Early Rush Vital in Waikato Classic

The initial rush for early positions in Group race deciders often has a bearing on the likely race outcome. The box draw for Friday’s $21,000 Farmlands CopRice Waikato Classic final over 457m presents some interesting possible scenarios when the Group 2 field is released at around 7.43pm (race 10) at the Cambridge Raceway.

Pictured: Thrilling Talk with his conditioner Karen Walsh following his emphatic Waikato Classic heat win

Thrilling Talk ($1.80 – TAB Final Field option 997) is all the yap for the final after his trainer Karen Walsh produced him to deliver his slick 25.42s heat victory. Understandably his cramped odds comes as no surprise as seeks to spearhead Walsh’s three team attack on her local Group 2 event, which if successful will provide the Tirau based trainer with her sixth Waikato Classic training success since 2005.

Thrilling Talk’s supporters will be firmly focused on the two trap where he’ll exit from. They’ll be hoping that he makes a similar start like he did in his heat from the same trap. The potential issue for him is the trap one drawn Cameo Syd as he is known for moving away from the rail.

“Thrilling Talk jumped really nicely in his heat – hopefully he does the same on Friday. He has always had a motor and he really used that to win his neat. He is as bright as a button and I’m happy with his draw – hopefully he will get clear early racing room,” advised Walsh.

Thrilling Amigo ($10) really stepped up to the mark when this C1 graded chaser stylishly handled his toughest career test when he finished solidly to claim his 25.78s heat win in what was just his fifth career race day outing. It was a heady effort by him when he carried the red racing vest to victory. On Friday he moves out into the seven trap.

“Thrilling Amigo did really well considering his lack of racing experience. He still has his learner wheels on,” chucked his mentor. “He’s going to be a nice dog in the future, although I feel his draw isn’t ideal for him at this stage of his career. He’s all good to go for the final.”

Thrilling Jo ($12) is a litter sister to Thrilling Talk who hasn’t been provided with any favours after being allocated trap five to hop away from. She completed her heat assignment in 26 seconds flat, also from the red trap. Her trainer rightfully points out that others factors contributed to her heat time. She does own a 25.69s best wining 457m time.

“I feel that conditions at the time (last race on a 13 race card) plus the way the heat was run had an impact on the race time. She is such a gritty, honest wee girl who dug in real deep when she was stuck down on the rail in her heat. She can finish strongly and hopefully she gets a clean racing passage from her draw,” said Walsh, who also provides the first reserve with yet another litter mate Thrilling Carly ($10).

She finished solidly for her 1.75 length second behind Mr. Matt. Take a real close look at her in the last race C1/2 457m event if she doesn’t gain a start in this race. “I was rapt with her heat effort as she had to come right around the outer. She isn’t a quick starter, however she is a strong finisher,” added Walsh.

Thrilling Amigo Thrilling Jo Thrilling Carly
The other three Karen Walsh trained Farmlands CopRice Waikato Classic contenders (from left): Thrilling Amigo; Thrilling Jo and first reserve Thrilling Carly

Amorini ($8) is an exciting young chasing prospect for northern trainer Ben Craik. Ten wins from just eleven races confirms those thoughts. He came away nicely from the one trap in his heat which saw him leading his rivals all the way, stopping the clock in 25.79s. He has been consistently clocking respectable race times and his ability to race on the pace is a decided asset for him. He will leap away from the four trap here.

“We are very excited about Amorini and are rapt with what he has achieved so far. His lack of experience against dogs of the caliber of those he’s racing against in the final is a concern – he isn’t racing against lower graded greyhounds in this field. We have kept him on the lead since his heat win, therefore hopefully he jumps straight onto the pace. He’s such a cool dog, really happy with everything he does,” confirmed Lisa Craik.

She is concerned about their other finalist Cameo Syd ($12) drawing the one trap. He does have a racing tendency of racing away from the rail as seen in his follow up Sunday race after his heat at Manukau over 527m. He was bold in the manner that he delivered his 2.25 length heat second behind Thrilling Amigo after he jumped from the eight trap.

“Yes, his draw is a big worry. We are happy with him, but obviously not his draw. He is more of a Manukau dog, however he’s in his restricted age season and we’re happy he has made the final. I guess we have to wait and see what happens with him,” she advised.

Lisa Cole trained Me Jane to victory in last year’s edition of the Waikato Classic. On this occasion her kennel will be represented by Trojan Hoarse ($9) who booked his final field position when delivering his three quarter length heat second to Thrilling Jo. He led when rounding the turn and that is the ley to his claims in this decider as Brendon Cole points out.

“He needs early luck and he must lead them early – he has no other option as he won’t come from behind them. He’s had a couple of races up there now so maybe that will help him. He’s all good to go for the final.”

Amorini Cameo Syd Trojan Hoarse
Farmlands CopRice Waikato Classic contenders (from left): Amorini with Tracy Craik; Cameo Syd; Trojan Hoarse

The strong Canterbury based Dave and Jean Fahey kennels are represented by two finalists, plus they also provide the second reserve. Mr. Matt ($10) controlled the pace throughout when he produced his 25.94s heat from the two trap. He moves out into the eight trap here from where he is provided with swooping claims. Overlook his last start miss from that trap when he was impeded when the contested the Southland hosted 457m NZRS Advanced final last Friday.

Go Brat ($9) was bold when he wound up just a quarter of length behind Amorini when he made his Cambridge track debut appearance. Natural improvement can be expected from this bloke following that outing. He will be sighted wearing the white racing vest here.

That was a top effort by Jinja Shake ($21) just to make the second possie on the reserves bench. He holds a current C1 grading which he’s more than likely to quickly advance from once he returns to grade chasing. He led home the vain chase 11.5 lengths astern of the freewheeling Thrilling Talk in his heat.

“Mr. Matt is better suited to inside draws, but he could be okay out there with the way the field has been drawn. Go Brat suits the one tracks and I thought his he run was good effort. Both of them will need some luck, while they are both okay to go,” said Dave Fahey.

Mr Matt Go Brat Jinja Shake
The Dave and Jean Fahey prepared Farmlands CopRice Waikato Classic contenders (from left): Mr. Matt with Dave Fahey, Go Brat and second reserve Jinja Shake

By Peter Fenemor

Posted on 3/01/2019 7:20:06 PM

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