Tonight’s Maitland Gold Cup Final Field & Preview

Tonight the next great Group race on the greyhound racing calendar is set to take place as the $25,000-to-the-winner Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup (450m) lights up the Maitland track.

A star-studded field of sprinters have qualified for the 2010 Maitland Gold Cup, including defending champion Magnifique.

The Julie Fletcher-trained daughter of Brett Lee has drawn out wide in box seven for tonight’s final. A consistent bitch, Magnifique has had three wins and one placing from her six starts wearing the black rug and looks a strong chance of claiming back-to-back Maitland Gold Cups if she can find the front early, but faces some strong competition.

But the hot favourite for the Gold Cup is the speedy Elite Blue Size. Trained by Reg Kay, the super consistent Elite Blue Size (Elite State x Size ‘Em Up) was the fastest qualifier by far in last weeks’ heats, sprinting to a sensational four and a half length win in a blistering 24.94s.

The time was just two-hundredths of a second outside of Account’s 450m track record.

Elite Blue Size will jump from box three in the final, as he looks to secure his 17th win from just 22 race starts and is currently the clear pre-race favourite at $1.63 for a win with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Magnifique at $7.93.

The other heat winners from last week’s qualifiers were Chief Relief who took out the opening qualifier ahead of Miss Peru and the favourite Devine Rule, and Orbison who started as the odds-on favourite and went on to win by a length ahead of roughie Ripley.

The Luke Azzopardi-trained Chief Relief will be wearing the pink rug tonight in his maiden start from box eight as the boom son of Bombastic Shiraz aims for his 10th win from just 13 career races.

Despite his inexperience from box eight, Chief Relief has won both of his starts from the wide box seven and has the speed to spear across the field and lead all the way, which he displayed last week running a sharp 25.02 to be the second fastest qualifier.

Orbison, trained by Maureen West, has drawn awkwardly in box six, a box the son of Surf Lorian has never won from, and as the slowest heat winner finishing in 25.37 looks slightly outclassed here.

Meanwhile, Little Sparkle, the Ken Chappelow-trained brindle bitch who ran second to Elite Blue Size in last week’s qualifiers, has drawn ideally in box one and looks good for a place here.

The 2010 J&H Air-Conditioning Maitland Gold Cup Final is set to jump as Race 8 at 9:35pm on the night’s bumper 10-event programme that also includes the $4,000 Maitland Mercury Gold Cup Consolation (Race 6).

The other exciting greyhound races happening around the country tonight include five heats for the Group 3 Anniversary Cup (515m) at Angle Park featuring the likes of the speedy Arsonist in heat one at 7:44pm, and the Graeme Bate-trained Dentax Bale staring in the fifth heat at 9:11pm.

Victoria’s Sandown Park will also host heats for another Group 3 feature tonight, when two Macro Meats Lizrene Classic qualifiers take place.

To place a wager on the Maitland Gold Cup or any of the other terrific greyhound races on tonight, jump online and secure the best odds with Ladbrokes.com.au.

2010 Maitland Gold Cup Final Field & Box Draw

Box

Form

Greyhound

Trainer

Best Time T&D

1 2132
LITTLE SPARKLE
Ken Chappelow 25.23
2 1132
RIPLEY
Doreen Drynan 25.43
3 1211
ELITE BLUE SIZE
Reg Kay 24.94
4 1622
PULP
Craig Chappelow 25.12
5 1172
MISS PERU
Neil Staines 25.21
6 1171
ORBISON
Maureen West 25.37
7 1361
MAGNIFIQUE
Julie Fletcher 24.94
8 1161
CHIEF RELIEF
Luke Azzopardi 25.02