The Winx of greyhounds

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING -

GOOD Odds Harada, fast be­com­ing the Winx of grey­hound rac­ing, dom­i­nated Tues­day’s Goul­burn Cup heats to such an ex­tent even the trainer of two of his main ri­vals in tonight’s fi­nal is close to con­ced­ing de­feat.

Vic­to­rian David Geall, who won Went­worth Park’s 2018 Golden Easter Egg with cham­pion sprinter Up Hill Jill, has Emer­ald Rainbow and Fer­nando Drums op­pos­ing Good Odds Harada tonight.

But Geall said: “Good Odds Harada is a phe­nom­e­nal grey­hound and his 29.34 time win­ning the 520m TAB Mil­lion Dol­lar Chase at Went­worth Park just blew me away.

“The only way any of us can beat him is if he misses the start badly, but he never seems to do that.’’ Geall rates Emer­ald Rainbow, be­cause of his box two draw, the bet­ter chance of his two fi­nal­ists.

“Fer­nando Drums, who qual­i­fied for last year’s Goul­burn Cup and has won 31 races, is a faster dog but he has an aw­ful draw, box five,’’ he said.

“Emer­ald Rainbow is a more re­li­able begin­ner and has drawn nicely in two.

“This will be Emer­ald Rainbow’s third ma­jor cup fi­nal in three states as he qual­i­fied for the Healesvill­e Cup at home and Devon­port Cup in Tas­ma­nia.’’

Good Odds Harada, who goes into tonight’s race with 20 wins and 18 plac­ings from 42 races, was eas­ily fastest heat win­ner, cov­er­ing the 440m in 24.61sec.

Trainer Frank Hurst said: “His heat win was good be­cause he had not pre­vi­ously set foot on the Goul­burn track so it was all new to him.

“He pulled up a treat after Tues­day’s heat and box three looks a rea­son­ably good draw.

“My only small con­cern is that Cor­leone King, who has box one, might want to get wide, but Harada should be OK.’’

Cor­leone King, trained by Gary Kim­ber, a bat­tler from Young, was run­ner-up to

Sci­en­tific Man in the 2018 Goul­burn Cup and tonight will be lin­ing up for his 100th race.

With three wins in the big race, Jodie Lord is the most suc­cess­ful Goul­burn Cup trainer and has Wyn­burn Lily (box four) and Spookie Vi­sion (eight) in tonight’s fi­nal.

“Spookie Vi­sion is well-boxed be­cause Caviar Qual­ity, who has drawn seven, has ter­rific early speed and is likely to carve across to­wards the rails,’’ Lord said.

“Spookie Vi­sion had the same box (eight) in his heat win and han­dled the draw well so looks among the bet­ter drawn of the fi­nal­ists.

“He has had three starts at Goul­burn and that ex­pe­ri­ence on the course could be a de­cid­ing fac­tor.

“From a cou­ple of decades rac­ing at Goul­burn, I have learned most dogs need two or three runs on the track be­fore they show their best there.’’

Most Goul­burn-savvy dog in tonight’s fi­nal is Light­ning Vi­sion, trained at Yass by Neil Staines for SA prop­erty devel­oper Jack Savaglia.

When Light­ning Vi­sion won his heat from box two he took his record over the Goul­burn 440m trip to six wins from seven ap­pear­ances.

But Light­ning Vi­sion will need luck after draw­ing box six tonight.

The $25,000-to-the-win­ner Goul­burn Cup gets un­der way at 5.47 with the $8000-for-first short-course Goul­burn Work­ers Club Fire­ball fi­nal, over 350m, at 5.07.

Box draw for the cup: 1 Cor­leone King 2 Emer­ald Rainbow 3 Good Odds Harada 4 Wyn­burn Lily 5 Fer­nando Drums 6 Light­ning Vi­sion 7 Caviar Qual­ity 8 Spookie Vi­sion. Re­serves: Nan­gar Jack and Im­me­di­ate

Frank Hurst and wife Tracey and their Mil­lion Dol­lar Chase win­ner Good Odds Harada.

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