Eight elite greyhounds will line up for the $47,000-to-the-winner Final of the 2018 Warrnambool Cup on Wednesday night, 2 May.
The Cup is the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club’s premier event, which is held during the town’s biggest racing carnival of the year.
Seven heats of the Warrnambool Cup were conducted last week, with the seven winners and the fastest second placegetter making up the final field.
The heat winners are Aston Duke (25.17sec); Striker Light (24.92sec); Black Mumbo (25.27sec); Aston Dinnigan (25.25sec); Lightning Frank (24.94); Jimmy Newob who had the fastest time (24.87sec) and Zoom Out (25.04sec). Zipping Captain ran the fastest second (24.995sec) behind Jimmy Newob in heat 6. Reserves are Burn Like Fire and Raw Ability.
Lightning Frank, who is trained by Allansford trainer Mathew Wright and owned locally by the Hashtag Syndicate, is sure to be crowd favourite on Wednesday night. Lightning Frank has drawn the coveted box one and if he wins he will become the first local greyhound to win the Warrnambool Cup since Honcho Classic in 1999. Lightning Frank’s sire, Black Magic Opal, won the Warrnambool Cup in 2014.
Striker Light, who has drawn box five for the final, finished second behind Leo’s Gift in the 2017 Warrnambool Cup and is the only greyhound in the 2018 field who started in last year’s Warrnambool Cup.
Three trainers involved in this year’s final have won the race before. The Thompson kennel (Aston Duke) has won the race three times, with El Galo (2008), Ronan Izmir (2013) and Black Magic Opal (2014). The Collins kennel (Zipping Captain) won with Arsonist (2011), while the Azzopardi kennel (second reserve – Raw Ability) won with Zambora Brockie (2016).
The Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club has organised courtesy buses from the jumps carnival to the greyhound racing track in time for the first race.