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Orson Allen eyes Cup breakthrough

Young Victorian trainer Correy Grenfell is optimistic it will be a case of fourth time lucky in a country cup for star sprinter Orson Allen in Saturday night’s Group 2 Spolly’s Syndications Cranbourne Cup Final (520m).

Orson Allen has previously contested the Bendigo, Geelong and Warragul Cups, finishing runner-up at Geelong, and Avalon-based Grenfell, 25, believes Cranbourne represents his best chance of an overdue breakthrough in a provincial feature.

“I think he deserves to win one and it’s fair to say this is the best chance he’s had,” Grenfell said.

Orson Allen, whose biggest win to date came in the Group 3 Sandown Shootout, set Cranbourne alight in last weekend’s Cup heats, clocking a scorching 29.61sec, just one-hundredth of a second outside the course record.

“He flew,” said Grenfell.

“He just missed the track record and he broke the second split record.

“I was a little bit surprised with his time because we took him to Cranbourne earlier in his career for the Puppy Classic and he didn’t go that good. He only ran 30.19sec in his Classic heat so it was a big improvement on that. He was a whole different dog this time.”

After drawing box three for the Cup Final (race 6 at 7.57pm), Orson Allen is the $2.20 second elect in TAB’s market, with superstar Poke The Bear (box 2) the $1.95 favourite after a barnstorming 30.09sec qualifying performance.

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with box draws throughout his career,” Grenfell said.

“Boxes are everything in these races and this would be one of the first times he’s drawn inside five in a Group final.

“We wanted the red; I don’t think there are many dogs going around that could beat him off the red but the red (Wears Woodleigh) walks out and Poke The Bear can be hit and miss, so we’re happy with three.

“Poke The Bear is one of the best dogs going around in Australia at the moment but I think Orson Allen will definitely be in the money and if he finds the front he’ll be awfully hard to beat.”

On what shapes as a memorable night for Grenfell, he’s expecting Orson Allen to be confirmed in the field for the Group 1 Temlee (525m), which will be held at The Meadows on the opening night of the Australian Carnival, February 16.

Orson Allen’s kennelmate Dyna Chancer, second reserve for the Cranbourne Cup, has received invitations for both the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) and Group 1 Zoom Top (725m), with Grenfell identifying the Zoom Top as his target.

The fields and box draws for the three invitational events will be announced on track at The Meadows on Saturday night.

“I couldn’t see Orson Allen not getting in the Temlee,” Grenfell offered.

“He won the Shootout and the Listed race (Australian Sprint) and he’s been one of the best-performed dogs, consistency wise, in the country.”

WATCH: 2019 Group 2 Cranbourne Cup Preview

“We’ve been a bit unlucky with box draws throughout his career,” Grenfell said.

“Boxes are everything in these races and this would be one of the first times he’s drawn inside five in a Group final.

“We wanted the red; I don’t think there are many dogs going around that could beat him off the red but the red (Wears Woodleigh) walks out and Poke The Bear can be hit and miss, so we’re happy with three.

“Poke The Bear is one of the best dogs going around in Australia at the moment but I think Orson Allen will definitely be in the money and if he finds the front he’ll be awfully hard to beat.”

On what shapes as a memorable night for Grenfell, he’s expecting Orson Allen to be confirmed in the field for the Group 1 Temlee (525m), which will be held at The Meadows on the opening night of the Australian Carnival, February 16.

Orson Allen’s kennelmate Dyna Chancer, second reserve for the Cranbourne Cup, has received invitations for both the Group 1 Rookie Rebel (600m) and Group 1 Zoom Top (725m), with Grenfell identifying the Zoom Top as his target.

The fields and box draws for the three invitational events will be announced on track at The Meadows on Saturday night.

“I couldn’t see Orson Allen not getting in the Temlee,” Grenfell offered.

“He won the Shootout and the Listed race (Australian Sprint) and he’s been one of the best-performed dogs, consistency wise, in the country.”

Latest TAB odds

2019 CRANBOURNE CUP
Spolly’s Syndication
Saturday night 9 February – 520 metres

1. Wears Woodleigh (Ian Brown, Loch) $41
2. Poke The Bear (SeonaThompson, Pearcedale) $2.10
3. Orson Allen (Correy Grenfell, Avalon) $2.30
4. Hightan (Michelle Nolan, Devon Meadows) $26
5. Huxley (Paul Abela, Parwan) $9
6. Blue Striker (Peter Akathiotis, Reservoir) $14
7. Azkaban (SeonaThompson, Pearcedale) $7
8 Sure To Excite (Graham James, Woodleigh) $26

Reserves
9. Hasten Slowly (Angela Langton, Anakie) $6
10. Dyna Chancer (Correy Grenfell, Avalon) $14
Note: Odds supplied by tab.com.au as at 6 February, 2019

2019 Cranbourne Cup

gerardg
About Gerard Guthrie - Chief Journalist The Greyhound Recorder One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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