The Winx of greyhounds
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.