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Darwin Cup Friday Night

Ricky Ponting’s star greyhound Rumbling Rick is among five Victorian-trained greyhounds set to contest Friday night’s $35,000 Group 3 Darwin Cup final (537m).

Should Rumbling Rick or Where’s The Surf claim the $25,000 first prize it will mean back to back Darwin Cups for Devon Meadows trainer Darren McDonald, who took out the race last year with Take It All.

Robert Britton also has two finalists in Highbury and Engine Alley, and the Lara trainer is more confident about the chances of the former.

“I was really impressed with Highbury’s heat win. He beat Where’s The Surf on his merits which was very pleasing,” Britton said.

“The main reason I decided to try to win this year’s Darwin Cup is because I really felt that Farmor Las Vegas could win it. I nominated him but then had to scratch him from his heat because he hurt a toe nail at home two days before.”

The other Victorian greyhound in the race is the favourite Clash Of Kings, from the Steve Whyte kennel, who in just his ninth start was the quickest of the three heat winners in 31.33sec.

Whyte, a semi-retired hobby trainer based in Bunyip has a team of just four greyhounds, and this would be the biggest win of his career.

“In the eighties and early nineties I trained a team of more than 30 greyhounds up in Queensland, and had runners in a number of group finals, but never managed to win any of them.”

“If Clash Of Kings can win the Darwin Cup it would be my biggest achievement as a trainer, but it’s just great to be involved in a race like this,” Whyte said.

The Darwin Cup will be run at 9:19pm local time, which is 9:49pm Melbourne time.

Darwin Cup final
Picture: Rumbling Rick with owner Ricky Ponting and handler Darren Pattinson. Pic Paul Munt.

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