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Rounds’ Cup runneth over

Glenn Rounds only has a dozen race dogs in work but the in-form Devon Meadows trainer has an excellent chance of claiming back-to-back country cups in Saturday night’s Group 2 Backmans Greyhound Supplies Cranbourne Cup Final (520m).

After winning the Warragul Cup in January with Aeroplane Eric, Rounds has the $3 TAB favourite for the Cranbourne Cup in fastest heat winner Amarillo Highway.

Amarillo Highway also qualified for the Warragul Cup Final but was never a factor after meeting early trouble, finishing fifth to his kennelmate.

“Amarillo Highway had box four at Warragul and began really well but then he was the meat in the sandwich,” Rounds explained.

“But he did run on good – he went past some good dogs – so his run was still very good.”

Amarillo Highway then continued on the cups trail and made his Cranbourne debut in last Saturday’s heats, where he set his home track alight, recording a flying best of night 29.82s.

WATCH: Amarillo Highway win his heat of the Cranbourne Cup from box two.

His performance was comfortably the fastest of the four heats and despite drawing awkwardly in five, the son of multiple country cups finalist Aussie Infrared tops betting, ahead of Warragul Cup runner-up Equalizer at $3.50.

“I don’t think he’s drawn too badly,” said Rounds.

“The two (Wears Woodleigh), three (Equalizer) and four (Zipping Sultan) don’t have brilliant early pace and if Amarillo Highway can begin like he has been that should see him running up near the front.

“That’s where he needs to be because he’s not going to come from behind against dogs like Zipping Sultan and Equalizer. He needs them to be chasing him.

“He’d only had one trial at Cranbourne prior to his heat run. I gave him a box-to-box the week before and he went super.

“I wouldn’t say he could go any faster than last week but I’ll be happy if he can repeat it.

“He’s not a 460m dog; the 520m around two-turns suits him much better and I reckon he’ll get 600m.

“He had a couple of 600s at Richmond last year when he was up in NSW with John and Minnie Finn and after this weekend I can see him stepping up to 600m at The Meadows and Sandown.”

Unfortunately, the injury-plagued Aeroplane Eric pulled up lame after his Warragul Cup heroics, however he’s back on track and Rounds is eyeing off the Shepparton Cup in March.

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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