POINTS OF INTEREST
The Traralgon Cup was first run in 1974 and was known as the Latrobe Valley Cup until 1980. Notable winners include Malawi’s Prince (1991), Light Of Fire (1994), Floodfawn (2001), El Grand Senor (2011) and Fernando Bale (2015). The most recent local winner is Jesaulenko in 2017.
The Traralgon Cup wasn’t held in 2019, 2020 and 2021, before returning last year on the world first $6 million ‘J-Curve’ track. The 2022 Cup, won by Typhoon Sammy, was conducted over 395m before moving to 450m this year. The win of Typhoon Sammy gave Jason and Seona Thompson ‘back to back’ Cup victories four years apart, with Poke The Bear successful in 2018.
FOR THE RECORD
Finalists Mr. Audacious and Salad Dodger have both broken Traralgon’s 450m track record this month. Salad Dodger ran 24.48sec on January 11, which was then eclipsed by Mr. Audacious in his 24.43sec heat victory last Friday night.
NEW CUPS KING?
Mobile Legend is striving to claim his second country cup crown in the opening month of 2023, after winning the Group 2 Warragul Cup Final on January 13. Mobile Legend is a half-brother to 2019 Group 2 Bendigo Cup winner Crimson Vixen and is a member of a sensational litter that also includes Action Girl (30 from 43) and Silver Brute (29 from 48).
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Daniel Gibbons is the only trainer with multiple finalists, in Vance Bale (box 2) and Zella Bale (box 6), which both won their heats at double-figure odds. Both are outsiders in their first Group appearances – Zella Bale at $16 and Vance Bale $101. Gibbons also prepares first reserve Titan Blazer, runner-up in the Warragul Cup, which will contest the Cup Night Match Race against Paua Of Buddy.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT
Female trainers have won five of the past eight Traralgon Cups via Andrea Dailly (twice), Carolyn Jones, Terri-Maree Morris, and Seona Thompson, with Rachael Busuttil (Mr. Audacious) and Angela Galea (I’m Talking) looking to continue that trend. Zella Bale is the only female finalist and is striving to emulate another ‘Bale’ in 2008, Cup heroine Keeko Bale, the last member of the fairer sex to win the race.
Seven of the eight Cup finalists boast perfect records over Traralgon’s 450m circuit. Mr. Audacious (from from four), Revolution (three from three) and Salad Dodger (two from two) are all multiple winners over the Cup course. River Rough is the exception, with three second placings from four starts over the trip.