Gold Cup Final Full of Talent

Media Release: AGRA

Greyhound racing enthusiasts will see Australia’s best stayers go head to head this Thursday night with an all-star field making the cut in the heats last week of the $50,000-to-the-winner Group 1 Cartwright Property Gold Cup (710m) at Albion Park.

Victorian trainer Robbie Britton was a disappointed winner the past two weeks. Britton’s ‘boom’ stayer Nellie Noodles had won heat and final of the Winter Chase at Albion Park, but Britton warned it wasn’t the real Nellie Noodles racegoers had seen. The ‘real’ Nellie Noodles turned up on Thursday night.

The daughter of Flying Penske x Classy Creek blitzed her rivals in the heat of the Group 1 Albion Park Gold Cup, winning by 12 ¾ lengths in 41.57s. She downed Countess of Cork with 3 ¼ lengths to Our Movie Star in third.

Nellie Noodles brought up win eight in 14 race starts.

Britton is now looking forward to tomorrow night’s final in which she will clash with track record breaker Dashing Corsair.

“The final will all depend on the run she gets,” said Britton of Nellie Noodles’ chances.

“If she gets a dream run through, then she can beat Dashing Corsair.”

Britton admitted he couldn’t see if it was Nellie Noodles in front when the bitch dashed through the field at the 600m boxes on the second lap.

“I saw something dash six lengths in front at that point and I was just hoping it was her,” said Britton.

Britton admitted bringing Nellie Noodles to Brisbane a day early had worked wonders. He had waited to bring her north on race day for the heat and final of the Winter Chase, but the bitch had not coped with that as well as Britton had hoped.

He arrived in Brisbane on Wednesday and Nellie Noodles appreciated it, as everyone watching her sensation 41.57 victory saw.

The staggering feature of the bitch’s victory was her final section of 12.78 and Nellie Noodles was not even in front at that section.

The overall time is the third fastest over 710m, behind just the two track records Dashing Corsair set in March and May. Trainer Dwyer Lennon admitted he is not a nervous person, but he breathed a sigh of relief after his champion galloper Dashing Corsair (Malfoy x Rose Flamenco) had led throughout to win his heat of the Gold Cup.

“This is the race he has been expected to win,” said Dwyer. “It’s his home track and he’s the track record holder.

“He was expected to get into the final and I admit I was nervous before the race.”

Especially after Dashing Corsair had reeled off a track record, eclipsing his own mark last week when winning in 41.44.

He scored by 7 ¼ lengths in 41.61 beating Allen Zander with 2 ¾ lengths to Jarvis Bale in third.

It was his 33rd victory in 79 starts and his 21st at Albion Park.

While the 41.61 he ran to win his heat and a few lengths off his record, Dwyer pointed out it was just three-tenths off the long standing track record held by champion stayer Miss Brook until only recently.

Dashing Corsair lowered miss Brook’s mark of 41.59.

Interestingly, Miss Brook was also the winner of a Group 1 Albion Park Gold Cup. Lennon said his dog had pulled up with soreness in a hip support after last week’s record breaking win.

Dashing Corsair now has three of the six fastest times over the distance.

“I kept him on the lead all week, just walking and a lay in the sun each day,” said Dwyer. “It appears to have helped him begin again tonight.

“But he’s fit and doesn’t need to run between his races.”

Allen Zander chased Dashing Corsair throughout but was well beaten.

Darren McDonald is no stranger to big race finals and he will have two runners in tomorrow night’s Cup. McDonald’s Reign Over Me (Bond x Primal Tears) finished too strongly to win his heat of the Cup on Thursday night in 42.21.

He scored by 2 ¾ lengths over Allen Shaul with a length and a half to Blue Lorian in third.

McDonald will also have Countess Of Cork in the final after she finished second in her heat behind Nellie Noodles.

Reign Over Me and Countess Of Cork have been sent north to top Northern Rivers trainer Steve Kavanagh. The pair have stayed with Kavanagh in the lead-up to the final.

Kavanagh said he would expect improvement from Reign Over Me for the final.

“He hadn’t raced up here for a long time and that was his first distance run here, so you would expect improvement in him,” said Steve.

“But he will probably have to improve.”

Kavanagh was highlighting the fact Reign Over Me ran 42.21 to win his heat as compared to the times run by the other heat winners, 41.57 by Nellie Noodles and 41.61 by Dashing Corsair.

Kavanagh said Reign Over Me had surprised him when he ran down the early leaders to win.

“I thought he may have struggled at the distance when he got back early,” said Steve. “But it was a good effort.”

Reign Over Me had finished second to Next Top Model in the Group 1 Sandown Cup final on May 13, then backed up to win at The Meadows last Saturday night over 725m in 42.64. It was his 14th victory in 45 starts.

Nellie Noodles’ litter brother Symmetry led easily in the early stages but he compounded quickly from the home turn. Trainer Robbie Britton said he would rest the dog for a month.

To view the final field & preview for the 2010 Albion Park Gold Cup click here and don’t forget to check out the odds at today!