Based on their $51 price assessment, kennelmates Matilda Mikado and Reggae Mikado have two chances on Saturday night of winning their respective Group 2 Cranbourne Cup heat: Buckley’s and none!
But Hoddles Creek trainer Maria Barber – who part-owns the pair with partner Paul Jones – is not buying any of that.
Barber is adamant she hasn’t thrown them in at the deep end.
“They’re boxed around the wrong way… But I expect them to be competitive, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I know they’ll be trying, as they are good chasers… I think they’ll give a good show.”
Matilda Mikado (Box 7) is engaged in heat one and will face $1.40 favourite Submission (Box 1), who has won her past two starts at The Meadows in 30.12sec and 30.05sec respectively. Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup finalist Vivatar (Box 3), quoted at $6, is also in the event.
A winner of five races (with nine seconds and six thirds) from 58 starts, Matilda Mikado has had 10 starts at Cranbourne for one win – 30.60sec on December 9 last year.
WATCH: Matilda Mikado (2) win at Cranbourne on December 9 last year.
Meanwhile, Reggae Mikado (Box 2) will contest heat two and is up against the might of $2.20 favourite Black Signature (Box 1), a three-time G3 finalist who has notched six wins in nine starts from the ‘red’ alley; Snags McKenzie (Box 3), a four-time group race finalist and recent finalist in the G1 Gold Bullion who is quoted at $3.40; and multiple city winner Halberd Bale (Box 6) who is rated a $4.20 chance.
“I have a high regard for him (Reggae Mikado)… He’s probably a run short and he’s a wide runner, that’s the problem,” Barber said. “And he’s been injury prone with hock, wrist and toe complaints.”
Subsequently Reggae Mikado has only started on 21 occasions for six wins and two seconds. He’s had three starts at Cranbourne for one win – 30.50sec on November 27 last year, saluting at $40.90.
WATCH: Reggae Mikado (7) salute at Cranbourne on November 27 last year.
Pawnote: The ‘Mikado’ moniker emanated around six years ago while Barber was travelling through Emerald and noticed a poster on a wall of the Town Hall advertising The Mikado, a Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera in two acts. (The term ‘mikado’ loosely translates as any emperor of Japan.)
Since then, Barber has generally given Japanese-related racing names to her greyhounds.
And she’ll be hoping her two greyhound ‘acts’ play out a winning ‘operetta’ at Cranbourne on Saturday night.