  Bewildering  Seona Thompson (VIC)

9.  High Eden Snow (1st Res)  Jan Jones (SA)

10. Zipping Inglis (2nd Res)  Matthew Lanigan (VIC)


GRSA appreciates the continuing support of GRVIC for allowing our premier night to be conducted on a Friday each year in the interests of the National Racing calendar. By GRVIC swapping one of their meetings the Group 1 UBET Adelaide Cup will gain maximum coverage to the wider community with all races being shown on Sky Racing 1 and makes for a terrific start to next weekend.