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Cups king out to defy the odds
Thursday, December 8, 2016
The big story to come out of tomorrow’s Williams Crane Hire Christmas Cup heats at Tara Raceway is the return of the Moyston greyhound Mojito Mayhem.
He’s the cups king around here, having previously won the 2015 Anniversary Cup, and then the 2016 Mount Gambier and Anniversary Cups for trainer Peter Franklin – one of the nicest people you could hope to meet on a greyhound track, or anywhere else for that matter.
Back in early August, Mojito Mayhem was still running hot, defeating this year’s likely Greyhound of the Year Old Jock over 512 metres in a quick 29.74 seconds. Even then Franklin was daring to dream also of back-to-back Mount Gambier Cups.
But a couple of weeks later the son of Fear Zafonic and Graceful Amy injured a hind leg at Ballarat and hasn’t raced since.
According to Franklin, Mojito Mayhem, who boasts a record of 19 wins and 18 minor placings from 65 starts, appears to have lost three lengths overall.
“Significantly, I think the loss of an early length or so might make it difficult for him to find a forward position through the first bend,” he said.
“His recent trials at Ballarat over 450 metres have been well below his best with only fair run-home times.”
However, Franklin said he believed Mojito Mayhem had done well to come back from two severe tears to his gracilis.
“And I’m hanging on to the fact that despite a loss of three lengths he still should be able to run sub-30 seconds with a clear run.”
Mojito Mayhem, who will be attempting to win the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club’s three cups in the one year, has drawn box one in heat one with the first four from each heat advancing to Sunday week’s 512 metre Christmas Cup final.
“I reckon if he can pull this one off it would make for a great movie script,” said Franklin, who stopped just short of suggesting that Brad Pitt would be a good fit in the lead role as Mojito Mayhem’s trainer.
Another nice story to come out of the Christmas Cup is that of Glenville Jester, raced by Richard and Kevin Clayfield in partnership with Dale Lewis.
Initially, trainer Richard Clayfield had been undecided whether to tackle the Christmas Cup or the Christmas Challenge (600 m) with Glenville Jester but after a powerful 1½ length best of day win over Fiorelli Rose in last Sunday’s Laser Electrical Mixed Stake (512 m) it was an easy decision.
By Vapour Whirl out of 2011 Mount Gambier Anniversary Cup winner Glenville Maggie, Glenville Jester had been wallowing in the wilderness mid-year and couldn’t win a race to save himself.
In fact, by early November he’d found himself in a time-restricted Pathway for out-of-form greyhounds, a race that he duly won before going on to win at three of his next four starts.
Whether that win boosted his confidence, Clayfield is not really sure. He’s just hoping the winning form continues because the black dog is unlikely to find himself back in a Pathway any time soon.
Glenville Jester looks well placed from box three in the second heat to advance to the Christmas Cup final after the seven-dog field was reduced to six with the scratching from box two of Cryer’s Fred due to split webbing.
Cryer’s Fred was a finalist in last year’s Christmas Cup prior to running second to Mojito Mayhem in the 2016 Anniversary Cup.
The first Christmas Cup was run in 2011 when won by Napoleon Wiz, trained by David Peckham who also won the 2013 event with Bourne Again. Allen Williams was successful in 2012 with Lika Gem while Tracie Price has trained the past two winners – Who’s Doing What and Fear The Rascal.