NZ Cup Field Decided

The final field for the nation’s richest greyhound race, the $100,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup has been decided. Four 520m semifinals have brought together an intriguing field of eight greyhounds who will chase after Group 1 glory at the Addington Raceway next Thursday evening.

Pictured: Avenger Bale delivering the quickest NZ Cup semifinal time (photo by Dave Robbie)

Here’s a look back at those semis which saw some of the favoured greyhounds dropping out of contention, while other favourites booked their return for the decider.

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semi 1
The Angela Turnwald trained Nature’s Gent earned his place in the NZ Cup semis by winning the Manukau hosted NZ Cup Prelude. He achieved that win from the one trap and it was the red racing vest he carried to victory in his semi which he delivered in an okay 30.11s.

Cactus Jack slipped into the trailing position to chase after him throughout and he returns next Thursday after delivering his four length second. He was the first of four greyhounds to make the decider for trainers Dave and Jean Fahey. Harry Fields became the NZ Cup first reserve for his conditioner Ray Adcock after he kicked on stoutly when arriving home another length and a half behind.

Nature's Gent Nature's Gent Cactus Jack
Natures Gent’s delivering his Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semifinal win and with handler Paul Freeman; NZ Cup finalist Cactus Jack (photos by Dave Robbie)

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semi 2
The warm NZ Cup series TAB Futures market favourite Avenger Bale took his place in this semi for Craig Roberts. He duly obliged, when after chasing the expected pacemaker Cosmic Odette, he took over the race lead when heading into the home turn to scamper clear for his easy seven length heat semi win. He clocked 30 seconds flat, which was the quickest of the semi times.

Shantui initially settled in the midfield for the Fahey’s from where he improved his field position out wide when racing down the back straight. He then extended strongly during the run home to book his finals placement thanks to his second placing.

Avenger Bale Shantui
NZ Cup finalist Avenger Bale with trainer Craig Roberts with Angela Washington and daughter Keaha, along with finalist Shantui (photos by Dave Robbie)

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semi 3
It was a competitive third semi which saw the Roberts prepared Quistis Bale leading out. She was stalked by the Fahey trained Opawa Timo and he railed through underneath the pacemaker on the home turn slip clear for his 30.28s semi win by a length margin.

Tom Tee had settled in the midfield pack for Adcock. He was sighted improving throughout and that improvement carried him into the runners up possie. The warm favourite for this semi Allen Ablett, also from the Roberts kennels, found himself tangled up in early traffic. Once in the clear he found the line solidly another 2.25 lengths astern which sees him becoming the NZ Cup second reserve.

Opawa Timo Opawa Timo Tom Tee
Opawa Timo delivering his Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semifinal win and with handler Mark Lin; NZ Cup finalist Tom Tee (photos by Dave Robbie)

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semi 4
The $74.30 chance Nozzno Fear hopped away smartly from the seven trap for his trainer Ashley Bradshaw. It was a smart racing tactic to adopt as he was to be rewarded with a return for next Thursday’s final for his freewheeling racing style when letting just one greyhound to past him.

That chaser was the current Auckland Cup title holder He’s All Power, who completed the Fahey quartet of NZ Cup finalists when he finished solidly to claim this semi by a 1.25 length margin, clocking 30.45s.

He's All Power He's All Power Nozzno Fear
He’s All Power delivering his Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup semifinal win and with co-trainer Jean Fahey; NZ Cup finalist Nozzno Fear (photos supplied by Dave Robbie – drobbie91@gmail.com – 021 607 869 for all your South Island race photos)

Pawnote: There was some rather bemused looks on the faces of some trainers when they drew the boxes from where their respective charges will jump from next Thursday evening. It was a novel method the Christchurch Club used where connections blindly picked out a coloured cap from a bag held up high. The colour of the cap drawn out represented the colour of the racing vest that will be worn by the finalists.

Check out the box draw on this website, plus the TAB Final Field quotes which is also available on option 937.

By Peter Fenemor

 

Posted on 9/11/2017 3:55:02 PM

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