Two greyhounds caught punters off guard in last night’s Cranbourne Cup heats and breathed plenty of interest into next Wednesday’s Group 2 Kingston Trophies Cranbourne Cup final (520m).
Zambora Magic ($23.70) and Sonic Pirate ($33.30) got up at huge odds, winning two of the six heats, and they’ll have plenty of followers in the rich $65,000 final given that they are prepared by hobby trainers Graham Whitford and Peter Reinders respectively.
Whitford, who has only trained the experienced Zambora Magic since October when he was purchased from NSW by the Lanigan family, was surprised he paid such big odds.
“I knew he had the talent because he’s a 29.70sec dog at Wentworth Park, and he’ll be well suited in Box 7 in the final because he likes a bit of room, so hopefully he can pull off another upset,” Whitford said of Zambora Magic, who is a younger half brother to dual Waterloo Cup winner, Zambora Blueboy.
Incidentally, two other greyhounds from semi-professional kennels – Hostile and Luca Neveelk – also qualified for the final, with the former running down the latter in a slick 30.242sec.
Luca Neveelk makes the final after being one of the two fastest second placegetters, and he now gets a crack at winning a third country cup after snaring the Geelong & Ballarat Cups in recent months.
Hostile’s time was bettered on the night by only one greyhound, the ever-improving Avondale Porche, who notched her 13th win from just 18 starts in 30.213sec.
Wednesday 7 January over 520m
Prize money: $45,000 (1st) – $13,000 (2nd) – $6,500 (3rd) – GOBIS $10,000
1. WIND WHISTLER (Angela Langton, Anakie)
2. SONIC PIRATE (Peter Reinders, Gruyere)
3. HOSTILE (Darren Beasley, Footscray West)
4. LUCA NEVEELK (Gerald Kleeven, Denison)
5. AVONDALE PORCHE (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale)
6. OAKVALE DESTINY (Jeff Britton, Anakie)
7. ZAMBORA MAGIC (Graham Whitford, Yarram)
8. WHODAT KNOCKIN’ (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale)
9. DYNA GELDOF (Steven Collins, Lara)
10. IBROX DIGGER (Steven Clarke, Tooradin)
Heat 1: Whodat Knockin’ (7) beats Wind Whistler (2) in 30.367sec