Hot favourite Often Imitated claimed her second Group 2 trophy with a dominant victory in Saturday night’s Backman’s Greyhound Supplies Cranbourne Cup Final (520m).
Trained locally by Kel and Jackie Greenough. Often Imitated won the Group 2 McKenna Memorial over 595m at Sandown Park last July, while she also contested the finals of the Group 2 Laurels, Group 3 Cup Night Sprint and Group 3 SA Oaks.
A superbly-bred daughter of former staying sensation Sweet It Is, which won the Victoria Cup over 699m on Cranbourne Cup night in 2014, Often Imitated came into the Cranbourne Cup series after running third in the middle distance Maidment Memorial.
After winning her heat in 30.16s from box eight, the second fastest qualifying performance behind Ultimate Bling’s 29.97s, Often Imitated was immediately installed favourite for the $50,000 to-the-winner decider after being allocated box one.
The winner of 3 from 7 from the rails alley, Often Imitated was the $2.20 favourite, ahead of dual Group 1 winner Barooga Brett ($4.80), Jaro Bale ($5.60) and Ultimate Bling ($6.10).
Often Imitated began well off the inside and after getting the better of speedy outsider Scatterbox ($33.10) in the run to the first turn it was one-way traffic.
In a flawless front-running exhibition, Often Imitated scored by 5.14 lengths in 30.09s, her third win from four 520m assignments at Cranbourne, with Jaro Bale second and Ultimate Bling third.
“That one was less stressful because the two (Scatterbox) and the three (Ultimate Bling) just ran straight up the track so she had a big space to go through,” Jackie Greenough told Jason Adams post-race.
“Once she got in front it’s going to take a pretty strong dog to run her down and I didn’t think they could.”
The win was especially satisfying for prominent owners Tyrone Whittington and Greg Sprod, who were rewarded for their penchant for investing in well-bred stock.
“They get massive enjoyment out of it and this bitch is Tyrone’s favourite dog, which makes it a bit more special,” said Greenough.
“Once Often Imitated comes on season I presume she will go to the breeding barn but they’ve already got two litters out of her sister, Never Duplicated, so they’re not in any hurry to retire her.”
REPLAY: 2020 CRANBOURNE CUP
Often Imitated will now be chasing Group 1 glory next Saturday night at The Meadows in the Rookie Rebel invitational (600m) on the opening night of the Australian Cup Carnival.
“Probably 500 isn’t perfect to go into a 600 but it was a pretty hard run tonight.”
The Pearcedale-based Greenoughs were denied a feature double on Cranbourne Cup night when their even-money favourite Captain Dynamite was runner-up to Run Like Jess, trained by Robert Palmer, in the Ram Security GRV Vic Bred Maiden Final (520m).
The Casey Steel Victoria Cup (699m) went the way of Brendan Pursell’s veteran stayer Annie Lava ($2.70 favourite), which led all-the-way in 41.47s, remarkably just three days short of her fifth birthday.