Classy Field to Contest NZ Futurity Final

The New Zealand Futurity is renowned for bringing together a final field that simply oozes class right across the board. Friday’s $27,465 edition confirms those thoughts as eight talented Restricted Age greyhounds will be loaded away into the Hatrick Raceway 520m traps right on 7.54pm for this Group 1 decider.

Pictured: Bigtime Paddy who is simply flying at the moment, seen here following his swift 29.92s NZ Futurity heat win (pic Wanganui GRC)

Four 520m heats held last Friday saw an intriguing field assembled, with the box draw having thrown up a wide range of possible scenarios that could occur as the field thunders into the all important first turn.

Leading conditioner Lisa Cole, who trained Spare Some Time to victory in last year’s edition of the NZ Futurity, qualified four finalists, plus she provides both reserves. Her dual Group 1 winning kennel star Bigtime Paddy headlines her squad.

This bloke is absolutely flying at the moment as was evidenced by his effortless, slick 29.92s heat win. He has been racing from tricky draws and he again cops a poor draw, having to exit from trap five. “Paddy is right on top of his game at the moment. He has a great racing brain and with just a little bit of early luck, he’ll be right up there,” advised Brendon Cole about Paddy, who has been ripping his race rivals apart by delivering searing midrace sectionals.

Bigtime Tears has always displayed early pace and she used that asset to deliver her pace making 30.20s heat win. She produced that effort from the three trap and she’ll be wearing the white racing vest again on Friday.

Bigtime Lily was bold in her heat when she gamely led the chase home 6.5 lengths behind the freewheeling Avenger Bale. She is approaching her potential as can be seen by her having recently contested the New Zealand Oaks final. She is compiling a tidy looking set of stats from the two trap and it will be from that trap where she’ll exit from on Friday.

Bigtime Wendle led her heat rivals for 519m when she was dive-bombed late by Dirk Bale and went under by the barest possible margin. She’ll be sighted racing in the green vest in the decider.

“Bigtime Tears and Bigtime Lily are greyhounds approaching their potential. Both of them can get handy to the early pace. Bigtime Wendle possibly can run the blocker for Paddy from her draw (trap six),” advised Cole, who added, “All four of our runners have trained on really good during the week. They slipped up our straight very nicely on Tuesday”

Canterbury trainer Craig Roberts is returning with his pair of powerful heat winning litter brothers. Avenger Bale displayed strength and pace when he delivered his stylish 30.02s heat win. On the other paw, the current Auckland Cup title holder Dirk Bale had to work overtime when he got up in the final bound to snatch his 30.19s heat win (a nose over Bigtime Wendle).

“Avenger will be looking for early racing luck from his draw (trap four). The early racing passage is likely to decide his race. His strength can be the telling factor, while Dirk can use his early pace to get himself handy from out there (trap eight). He can power up if he does that. Both boys are spot on for Friday,” confirmed Roberts, who advises the third member of this exciting litter Allen Ablett is progressing nicely after having a hind leg operated on. “He has taken it all in his stride – he’s enjoying a relaxing life now.”

Bigtime Tears Avenger Bale Dirk Bale
The other three NZ Futurity heat winners (from left): Bigtime Tears; Avenger Bale; Dirk Bale (pics Wanganui GRC)

Roberts’ son Matt will load away the recent New Zealand Oaks runner up Cawbourne Krusty into trap seven. She was sighted finishing resolutely for her bold 3.5 length heat second to Bigtime Paddy. She is an exciting chasing prospect as seen by the tidy record she has built after only ten race starts.

“That isn’t a good draw for her, however she’s in there (final). I’m rapt with what she did in her heat, especially being up against the boys. She is about the best she’s ever been, jumping out of her skin, feeling a million dollars. She got the right mental attitude and that factor will take her long way,” suggested Roberts Junior.

Idol Tom produced a slasher of a heat effort for his conditioner Marcie Flipp. He copped an early check, making his qualifying claims looking rather forlorn. Undeterred he knuckled down to his task and he was rewarded with a final field position here when he rattled home late (fastest final heat sectional at 11.37s) for his three quarter length heat second to Bigtime Tears. Drawing the ace trap here says he can make things very interesting on Friday.

“I was rapt with his heat effort and now with his box draw. Actually I was bloody amazed on how he qualified – I’ve watched his heat replay many times. He has strength, he’ll hold the rail and then he’ll finish strongly. He’s a fearless dog, who also is an intelligent chaser. He’s as good as gold heading into Friday,” said Flipp.

Both of the Cole trained reserves also own potential. Bigtime Craig displayed that when he delivered his 1.25 length heat third to his kennelmate Bigtime Tears. Completely forget about his Manawatu 457m miss on Monday. Treat him with respect if he lines up in the race 7 C3 520m event where he has drawn to make his presence felt.

His kennelmate Bigtime Zack wound up two lengths astern of Dirk Bale in his heat. He also received few racing favours in his Monday afternoon Palmerston North 457m outing and he is worthy keeping close tabs on when he returns to C4 racing (he’s also a reserve for the race 10 C4/5 520m event).

Bigtime Lily Bigtime Wendle Cawbourne Krusty Idol Tom
The remaining NZ Futurity finalists are (from left): Bigtime Lily; Bigtime Wendle; Cawbourne Krusty; Idol Tom

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 10/05/2018 4:52:12 PM

< Back