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Can ‘Tyson’ deliver a Sale Cup KO?

Omega Tyson is the local ‘great white hope’ in the $75,000 to-the-winner Group 1 GOLD FM Sale Cup (650m) on Boxing Day.

And his Seaspray breeder-owner-trainer Barry Harper, 73, hopes he plays ‘hometown hero’.

“The money is always handy, but to win the Sale Cup would be absolutely sensational – the highlight of my career in the sport,” Harper said.

And that’s saying something considering Harper finished second with Zippity Magic, beaten a half-length, in the 1994 G1 Melbourne Cup won by champion Light Of Fire.

Omega Tyson is also attempting to become the first Gippsland-trained greyhound to win the Sale Cup since Neo Cleo in 2018.

“Whether it’s Joe Bloggs or me, it’s great to see a local in the Cup.”

“Whether it’s Joe Bloggs or me, it’s great to see a local in the Cup… And he’s not without a chance,” Harper said.

“I was hoping to get either box one, two or three, as he would have gone straight to the rail and stayed there. But he drew the ‘black’ (Box 7) which is not ideal; however, he’ll still go around dogs in a race.”

Omega Tyson has won 11 races from 26 starts, including five of his past 10.

And he’s proved a revelation from only eight ‘middle distance’ outings with three wins, two seconds and two thirds.

Blessed with a powerhouse finish, Omega Tyson finished third in the G3 Sir John Dillon Memorial (595m) at Sandown Park late last month.

And he was runner-up in the Sale Distance Championship (650m) on December 12 prior to winning a Sale Cup heat last Sunday in a smart 37.22sec – only one and a half lengths slower than fastest qualifier Jarick Bale (37.13sec).

Omega Tyson is a $21 outsider on TAB’s Sale Cup fixed odds market dominated by Mepunga Ruby ($2.20), followed by Zac’s Entity ($4.80) and Jarick Bale ($6.00).

“The ‘red’ (Mepunga Ruby – Box 1) and ‘green’ (Zac’s Entity – Box 6) are the ones to beat, but I reckon the ‘pink’ (Jarick Bale – Box 8) could be the surprise packet,” Harper said.

Harper also revealed the catalyst behind the ‘Omega’ prefix for his greyhounds.

“When we lived out at Darriman, we weren’t too far from the Omega Tower – a tracking station for shipping all over the world.”

Omega Tyson (1) clocks 37.22sec defeating Drako Bale (3) by just under 1L in a Sale Cup heat.

And Harper also disclosed how his middle-distance marvel received the ‘Tyson’ part of his racing moniker.

“He was a real ‘bully’ as a pup, so I named him after former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. But I’m pleased to say he’s grown up to be a ‘true gentleman’.”

Harper got involved in the sport in his late 20s after receiving a greyhound as a pet.

“Eventually, I thought I might as well have a dip at training a greyhound,” he said. “So, I bought a pup for $200 from Fred Bellamy.

“He finished third at Warragul at his first start and I pocketed the princely sum of $6.

Omega Tyson is the local ‘great white hope’ in the Sale Cup after winning his heat.

“I’d taken my three kids along in a V8 Valiant and they cost me four times as much as what I got in prizemoney. They scoffed down six hot dogs between them, washed down with a few cans of soft drink.”

Harper also trains current 2021-22 Sale Greyhound of the Year leader Omega Dodge which commands cult idol status on the Gippsland track. (Omega Dodge is engaged in Race 7, Box 2 – 8.39pm on the Sale Cup program.)

The Sale Cup is scheduled as Race 8 – 8.58pm.

Pawnote: The G1 GOLD FM Sale Cup series is the first leg of the SENTrack Gippsland Festival of Racing.

Click HERE  for the latest TAB market

The content on this page was accurate at the time of publishing. If you notice any inaccurate content on this page or anywhere on the website, please report it here

About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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