The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - JEFF COLLERSON

WENT­WORTH Park ace Royal Turbo, 2017 Group 1 Vic Peters Clas­sic vic­tor Crash Bandi­coot and last year’s win­ner Cham­pion Model head a star-stud­ded line-up in tonight’s four Can­berra Cup heats.

Royal Turbo, beaten in a photo fin­ish chas­ing his 17th Went­worth Park win on Wed­nes­day night, has not raced at Can­berra but trainer Glen McKin­ley wanted part-owner Glen Ho­gan to watch the crack sprinter on his lo­cal track.

“Glen lives in Can­berra where he has worked for 33 years for Qan­tas and Royal Turbo is his first grey­hound,’’ McKin­ley said.

“Due to work com­mit­ments, Glen has only been able to watch Royal Turbo live once, and that was when the dog won the 2016 Christ­mas Gift at Wenty Park.

“He ob­tained his in­ter­est in Royal Turbo through me try­ing to sell the dog as a young­ster for $10,000 on be­half of his breeder.

“Glen was keen to buy his first grey­hound but could only spare $5000 so I agreed to share the own­er­ship with him and to train Royal Turbo for us.’’

The in­vest­ment has been lu­cra­tive with Royal Turbo hav­ing won more than $144,000.

Royal Turbo has box two in heat two where he op­poses Crash Bandi­coot (box eight).

Dean Swain, who landed the 2016 Syd­ney train­ers’ premier­ship, has re­cently taken over the train­ing of Crash Bandi­coot.

“He had his first start for me in last week’s Perth Cup heats and fin­ished fifth after find­ing trou­ble from his wide draw,’’ Swain said.

“Al­though he raced well at Can­berra for his pre­vi­ous trainer, Crash Bandi­coot has box eight in his cup heat so might have the job ahead.

“I have en­tered five of my team and rate Watch The Wasp, who is up against Crash Bandi­coot, as my best prospect.

“Watch The Wasp is well drawn in box six and, while he has not been tried at Can­berra, I am con­fi­dent the track will suit him.

“I took Miss Foxy Lee to Can­ber- ra for the 2016 Toledo Trail­ers Tro­phy and, de­spite hav­ing not seen the track, she smashed the 600m record.

“Watch The Wasp is slow early but is feel­ing enor­mous right now and only needs a clear pas­sage to go close to win­ning.’’

Lead­ing Can­berra trainer Jodie Lord will be rep­re­sented by Cham­pion Model (box two) in heat one, Cor­rupt Mil­lions (box eight, heat two), Ro­han Hill (box four, heat three) and Bomb­shell Ban­dit and Flyrite, ex­it­ing boxes two and three re­spec­tively in heat four.

Lord has trained three Can­berra Cup win­ners, Shut­tle Train (2002), Uno Suzie (2015) and Cham­pion Model, who is re­sum­ing from a spell tonight.

“Cham­pion Model has not raced since get­ting hurt in a Golden Easter Egg semi-fi­nal on March 24 but has had a cou­ple of good tri­als and is ready to go,’’ Lord said.

“How­ever, I rate my best chance Bomb­shell Ban­dit, as she has a great draw and has been in ter­rific form at Went­worth Park.’’

None of tonight’s cup run­ners has gone as fast around Can­berra as Lord’s pair Cham­pion Model and Bomb­shell Ban­dit, who have cov­ered the 530m in 30.25 and 30.30 re­spec­tively.

Yass-based trainer Neil Staines, who has six en­tries, has been rac­ing at Can­berra for 35 years and guided Slam­ming Thun­der to third place in the 2016 fi­nal.

“I’m 60 now and have been rac­ing reg­u­larly at Can­berra since I was 25 and liv­ing at Con­dobolin so would love to win this race,’’ Staines said.

“My two top hopes are Real Sim­ple, who has box four in heat one, and Ti­likum, drawn in box five in heat four.

“Real Sim­ple has run 30.36 there and has fan­tas­tic early speed while Ti­likum is in ter­rific form.

“None of my en­tries has more tal­ent than Bo­gan Doonie, who has box seven in heat one, but she has walked out of the boxes at her past two starts at Went­worth Park.

“Bo­gan Doonie can run like the wind in solo tri­als but her box man­ners have me tear­ing my hair out!’’

First and sec­ond in tonight’s heats will con­test next Sun­day’s fi­nal.

Can­berra Cup con­tender Royal Turbo win­ning re­cently at Went­worth Park.

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