Mighty Moose with Paul Jones and Maria Barber following his Traralgon Cup heat win. 📸 Clint Anderson

  • Thursday, 25 Jan, 2024,
  • by Greyhound Racing Victoria

The Stir Up – Traralgon Cup edition

The $83,000 Group 2 Sportsbet Traralgon Cup is one of Gippsland’s sprinting showpieces. And this year’s final field is a beauty – including dual challenges being launched by master trainers Jason Thompson and Anthony Azzopardi, and also partners Maria Barber and Paul Jones – not to mention a local ‘great white hope’ and a flying machine from Tassie.

In a ‘special edition’ of The Stir Up, GRV’s Andrew Copley puts some hard-hitting questions to colleague Peter Quilty ahead of the $55,000 to-the-winner final on Friday night.

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Andrew: Well, Quilts, the Sportsbet market is out for the Traralgon Cup. We’ll get to your selections later. But first, which greyhound offers the best value in the market?

Quilts: For mine, it’s SALAD DODGER ($9). He finished sixth in last year’s Traralgon Cup and has the best personal best time (24.48sec) here among his rivals. And I have no doubt Box 3 will suit him better than Box 8, which he exited from when a gallant second in his heat.

Andrew: Jason Thompson and Anthony Azzopardi will supply half the field, but who in your mind is the best chance outside the duo’s star quartet?

Quilts: It may come as a surprise, but I’d have to say ‘Tassie tiger’ DUCATI ROY ($13). His astute trainer, Mick Sherriff, expects improvement on his 24.82sec heat win and he just may prove the ‘Apple of the Isle’. Like his ‘Ducati’ prefix, he’s a real speed machine and finished third in last month’s G1 Hobart Thousand.

Andrew: Very good… and now for the toughest question of them all… Paul Jones (BURN ALONG) and partner Maria Barber (MIGHTY MOOSE) have a runner each in the final. Which of their pair will be first across the line and claim bragging rights in the household?

Quilts: I’d like to think the $81 outsider MIGHTY MOOSE, but logic tells me BURN ALONG ($6) who has won 10 from 20 and recently contested the G2 Warragul Cup final. However, Maria has told me she isn’t giving up on assuming the mantle as Hoddles Creek’s No.1 trainer (lol). There’ll also be plenty of emotion if MIGHTY MOOSE causes a major boilover as his WA owner, Anthony Barranca – who plays Veterans Cricket for Australia – christened him with the ‘Moose’ suffix in honour of a late mate.

Andrew: Very interesting. Now you’re our resident historian, Quilts. Do you have any pearls of wisdom for the readers from a historical perspective?

Quilts: You’re too kind… But here’s a little from the Traralgon Cup archives:

  • This is the 47th running of the Traralgon Cup.
  • Here’s one for the fairer sex… Female trainers have won five of the past nine Traralgon Cups. Maria Barber is ‘flying solo’ for the femmes this year with MIGHTY MOOSE – albeit Bec Romyn is caretaker trainer for DUCATI ROY.
  • and BLACK VIPER is looking to be the first Gippsland dog to win the race since Jesaulenko (2017).

Andrew: Brilliantly done. And to round things off, I’ll have your top 4 in order please.

Quilts: I think it’ll be a Jason Thompson 1-2 – GOT ATTITUDE and UNLEASH COLLINDA from DUCATI ROY and SALAD DODGER.

Greyhound Racing VictoriaGreyhound Racing Victoria

Greyhound Racing Victoria

GRV regulates the sport of greyhound racing in the state of Victoria under the Racing Act 1958 (Act), which includes setting standards and ensuring they are met by participants.

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