Sign up to newsletter
* = required field

Who’s who in the Cranbourne Classic

The TAB market is open for Friday’s Group 3 Ram Security Cranbourne Classic, with Catch The Thief the favourite at $1.90 two days out from the event.

Locally-trained duo Fire Legend and Manila Knight share the second line of betting at $5.50, followed by Weblec Jet ($8), who is a half-brother to reigning Cranbourne Classic winner Weblec Ace.

Here’s a run down of the contenders in 2020…

1. FIRE LEGEND
Breeding: April 2018 Fernando Bale x Tick Away Fire
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Mark Moroney, Doyalson North NSW
Trainer: Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC
Record: 31 starts: 15-8-2
Prize money: $58,775
Record from Box 1: 4 starts: 3-0-1

Cranbourne Classic Heat: Commenced fairly from Box 2 and railed through into second rounding the first turn. He was gallant but proved no match for Catch The Thief. His overall time was 30.12sec.

Comment: A model of consistency who has won 15 races from 31 starts. He recently finished sixth to Catch The Thief in the G3 Warragul St Leger, but will relish the coveted ‘red’ alley here.

2. MANILA KNIGHT
Breeding:
May 2018 Barcia Bale x Angie Rocks
Sex: Male
Breeder: Deborah Mowat, Tuerong VIC

Owner: Phillip Smith, Benowa QLD
Trainer:
Mario Briganti, Tuerong VIC
Record: 25 starts: 10-5-3
Prize money: $33,005
Record from Box 2: 5 starts: 2-1-1

Cranbourne Classic Heat: Was last to commence from Box 8 but showed uncanny track sense to be on the rails and second rounding the first turn. He gained the ascendancy over the final 200 metres and came away with a comfortable 2.87L win in 29.89sec.

Comment: Powerhouse sprinter with the ability to take this out with luck in running. Has a solid record from inside boxes but would still prefer to have seen him drawn out wide.

HEAT 2: Manila Knight (8) defeats Weblec Jet (2), Taken (1) and Run Like Jess (6) in 29.89sec..

3. RUN LIKE JESS
Breeding:
 April 2018 Fernando Bale x Paua To Avoid
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Michelle Palmer, Port Melbourne VIC
Trainer
: Robert Palmer, Caldermeade VIC
Record: 30 starts: 9-8-4
Prize money: $52,075
Record from Box 3: 5 starts: 3-1-0

Cranbourne Classic Heat: Came out well from Box 6 but was shuffled back through the field approaching the first turn. He regained some momentum down the back straight but never looked likely and finished fourth, 8.89L from the winner. His overall time was 30.51sec.
Comment: Better known as a middle-distance exponent, having recently contested the G2 McKenna Memorial (595m) at Sandown won by Christo Bale. Has a good record from the ‘white’ alley and will be doing his best work at the business end.

4. ARIZONA EYES 
Breeding: July 2018 Fernando Bale x Golden Tears
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Helen Ivers, Romsey VIC

Trainer: Robert Britton, Lara VIC
Record: 12 starts: 3-4-1
Prize money: $14,340
Record from Box 4: 0 starts: 0-0-0

Cranbourne Classic Heat: Was very slow out from Box 8 and at the tail of the field after being forced wide on the first turn. He was still last turning for home but sprouted wings to finish fourth – albeit 7.6L off winner Catch The Thief. His overall time was 30.41sec.

Comment: Strong type and will be better suited over more ground. His trainer, Rob Britton, won this race with Slingshot Hammer in 2018.

5. MEPUNGA KATIE
Breeding:
 May 2018 Premier Fantasy x Mepunga Hayley
Sex: Female
Breeder/Owner: Barry Smith, Mepunga East VIC
Trainer: 
Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC
Record: 9 starts: 3-1-2
Prize money: $11,005
Record from Box 5: 1 start 0-0-0
Cranbourne Classic Heat: Produced a workmanlike effort from Box 1, settling third early and maintaining that position to the line. She was 4.04L from the winner in an overall time of 30.16sec.
Comment: Kennelmate of fellow finalist Weblec Jet. She’s contesting her first group race final at only her 10th start but faces a tough task from the ‘yellow’ trap.

6. WEBLEC JET    
Breeding: November 2018 Fernando Bale x Weblec Rose
Sex: Male

Breeder: Jane McNicholl, Williamstown SA
Owner: 
Weber Loechel syndicate (Jeffrey Weber), Bowhill SA
Trainer: Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC
Record:
 7 starts: 3-3-0

Prize money: $19,835
Record from Box 6: 0 starts 0-0-0
Cranbourne Classic Heat: Was handy early from Box 2 but lost his position slightly rounding the first corner. However, he was doing his best work over the concluding stages in finishing second to Manila Knight. His overall time was 30.09sec.

Comment: A rising star who is capable of giving this race a shake. He’s a younger half-brother of last year’s winner, Weblec Ace, and trained by Jeff Britton who had four finalists in that final.

7. CATCH THE THIEF
Breeding:
 May 2018 Aussie Infrared x Dundee Ally
Sex: Male
Breeder: Desmond Dooley, Harcourt North VIC
Owner: 
Ghost syndicate (Louie Cardillo), Sale VIC

Trainer: Matthew Clark, Briagolong VIC

Record: 26 starts; 16-5-1
Prize money: $128,855

Record from Box 7: 2 starts: 2-0-0
Cranbourne Classic Heat: Jumped well from Box 6 and mustered with that famous early pace. And that was the end of the penny section as he strolled to an effortless 3.49L win over Fire Legend in 29.87sec (Best).
Comment: Dazzling sprinter who is now chasing his third age-restricted group race final win, having won the G2 WA Derby (520m) at Cannington in Perth and G3 Warragul St Leger (460m). Has won 10 of his past 13 starts.

HEAT 1: Catch The Thief (6) defeats Fire Legend (2), Mepunga Katie (1) and Arizona Eyes (8) in 29.87sec (Best).

8. TAKEN
Breeding:
 April 2018 Fernando Bale x Smitten
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Nicholas Darragh, Northcote VIC
Trainer: Jason Thompson, Pearcedale VIC
Record: 38 starts: 13-6-7
Prize money: $43,560
Record from Box 8: 4 starts: 2-1-0

Cranbourne Classic Heat: Bounced out from Box 1 and led in the early and middle stages before being headed by Manila Knight after shifting out on the circle. He held on for third, 4.09L from the winner, in an overall time of 30.18sec.

Comment: Reliable sprinter who recently finished fourth to Catch The Thief in the G3 Warragul St Leger. Trained by Jason Thompson, who also has Fire Legend in the final.

RESERVES

9. FABRIOLA ZAD

Breeding: July 2018 Allen Deed x Fabriola Allen
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Dailly Greyhound Farms syndicate (George Dailly), Anakie VIC

Trainer: Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC
Record: 23 starts: 7-4-4
Prize money: $32,365
Cranbourne Classic Heat: Was basically midfield throughout from Box 4 and just held on for fifth to qualify as a reserve. His overall time was 30.44sec.

Comment: Experienced youngster but would face a monumental assignment if he obtained a start.

10. FARMOR WATCHERS

Breeding: March 2018 Kinloch Brae x Farmor Eye Am
Sex: Male
Breeder/Owner: Wayne Scott, Churchable QLD

Trainer: Robert Britton, Lara VIC
Record: 13 starts: 4-1-2
Prize money: $16,140
Cranbourne Classic Heat: Was slow to begin from Box 5 and covered more ground than the early explorers rounding the first turn. He only plodded to the line in fifth place, 10.47L from the winner. His overall time was 30.62sec.

Comment: Boasts some impressive Sandown 515m wins and contested the G3 Vince Curry Memorial (520m) at Ipswich earlier this year.

RECENT CRANBOURNE CLASSIC WINNERS
2010 Pure Stealth (Robert Conway, Bunyip VIC)
2011 Yowyeh (Angela Langton, Anakie VIC)
2012 Proven Nitro (Jason Thompson, Pearcedale, VIC)
2013 Kiss Me Ketut (David Burnett, Little River VIC)
2014 Secret Spell (Kelly Bravo, Lovely Banks VIC)
2015 Blazin’ Bomber (Darren Pattinson, Pearcedale VIC)
2016 Bossin It (James Karamatic, Lara VIC)
2017 Zara’s Entity (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
2018 Slingshot Hammer (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
2019 Weblec Ace (Jeffrey Britton, Anakie VIC)

Related

Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
View all posts

Related Posts