Rippin’ opening to carnival
The opening leg of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s lucrative Gippsland Carnival has received a massive boost with superstar stayer Rippin’ Sam on target to return from injury in time for the Sale Cup.
Sale Greyhound Racing Club manager Des Dooley said the traditional Boxing Day meeting for the Sale Cup final keeps growing in stature and never fails to produce top quality racing.
“With more than $170,000 in stake money to be distributed, it is the richest provincial greyhound meeting in Australia and a fitting start to this year’s Gippsland Carnival,” he said.
Barnstorming stayer Rippin’ Sam hasn’t been seen in action since September, but the Group 1 winner returned to training this month and Robert Britton is optimistic he can make a timely comeback for the Gippsland Carnival’s headline event.
“Rippin’ Sam is back in work and while it’s guesswork as to how far off he is, if everything goes according to plan the Sale Cup is a perfect option for him,” said Britton, who won the Sale Cup in 2010 with Symmetry and finished second with champion Fanta Bale last year.
The Gippsland Carnival, being staged for the third time in 2018/19, consists of four country cups.
Sale’s $75,000 to-the-winner middle distance showdown will be followed, in order, by the Warragul Cup, Traralgon Cup on Australia Day and then the Cranbourne Cup, all Group 2 events with a $47,000 winner’s purse.
Warragul Greyhound Racing Club general manager said the Warragul Cup carnival will be spread across three days.
A sportsman’s night with Calcutta theme on Friday, January 4 will be followed by a family fun day two days later, with the Warragul Cup final to be staged on Saturday, January 12.
Last year’s Gippsland Carnival launched brilliant speedster Poke The Bear’s rise to stardom with Seona Thompson’s powerhouse claiming his first Group title when winning the Traralgon Cup, also running third at Cranbourne.
The cream of the Victorian sprinting ranks will take aim at the Warragul, Traralgon and Cranbourne Cup and there’ll also be a champion ex-footballer trackside at the three sprints in Collingwood’s charismatic 2011 Brownlow medallist Dane Swan.
Melbourne’s cult ruckman Max Gawn will attend the Sale Cup.
Above: Koo wee rup keeper Brody Smith looks to collect the throw as Liam Serong makes his ground from a quick single.