Kialla sprinter Music Event will aim to break a 27-year drought in Saturday night’s $67,000 C.K.H Painting G2 Shepparton Cup Final (450m).
Not since Thorgil Tex in 1994 has a greyhound from the Shepparton region won the Cup, but the Michael Carter-trained Music Event has his chance after drawing box one.
Although running 2nd in his heat, Music Event also has a home-track advantage, having won five of his seven starts over the track/distance including a 24.92sec PB, the fastest of all the finalists.
“Five years ago Gotta Get Back won the Shepparton Cup and his trainer John McClelland considers himself a local as Shepparton is his closest greyhound track, despite living just over the NSW border in Jindera.”
“But it has been a long time since a greyhound based in the heart of Shepparton has won the Cup, which is our biggest race of the year,” said Shepparton Greyhound Racing Club Manager, Carl McGrath.
Five heats were run on Monday night with the winners and three fastest 2nd placegetters qualifying for Saturday’s $47,000 to-the-winner final, and McGrath said it’s an exciting time for the club.
“Monday’s heat night was sensational racing, and the calibre of greyhounds in this final is first class,” McGrath said.
“We’ve got two of the biggest names in the sport in Catch The Thief and Tiggerlong Tonk, plus a local star in Music Event and a celebrity dog in Papi Go Fast, who is named after one of the biggest names in the NRL (Ryan Papenhuyzen).”
“Throw in the Group 2 Laurels winner (Aston Gwen), our club’s 385m track record holder (Benchester) plus two genuine stars on the rise in Ferdinand Boy and Barooga Smoke, who were the fastest heat winners, and we couldn’t have dreamed for a better final.”
POINTS OF INTEREST
- This will be the 47th running of the Shepparton Cup, with the race first being held in 1973 when won by Garner Bin.
- Some of the biggest names to win the race include local cult hero Highly Blessed (1990), Kantarn Bale (2000), Whisky Assassin (2004), Slater (2006), El Grand Senor (2011) & Hard Style Rico (2020).
- Barooga Smoke (24.94sec) was the fastest heat winner for 29-year-old Brett Nye, who has only been training greyhounds for about 18 months.
- Four of the eight finalists have won at Group 1, 2 or 3 level – Aston Gwen (G2 Laurels); Catch The Thief (G2 WA Derby; G3 Warragul St. Leger); Music Event (G3 Cup Night Sprint) & Tiggerlong Tonk (G2 Horsham Cup; G3 Shootout; G3 Easter Gift).
- Aston Gwen is aiming to become the first female greyhound to win the Shepparton Cup since Hanify’s Impact in 2008.
- Aston Gwen’s trainer, Ben Magri is hoping to replicate the feats of his mum, Michelle Mallia-Magri, who trained 2012 Shepparton Cup winner Blackalls Boss.
- Only five favourites have won the Shepparton Cup in the past 20 years, which doesn’t bode well for Catch The Thief ($3.30Fav).
- Catch The Thief had his first start for new trainer Jason Thompson in his heat, with the Pearcedale trainer aiming for a fifth Shepparton Cup having won with Head Honcho (1993), Whisky Assassin (2004), Hanify’s Impact (2008) and Aston Bolero (2016).
- Benchester, the 385m track record holder at Shepparton, ran 4th in last year’s Shepparton Cup Final.
- Ferdinand Boy is in great form at the track, having won the Shepparton Classic Final (450m) earlier this month. He’s five from six (83%) exiting from Box 8.
- Papi Go Fast is named after Melbourne Storm superstar and greyhound fanatic Ryan Papenhuyzen (judged best on ground in the 2020 NRL Grand Final), who closely follows the greyhound’s career. He’s won 17 races from 28 starts and is yet to be unplaced.
- The Shepparton Cup race record of 24.80sec was set by Hard Style Rico in 2020.
- In the past 20 years Boxes 4 & 6 share the most Shepparton Cup winners with four each.
HEAT WINNERS (Fastest to slowest)
- 24.94sec Barooga Smoke
- 24.99sec Ferdinand Boy
- 25.01sec Catch The Thief
- 25.05sec Papi Go Fast
- 25.06sec Aston Gwen
OTHER FEATURES ON SHEPPARTON CUP NIGHT:
- Cup Night Match Race (450m) – $10,000 winner-take-all.
- Tony McGrath Memorial (450m) – First prize $6,500.
- Go Distance Racing Cup Night Stayers (650m) – First prize $6,545.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION:
FLASHBACK: HARD STYLE RICO (8) proves too strong for SNAGS McKENZIE (6) and WHISKEY RIOT (7) in the 2020 Shepparton Cup, winning in a race record 24.80sec. RESULTS Click here.
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