• Friday, 31 Mar, 2023,
  • by Andrew Copley

Salad sizzles in Ballarat Cup heats

Salad Dodger looks well placed to land his first country cup on Good Friday after clocking the fastest time among tonight’s Group 2 Ballarat Cup heats.

Anthony Azzopardi’s superstar clocked a sizzling 24.92sec, and in doing so turned the tables on Lektra Heckler, who beat him six nights earlier in the Group 2 Shepparton Cup Final.

Salad Dodger was also the fastest heat winner at Shepparton before running fourth in the final, while he was the runner-up in last year’s Bendigo Cup.

He will exit box six in the $75,000 (approx) Ballarat Cup Final on Good Friday.

Azzopardi, based nearby at Rowsley, is chasing his second Ballarat Cup after winning with Zambora Brockie in 2016.

WATCH: SALAD DODGER (B1) explodes away from LEKTRA HECKLER (B4) to take out the fifth and final heat in 24.92sec (Best).

Other highlights from Friday night’s Cup heats were:

  • Four of the five heat winners exited the red number 1 alley.
  • Bobby Axelrod made it 20 wins from 36 starts and will provide trainer Jess Hopkins with the biggest highlight of her career if he can win the final.
  • Daniel Gibbons prepared two of the five heat winners in litter sisters Kelsey Bale and Quinlan Bale. It could be a big 48 hours for Gibbons as he has three finalists in the Group 3 Mount Gambier Cup on Sunday.
  • Tom Dailly will be attempting to ‘turn back the clock’ with litter brothers Shima Shadow and Shima Dream. Dailly took out the 2002 Ballarat Cup with Knockabout Wok.
  • Unleash Collinda provides champion trainer Jason Thompson with the opportunity of a third Ballarat Cup. He saluted with Whisky Assassin (2004) and Ronan Izmir (2013).

Photos by Clint Anderson

(fastest to slowest)

24.92sec Salad Dodger
25.03sec Kelsey Bale
25.06sec Quinlan Bale
25.08sec Shima Shadow
25.21sec Bobby Axelrod

Andrew CopleyAndrew Copley

Andrew Copley

Communications Manager at Greyhound Racing Victoria with 25 years’ experience as a reporter with National Greyhound Form newspaper and GRV. Former Watchdog form analyst. Adopter of celebrity greyhound, Fred Basset. Victorian Greyhound of the Year and Victorian greyhound racing Hall of Fame panel member.

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