Australia’s best sprinters will converge on The Meadows for eight action-packed heats of the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Australian Cup (525m) this Saturday night.
The eight heat winners will progress to Saturday week’s final – worth a whopping $250,000 to the winner.
The Australian Cup – first run in 1958 and won by Rookie Rebel – is a race steeped in history. Its honour roll includes the likes of Brett Lee, Tangaloa, Ginger and China Trip – the only greyhound to win back-to-back titles.
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Some of the highlights include:
Heat one - Track record holder Allen Deed (box four) will have to overcome an awkward box draw and rivals such as boom NSW pup WInsome Prince and recent Group 1 star Cosmic Wise.
Heat two – The speedy Shepparton Cup champ Azza Azza Azza (box three) against Group 1 National Derby winner Fernando Bale (box two) and dual Group winner Lamia Bale (box four).
Heat three - The brilliant young star Dyna Double One (box seven) to renew rivalries with Group 1 Silver Chief winner Above All (box two). NSW raider Anything Less comes up with the coveted red draw.
Heat four - Melbourne Cup/Paws Of Thunder champ Dyna Villa (box one) looks the greyhound to beat. He squares off against the likes of multiple Group finalists Ride The Rails (box four) and impressive Australian Cup prelim winner Midnight Flynn (box five).
Heat five - Marcus Joe will start from box one for the second week running after his gutsy third-placed effort in last week’s Temlee. He takes on National Sprint Champ Chica Destacada and Group 1 Futurity runner-up Spring Leaf (box four).
Heat six - My Bro Fabio (box seven) is fresh off an outstanding victory in last week’s Group 1 Temlee. His rivals include the in-form Diva’s Shadow (last start 29.83 winner at The Meadows) and Cranbourne Cup winner Avondale Porsche (box three).
Heat seven - Country Cups star Luca Neveelk (box three) will showcase his amazing turn of foot against classy NSW chasers Ritza Hattie (box six) and Winsome Mission (box seven).
Heat eight - One of the most open heats of the night with Dawkins Bale, Emrys, Weblec Belle, Droopys Bentley and Awesome Project all vying for a spot in the March 7 final.
Saturday will also see the running of four heats of the Group 1 Superstayers, with current staying king Space Star drawing box one in the first of the night’s heats.