Young Anakie trainer Correy Grenfell, 27, will take aim at his second Group 1 Perth Cup (520m) victory in three years after Tiggerlong Tonk returned to his brilliant best in Saturday night’s heats at Cannington.
Grenfell celebrated his first G1 victory when Orson Allen reigned supreme in Perth in 2019 and Tiggerlong Tonk has an excellent chance of breaking a frustrating G1 hoodoo next weekend at what will be his 10th attempt!
He elected to bypass the Golden Easter Egg series to target Perth and Tiggerlong Tonk made his Cannington debut one week prior to the Cup heats when run down in the shadows of the post in the Cup Prelude.
That was Tiggerlong Tonk’s first ‘500m’ in a month and Grenfell expected him to take great improvement when he exited box four in the first of seven heats, where he started a red-hot $1.60 favourite.
Tiggerlong Tonk came out running and was a dominant all-the-way winner, clocking 29.62sec as he defeated Pixie Monelli by 2.75 lengths to record his 35th win from 74 starts.
Tiggerlong Tonk and fellow Victorian superstar Shima Shine were the only Perth Cup contenders at single figures in TAB’s ‘All In’ market heading into the heats, rated at $8 and $4 respectively.
After being bounced out of the Golden Easter Egg and Ballarat Cup heats series as an odds-on favourite at his last two starts, Andrea Dailly’s Shima Shine was expected to ‘stop the rot’ when he made his Cannington debut in heat two.
Shima Shine started $1.75 favourite from box five but the two-time G1 was never a factor after missing the start, winding up sixth to lightly raced local Rapido Lass, a daughter of the immortal Brett Lee that scored in 29.85sec at just her seventh start.
In surpassing his superstar sire Dyna Double One, which ran second to eventual winner My Bro Fabio in a 2015 Perth Cup heat before winning the G3 Consolation, Tiggerlong Tonk ran the second fastest qualifying time.
Heat honours went to Canya Cruise, which posted 29.56sec for former Victorian mentor Steve Shinners and wife Krystal.
Withers Monelli, a litter brother to WA champion Tommy Shelby, sensational winner of the G1 Golden Easter Egg in Sydney on Saturday night, was a 29.77sec heat winner.
While things didn’t go according to plan for ‘Team Dailly’ with Shima Shine, they met with better fortune in the heats of the G1 Galaxy over 715m with Sunset Bourbski.
As was the case with Tiggerlong Tonk, Sunset Bourbski ran second in the Galaxy Prelude the previous week, beaten only three-quarters of a length by Zack Monelli, but the well-bred daughter of Fernando Bale and G1-winning stayer Bourbski Fever was a commanding 41.65sec heat winner at prohibitive odds of $1.28.
Her Prelude conqueror Zack Monelli’s 41.39sec was the quickest of the four heats.
Jayville Slick, a greyhound bred and owned in Victoria who is currently being trained in WA, was also successful in a Galaxy heat clocking 41.68sec.
The box draws for the Perth Cup and Galaxy finals will take place on Monday afternoon.
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