Sprinting ‘whirlwind’ Typhoon Sammy is known for his ‘wind speed’.
So, expect a ‘tsunami’ when he lines up in the Group 2 Taylor’s Palace Hotel Horsham Cup heats (485m) on Friday afternoon.
Trained by Jason Thompson, Typhoon Sammy is ultimately chasing a second country cup. He stormed to a 21.66sec victory in the G2 Traralgon Cup (395m) on January 26. Five days earlier, he won a heat in the equal fastest time (21.53sec) recorded thus far on the new, state-of-the-art ‘J-curve’ track.
Typhoon Sammy (January ’19 Aston Dee Bee x Zabaleta) also finished third to Paua Of Buddy in last year’s G2 Bendigo Cup after setting a new 425m track record (23.28sec) in a heat.
He’s notched 24 wins from 37 starts, including four of his past six, and on two occasions has put together a four-win streak.
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Typhoon Sammy has drawn Box 1 in Heat 2 for his ‘preliminary’.
However, he faces some ‘cyclonic’ counterparts also contesting the Horsham Cup series – first leg of the ‘Western Festival of Racing’ – including a dual G1 champion, G1 Adelaide Cup winner, and the current 485m track record holder here.
It just highlights the depth of talent in Victorian sprinting ranks, which is further illustrated by the G1 Australian Cup and G3 Country Championship being conducted at The Meadows the following night.
The Horsham 485m circuit – and its long home straight – is not for the faint-hearted.
So, in this heats’ synopsis, let’s look for some strong, unflinching types.
Heat 1 (Race 4 – 3.57pm) TAB Fixed Odds
A pick-it-with-a-pin affair with the major players appearing to be G1 National Derby finalist Zara’s Ivan (Box 4), Zivon Bale (Box 1), which has a slick 27.09sec PB, Lots Of Chatter (Box 6), a G2 Bendigo Cup and G2 Gosford Gold Cup runner-up, and G2 Launceston Cup winner Hill Top Jack (Box 8).
Heat 2 (Race 5 – 4.17pm) TAB Fixed Odds
It’s Typhoon Sammy (Box 1) by name, ‘typhoon’ by nature. He’s a ‘topical’ canine cyclone (if you’ll excuse the pun) and loves the ‘red’ alley, with five wins from six starts.
But be on ‘alert’ for Barooga Smoke (Box 7) – a six-time Group race finalist which dead-heated for second behind retired superstar Shima Shine in last year’s Horsham Cup. He also boasts a sizzling 27.03sec PB.
Dual G2 runner-up Lots Of Chatter (Box 6) contests Heat 1.
Heat 3 (Race 6 – 4.44pm) TAB Fixed Odds
Another ‘even’ heat with Decimate (Box 3) – a kennelmate of Typhoon Sammy – expected to more than worry but not ‘obliterate’ his rivals.
Anticipate bold showings from G1 Maturity Classic runner-up and G2 Cranbourne Cup finalist Fernando Mick (Box 4) and dual G3 finalists Hebridean Black (Box 6) and Keep It Black (Box 7).
Heat 4 (Race 7 – 5.09pm) TAB Fixed Odds
Dual G1 winner Qwara Bale (Box 1) may be a length or so off her brilliant best, but she’s still all class.
Qwara Bale won last year’s Sapphire Crown and Maturity Classic, along with the G2 Warrnambool Cup.
However, if she puts a paw wrong, enter powerhouse Invictus Rising (Box 3), winner Sale Distance Championship and runner-up Listed Maidment Memorial, and Listed Australian Sprint winner Nikoli Bale (Box 4) which is also a dual G3 finalist.
Former sprint queen Qwara Bale (Box 1) is engaged in Heat 4.
Heat 5 (Race 8 – 5.32pm) TAB Fixed Odds
G1 Adelaide Cup winner Do It (Box 3) constantly lives up to the Nike ‘Just Do It’ advertising slogan. Amazingly, he’s contested four G1 finals at his past eight starts – including runner-up in the Hobart Thousand and third in the Temlee.
But if he doesn’t ‘Do It’, rising star Old News (Box 1) could be latest news while Xavien Bale (Box 6) may also be worth reading about.
Heat 6 (Race 8 – 5.49pm) TAB Fixed Odds
‘Effervescent’ speedster Soda Titan (Box 1) was ‘sparkling’, setting a new 485m track record (26.66sec) here on February 5. He’s won eight of his past 12 starts and is undefeated in three starts from the ‘cherry’ trap.
However, if things get too ‘fizzy’, G1 National Derby finalist Boston Garden (Box 4), G1 Silver Chief finalist Tiggerlong Nibel (Box 8) and local hope Crackerjack Keg (Box 3), which has an explosive 27.05sec PB, could prove ‘bubbly’ rivals.
NB. Three heats of the Wimmera Cup (410m) will also be conducted on the program.
Pawnote: The G2 Taylor’s Palace Hotel Horsham Cup final, which carries a $47,000 winner’s cheque, will be decided on Friday, March 4.
Horsham 485m track record holder Soda Titan (Box 1) lines up in Heat 6.