Last weekend’s heats have provided an exceptional field for the $67,000 Volkswagen Group 2 Ballarat Cup taking place this Saturday, December 8 at Morshead Park.
The Ballarat region has long been a greyhound racing stronghold and the Ballarat Cup, which has been won by many champion greyhounds, is one of the most sought-after Country Cups in Victoria.
The winners of the eight heats of the Ballarat Cup last Saturday will be advancing for another spectacular race with the first-place greyhound going home with $47,000 in prizemoney.
The qualifiers include three greyhounds trained in the Geelong area: Brooke Ennis’ Belt Up Bubb, who came out on top of the draw with Box 1, and Andrea Dailly’s Speed Star and Dyna Patty.
Dailly is aiming for a third Ballarat Cup win after taking out the race previously with Magic Trace (2005) and Dyna Lachlan (2009).
Both Speed Star and Dyna Patty have great potential; Dyna Patty is one of the most decorated greyhounds in Victoria having won multiple group races including the Group 1 Maturity Classic (525m) at the Meadows in July.
Ballarat raised trainer, Seona Thompson is trying for back-to-back victories with Aston Kimetto after winning last year’s Melbourne and Ballarat Cups with the lightning fast Aston Dee Bee.
Thompson originally had two dogs in the finals, but sadly Spring Bridge has been scratched from the Ballarat Cup, leaving Andrea Dailly the only trainer with multiple runners in the final.
Aston Kimetto and Fully Loaded, trained by Neville Wakefield, tied for the fastest heat time at 24.96sec, this is less than a second off the 450m Ballarat track record of 24.76sec, set by Over Limit in 2014.
Aston Kimetto may be the least experienced with just 18 starts – which includes two group wins: the Geelong Cup (Group 2) and Warragul St Leger (Group 3) – but his impressive heat finish, where he came up from last out of Box 2, secured his place in the final and he is a race favourite.
In addition to the 450m final, there will also be 390m, 545m and 660m VicGrey special event races featured during the Ballarat Cup; each with a first prize of $6000.
The Volkswagen Ballarat Cup will be a great night for the whole family with a fantastic card of racing and entertainment.
There will be live music, a punters club, children’s activities and a range of dining packages available, including, for the first time, mini-marquee packages for groups of 20 people.
The gates open for the general public from 5.30pm and racing kicks off after that.
$67,000 GROUP 2 BALLARAT CUP
Saturday 8 December; 450 metres
- Belt Up Bubbs, Brooke Ennis (Lara)
- Shadale, Robert Redenbach (Cranbourne)
- Aston Kimetto, Seona Thompson (Pearcedale)
- Speed Star, Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
- Fully Loaded, Neville Wakefield (Cranbourne)
- Dyna Hunter, Steven Collins (Pearcedale)
- Spring Bridge, Seona Thompson (Pearcedale) SCRATCHED
- Dyna Patty, Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
- Rixy Ya Pest, Mathew Wright (Allansford)
- Sanjiro, Jess Grima (Lang Lang)