Victorian greyhounds will have a big say in the inaugural Murray Bridge Cup (455m), to be run on Sunday at 7.34pm (SA time).
Situated one hour south-east of Adelaide, Murray Bridge is the home of Australia’s newest greyhound track, which opened in December, and the Cup looks an intriguing betting race.
Four Victorians have qualified for the $15,000 to-the-winner final, with the two favourites, Aston Valetta ($2.50) and Eye Got It ($2.20), drawn in the potentially awkward boxes four and five respectively.
Eye Got It overcame a tardy start to win his heat in 25.58sec, with the Andrew Paraskevas-trained sprinter now boasting the extraordinary record of 20 wins from just 25 starts.
His time was bettered only by Aston Valetta (pictured), who ran almost two lengths faster than Eye Got It when clocking 25.47sec.
Aston Valetta is the least experienced greyhound in the final with just nine starts to his name (six wins).
“He is giving away a lot of experience, especially when you look at the likes of Crook Me Kindly and Penny Worth, who have both had over 70 starts,” said trainer Ben Divirgilio, who is based in the Gippsland town of Namrok.
“One thing in his favour is that Aston Nirvana (box three) headed straight for the rail out of the boxes in his heat, and if he does that again it should clear a path for Aston Valetta (box four).”
Divirgilio said that with number of winning chances in the Murray Bridge Cup, Aston Valetta was probably too short to back at $2.50. He suggested that fellow Victorian Crook Me Kindly ($6.50) represented the best value with tab.com.au after drawing favourably in box one, although he said Eye Got It provided the class factor in the race.
“If Aston Valetta can’t hold out Eye Got It in the early stages then he has no chance of beating him. Eye Got It has been missing the start lately, but I don’t think there’s a greyhound in the race who can match it with him if he begins well and is untouched,” he said.
Crook Me Kindly and Penny Worth ($11) are both trained in Lara by Jessica Sharp.
Photo by: Kurt Donsberg