Intriguing Cambridge Invitation Field

Thursday afternoon’s $15,825 Angus Wright Memorial Interisland Invitation field at the Cambridge Raceway presents a 457m field that is blended with proven Group race performers and exciting up-and-coming chasing prospects.

Pictured: The Formpro Amazing Chase winner Shantui adds a lot interest to Thursday’s Cambridge Group 2 race

The Group 2 event is a worthy field that recognizes the valued input the former Waikato president Angus Wright put into the club’s formative totalizator days when they raced at the Claudelands Raceway in Hamilton.

Thursday’s Waikato meeting also celebrates 20 years of racing at the Cambridge Raceway venue. Another highlight will be awards presented pre-meeting to acknowledge the top canine and human performances throughout the last racing season.

Three greyhounds from the Lisa Cole kennels will contest this event. Spearheading her charge is the ultra consistent chaser Allegro Gun ($4.50 - TAB Final Field, option 979) who continues to deliver very competitive races in strong fields. Included was his recent strong 25.41s NZRS Advanced 457m victory on this track.

He will hop way from trap three here after being run down late by his kennelmate and race rival here Bigtime Paddy over 457m at the Manawatu Raceway on Monday afternoon. “He’s all good following his Monday race. He was up a bit in weight after not racing since his Group 1 race where he got a small nail tear. He’s had a hydro bath and is really for Thursday where he has to make sure he gets away okay,” said the trainer’s husband Brendon Cole.

Allegro Gun’s litter brother Smash Allegro ($14) adds plenty of interest after being allocated the eight trap to step away from. He was the runner up to his brother in the same recent NZRS Advanced final at this track. He travels north after finishing third to his kennelmates in his Monday 457m warm up for this feature.

He does own plenty of early pace, which if using that asset, can see him making his presence felt here as Cole confirms. “His draw can definitely suit him, especially if there’s any buffering inside him. He can slip clear if there is. He has run 25.37s up there and a repeat of that will make things interesting. He has come through his Monday race in good style.

Bigtime Paddy ($6) has strongly illustrated his potential via a series of Hatrick sub 30 second 520m times. His winning effort on Monday was full of merit where he strongly punched home along the rail to nail his 25.96s 457m win. He owns early pace that he can maintain for a long way as evidence by his current solid form. He must use that pace when hopping away from the five trap here.

“Paddy is a young dog who is on his way up. He’s racing up there to give him experience on other tracks for the bigger races coming up (New Zealand Derby here). He is capable at this level and he has come through his recent races in great style,” confirmed Cole.

Allegro Gun Spring Allegro Bigtime Paddy
The three Lisa Cole prepared Angus Wright Memorial Interisland Invitation contenders (from left): Allegro Gun; Spring Allegro; Bigtime Paddy

Thursday is a potential milestone day for Dave and Jean Fahey. They have accepted two talented greyhounds here and victory in this Group 2 feature will bring up a remarkable century of Group training victories for the couple.

Vikings ($4.20) has drawn the two trap from where he has every opportunity to be able to push straight onto the early pace. He did exactly that when he led throughout when winning his Addington C4 520m event last Thursday in the meet best 30.13s 520m time. His fitness levels are improving after having recently resumed racing.

The Formpro Amazing Chase winner Shantui ($5.50) adds a heck of lot of intrigue to this event. That mainly centers on what he’ll do when he jumps away from the one trap – the first time he has drawn there in his career. He has seemed more comfortable when racing from wider traps.

“If Vikings can hold out the three dog (Allegro Gun) from the traps, then yes he will have a strong chance. He is just about back to his best. I’m not sure what Shantui will do from the one. He has speed – he can run quick sectionals as he has shown in his Addington trials. Both dogs are set to have bold races,” said Dave Fahey.

Timmy Trumpet ($4.50) is an absolute 457m track specialist for his conditioner Karen Walsh. He can be classified as the ‘elder statesman’ in this field. The vast racing experience he brings into this field commands total respect.

“It would be lovely if Timmy can get some of it (the stake) – he hasn’t got many chances left at his age. He’s an old war horse who is as tough as. I am worried about his draw and what sort of early racing passage he will get. I’m happy with him going in tomorrow,” said Walsh.

On the other paw Timmy’s younger half brother and kennelmate Light ‘em Jax ($12) will be lining up for just his tenth career race, this being his fifth since crossing the Tasman. His four 457m races, split between the Cambridge and Manawatu tracks in this country, have all been winning performances. Included was his swift meet last Cambridge 25.31s 457m effort.

“He has come through his racing really well. He has been a touch slow to begin, then has showed good pace once he settles. He is running his races with confidence. Yes, this is a tougher task, but he has taken everything in stride so far. I’m excited about his future racing prospects and know he’s all ready to go on Thursday,” confirmed Walsh.

Cristiane Cyborg ($10) has created a huge impression during her short racing career for her conditioner Hayley Mullane. In just ten career races she has captured two lower graded NZRS finals in imposing fashion. She now faces her stiffest career test in stepping up to this level of racing. Her race times, which include a Cambridge 25.46s 457m best, are up to the required mark.

It is likely to be the race start that holds the key to her prospects in this event. She hasn’t been the quickest away in her races to this point and that factor can come into play here, however there’s no denying her power once she’s in stride. “Cambridge is a track that suits her racing style as she has two long straights to work with. I hadn’t considered this race until Monday when I decided to give it a go.

“It will be nice to see how she copes with that type of company. I’m going into it open minded – it’s exciting to see what she’s up against. I’m going into the race with confidence after what she did on Sunday (a strong 527m NZRS Graduation win). She has come through her race as good as gold. Look, I’ll be stoked with a top four finish by her,” commented Mullane.

Vikings Timmy Trumpet Cristiane Cyborg
Angus Wright Memorial Interisland Invitation contenders (from left): Vikings; Timmy Trumpet; Cristiane Cyborg

Map My Run ($21) is the first reserve for the Cole kennel. He has been a tenacious chaser in strong fields for a long time. He doesn’t own the brilliance that others in this field possess, however he makes up for that with his grit and determination.

Second reserve Lochinvar Brogue ($18) hasn’t compiled the consistent 457m race record around this circuit (he has been okay over the 375m sprint here) as he has over the Manukau 527m trip for his trainer Denis Scofield. He has been in dominant form against the open class greyhounds at the Auckland headquarters and it is great to see him drawn to race there again on Sunday.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 23/08/2017 3:27:57 PM

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