‘Winged’ dual Phoenix winner Wow She’s Fast ($2,259,370) – the world’s highest stakes earning greyhound and only one to crack the magical $2m barrier – is seeking Warragul Cup redemption.
In last year’s series, Wow She’s Fast ($1.70F) was a shock fourth to Hamillson in a heat.
But the winner of 18 races (nine of her past 12) – including two G1s – from 26 starts is back for absolution.
The sport’s ‘wonder woman’ headlines the eight heats of the $78,335 Group 2 Viatek Warragul Cup (460m) on Friday night – second leg of the 2022/23 ‘Gippsland Festival of Racing’.
Wow She’s Fast is all the rage in her heat as $1.85 favourite.
Trained by Jackie Greenough, Wow She’s Fast ($6.50) is also joint nominal favourite with ‘country cups king’ Typhoon Sammy to claim the $47,000 to-the-winner final on January 13.
Then follows Cybertruck and Unleash Collinda (both $8) and Hot Scotch ($10).
Typhoon Sammy and Unleash Collinda – both prepared by champion trainer Jason Thompson – are $2.40 and $2.45F to win their respective heat, while Cybertruck and Hot Scotch are $2.10F and $2.30F.
Other favourites in the heats are Fernando Mick ($2.10), Paua Of Buddy ($2.80) and Elite Alex ($1.95).
Below is a summary of the heats:
Heat 1 (Race 4 – 7.57pm)
G1 Hobart Thousand winner and G1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Fernando Mick (Box 3) looks the testing material. Fernando Mick – also a G1 Maturity Classic runner-up, G1 Adelaide Cup finalist and three-time G2 finalist – has won nine of his past 14 starts. He also boasts a slick 25.63sec PB here. His main dangers appear to be Kung Pow Kevin (Box 1) – nine from 22, including four of his past 6 – and G2 Bendigo Cup finalist Panadero Warrior (Box 4), which has won 10 from 26.
Heat 2 (Race 5 – 8.19pm)
Early markets suggest it’s a race between Unleash Collinda (Box 3) and Shadow Riot (Box 1). G2 Healesville Cup finalist Unleash Collinda – 15 from 22, including his past seven in a row – has broken Healesville’s 300m track record twice. Exciting talent Shadow Riot has won five from nine, including four of his past six. But don’t discard El Dorado (Box 8). He’s a G1 Melbourne Cup finalist and recently contested The Phoenix. He’s won 17 from 36, including five from seven exiting the ‘pink’ alley, and has registered a handy 25.71sec PB here.
Heat 3 (Race 6 – 8.42pm)
‘Whirlwind’ sprinter Typhoon Sammy (Box 7) is ultimately chasing his fourth G2 country cup. He’s 43 from 70, including 13 of his past 19, and boasts a ‘cyclonic’ 25.47sec PB here. And he’s six from nine jumping from the ‘black’ trap. But he can expect tough opposition from G1 Silver Chief third placegetter Landyn Bale (Box 1), which is 11 from 21.
Heat 4 (Race 7 – 8.57pm)
This looms as a battle royal between in-form provincial speedsters Cybertruck (Box 1) and Matt’s Hope (Box 2). Cybertruck, 14 from 25, just keeps on truckin’ with six wins on the trot and is unbeaten in four starts from the ‘red’ box. He also has a slick 25.45sec PB here. Matt’s Hope, 27 from 58, is in a similar vein of form with five wins on the spin. In fact, he’s won eight of his past nine.
WATCH: Wow She’s Fast (B6) ‘arises’ to successive wins of The Phoenix at The Meadows on December 17.
Heat 5 (Race 8 – 9.18pm)
Wow!!! What more can you say? The ‘two-million-dollar baby’ keeps exceeding her name. You’ve read her ‘tale of the tape’ above, so how are they going to beat Wow She’s Fast (Box 8)? On paper, the queen of Australian greyhound racing has probably drawn the easiest heat and should make her way into yet another ‘black type’ final. Talk about ‘wow factor’!
Heat 6 (Race 9 – 9.42pm)
They’ve drawn awkwardly, but Paddy Wants Pats (Box 5) and Paua Of Buddy (Box 6) are the star attractions and have polarised punters. Paddy Wants Pats, 19 from 51, is a triple G1 finalist – including runner-up in an Australian Cup. He also has a super-fast 25.39sec PB here. G1 Hobart Thousand runner-up and G2 Bendigo Cup winner Paua Of Buddy, 15 from 30, is a track specialist here. He’s five from six with a scintillating 25.30sec PB.
Heat 7 (Race 10 – 10.02pm)
Rising star Elite Alex (Box 1) has been backed as if there’s no tomorrow. The G3 Great Chase finalist is seven from 12 including flashy wins on both city tracks – Sandown Park (29.27sec) and The Meadows (29.84sec). But surely G2 Bendigo Cup runner-up Salad Dodger (Box 8), 12 from 33, is in the ‘mix’.
Heat 8 (Race 11 – 10.24pm)
What an intriguing affair with several chances – particularly ‘new kid on the block’ Hot Scotch (Box 7), 10 from 21; four-time G1 finalist Titan Blazer (Box 1), 21 from 58, which was a finalist in last year’s Warragul Cup and has a smart 25.58sec PB here; and My Neo (Box 4), 21 from 44, whose Sandown Park wins have put him up in ‘neo’ lights.