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Northern Districts Cup: Every contender

Saturday night’s $25,000 to-the-winner Group 3 Northern Districts Cup (450m) will be supported by four quality feature races honouring the memories of four greats of the Shepparton GRC.

Melbourne Cup winner Highly Blessed, along with Alec Reid, Kel Tremellen and Keith Warburton all have races named in their honour on the night.

Here’s a rundown of the 2019 Northern Districts Cup contenders.

Northern Districts Cup
Saturday, 9.37pm

Prize money: $35,500 total; $25,000 (1st); $7,000 (2nd); $3,500 (3rd)

1 KRAKEN PENNYS
Breeding:
February 2017 Fernando Bale x Kraken Lass
Sex: Female
Breeder/Owner: Eyles Syndicate (Kevin Eyles), Murchison VIC
Trainer
: Kevin Eyles, Murchison VIC
Record: 44 starts: 8-6-4
Prize money: $12,720
Record from Box 1: 5 starts: 2-0-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Didn’t put a paw wrong from go to whoa and subsequently was rewarded with an effortless win.

Comment: Caused a major boilover ($41.90) in her heat, accounting for Get Go Boy ($2.20F). Will appreciate her rails draw.

2 SWIFT CURRENT
Breeding:
July 2017 Fabregas x Speed Lane
Sex: Female
Breeder/Owner/Trainer: Michael Carter, Kialla VIC
Record: 10 starts: 3-3-2
Prize money: $17,080
Record from Box 2: 1 start: 0-1-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Displayed good early toe before staving off a late challenge from Milwaukee Miss.

Comment: Set the heats’ time standard by a ‘whisker’ from Cursed. She is an exciting prospect, and certainly is going places.

3 MILWAUKEE MISS
Breeding:
October 2017 Walk Hard x Louisiana Lil
Sex: Female
Breeder: Laurie Rounds, Langwarrin VIC
Owner:
Rounds & Collis Syndicate (Jason Collis), Lara VIC
Trainer: Jason Sharp, Avalon VIC
Record: 15 starts: 4-1-1
Prize money: $6,315
Record from Box 3: 2 starts: 1-0-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Couldn’t match Swift Current early, but was gallant in defeat. Her overall time was 25.41sec.

Comment: Earned plenty of respect courtesy of her heat performance and consequently will have plenty of admirers in the final.

4 EXTRA SPEED
Breeding: July 2017 Fabregas x Speed Lane
Sex: Female
Breeder/Owner/Trainer: Michael Carter, Kialla VIC
Record: 19 starts: 10-4-0
Prize money: $21,370
Record from Box 4: 1 start: 0-0-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Lived up to her name when she flew the traps and set up a tidy break on her rivals. She was joined by Cursed with around 200 metres to go but was resolute to the line in finishing second. Her overall time was 25.31sec.

Comment: Appears the ‘pilot’ and capable of establishing an unassailable lead. Given her blistering pace, it’s no surprise she’s won 10 races from 19 starts.

5 GOLDEN SHIRAZ
Breeding:
January 2017 Barcia Bale x Flaming Shiraz
Sex: Female
Breeder/Owner: Paul Ellis, Heathcote VIC
Trainer:
Shane Drummond, Heathcote VIC
Record: 51 starts: 7-16-8
Prize money: $21,756
Record from Box 5: 5 starts 0-1-2
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Settled mid-field early and lacked the mid-race acceleration of Cursed and Extra Speed. However, she didn’t lose any ground over the latter stages in finishing third. Her overall time was 25.55sec.

Comment: It would seem she’s the perennial bridesmaid. But she stuck on well in her heat.

6 LORENZA   
Breeding: October 2016 Barcia Bale x Atlas Surprise
Sex: Female
Breeder: Atlas Syndicate
Owner:
Amy Syndicate (Angelo Ghirxi), Taylors Hill VIC
Trainer: Jason Formosa, Heathcote VIC
Record: 59 starts: 10-5-10
Prize money: $22,425
Record from Box 6: 6 starts 0-2-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Positioned mid-field early and was doing her best work over the concluding stages in finishing third. Her overall time was 25.52sec.

Comment: Seasoned speedster who should be doing her best work at the finish. Only requires an ounce of luck to be right on their heels.

7 GET GO BOY
Breeding:
September 2017 Fabregas x Sweet Shine
Sex: Male
Breeder: Sonia Davis, Murrabit VIC
Owner:
Phillip Smith, Surfers Paradise QLD
Trainer: Aaron Debattista, Toolleen VIC
Record: 14 starts; 6-5-1
Prize money: $15,605
Record from Box 7: 0 starts: 0-0-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Was left wanting once the lids went up but quickly worked into the race. All in all, it was a commendable performance to finish second. His overall time was 25.50sec.

Comment: Has only been unplaced twice in 14 starts, notching six wins. Watch for him late.

8 CURSED
Breeding:
March 2017 Kinloch Brae x Halina
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner/Trainer: Trevor Anlezark, Rochester VIC
Record: 18 starts: 8-3-2
Prize money: $13,885
Record from Box 8: 1 start: 1-0-0
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Was clearly beaten for early ascendancy by Extra Speed, and after getting on terms in the middle stages it became a two-dog war to the finish line where he narrowly prevailed.

Comment: Obviously knows how to win, scoring on eight occasions from 18 starts. And he was only millimetres off being the fastest heat winner.

RESERVES

9 EASTSIDE
Breeding:
June 2017 Premier Fantasy x Mendes
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Joseph McCann, Berwick VIC
Trainer: Robert Glass, Kyabram VIC
Record: 19 starts: 4-7-1
Prize money: $7,330
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Began well and was second in the run to the first turn before meeting with interference. From there it was an uphill battle and he eventually finished third, almost five lengths in arrears.

Comment: Underrated and a model of consistency, but this would be a tough assignment if he obtained a start.

10 RIPPA REGIS
Breeding:
December 2015 Cosmic Rumble x Sooky Suzie
Sex: Male
Breeder: Treloar Syndicate
Owner: Kurt Burger-Trudgett, Balmattum VIC
Trainer: David Basile, Heathcote VIC
Record: 86 starts: 11-8-13
Prize money: $18,735
Northern Districts Cup Heat: Landed third in the early stages but faded over the latter stages to finish fourth, beaten just over five lengths.

Comment: Has plenty of maturity and race experience. But would that be enough if he got a berth in the final?

ABOUT THE NORTHERN DISTRICTS CUP

Sponsor: Shepparton Workwear & Safety.

Conditions: Vic Bred Only; No City Wins; Less Than $25,000 in Prizemoney and minimum two starts at Shepparton.

History:

  • The concept was formulated as a way of having a ‘northern districts’ specific event following the closure of the Wangaratta track.
  • The inaugural Northern Districts Cup, conducted in 2014, was won by Dewana Result.
  • Initially, the event was Group Listed. But this year, it has been upgraded to Group 3 status.

Previous winners:

2014 Dewana Result (Brendan Dewan, Edithvale VIC)
2015 Soda Lad (Tanya Auld, Tatura VIC)
2016 Bear’s Gold (Keith Hellmuth, Pearcedale, VIC)
2017 (May) Sure To Excite (Graham James, Woodleigh VIC); (November) Crook Me Kindly (Jessica Sharp, Avalon VIC)
2018 Circus Oasis (Peter Dapiran, Northwood VIC)

In 2019:

  • Three heats of the Northern Districts Cup were conducted last Monday with the first two placegetters and two fastest third placegetters qualifying for the final.
  • Heat times (fastest to slowest): Swift Current (25.299sec, Best), Cursed (25.300sec) and Kraken Pennys (25.382sec).

WATCH: Circus Oasis wins the 2018 Northern Districts Cup.

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