All eyes will be on Shima Shine in Saturday night’s $67,000 Group 2 Warragul Cup Final after the champion greyhound smashed the 460m track record in his heat.
Entering the Warragul Cup heats as the $4 favourite to win the series, Shima Shine didn’t disappoint, taking full advantage of his box 8 draw to clock an electrifying 25.19sec, lowering the previous track record set by Aston Dee Bee in December 2016 by 2.5 lengths.
Six heats of the Warragul Cup were run on Friday night with the winners and two fastest 2nd placegetters making it into the final of this great race, which was first held in 1956 when won by Rocketeer.
Shima Shine, the 2020 Group 1 Topgun winner, is trained at Anakie by Andrea Dailly. He is now a red-hot $1.75 favourite to win the Warragul Cup, however he will have to overcome box 6, a draw he has had five times in his illustrious career for three wins.
Incidentally, the Dailly team is chasing their second Warragul Cup victory after winning with Sun Hero in 2005.
Second favourite is Aeroplane Eric ($5), one of two finalists for Devon Meadows trainer Glenn Rounds. Chasing his first group win, Aeroplane Eric ran an impressive 2nd to Shima Shine in his heat, and he has drawn the coveted ‘red’ box in the final, a draw which has produced easily the most winners over the track/distance in the past 12 months (almost 20 per cent).
How to follow Saturday night’s Warragul Cup action:
– Watch every race LIVE and FREE on The Watchdog app, watchdog.grv.org.au or on Sky Racing.
– Facebook Live coverage at www.facebook.com/GRVictoria or via The Watchdog app from 8.15pm.
– RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM) & SEN Track (1593 AM).
– Live Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’.
On a local front, Catch The Thief ($6) is aiming to become the first tried-and-true Gippsland greyhound to win the Warragul Cup since retired superstar El Grand Senor in 2011.
Trained by Matt Clark in Briagolong (near Sale), Catch The Thief is the most popular greyhound in Gippsland, and he is aiming to complete a St. Leger-Warragul Cup double – the two biggest races held at Warragul each year.
Remarkably, champion trainer Jason Thompson (Pearcedale) has never won a Warragul Cup, however he has one of the favourites in Equalizer ($7), who produced a spectacular last-to-first heat win in 25.50sec, the second fastest winning time on the night. He exited box 8 in his heat, the same draw he has in the final.
Warragul Cup night will also incorporate two other feature races – the Distance Cup (680m) and the Cup Night Match Race (460m) – the latter being a two-dog event between Faithy Bale (Box 1) and Tiggerlong Tonk (Box 3) for a $10,000 winner-take-all prize.
The Warragul Cup is the second of three group races tied into greyhound racing’s 2020/21 Gippsland Festival of Racing, along with the G1 Sale Cup (650m) – won in eye-catching fashion by Houdini Boy on Boxing Day – and the G2 Cranbourne Cup (520m) to be held on 6 February.
Racing fans can enjoy live and comprehensive coverage of Saturday’s Warragul Cup night with Troy Harley, Molly Haines & James Van de Maat via GRV’s Facebook Page and The Watchdog App from 8.15pm.
Heat winners (fastest to slowest):
25.19sec Shima Shine (track record)
25.57sec Zipping Zarbo
25.59sec Amarillo Highway
25.65sec Aston Gwen
25.67sec Dream Wizard
Warragul Cup night – key times
6.43pm First race
8.04pm Quaddie begins (Race 5)
8.15pm Facebook Live coverage begins
8.42pm Warragul Distance Cup – 680m – 1st Prize $10,000 (Race 7)
9.07pm G2 Warragul Cup – 460m – 1st Prize $47,000 (Race 8)
9.25pm Cup Night Match Race – 460m – 1st Prize $10,000 (Race 9)
10.30pm Last race
Recent Warragul Cup winners
2011 El Grand Senor (Carolyn Jones, Rosedale VIC)
2012 Stagger (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC)
2013 Nitro Cee (Wayne Vassallo, Pearcedale VIC)
2014 Walk Hard (Nicole McRae, Clyde VIC)
2015 Ronray Spirit (Terrence Reid, Yuroke VIC)
2016 To The Galo’s (Garry Selkrig, Devon Meadows VIC)
2017 Ando’s Mac (Jason Mackay, Richmond Vale NSW)
2018 Aston Dee Bee (Seona Thompson, Pearcedale VIC)
2019 Dyna Hunter (Steven Collins, Pearcedale VIC)
2020 La Grand Quality (Darryl Thomas, Sawyers Gully NSW)
WATCH: LA GRAND QUALITY (6) beats a star-studded field to win the 2020 Warragul Cup including CRIMSON VIXEN (5), PETER GALO (2), WHISKEY RIOT (7) & SPEED STAR (9) who gained a run with the scratching of HOOKED ON SCOTCH. RESULTS