All eyes will be on Goulburn this afternoon for the running of one of the most even Workers Club Goulburn Cups in recent years.
Some of the best sprinters from the region qualified for the final in heats last week. Fastest heat winner Slamming Thunder covered the 440m in 24.58 while Lagoon Pirate clocked 24.68, Champion Model 24.73 and Quoted Dynasty 24.79.
Trained by retired shearer Neil Staines, Slamming Thunder (pictured) has drawn the prized rails box.
“Slamming Thunder used to want box eight but has changed his habits and now handles an inside draw well,” Staines said.
“There is a lot of early speed in this field so I doubt my dog has the zip to be the leader but if he ‘possies up’ he will be coming home strongly at the finish.”
Top local trainer Denice Warren believes her finalists Quoted Dynasty and Silent Sonny are among the three chances of being the all-important pacemaker in the cup.
Quoted Dynasty will jump from box two while Silent Sonny has box four for the $15,000-to-the-winner cup, which is one of the biggest races in the NSW South-West.
Warren believes her two greyhounds as well as the Jodie Lord-trained Champion Model will be the early race leaders.
“This is an extremely even field and whichever dog gets the breaks early will probably win,” Warren said.
Lord, meanwhile, believes Champion Model, who will jump from box three, is in with a strong winning chance.
“Champion Model is something special, I think she can go on and win a group race or two,” Lord said.
“Box three looks good because I wanted Silent Sonny drawn outside my greyhound. When they clashed in their heat Silent Sonny was boxed inside Champion Model and they bumped a couple of times, with Silent Sonny wanting to get off the track and my greyhound looking for the rails.”
Lagoon Pirate was the surprise of the heats, leading all the way from box three.
“I wasn’t happy when he drew three in his heat but he jumped in front,” Ray Webster, whose wife Sharron trains the greyhound, said.
“Even so, I wanted a wide draw for him in the final so was rapt when Lagoon Pirate drew box seven. He has improved considerably and his heat win was no fluke because when he won at his previous start, at Wentworth Park, Lagoon Pirate recorded the fastest sectional times of the night.”