This Friday Night’s Endeavour Locksmiths Warragul Cup shapes as one of the most exciting Cups for a while. Here are my thoughts on each runner.
1. FUELISH: A brilliant dog when right, but he hasn’t always been able to string runs together. In his heat he was quite splendid where he began fast to lead clearly and even though he was first up he was strong all the way home. From the good draw here he certainly gets a big chance to win his first feature. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
2. POP THE CORK: Former star Queenslander now in the care of Jason Thompson and he is the class of the field. An exceptional heat winner in the fastest time (25.59), which is low flying, he has come up with a perfect draw. With a clean beginning he will be very hard to beat. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
3. BIG TICKET: As good a talent in the field but he doesn’t always bring his A-game to the races. In saying that, he loves this track at Warragul winning 5 of his 9 starts there. He probably doesn’t have the speed of the 2 drawn inside him and I think he would have to cross them to win. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
4. TO THE GALO’S: A graduate of the 2014 Ready to Race Auction he has drawn poorly here. He is armed with good early speed but whether it is enough to overcome the bad draw in this, which is clearly his toughest test to date, remains to be seen. It would be a tremendous story if he could win. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
5. SHARED EQUITY: She is a country cups star having won last year’s Ballarat Cup and being the runner-up in the recent Cranbourne Cup. She draws a horror box here but she has loads of early pace which could see her overcome the bad draw. She only just got there in her heat after a slow beginning and she would have to jump a lot better if she wanted to feature here. She is a winning chance. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
6. ASTON BOLERO: An outstanding young sprinter. He is a prolific winner having won 15 of his 24 starts. He was able to wear down Danyo’s Slappy in his heat and although he has drawn awkwardly here he is more than capable of being a major player due to his high early pace. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
7. SPRING MISSILE: An upset winner of his heat, where he bounced to the lead and kept on running. In Box 7 here, I think he would have to ping to the front. When leading he can reel off quick sectionals but I do believe that if he can’t cross he will struggle to win. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
8. ABOVE ALL: Cranbourne Cup winner who has drawn awfully here. He overcame a slow start to win his heat terrifically well. I think the 460m is a shade too short for him though and from this draw I find it hard to see him getting on to the rail without giving the leaders too big a start. He clearly has the talent but I think the draw has hurt him. HEAT REPLAY: CLICK HERE
9. JESAULENKO (1EM): A terrific heat run making ground on Pop the Cork. Some chance if he gets a start.
10. BLACK FRENZY (2EM): Just run down by Shared Equity in his heat. Unlikely to get a start but a blowout shot if he could draw a nice box.
SUMMARY: It does look a wonderful race but I think that the way the Box Draw has played out that the 2 runners drawn inside will fight the finish out. Fuelish was breathtaking in his heat win sizzling early. If he can repeat that here he will lead and take plenty of catching. Pop the Cork is a star and will be playing the stalking role. I think his class might see him overhaul Fuelish late. I like Aston Bolero each way as well. He has high speed and if he gets over 2nd or 3rd at the first turn he will be strong to the wire. Other smaller chances to Big Ticket, who flies here, and Shared Equity. I’m happy to risk Above All from Box 8. MY TOP 4: 2-1-6-3
Photo: Fuelish (8) beating Dr. Phil (5) in a maiden final back in 2014 and looking for his first Country Cup win at this week’s Warragul Cup. Photo by BlueStream Pictures.