Wednesday, October 3, 2018
In a surprise move, Mount Gambier Greyhound of the Year contender Cryer’s Plugger will join local rising star Smart Knocka at Angle Park tomorrow night for the running of the Group 1 UBET Adelaide Cup (515 metres) heats at Angle Park.
The pair, which will clash in the third of five heats, has been favoured by a vacant box five, Cryer’s Plugger drawing the four and Smart Knocka to jump from box six.
Cryer’s Plugger, trained at Apsley by Tom Cryer, is owned by his wife Margaret who said earlier this week that the decision to enter for the cup had been made at the last minute after the dog’s impressive best of day win at Tara Raceway last Sunday.
“To be honest, we hadn’t given the Adelaide Cup any thought but on the way home on Sunday I suggested to Tom that perhaps we should nominate him,” she said.
“Initially, he wasn’t all that keen on the idea but by Monday morning he’d come around and it’s now going to be a great thrill to have our first Adelaide Cup runner.”
Cryer’s Plugger’s win last Sunday in the JB Irrigation Stake (512 m) came after he found the front turning for home and then held out this year’s Anniversary Cup winner Ben Nevis to win by three-quarters of a length in 29.87 seconds.
The win was the son of Spring Gun x Cryer’s Midget’s eighth this year at Tara Raceway and now sees him in third spot on the GOTY leader board, only the equivalent of a win behind Oh No Beta and Chilly Kiss.
Cryer’s Plugger won two 600 metre races at Angle Park in May when being trained for the Cryers at Compton by Tracie Price who puts the polish on Smart Knocka, with only eight starts to his name the least experienced of the 34 Adelaide Cup runners.
By Knocka Norris out of Who’s Doing What, Smart Knocka, who recently ran a great second at Angle Park in the SA Derby (515 m) to Nervous An Weird, will also be Price’s first Adelaide Cup runner.
There are no soft touches in Adelaide Cup heats, Cryer’s Plugger, the only greyhound to have won over all four distances at Tara Raceway, looking to reach the $107,500 final for his 85-year-old trainer.
And Smart Knocka, this year’s Peter Rocket Winter Classic winner at his local track, all set to do battle again with the Murray Bridge trained box seven runner Spring Bridge, third in the SA Derby and the fastest-ever maiden winner at Tara Raceway.
Meanwhile, Portland trainers Brian Weis and Robert Halliday’s road trip to Angle Park on Monday turned out to be pretty successful when the pair led in three winners and a second.
For long-time trainer Weis, it was only his second visit to Angle Park, Theo’s Thunder presenting him with his first Adelaide city winner and later in the night Lobster Hill making it a double.
Wrapping up the night was the Halliday trained Spirited Bingle, a rising four-year-old daughter of Collision and 2013 Angle Park SA Oaks winner Kokoda Spirit, who won the final race
But for Halliday, the main purpose of the trip was to give Hutch a run on the track prior to Friday week’s SA Country Cup final (515 m) at Angle Park.
He would have been well pleased with the effort, Hutch looking lost early from box eight before working home well for second place in a personal time of 30.09 seconds.
Paraphernalia and Hutch will represent the Mount Gambier Greyhound Racing Club in the $5000-to-the-winner final which will be run on the same night as the Adelaide Cup final.