It will be standing room only at the Sale greyhounds on Boxing Day evening with local greyhound Zipping Kane (pictured) certain to line up as the crowd favourite in the $108,000 Group 1 TRFM Sale Cup (650m).
Trained just 30km from the Sale Greyhound Racing Club by Carolyn Jones in Rosedale, Zipping Kane was one of six heat winners on Sunday night, securing his shot at the $75,000 first prize in what is the first leg of greyhound racing’s brand new Gippsland Carnival.
A viral infection followed by a string of minor injuries saw Zipping Kane undertake an interrupted preparation heading into the Sale Cup. In fact, Sunday’s heat win was just his second start in the past six months, which made his performance all the more impressive.
“He is just an unbelievably determined chaser,” Carolyn Jones said after the win.
“He really had no right to win his (Sale Cup) heat considering he has had such an interrupted preparation, so it was a huge effort from him.”
While Carolyn couldn’t be prouder of Zipping Kane, she was left in no doubt as to which greyhound is the one to beat in the Sale Cup.
“Dundee Osprey was a very impressive heat winner. He is a very good greyhound who has won some big races including the Topgun, so I think he is entitled to be favourite.”
“Zipping Kane should improve in the final but it is a really tough field and he will need a lot of luck,” she said.
Incidentally six of the eight Sale Cup finalists are trained in or near the Gippsland region, with Crichton Bale and Brolly Bale being the exceptions.
The last time a greyhound trained in the Gippsland region won the Sale Cup was in 2009 when Mantra Lad, prepared by Graeme Jose at Catani, saluted.
Meanwhile, a star-studded field will contest the Gippsland Carnival Sprint Launch (440m) on Boxing Day evening at Sale including Aston Bolero, Jesaulenko and Pantera Nera.