ARGUABLY the best field ever assembled for a Skilled Training Victoria Bendigo Cup will highlight one of the highest quality race meetings to be staged at Lord’s Raceway on Sunday evening.
The best one turn sprinters in the land have qualified for the $43,750 to the winner Group Two sprint, including three of the most dominant speedsters in recent memory – Paw Licking, Black Magic Opal and Ronan Izmir.
Throw in the extremely talented up-and-comer Deadly Vane and local sprint star Matt’s Entity, and the line-up is one of absolute quality.
In just 345 combined race starts the eight Bendigo Cup finalists have registered 167 victories and amassed stakes earnings of just under $1.5 million – headed by possibly the best one turn sprinter in greyhound racing history Black Magic Opal who has banked in excess of half a million dollars from his 33 career wins.
Black Magic Opal lowered the track record at Bendigo on Wednesday night clocking 23.41, slicing 0.01 off Grigorieva Bale’s record set two years ago.
As explosive as what Black Magic Opal was on Wednesday night, he did not begin as best as he can and there is the possibility that he is capable of going even faster.
On the other hand, he cannot afford to make a mistake with the quality of the opposition.
Drawn on the champs inside is Paw Licking – another dominant one turn sprinter who would be considered one of the best in any era.
Blessed with pure speed Paw Licking is likely to start second favourite behind Black Magic Opal.
Defending Bendigo Cup champ Ronan Izmir, despite not going as good as he perhaps was 12 months ago, qualified for the final to continue the regular clashes of this star trio.
For the first time in many years the local community can cheer on a runner in the Bendigo Cup that has a genuine chance of causing an upset.
The Scott McKenzie-trained Matt’s Entity has drawn to get a nice run out of trouble and could cause an upset. Of the remaining finalists, Deadly Vane is the leading roughie.
The Cup will be run at 7.31pm.