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Shima’s a shining ‘gem’ in Warrnambool Cup

Champion sprinter Shima Shine is a hot favourite in Wednesday night’s $67,000 G2 Warrnambool Cup Final at 8.38pm, with a comprehensive preview of the night to air into regional Victoria on free-to-air TV station 9Gem and via The Watchdog app from 5.30pm.

A dual Group 1 winner, Shima Shine was the fastest winner among last Thursday’s star-studded heats, running just .04 seconds (just over half a length) off the 450m track record, which has stood for five years.

While history of the Warrnambool Cup is sketchy, this is the 50th year in which records have been kept on the great race.

Shima Shine will need to overcome Box 5, however, a draw he has had on three occasions without victory, and with this being such a high-quality final featuring established stars such as Dream Wizard, Jax Bale and Yozo Bale, he’ll need to bring his A-game.

Racing fans will also be treated to a mind-boggling Cup Night Match Race between two of the sport’s heavyweights, Tiggerlong Tonk & Ferdinand Boy, in which a $10,000 winner-take-all prize is up for grabs.

Scheduled in the midst of thoroughbred racing’s May Carnival, greyhound racing’s Warrnambool Cup traditionally draws a strong crowd, and locals are sure to be cheering home Mepunga Warrior, who was bred and is owned by legendary Mepunga East breeder, Barry Smith.

Meanwhile, Qwara Bale is the only greyhound flying the flag for the fairer sex in the final. Two of the past three Warrnambool Cups were won by females, with superstar duo Striker Light (2018) and Dyna Patty (2019) successful.

The Warrnambool Cup is the fourth and final leg of greyhound racing’s new $700,000 Western Festival of Racing, which runs throughout autumn and also incorporates the Horsham Cup (won by Shima Shine), Ballarat Cup (won by Ferdinand Boy) and Geelong Gold Cup (won by Weblec Jet).

Shima Shine (Box 5) stifles TAB betting for Wednesday night’s final at $1.80, ahead of Yozo Bale (Box 8) at $6, with Do It (Box 1) and Qwara Bale (Box 3) both $6.50 chances. Six of the past 11 Warrnambool Cups have been won by the favourite.

Here’s a rundown of the contenders:
1 DO IT
Trainer: Jeffrey Britton (Anakie)
Comment: Won 9 races from 26 starts and G3 Cup Night Sprint finalist (Sandown Park). Lowered the colours of G2 Ballarat Cup and G2 Shepparton Cup winner Ferdinand Boy in a heat. Excellent record from box one, winning three from four (75%).

2 DREAM WIZARD
Trainer: Sean Lithgow (Devon Meadows)
Comment: Winner of 18 from 46. Finalist in last year’s G2 Ballarat Cup and this year’s G2 Warragul Cup. Only unplaced once in nine starts from Box 2.

3 QWARA BALE
Trainer: Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
Comment: Won 10 from 19, including five of her past eight. She’s a star in the making.

4 DENZELL BALE
Trainer: Samantha Grenfell (Anakie)
Comment: Winner of 11 from 77. Currently quoted at $51 on TAB. Won a heat at $29.80!

5 SHIMA SHINE
Trainer: Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
Comment: Won 33 from 56. Bona fide superstar with two G1 wins – Topgun (The Meadows) & Gold Bullion (Albion Park). Holds three track records – Bendigo 425m (23.35sec), Horsham 485m (26.79sec) and Warragul 460m (25.19sec). However, he’s only placed once in three starts from Box 5.

6 MEPUNGA WARRIOR
Trainer: Jeffrey Britton (Anakie)
Comment: Winner of 6 from 21. G3 Launching Pad finalist (Sandown Park) and a reserve for the G2 Geelong Gold Cup.

7 JAX BALE
Trainer: Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
Comment: Won 13 from 53. Won G2 Cranbourne Cup and equal second in G2 Horsham Cup won by Shima Shine. Runner-up in last year’s G1 Harrison-Dawson (Sandown Park) and seventh in last year’s G2 Warrnambool Cup. Top record from Box 7 (10: 4-3-1)

8 YOZO BALE
Trainer: Correy Grenfell (Anakie)
Comment: Winner of 23 from 59. Won last year’s G2 Bendigo Cup and G2 Ballarat Cup, and second to NSW star Wow in G1 Temlee (The Meadows).

Reserves

9 GOT THE TORQUE
Trainer: Brooke Ennis (Lara)
Comment: Won 8 from 36. Gallant when second to Shima Shine, beaten 3.9L, in the fastest heat.

10 GYPSY YANKEE
Trainer: Andrea Dailly (Anakie)
Comment: Winner of seven from 24. Pushed Yozo Bale all the way in a heat, and in the all-powerful Dailly kennel.

RELATED:

FEATURES ON WARRNAMBOOL CUP NIGHT

  • 6.55pm: $6,225 Super VicGreys Final – 450m (Race 3)
  • 7.18pm: $5,825 Go Distance Racing Special Event – 650m (Race 4)
  • 7.58pm: $7,365 Stan Lake Memorial – 450m (Race 6)
  • 8.38pm: $67,000 Group 2 Warrnambool Cup final – 450m (Race 8)
  • 9.00pm: $10,000 winner-take-all Cup Night Match Race – 450m (Race 9)

HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION

  • Extensive preview featuring Molly Haines, George Farrugia and James Van De Maat from 5.30-6.40pm Wednesday into regional Victoria on 9Gem, GRV’s Facebook Page & via The Watchdog app.
  • Live coverage with Troy Harley & James Van de Maat via GRV’s Facebook Page & The Watchdog app from 8.00pm.
  • Watch every race LIVE and FREE on The Watchdog app, watchdog.grv.org.au or on Sky Racing.
  • RSN Racing and Sport (927 AM) & SEN Track (1593 AM).
  • Twitter coverage with ‘@WatchDogRacing’.

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