Champion trainer Anthony Azzopardi had two finalists – Whiskey Riot (5th) and Myrniong And All (7th) in last year’s Group 2 Warrnambool Cup (450m) won by Dyna Patty.
But this year he’s hoping Seal The Deal (pictured) and Short Pork can ultimately go several rungs higher on the Warrnambool Cup podium.
Both talented speedsters are outsiders in their respective cup heat today – primarily due to the fact that Seal The Deal is pitted against Australia’s No. 1 sprinter Tiggerlong Tonk, while Short Pork faces the might of dual G1 winner Simon Told Helen.
Seal The Deal (Box 6) will contest Heat 4 (Race 7, 4.24pm) and it should be noted that he’s undefeated in four starts over Warrnambool’s 450-metre trip. He also has a 24.91sec PB there and has won three races in five starts from box six.
“It’s a super field, we’ve got one of the hottest dogs in the country – Tiggerlong Tonk – going around with him,” Azzopardi said. “He was pretty well set for this race… His trials have been faultless but, at the moment, I don’t think he’s quick enough to beat him (Tiggerlong Tonk).”
Azzopardi added that Seal The Deal “likes Warrnambool”. “He trialled really good there the other day… The vacant box (Box 5) is probably going to help him a little bit, but he’ll need all the help he can get really.”
Meanwhile, Short Pork (Box 7) will contest Heat 5 (Race 8, 4.44pm). He’s making his Warrnambool debut but has won two races in three starts from box seven.
A winner of 16 races from 34 starts, Short Pork last year was runner-up in the G3 Casino Cup and finished seventh in the G2 Queensland Derby (won by Simon Told Helen). And last month he finished second in the Murray Bridge Cup after breaking the 455-metre track record in a heat.
“Box seven is not the ideal box for him… He probably needs the inside more than anything else,” Azzopardi said. “His problem is he’s hit or miss at the start; if he can hit at the start, he can really run some good times.”
Azzopardi added: “He trialled really good at Warrnambool. If he nails the start, he can run some time… so $14 is as pretty good price.”
WATCH: Anthony Azzopardi discusses Seal The Deal’s hopes.
Seal The Deal will line up in Race 7, Box 6 at 4.24pm
WATCH: Anthony Azzopardi on Short Pork’s chances.
Short Pork will line up in Race 8, Box 7 at 4.44pm.
Please note: Race 1 on the 11-race twilight meeting is scheduled for 2.14pm with the first heat set for 3.22pm.
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