Orson Allen is arguably the hottest greyhound in Australia right now and he’s heading into Saturday night’s CHS Group Horsham Cup Final (485m) off the back of a breathtaking heat win this evening.
The recent Cranbourne Cup winner stamped his class on the Horsham Cup series with a typical high-speed display, leading all the way from box six in 26.93 seconds, less than a length off the track record and five lengths faster than the next quickest performer on the night.
The scintillating run – which saw Orson Allen secure a place in his 12th group race final – came as no surprise to trainer Correy Grenfell.
“We took him to Horsham when he was a baby and he went super, so we were expecting him to improve on that run and he did,” said Grenfell, who is based in Avalon.
“He is racing better than ever right now. He has made the final of every big race he has contested except for the Melbourne Cup and the Australian Cup, which are the two biggest greyhound races in the world. I think it’s fair to say he’s the pin-up boy of the sprint scene right now along with Poke The Bear.”
Orson Allen’s decorated career has so far amassed 22 wins from 46 starts and $266,645 in prize money. And right now, just two months shy of his third birthday, he is right at the peak of his powers.
“He has speed, he has strength and he is the ultimate professional. Every time I put a lead on him he heads straight for the van because all he wants to do is go to the track and race,” Grenfell said.
Grenfell said Orson Allen is capable of lowering Horsham’s 26.87 second track record, which was set in November by Got Some Wheels.
“He only just missed out on Cranbourne’s 520m track record in his Cup heat last month by .01 seconds, and he wasn’t far off the Horsham track record tonight. I think a few trainers would agree that the conditions were a little tough tonight because it was pretty windy, and with a clean run in the final I think he’s capable of giving the track record a nudge,” he said.
While Orson Allen will likely start favourite in Saturday’s $67,000 final, Grenfell said being drawn in box five presented a difficult task.
“There isn’t a lot of early pace in the final which will suit him but it’s still a very hot field. I think Nervous An Weird is the likely leader from box one and I expect Orson Allen to go with him early. But I think Barooga Brett is the main danger. He beat Orson Allen in the (Group 1) Temlee at The Meadows a few weeks ago, while Italian Plastic is another greyhound with a good chance because he has a lot of early speed,” he said.
The Horsham Cup winner will collect a cool $47,000 first prize. Entry into Saturday night’s Horsham Cup is free, with gates to open at 6pm and the first race at around 7pm. There’ll be a punters club, free kids entertainment and giveaways for all ages. For more info go to: http://horsham.grv.org.au/horsham-cup.
Horsham Cup heat winners (fastest to slowest): Orson Allen (26.93sec Best); Italian Plastic (27.18sec); Nervous An Weird (27.21sec); Aston It Is (27.33sec); Axel Footluce (27.37sec) and Blue Striker (27.43sec).
2019 Group 2 CHS Group Horsham Cup
Saturday 9 March – 485 metres
$47,000 (1st); $13,350 (2nd); $6,650 (3rd)
1 Nervous An Weird (Andrew Paraskevas, Cranbourne South VIC)
2 Aston It Is (Paul Abela, Parwan VIC)
3 Axel Footluce (Jeff Britton, Anakie VIC)
4 Barooga Brett (Brooke Ennis, Lara VIC)
5 Orson Allen (Correy Grenfell, Avalon VIC)
6 Blue Striker (Peter Akathiotis, Reservoir VIC)
7 Buy Me Diamonds (Wayne Vassallo, Pearcedale VIC)
8 Italian Plastic (Harry Manolitsis, Devon Meadows VIC)
9 Street Outlaw (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
10 Major Riot (Anthony Azzopardi, Myrniong VIC)