Champion Model, winner of the 2017 Goulburn Workers Club Cup, will be chasing a crack at a second final when she contests heat one of the 2018 event tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon.
The Jodie Lord-trained Champion Model, who defeated Jock Colley in 24.60 for the 440m last year, has box seven and her trainer gives her a great chance of defending her Cup crown on December 4.
“Champion Model handles outside boxes well and is really firing again,” Lord said.
“She has had one run since a let-up, winning a Bulli 400m Free-For-All in 22.34 on November 10, so she is ready to run a big race this week.
“I think my other Cup contender Styles is capable of causing an upset in heat three too.
“Styles is real quick early, he is capable of very fast first and second splits and from box eight I expect him to be the pacemaker.
“He will come across the field hard and fast from this draw and if his rivals drive towards the rails Styles might get the fly and pinch the race in the process.”
This year’s Cup heats are widely regarded as the strongest ever drawn to Goulburn, with Lord ranking the fields as the best since the 1999 series.
“My greyhound Amanda Shantell dead-heated with Marty Hallinan’s Many Tricks in the 1999 final and the lineup then was on a par with this year’s red hot fields,” Lord said.
Leading Victorian trainer David Geall, who won Friday night’s Melbourne Cup with My Redeemer and took out the 2018 Golden Easter Egg with Up Hill Jill, has lavished praise on the Goulburn circuit, declaring it a credit to NSW.
Geall visited Goulburn for the first time last Tuesday, winning a double with Fernando Drums and Untold Soldier.
“I was giving them a look at the track before they contested Tuesday’s Goulburn Cup and Ladbrokes Fireball heats, and while they both won I was also impressed with the facilities at this course,” Geall said.
“I have raced greyhounds all over Australia and watched racing in England and Ireland but Goulburn is a showpiece.
“The full brick soundproof kennel block, complete with glass viewing area, is the most user friendly I have encountered because the dogs have plenty of room to lay down and relax and they are not distracted by seeing other greyhounds going out for their races.
“I was also impressed with the long run from the winning post to the catching pen because it gives dogs more time to slow down so should mean fewer post-race mishaps.”
While the four Cup heats highlight Tuesday’s Goulburn card, this year’s Ladbrokes Fireball qualifiers, over the shorter 350m trip, provide an almost equally absorbing sidelight.
Most exciting clash comes in heat three where Friskey, a newcomer to Goulburn but a winner of 19 from 30 starts, tackles the up-and-coming speedster Nurragi.
The Patrick Mulrine-trained Friskey has box two and Nurragi, from the local Denice Warren kennels, has four but with a vacant box on his outside,
Nurragi has won six of eight appearances so between them this pair of flying machines have saluted the judge on 25 of 38 outings, a truly remarkable strike rate.
First and second in each of the Cup and Fireball heats will contest the December 4 finals.