Chasing Guns Drawn to Match Race in the Wanganui Cup

It’s a real mouthwatering clash that looms during the charge into the all important first turn in Friday’s $27,465 Palamountains Nutrition Wanganui Cup. A pair of classy Group 1 title holders are set slug it out in a direct paw to paw wrestle from the two inside traps.

Pictured: Nature’s Gent following his smart 29.91s Wanganui Cup heat win (pic Wanganui GRC)

It was the Angela Turnwald trained current New Zealand Cup title holder Nature’s Gent ($2.40, TAB Final Field option 989) who seized the rail from trap one and he was never headed after when he scampered to his tidy 29.91s heat win. It was a strong effort by this recent Formpro Amazing Chase runner up who made it five wins from as many races from the ace trap. He has been allocated the same trap for this decider.

“We have a huge amount of respect for the King of Hatrick Bigtime Paddy. Yes, his draw really suits him, so hopefully he’ll hold the r ail going into the first turn. If he does, then it’ll be race on. He has come through last week’s heat in great shape,” stated the trainer’s partner Paul Freeman.

Looking to match Nature’s Gent with every stride is the high flying Bigtime Paddy ($2). At first glance the 30.11s heat time posted by this Lisa Cole prepared dual Group 1 winner is rather modest looking by his high standards. That time was a reflection of some early traffic issues Bigtime Paddy suffered from. The Amazing Chase winner work real hard once he secured clear racing air which saw him claiming his 43rd career victory.

“Paddy didn’t have any early luck last week when he checked off the back of another one of our dogs. He has to come out (jump) good and get straight down onto the fence. We know what he can do from that point. Paddy worked very nicely the other day and he’s all set to go,” confirmed Brendon Cole.

The Cole kennel has qualified another four Wanganui Cup finalists. Included is the other heat winner Bigtime Wendle ($14) who completed her assignment in 30.10s. She jumped straight into the race lead and she was never seriously challenged afterwards. “Wendle will hold a straight line from her trap (four). She’s strong enough too tough out a strong 520m,” added Cole.

Bigtime Twinkle ($21) also set the initial pace in her heat. She was brave when she led until the run home where she was out finished by half a length by kennel mate Bigtime Paddy. She’s another who is likely to be sighted contesting the early pace from her three trap draw. “Twinkle is doing everything right since she stepped up to 520m racing. She is quick early and she is improving all the time,” suggested Cole.

Bigtime Paddy Bigtime Wendle Bigtime Tears
Palamountains Nutrition Wanganui Cup heat winners was Bigtime Paddy (left) and Bigtime Wendle – pics Wanganui GRC, while joining the kennel mates in the final will be Bigtime Tears

Ask King Jeff ($12) has no objections about racing from the wider traps, although he might have to do some nifty early paw work when the Amazing Chase fourth place getter hops away from the seven trap owing to another kennel mate drawing the eight trap. He boldly chased home Nature’s Gent for his 2.25 length heat second. “Jeff likes it out there, although I am concerned about our eight dog cutting down into him. He’s a strong dog,” mentioned Cole.

And that leaves us with the remaining Cole contender Bigtime Tears ($12), who as mentioned will exit from trap eight. She owns an abundance of early pace which we saw when she used that asset when she led throughout for her tidy 29.84s New Zealand Breeders’ Stakes victory. She qualified for this final when delivering her three length heat third to Nature’s Gent. “She has enough pace to place herself handy to the early pace. Hopefully she’ll cross the others before she cuts down. All of our runners came through their heats in good order and all worked up strongly during the week,” confirmed Cole.

Idol Tom ($31) is a resilient greyhound who keeps on qualifying for Group 1 finals at this venue and he keeps on running minor places for his conditioner Marcie Flipp. Again it was another professional heat effort by this bloke where he was aided by drawing the one trap which translated into his 3.5 length heat third to Bigtime Wendle.

“He jumped handier to the pace in his heat, which was helped by him being in trap one. It isn’t so flash for him on Friday (from trap five). I guess the inside four dogs will jump and go so I reckon he’ll take an early sit behind them and wait for a gap. He keeps on popping up in big finals and he deserves to be in them,” said Flipp, who added, “I’m pleased with his work during the week and he’s all set for Friday.”

Completing the drawn field is the Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Panel Beater ($31) who booked his placed in this final when finishing 2.5 lengths astern of Bigtime Paddy. It was a solid track debut effort from this recent South Island Champs runner up. “He’s going to need a heck of a lot of luck from that trap (six) – it’s a tough ask, but you never know. He has pulled up good from this heat,” said Dave Fahey.

Idol Tom Panel Beater Waitohi
Palamountains Nutrition Wanganui Cup contenders includes (from left): Idol Tom; Panel Beater and first reserve Waitohi

Waitohi ($18) has really caught the eye in the manner that she has flown home late in both of her recent 520m outings on this track for Turnwald. She’s only a C3 graded youngster and she looks set to enjoy a successful season judging by those efforts.

The second reserve Cawbourne Trixy ($41) will line up in the race 7 645m event if she isn’t required here. She was the quickest of the heat fourth place getters, however making moderate 520m race starts hasn’t been assisting her lately.

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 10/08/2018 9:46:34 AM

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