Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Two heats of the 2019 SA Country Cup to be run over 512 metres at Tara Raceway on Sunday ensures there will be no margin for error with only the winners advancing to the $7500 final which will be decided at Angle Park on Friday, October 11 – the same night as the Adelaide Cup final.
With conditions applying, the heats have attracted the best greyhounds going around Tara Raceway at the moment, the first heat including this year’s Anniversary Cup winner Lektra Brandy who hasn’t raced since running fourth at Angle Park over 515 metres on August 1.
Lektra Brandy, a daughter of KC And All and Lektra Scarlett, currently Tara Raceway’s leading dam for 2019, turned in an outstanding effort to defeat Dyna Naitch by 1¼ lengths in a race record 29.63 seconds in July’s Anniversary Cup (512 m).
Portland owner-trainer Neville “Nifty” Lenehan said this week that Lektra Brandy appeared to have appreciated her time away from the track.
“She’s been jumping out of her skin and I reckon she’s ready to go, judging by her trial over 450 metres at Warrnambool last weekend, although this is a tidy sort of heat.
“Springvale Alysa’s form is hard to fault, and she’s drawn well in box two, but I thought the one to beat could be John Burow’s United Lass who looks ideally placed out in eight and ran a great race last week to push Springvale Alysa to a length at what was her first go in Open company.”
The Penshurst-based Burow purchased United Lass, a winner of five races at Tara Raceway, as a pup for $2500, the black bitch being by Banjo Boy out of nine-race winner Maisy Mac who is a litter sister to Zambora Brockie (31 wins and $540,000 in prizemoney).
Kongorong trainer John Little has had the Country Cup earmarked for some time now with Springvale Alysa, the daughter of Dyna Double One and Springvale Cool having won her past three starts and very hard to run down when she finds the front.
And the 4½-year-old Dyna Naitch, drawn in box one in the first heat, returns after a month off for Allendale East trainer David Peckham who has won six races over three distances at Tara Raceway with the son of Surf Lorian x Crystin Bale.
Peckham also has the consistent chaser Bourne Thanks jumping from box four in the second heat. By Barcia Bale, Bourne Thanks is out of Thanks Tubby who represented Mount Gambier in the Country Cup in 2014 at Strathalbyn and again the following year at Gawler.
Box eight runner Galactic Titan returns to Tara Raceway for the first time in four months, the brindle son of Paddy Whacker x Galactic Rumball out to maintain his unbeaten record of five wins at the track for Moorak owner Robert Chuck and Worrolong trainer Steve Bartholomew.
Versatile chaser Black Spring, a younger half-brother to Lektra Brandy, comes into box three on the back of a 732 metre win last Sunday for in-form Edenhope trainer Cap Abbott while Portland trainer Nicole Stanley will be relying on Wanchai Express to give her further Country Cup success.
Successful at Strathalbyn in 2016 with Berry Bling, Stanley will be hoping Wanchai Express can recapture the form that saw him run 29.46 seconds back in February, then reach the final of the Mount Gambier Cup the following month before defeating Dyna Naitch in 29.68 seconds in August.
Two heats of the Country Cup will also be run at Murray Bridge on Sunday night while Gawler will run its heats on Friday, September 27.
Meanwhile, Azalea Monelli and Banjo Fozz, both in good form at the moment, will clash at Tara Raceway on Sunday in the Produce Store Stake (512 m).
The pair missed out on the Country Cup heats for trainers Peckham and David Brodhurst of Serviceton – Azalea Monelli because of her current grade at Angle Park and Banjo Fozz only just due to residential conditions applied to the series.