Anthony Azzopardi believes favourite Myrniong And All can atone for a frustrating run of near-misses in Sunday afternoon’s Group 3 SEN 1116 Healesville Cup Final (350m).
Myrniong And All, TAB’s $3 favourite for the $47,000 to-the-winner Cup, has been a model of consistency at Healesville despite being beaten at his last three starts at the straight-track venue, all in feature events.
Boasting a 50 percent 18 from 36 career strike rate, Myrniong And All has run minor placings in last Sunday’s Healesville Cup heats, last month’s inaugural Group Listed National Straight Track Championship and the Victorian Straight Track Final.
At his two most recent defeats Myrniong And All has broken 19 seconds, a time that would win the vast majority of races at Healesville.
WATCH: Myrniong And All (B7) finish second behind Friday Frothies (B8) through the head on vision captured on course
The son of US sire KC And All chased home Peter Galo in track record time (18.65s) in the National Championship and was then beaten a head by fastest qualifier Friday Frothies (18.94s) in a blanket finish to his Cup heat last weekend.
Odds-on favourite Peter Galo was eliminated after running third.
“Tell me another dog that keeps breaking 19 seconds at Healesville and keeps getting beaten,” Anthony Azzopardi said ruefully.
Azzopardi is hoping for a change of Healesville Cup fortune after meeting with disappointment the last two years, with favourite Raw Ability (2018) and Melbourne Cup hero Ando’s Mac (2017) both finishing unplaced.
After playing second fiddle to Healesville specialist Peter Galo during the recent National Straight Track Championship series, Azzopardi and Myrniong And All won’t have to confront their nemesis this weekend.
“It’s a shame Peter Galo isn’t there because he’s a great dog but I can’t say I’m disappointed!” Azzopardi quipped.
While Azzopardi would have preferred an inside draw, Myrniong And All heads TAB’s market from box eight, ahead of rails runner Startron at $4 and NSW kennel and litter mates Cee Jay’s Boy and Hardaway Titan at $4.80 and $5 respectively.
“I always like him drawn on the inside but he’s not going to crash across and I would prefer to be out wide than in the guts,” Azzopardi said.
“It’s hard to be confident in this type of race and to win it he’ll need a clear run.
“He had the fastest section (6.41s) in the heats and if he can come out and repeat that on Sunday all the others will be chasing him and he’s going to be running his 18.90s.
“They’re going to have to run him down and if they’re good enough, they’re good enough.
“He’s done an excellent job and I would love to see him pull off a nice race like this. I think he deserves it.”
Azzopardi will return to his home state of NSW in pursuit of more feature race spoils on Monday where Group 1 Maturity Classic runner-up Whiskey Riot will contest the Bulli heats of the Million Dollar Chase after an impressive trial at the venue earlier this week.