Waterloo Cup Field Decided After Four Enthralling Heats

Four ultra-competitive heats across New Zealand’s premier racetracks commenced Thursday afternoon at Cambridge Raceway and concluded Sunday afternoon at Manukau Sports Bowl. The first two runners from each of the star-studded heats find themselves in this weekend’s final where they will race for Group One Glory. The Waterloo Cup is the oldest trophy in New Zealand Greyhound Racing and has a rich history spanning over a century where it began as a coursing event. The list of past winners of this race is as impressive as its long-standing history as the likes of Sergio, Little Mother, Dyna Vikkers, Bigtime Paddy, and Pinny Mack all reigned victorious in this time-honoured event.

Cambridge Raceway played host to the first heat on Thursday afternoon and the field was a very strong one. Bigtime Cooper was once again favourite on his favourite one turn track while Karen Walsh represented the field with three runners along with Lisa Cole. Bigtime Cooper as expected flew out to his customary early lead putting a few lengths on the chasing pack. The extremely talented Portland Berty for Tracey and Lisa Craik headed into second and was in hot pursuit of Cooper ranging up outside him on the corner before blazing on by late in the race taking the heat out in a 25.49. Despite his squeeze box of five, he proved himself as an emerging talent running down a very smart animal. Cooper held second cementing his place in the final after another quality showing.

Craig Roberts prepared half the field in Christchurch’s second heat at Addington Raceway with Leonard Bale and Uthor Bale looking for further victories to add to very successful seasons so far. She’s For Us for Craig’s son Matt took the lead into the back after there was a bit of early trouble on the first corner. Leonard Bale made his run soon after as he used his searing pace to find the lead and looked like he had a winning break. The Steve and Bonnie Evans runner Goldstar Mauney, however, found the line the strongest running down Leonard Bale as he capped off a very nice fortnight with two consecutive victories against quality opposition.

The third of four heats at Whanganui’s Hatrick Raceway would feature three talented bitches in Big Time Brie, Big Time Lantao, and Miss Potential. Brie would start from an unfavourable inside draw while Lantao would be suited with a vacant box draw inside her. Miss Potential after some very good showings in recent weeks had the eight box and would have her chance to swoop. As expected Brie and Lantao opened up a gap in the field going down the back, however, they were both rounded up half way down the straight as Bigtime Anton and Bigtime Harley came from the clouds to pip their kennel mates and take their place in this week's Final. The third heat heralded an unexpected result as the girls underwhelmed, while another pair of boys would line up for a shot at Group One Glory.

Heat four at Manukau on Sunday afternoon consisted of a largely female field making up six of the eight runners. Thrilling Izzy for Karen Walsh went into the race heavily favoured to qualify but found some early tightening from the squeezebox of five. Ginny Weasley for Emma Potts put on a great showing stepping up to the middle distance leading the field into the straight from box three holding down second to cement a spot in the final. Nova Willow for Lisa Cole Hugged the paint the whole way after an average start from box one, she however gradually outstayed each runner in the field as her recent distance racing put her in great stead taking out the final heat in a time of 30.69 for the 527 meters.

Written by Shane Kendall

Posted on 12 October 2020

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