Competitive Waterloo Cup Final Field Decided

The Waterloo Cup heats has been run and won at the four different venues used for them nationwide. Interesting is the best way to describe how the final field for Sunday’s Group 1 decider at the Manukau Stadium shapes up.

Pictured: The stylish Manukau Waterloo Cup heat winner Soaring Hawke

Waikato Waterloo Cup heat

The Waterloo Cup series was really set alight in the first of the heats, hosted by the Waikato Club at the Cambridge Raceway on Thursday afternoon. Settling last from the 457m traps was the Hayley Mullane prepared Cristiane Cyborg.

Winning the break from the ace trap was Spare Some Time from the Lisa Cole kennels. He was quickly joined by Jimmy’s Rocket for Steve Clark, who moved out to his preferred possie in the middle of the track. The Craig Roberts prepared Letron James ducked down towards the rail after jumping away from trap six.

Cristiane Cyborg saw all of her rivals in front of her when entering the big sweeping Cambridge bend which saw Jimmy’s Rocket leading them into it. Unfazed she simply switched out wide and mounted a sustained gallop around the outer.

Turning in for the run home it Jimmy’s Rocket who led, with him being stalked by Letron James. The Karen Walsh prepared ultra-consistent Cambridge 457m greyhound Timmy Trumpet was in close attendance, while Cristiane Cyborg was rapidly closing in on this trio.

She simply unleashed at that point cruising past her opponents with ease when galloping to her 25.61s heat win. She held a 1.5 length margin over a gallant Jimmy’s Rocket, who was fresh up for this assignment. Those two qualified for the Group 1 final, with a brave Letron James claiming the second position on the reserves bench after finishing a further 1.75 lengths behind in third.

Cristiane Cyborg Cristiane Cyborg Waikato Waterloo Heat Podium

Cristiane Cyborg after her strong Cambridge Waterloo Cup heat win and with trainer Hayley Mullane; the full Waikato hosted Waterloo Cup heat podium featuring Jimmy’s Rocket and Letron James (pics by Sarah - Waikato GRC)

Christchurch Waterloo Cup heat

The Waterloo Cup qualifying action then moved south to the Addington Raceway on Thursday evening where the Christchurch Club hosted their 520m Waterloo Cup heat. The heat contained four greyhounds from the powerful Dave and Jean Fahey kennels and it was those four chasers who paid out the race TAB First4 dividend, although admittedly not exactly in the finish order that most had expected.

It was the Steve and Bonnie Evans trained Melan who won the break from the one trap. He was quickly joined wider out by one of the Fahey’s runners, Fair Pippa, and the heat favourite, Shantui. Another kennel runner, Opawa Brad, was sitting just in behind them on the rail.

Melan led them down the back and on entering the turn Shantui went up to join him on his outer. At this stage Opawa Brad strongly ducked through underneath still holding the rail. That saw him emerge with the race lead when commencing the run home.

Opawa Brad proved too strong during the run to the judge and he received the winning call by a comfortable 2.75 length margin and time of 30.43s. Fair Pippa gamely stuck to her task to hold second and in doing so book her passage north to Manukau. There was a length further back to the fast finishing Opawa Timo, who cut Shantui out of third by the barest of margins.

Opawa Brad Opawa Brad

Opawa Brad winning the Addington 520m Waterloo Cup heat and with handler Lisa McRae afterwards; Fair Pippa after her Addington Waterloo Cup heat second - pics supplied by Dave Robbie - – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos

Wanganui Waterloo Cup heat

Even though it was only a seven dog field that lined up at the Hatrick Raceway on Friday evening for the third Waterloo Cup heat, there was degree of jostling when they charged towards the first turn.

A pair of Matt Roberts trained contenders Cawbourne Mezza and Cawbourne Kaz showed up during that initial early rush for positions and they were joined by the race favourite Bigtime Paddy for Lisa Cole. One of the favoured heat contenders, the recent Wanganui Cup Winner Ride Ain’t Over from the Craig Roberts kennels was impeded during that early rush, as was the consistent Cole-prepared Allegro Gun.

Going down the back straight it was Bigtime Paddy who seized control of the heat and he cleared away from his rivals when charging to his effortless heat win by an easy 7.5 length margin. He returned another smart 520m time when clocking 30.07s.

The race was on for the second Waterloo Cup qualifying position from this heat. The renowned short course sprinter Cawbourne Kaz was going for the race of his career when holding second, however it was the Craig Roberts trained Mina Allen who dug in deep over the concluding stages to snatch second a neck in advance of a gutsy Cawbourne Kaz.

Allegro Gun Mina Allen

Wanganui Waterloo Cup heat winner Allegro Gun, seen here after an earlier race win and the second placed Mina Allen

Auckland Waterloo Cup heat

It was an extremely even, competitive Waterloo Cup heat field that was loaded away into the Manukau 527m traps on Sunday afternoon for the fourth and final heat. Punching out quickly from the two trap was the Peter Fergusson trained Soaring Hawke and she led the field into the all-important first turn.

There was a fair degree of jostling, mainly affecting those who had drawn wide when they raced into that first turn. As a result of that it was Kava Blu, who was wearing the red racing vest, who slipped through along the rail to chase after the pacemaker for his conditioners Wayne and Tracy Steele.

Soaring Hawke was revelling in her work going down the back straight with Kava Blu racing in her slipstream. Emerging out of the pack when racing down the back was the Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Auckland Cup title holder and heat favourite He’s All Power.

Turning in for the run home it was still all Soaring Hawke and she maintained her solid pace-making gallop to claim her deserved heat victory in 30.57s. Kava Blu was in second when turning for home, but he wasn’t able to withstand the strong finish that He’s All Power threw at him. He’s All Power got over the top to provide the Fahey’s with their third Waterloo Cup finalist by a half-length margin. Kava Blu will occupy the first possie on the reserves bench for Sunday’s $32,785 final.

Soaring Hawke He's All Power Kava Blu

Auckland Waterloo Cup heat winner Soaring Hawke with trainers Peter and Wendy Fergusson, along with helper Danny Laing; Runner up He’s All Power and the third place finisher Kava Blu

Pawnote: Check out the box draw for the Waterloo Cup final in the fields section of this website

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 26/09/2017 8:09:44 AM

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