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Counting the days – all 50 of them!

A TAB Melbourne Cup may have escaped the hands of Brooke and Jamie Ennis in the past but that has only made their desire stronger.

“The Melbourne Cup is something everyone wants to win – it’s the pinnacle of greyhound racing,” Ennis said.

“We breed and buy pups in hope of a Melbourne Cup winner.”

Thursday marks 50 days until the TAB Melbourne Cup and race eight celebrates the occasion.

Ennis prepares track specialist Barooga Smoke (pictured) who will jump from box one – a box that has seen him win on three occasions.

Barooga Smoke has been in Ennis’ care for three months after his previous trainer Brett Nye decided to take a break from racing.

“He does seem to love Sandown and his record there definitely speaks for itself,” Ennis said.

Group 1 winner Lakeview Walter sits directly on his outside, while McCooly’s Lad – who was labeled as the sports next big thing – exits box six with a vacant box on his inside.

“He wants the rail, especially with Lakeview Walter who will probably go with him early.”

Barooga Smoke (B3) and Lakeview Walter (B2) met on Friday night at The Meadows and finished second and third respectively behind $16 shot Daph’s Ascend.

WATCH: BAROOGA SMOKE (3) and LAKEVIEW WALTER (2) were narrowly beaten at The Meadows last week, and will renew acquaintances in the 50 Days to the Cup feature at Sandown on Thursday night.

“Lakeview Walter came out behind Barooga Smoke on Friday and Smoke went straight down to the fence and stayed there.”

Although the Melbourne Cup is 50 days away, Ennis is hopeful to have Barooga Smoke fighting fit to compete in the series.

She is also hoping to head Melbourne Cup way with Got The Torque who holds a PB of 29.31sec over the 515m at Sandown.

Got The Torque also finds himself at Sandown on Thursday night – competing in race seven jumping from box seven.

“He’s dropped a bit of form at the moment, and I don’t think box draws have helped, but all going well he’ll be planned for there too.”

Youngster Old News – unbeaten from three starts and yet to race at Sandown – may also have the Melbourne Cup series in sight but has the Great Chase series to contest in the  lead up.

He is competing in the Warrnambool leg of the Great Chase on Thursday night – race five, box four. 

“Old News looks to be an exciting young pup at this stage.”

“He’s doing everything right and showing good signs of becoming a nice race dog. It’s super early days yet but if he continues the way he his maybe the Melbourne Cup might be discussed.”

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About Molly Haines - Communication Assistant at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 16 years of experience working with greyhounds in all capacities.
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