CUP WILL BE TURBO CHARGED
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.