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Local stars to feature prominently in Saturday night’s Cranbourne Cup Final

Saturday night’s $71,250 Group 2 Backmans Greyhound Supplies Cranbourne Cup Final (520m) boasts a strong local contingent, with six of the eight finalists being trained in the local area.

The Cranbourne region has long been a major hub for Victorian greyhound racing – boasting a plethora of elite trainers and top-class greyhounds – with the Cranbourne Cup, first run in 1975, being the conclusion of the 2020/21 Gippsland Festival of Racing following the Sale Cup (26 December) and Warragul Cup (16 January).

One of the main fancies in the Cranbourne Cup is Amarillo Highway, who was the fastest of the four heat winners last Saturday night in 29.82sec.

Amarillo Highway is trained in Devon Meadows by Glenn Rounds, who is chasing back-to-back Victorian country cups after winning the Warragul Cup with Aeroplane Eric.

While the Cranbourne Cup field oozes talent and class, all eight contenders are chasing their first win at group level.

Among the headline acts is excitement machine Equalizer, a greyhound that boasts a spectacular finishing burst.

How to follow Saturday night’s Cranbourne Cup action:
– Facebook Live coverage at or via The Watchdog app from 7.40pm.
– Watch every race LIVE and FREE on The Watchdog app, or on Sky Racing.
– RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM) & SEN Track (1593 AM).
– Live Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’.

Coming from last to be a close runner-up in the recent Warragul Cup, Equalizer is one of two finalists for champion Pearcedale trainer, Jason Thompson, the other being the brilliant Squiggle Keeping, who is suitably drawn in Box 8.

Incredibly, Thompson has won every Victorian country cup except for the Cranbourne Cup, and with this being his local cup it’s a race he’d dearly love to win.

In-form duo Lots Of Chatter (Graeme Jose) and Zipping Sultan (Ned McDonald), along with the experienced Wears Woodleigh (Ian Brown), are the remaining members of the local contingent.

Thompson aside, one other trainer – Anakie’s Andrea Dailly – has multiple finalists in this year’s event. Remarkably, Dailly has won the Cranbourne Cup three times previously, and she’ll be hoping one of Fabriola Zad or Jax Bale, both stars on the metropolitan circuit, can net the $50,000 first prize.

A bumper card of racing awaits on Cranbourne Cup night with four other feature races to be held – the $12,050 Vic Bred Maiden Final (520m), the $10,930 Casey Steel Victoria Cup (699m), the $7,365 The Van Echteld (311m) and the Cup Night Match Race (520m) – the latter being an intriguing two-dog event between Dream Wizard (Box 1) and Run Baba Run (Box 3) for a $10,000 winner-take-all prize.

Racing fans can enjoy live and comprehensive coverage of Cranbourne Cup night – hosted by form experts Troy Harley & James Van de Maat – via GRV’s Facebook Page and The Watchdog App from 7.40pm.

Heat winners (fastest to slowest):
29.82sec Amarillo Highway
29.96sec Lots Of Chatter
29.97sec Zipping Sultan
30.02sec Jax Bale

Cranbourne Cup night – key times
6.04pm First race
6.19pm $12,050 GRV Vic Bred Series Maiden Final – 520m (Race 2)
7.25pm Quaddie begins (Race 5)
7.40pm Facebook Live coverage begins
7.45pm $10,930 Casey Steel Victoria Cup – 699m (Race 6)
8.05pm $7,365 The Van Echteld – 311m (Race 7)
8.20pm $71,250 G2 Backmans Greyhound Supplies Cranbourne Cup – 520m (Race 8)
8.40pm $10,000 Cup Night Match Race – 520m (Race 9)
9.35pm Last race

Recent Cranbourne Cup winners
2010 Arvo’s Florence (Terry Burns, Koo Wee Rup VIC)
2011 Gold Heritage (Desmond Downing, Junortoun VIC)
2012 Mystic Apple (Val Awramenko, Leopold VIC)
2013 Cintiarna (Sandra Collins, Hazelwood VIC)
2014 Banjo Boy (Kenneth Virtue, Lang Lang VIC)
2015 Avondale Porsche (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)
2016 Above All (Robert Britton, Lara VIC)
2017 Crackerjack Choc (Anita Gibbons, Lara VIC)
2018 Mossimo Bale (Andrea Dailly, Anakie VIC)
2019 Orson Allen (Correy Grenfell, Mount Wallace VIC)
2020 Often Imitated (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale VIC)

2020/21 Gippsland Festival of Racing winners
G1 Sale Cup – 26 December – Houdini Boy (Kelvyn Greenough, Pearcedale)
G2 Warragul Cup – 16 January – Aeroplane Eric (Glenn Rounds, Devon Meadows)

Latest TAB Odds

FLASHBACK: OFTEN IMITATED (6) scores a dominant win in the 2020 Cranbourne Cup over JARO BALE (8) and ULTIMATE BLING (3).     RESULTS

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About Andrew Copley - Racing Communication Manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 20 years of experience working as a greyhound racing reporter with National Greyhound Form newspaper and GRV. Adopter of celebrity greyhound, Fred Basset.
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