THE 2021 Group 2 Bendigo Cup will highlight an outstanding 12-race program on Saturday night that includes six feature events to close out the $300,000 spring carnival.
With a Cup that includes a multiple country cups winner, a Group 1 placegetter, a Group 2 winner and two track record holders the 2021 edition - the first conducted in the spring time slot - will be a memorable one.
Favourite for the $50,000 to the winner event is former New South Wales sprinter Typhoon Sammy, who smashed the track record in a scintillating heat victory, making it five-from-five since shifting south of the border.
Typhoon Sammy has drawn box seven and will be looking to give champion Pearcedale-based trainer Jason Thompson his fifth Bendigo Cup, having previously prepared El Galo (2008), Peggy May (2012), Ronan Izmir (2013) and Aston Bolero (2016) to win the Lord's Raceway feature.
Despite being the fastest dog ever to race at Bendigo, Typhoon Sammy will need to do everything right as he takes on a field of immense depth.
Cups king Ferdinand Boy is shooting for his fourth country cup after already taking out the Ballarat, Shepparton and Healesville Cups as well as two other high quality feature race finals.
Paua Of Buddy could not have been more impressive in his heat victory that came off the back of setting a new time standard over the 400m journey at Warragul, while the 2020 Great Chase winner Dr Tucker showed he was back to his best with a flying 23.38 heat win.
Throw in classy speedster and group 1 placegetter Shima Classic and it is a Cup for the ages.
The support program includes a host of feature races.
The Bendigo Spring Cup for the stayers offers a $10,000 first prize, the immensely popular Battlers Cup ($5000 to first), Vic Bred Maiden Final ($8400), Mannings Greyhound Complex Final ($3850) and the Shima Shine Match Race ($10,000), making for a great night's racing.
The first of 12 races leaves the boxes at 6.35pm with the Bendigo Cup set down for 8.38pm.
Unfortunately for the club the public is still excluded from attending race meetings.
However, an extensive coverage from the track including previews, interviews and insights as well as the racing action will be shown from 6.30pm on The Watchdog app and Greyhound Racing Victoria's Facebook page.
The two heat winners were impressive. However, Aston Ziebell (1) is drawn to go one better than his runner-up effort on debut as he moves from box four to a nice box one draw. Mobile Legend (3) posted a flying 27.86 in his all the way heat win and will take some beating. Just Like Mick (5) carved out exceptionally quick sections en-route to an impressive heat win on debut.
A very even race with three of the four main chances having raced since the heats were conducted. Dinkydi Asset (1) had this box when scoring an all the way 24.10 heat win and looks well placed to find the front early. Currawong (4) led throughout in his heat and was solid third at Healesville since. Blueberry Hill (3) is better suited off the track and over more ground but is capable of winning with luck, while McIvor Ernie (8) is perfectly boxed but failed badly here last Sunday.
A race where the two favourites are deservedly the top-two picks, but both are beatable. Courtesy of the box draw Master Avenger (1) could hold the lead into the back and will take some catching. Prolific winner Bareki (7) flew around in 27.83 in an effortless heat win making it 15 wins from 22 starts and she will be the punters elect. Street Riot (4) rarely runs a bad race and Speedy Bella (2) could add value to the multiples.
What a field, with class right across the board. Hard to go past the exciting Typhoon Sammy (7) after he lowered the track record by more than a length in a breathtaking display in his heat. Shima Classic (2) is a star sprinter that will benefit from last week's heat win when fresh and she will be double figure odds for the value seekers. Country Cups king Ferdinand Boy (5) is a freakish chaser and tough as they come. The winner of 30 from 52 and three country cups will be right in the firing line from start to finish. Dr Tucker (4) posted the third fastest winning time ever at Bendigo in his heat and is all class, as is Warragul track record holder Paua Of Buddy (1). Plenty of chances.
Courtesy of box one the classy all distance performer and fastest heat winner Mepunga Warrior (1) is the one to beat. Strong stayer Overflow Lisa (3) is drawn to race handy enough and will be hitting the line hard. Mepunga Felix (8) and Graclyn Bale (6) are more than capable of figuring in the finish but the draw has not been kind.
Speedster Music Event (3) just missed Shima Shine's track record here two runs back and had no luck in his Cup heat. The two dog format suits and he should be beating Kinson Bale (1) who is no slouch but simply not as quick as his opponent.
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